Salzburg to Vienna Cycling Holiday

A wonderful, riverside cycling adventure from charming Salzburg to elegant Vienna. Ride along the Salzach and Inn rivers to Passau on the German/Austrian border before joining the mighty Danube to journey south past medieval towns, ancient vineyards, abbeys and romantic castles to the Austrian capital.

This popular cycling holiday packs a lot of highlights into the week. Stays in the exciting cities of Salzburg and Vienna bookend a sublime route that winds it’s way through regions of outstanding natural beauty including the stunning Danube Loop and the enchanting Wachau Valley.

Dürnstein in the Wachau Valley

Other highlights include Oberndorf – home of ‘Silent Night’ one of the world’s most popular carols, the impressive castle at Burghausen, and the baroque riverside town of Schärding. You’ll pass through a succession of quaint, riverside villages featuring narrow lanes lined with medieval half-timbered houses. There’s no rush – this is a leisurely cycling holiday after all – so stop whenever you like for a wander around or simply to admire the view.

Much of the route is in Austria’s famed wine region and in these valleys you’ll see legions of neatly terraced vineyards cascading down to the Danube. Stop in one of the charming wine villages for an impromptu tasting session before pedalling on along the gentle riverside cycle path to your next hotel.

You’ll be cycling around 230 miles in total, covering up to 45 miles some days, but the terrain is very forgiving. You’ll mostly be following smooth cycle paths and quiet riverside roads with a few short stretches on non-paved cycle paths but nothing tricky. This tour will suit anyone with a moderate level of fitness who doesn’t mind a few hours in the saddle each day.

Salzburg to Vienna Cycling Holiday

A wonderful, riverside cycling adventure from charming Salzburg to elegant Vienna. Ride along the Salzach and Inn rivers to Passau on the German/Austrian border before joining the mighty Danube to journey south past medieval towns, ancient vineyards, abbeys and romantic castles to the Austrian capital.

This popular cycling holiday packs a lot of highlights into the week. Stays in the exciting cities of Salzburg and Vienna bookend a sublime route that winds it’s way through regions of outstanding natural beauty including the stunning Danube Loop and the enchanting Wachau Valley.

Dürnstein in the Wachau Valley

Other highlights include Oberndorf – home of ‘Silent Night’ one of the world’s most popular carols, the impressive castle at Burghausen, and the baroque riverside town of Schärding. You’ll pass through a succession of quaint, riverside villages featuring narrow lanes lined with medieval half-timbered houses. There’s no rush – this is a leisurely cycling holiday after all – so stop whenever you like for a wander around or simply to admire the view.

Much of the route is in Austria’s famed wine region and in these valleys you’ll see legions of neatly terraced vineyards cascading down to the Danube. Stop in one of the charming wine villages for an impromptu tasting session before pedalling on along the gentle riverside cycle path to your next hotel.

You’ll be cycling around 230 miles in total, covering up to 45 miles some days, but the terrain is very forgiving. You’ll mostly be following smooth cycle paths and quiet riverside roads with a few short stretches on non-paved cycle paths but nothing tricky. This tour will suit anyone with a moderate level of fitness who doesn’t mind a few hours in the saddle each day.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Salzburg

Arrive in Salzburg, the city of Mozart and one of Austria’s most attractive cities. After check-in you are free to relax or explore. A visit to Mozart’s house is top of the list for many, and then there’s the cathedral and Hohensalzburg fortress, perched high up on the top of the sheer cliff that dominates the city.

Day 2 : Salzburg – Burghausen
37 miles/60 kms

Your first day’s ride leads you north alongside the Salzach river, first to the chapel in Oberndorf – where ‘Silent Night’ was composed – and then through pleasant woodland to the pretty town of Tittmoning. The town is a good spot for a lunch break before enjoying a relaxing ride along a nature trail to the town of Burghausen. The charming town’s skyline is dominated by an impressive castle which is well worth a visit.

Day 3 : Burghausen – Schärding
43 miles/70 kms

Shortly after leaving Burghausen the Salzach joins with the mighty Inn River which you will follow through a rural area, rich in wildlife. Break the journey with a look around the old town of Braunau and perhaps a visit to the Reichersberg Monastery. After passing through a succession of small, riverside villages you reach today’s goal – the baroque town of Schärding. You’re sure to enjoy a night in this pretty little town with its colourful riverside houses.

Day 4 : Schärding – Danube Loop
34 miles/55 kms

From Schärding you’ll continue along the river to the Bavarian town of Passau where the Inn and Ilz rivers flow into the mighty Danube. Take time to explore the delightful old town before carrying on along the river bank, via Engelhartszell – where you might be tempted to sample some home-made liqueurs at the Trappist monastery – to the stunning Danube Loop. The Loop, referred to locally as the Schlögener Schlinge, is a very picturesque bend in the river and we highly recommend making the climb to a nearby vantage pint to fully appreciate the full scene. Afterwards you take a short ferry ride (payable locally) across the river and cycle to your nearby hotel.

Day 5 : Danube Loop – Enns area
43 miles/70 kms

The Danube Loop area is one of the most idyllic on your entire journey, and your route leads you on through the Danube Valley to some of the Danube’s prettiest towns as you approach the grand, cultural city of Linz. It’s a perfect spot for a break and to recharge the batteries at a traditional inn or café. Then you’ll continue on to Enns, Austria’s oldest town, with its fine central square and tower.

Day 6 : Enns area – Marbach/Maria Taferl
40 miles/65 kms

Today you’ll cycle through more lovely riverside scenery and quaint local villages. There’s plenty of time to stop at the open-air museum of Mitterkirchen. Next you ride through the beautiful wooded Strudengau valley to the pretty town of Grein with its looming castle and historic theatre. You are now in Austria’s wine region and terraced vineyards line the valley on either side of the river– stop for a quick tasting at one of the many vineyards if you fancy or continue on to either Marbach or Maria Taferl where you will overnight.

Day 7 : Marbach/Maria Taferl – Wachau Valley – Krems/Vienna
34 miles/55 kms (+ train)

Today your route takes you first to the huge Benedictine abbey at Melk before entering the Wachau Valley, a region famous for its natural beauty and extensive vineyards. Enjoy idyllic cycling through picture perfect wine villages such as Spitz, Weissenkirchen and Dürnstein. In Krems you board a train with your bike for the short journey into Vienna (included). The last afternoon and evening of your tour are spent in the Austrian capital with its myriad of sights and attractions. 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 the convivial and elegant coffee houses. There’s so much to see you may wish to consider adding an extra night to your holiday – just ask about this at the time of booking.

Day 8 : Vienna - End of trip

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

Bikes

On this tour you can choose between a regular bike, a regular Plus bike or an electric bike.

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 21 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

The regular Plus bike offers a step up in terms of components (hydraulic Magura brakes HS 11, Shimano Deore XT) and the frame provides a more sporty riding position. High quality, suntour suspension forks ensure a comfortable ride on these bikes. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets for adults are available to buy (payable locally, €35). This must be advised at the time of booking.

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.

Comfort: Comfortable hotels, inns and B&Bs.

Salzburg: Hotel Ganslhof

Burghausen: Hotel Bayerischer Hof

Schärding: Hotel Stiegenwirt

Donauschlinge: Freizeitanlage Schlögen

Enns/surroundings: Hotel zum Goldenen Schiff

Marbach/Maria Taferl: Landgasthof Zur Schönen Wienerin

Vienna: Arcotel Kaiserwasser

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Salzburg: Achat Plaza zum Hirschen

Burghausen: Hotel Glöcklhofer

Schärding: Biedermeier Hof

Donauschlinge: Hotel Donauschlinge

Enns/surroundings: Hotel Lauriacum

Marbach/Maria Taferl: Hotel Rose

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. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night

Getting there

Fly to Salzburg , Munich or Vienna

Research flights from the UK here

Take a train from Munich or Vienna to Salzburg

Research trains here

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