Danube - Passau to Vienna Cycling Holiday

The classic Danube cycle route. Cycle along what many consider to be the most beautiful stretch of the Danube river as it wends it’s way through Upper and Lower Austria along beautiful, fertile valleys, past charming medieval villages to the elegant city of Vienna.

The original, and still one of the most popular long distance leisure rides in Europe, the Danube cycle path is an easy, mostly traffic-free route along level paths close to the mighty river. Starting from Passau on the German/Austrian border, you follow the river downstream past the majestic Danube Loop, the medieval City of Linz and through the stunning Wachau Valley.

The above video above was shot in July 2018 and depicts the sights and scenes along the route.

Along the way you can stop to explore charming riverside villages such as Grein, Spitz, Weißenkirchen and Dürnstein. At times you will cycle through open plains and meadows while other stretches lead you through steep-sided valleys lined with cascading vineyard terraces. At the end of the journey, elegant Vienna awaits to enthrall and fascinate.

Easy cycling on traffic free cycle paths.

Danube - Passau to Vienna Cycling Holiday

The classic Danube cycle route. Cycle along what many consider to be the most beautiful stretch of the Danube river as it wends it’s way through Upper and Lower Austria along beautiful, fertile valleys, past charming medieval villages to the elegant city of Vienna.

The original, and still one of the most popular long distance leisure rides in Europe, the Danube cycle path is an easy, mostly traffic-free route along level paths close to the mighty river. Starting from Passau on the German/Austrian border, you follow the river downstream past the majestic Danube Loop, the medieval City of Linz and through the stunning Wachau Valley.

The above video above was shot in July 2018 and depicts the sights and scenes along the route.

Along the way you can stop to explore charming riverside villages such as Grein, Spitz, Weißenkirchen and Dürnstein. At times you will cycle through open plains and meadows while other stretches lead you through steep-sided valleys lined with cascading vineyard terraces. At the end of the journey, elegant Vienna awaits to enthrall and fascinate.

Easy cycling on traffic free cycle paths.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive in Passau

Check in to your hotel and then take a stroll through the “City of Three Rivers”, so named because this is the point at which the Inn and Ilz rivers flow into the Danube. The narrow cobbled streets and pretty squares of the old town are a delight to explore and we also recommend a climb to Veste Oberhaus, a medieval fortress and museum that offers a fantastic, panoramic view of the town and rivers.

Day 2 : Passau – Wesenufer/Schlögen
25 miles/40 kms

After breakfast you start to follow the Danube Cycle Path downstream. You’ll pass through a deep gorge, carved by the river over centuries, before arriving in the charming little village of Engelhartszell. Here you may choose to visit the nearby Monastery where a silent but enterprising order of Trappist monks make and sell some rather good liquors. Cross the river using the quaint little ferry and enjoy some serene cycling on an idyllic cycle path beside the river as you continue eastwards. You’ll spend the night either in the little village of Wesenufer or slightly further on in the village of Schlögen.

Day 3 : Wesenufer/Schlögen – Linz
36 miles/58 kms

First stop on today’s route is the stunning Danube Loop at Schlögen. Here the great river makes a dramatic 180 degree turn and we highly recommend investing in the 20 minute hike up to the lofty look-out point in the woods to fully appreciate this majestic scene.

Afterwards, follow the riverside cycle path through a peaceful valley where nature still reigns supreme. This is leisure cycling at its best, stunning scenery, charming villages and easy cycling, far from hustle and the bustle of the modern world.

After a few kilometers the valley begins to widen out and soon you are cycling through an open plain with meadows on either side. Stop in Aschach at one of the riverside cafes for some refreshment or lunch before continuing downstream. After a bend in the river, the city of Linz, your overnight stop, comes into view. Linz is the capital of Upper Austria with a lovely old town centre and bustling main square.

Day 4 : Linz – Grein/Ardagger
39 miles/63 kms

The day starts with a ride along the northern bank of the Danube to the village of Mauthausen. Nearby you will find the former Mauthausen Concentration Camp and Memorial – a thought-provoking place to stop for a break. You then follow an idyllic riverside cycle path through the meadows and woodland of the Machland region. After passing Castle Wallsee standing guard over the river you’ll enjoy a particularly scenic stretch of the river to Ardagger of Grein where you will overnight.

Day 5 : Grein/Ardagger – Marbach/Maria Taferl
19 – 26 miles/31 – 42 kms

Today’s ride leads you through the Strudengau, a beautiful and serene stretch of the river where nature still holds sway. This is leisure cycling at its best with stunning scenery and only the sounds of the birds and your tyres on the cycle path. After a while the valley widens again and you ride through open meadows past the towns of Ybbs and Metzling. The day’s ride concludes in the riverside village of Marbach. You will overnight either in Marbach or in the nearby village of Maria Taferl.

Day 6 : Marbach/Maria Taferl – Krems/Traismauer
29 – 34 miles/ 47 – 54 kms

Make sure your camera is charged and ready today as you will be cycling through the magnificent Wachau Valley which many consider to be one of the most beautiful stretches of the whole river. The day starts with a ride along the riverbank, to the bustling town of Melk, famous for its magnificent baroque Abbey and as the gateway to the Wachau. Further on you reach Spitz, the first of series of beautiful wine villages so typical of this region . As you pedal through the Wachau the way you’ll see romantic castles and palaces perched on strategic bluffs overlooking terraced vineyards and orchards that cascade down to charming villages such as Weißenkirchen and Dürnstein. Beautiful old taverns and inns invite you to stop and enjoy hearty Wachau hospitality along the way. The locals are justly proud of their wine so if you abstain during the day be sure to visit one of the many wine cellars in Krems/Traismauer to sample some of the fine local product in the evening.

Day 7 : Krems/Traismauer – Tulln – Vienna
18

You have a few choices for your cycle ride today which follows the river through a fertile valley, famous for its prolific vegetable production.

You can cycle from Krems to Tulln (43 km) where you drop off your bikes and take the train (approximately €10 payable locally) from there into Vienna.

Alternatively, you can start by taking the train (approximately €10 payable locally) from Krems to Tulln, then cycle along the flat bike path (28 km), past the impressive spires of Klosterneuburg monastery to the Viennese suburb of Nussdorf, where you drop off your bikes. From Nussdorf take the tram into Vienna.

The third option is to cycle the whole way from Krems to Nussdorf on the bike path (72 km), drop off your bikes and then take the tram from there into Vienna.

Of course, you can choose to cycle the whole way from Krems to your hotel in Vienna (82 km). It’s all on a flat bike path.

In Vienna, use the rest of the day to explore the beautiful city. The Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the Imperial Palace are popular highlights. You may also want to take in the ‘Riesenrad’, the giant ferris wheel, made famous in the 1949 British film, ‘The Third Man’, and no trip to Vienna would be complete without enjoying a coffee and cake in one of its famous, convivial and elegant coffee houses.

*Important note: E-bikes can only be returned at the drop-off point in Nussdorf on the outskirts of Vienna. It is not possible to return e-bikes in Tulln or at your hotel in Vienna.

Day 8 : End of trip

After breakfast it’s time to check out and head for home or your next adventure.

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 21-24 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier and lock.

Electric bikes are available. Important: A security credit card deposit of €180 will be requested on arrival as a ‘guarantee’ only. This will be returned when you return the bike in good condition.

Children’s bikes, trailers, tag-a-longs and child seats are also available.

Helmets are not provided and we therefore recommend bringing your own.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Passau: Hotel Spitzberg

Wesenufer/Schloegen: Hotel Seminarkultur

Linz: Hotel Donauwelle

Grein: Hotel Aumühle

Marbach/Maria Taferl: Hotel Wachauerhof/ Hotel Rose

Krems: Hotel Arte/ Traismauer: Hotel Nlbelungenhof

Vienna: Arcotel Kaiserwasser

Local taxes: Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. The fee varies and is frequently changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.

Getting there

Fly to Munich or Vienna (Salzburg or Linz are also possibilities). Then take the train from Munich/Vienna airport to Passau with one change.

Research flights from the UK here.

Research train timetables here.

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