Why not indulge in a comfortable cruise down the Danube on a bike? We’re convinced that this classic cycle route has to be one of the best in Europe. The magical meanders, the valley itself and the vineyards make for the most impressive and inspiring scenery. Start in Germany and head into Austria: Passau, Linz and Vienna are packed full of rich cultural offerings and with Richard the Lionhart’s Schloss Durnstein and the amazing monastery at Melk along the route, variety is firmly on the agenda. The cycling is mainly traffic-free and bike ferries allow you to skip between the paths on both sides of the famous river. And if you fancy a day out of the saddle, that’s no problem thanks to the numerous boats and river-hugging, cycle-friendly railway.
is in very comfortable hotels (mainly 4 star) in Passau, Schlogen, Linz, Grein, Maria Taferl, Traismauer and Vienna. Most hotels have saunas and many have swimming pools. Some hotels also offer the option of a relaxing massage - something else to look forward to at the end of the day as well as a cold beer, glass of local wine and a guilt free pastry.
Whether it’s the classic natural features of the valley, the tantalising traces of its history, or the intoxicating views of the vineyards, this classic cycle route is one of the best in Europe. The cycling is largely traffic free and in many places the path runs on both banks of the river, with options to skip between banks using the numerous bike ferries along the way. Don’t worry about missing things however, we recommend the best route for you to follow. Of particular interest to families, non cycling days are possible if you use of the cycle friendly railway which follows the Danube or one of the many boats which ply their trade on the river.
Day One - Arrive & explore three great rivers
Arrive in Passau and collect your bikes and additional route information. Passau, known as the ‘City of Three Rivers’ because of its location at the confluence of the rivers Danube, Inn and Ilz, has long been regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Germany and it has a rich cultural heritage. Be sure to make time for a ‘3 Rivers’ boat trip to enjoy spectacular views from the water.
Day Two – Heading into Austria
You leave Passau cycling along the north bank of the Danube, and, you cross into Austria near Engelhartszell, the location of Austria’s only Trappist monastery. It is difficult to miss your overnight stop at Schlogen as the Danube makes a 180° turn when it meets the hard granite rocks ahead. You take the hotel’s own bike ferry across to south bank (included in the tour price) and can enjoy an early evening drink on the riverside terrace watching the activity on the river.
Miles: 27 Kms: 43
Day Three – Capital cycling
The day starts with some fascinating views as you travel around the tight river bends between Schlogen and Aschach, catching glimpses of the old fortified ruins in this area. You leave the immediate riverside for a short time at Feldkirchen before reaching Ottensheim where, if you wish, it is possible to cross to the monastery at Wilhering. Then it’s on to Linz, capital of Upper Austria and your overnight accommodation.
Miles: 35 Kms: 56
Day Four – Austria’s allotment
Your cycling today is through the area known as ’Austria’s vegetable garden’. If you wish you may take an interesting detour to St. Florian with its baroque style Augustine monastery and into Enns, the oldest city of Austria sitting beneath a 60m city tower dating back to the 16th century. If you prefer, there are always the boats and trains to help you on your way. Onward then through Lehen home to a reconstructed Celtic village, before spending the night in Grein, a picturesque town with an imposing castle.
Miles: 39-49 Kms: 63-79
Day Five – Pilgrimage sites & panoramas
Don't miss the museum showing the history of shipping on the Danube and the oldest theatre of Austria in Grein before heading out this morning. The river at Strudengau is a navigational nightmare for boat captains - thankfully it is easy to cycle. You pass Persenbeug, once an important shipbuilding town, and on to Marbach at the entrance of the famed Nibelungengau, where you are transferred (included in tour price) with your bicycles up out of the river valley to the ancient pilgrimage centre of Maria Taferl. You stay overnight in a lovely hotel close to the wonderfully sited church and can enjoy the beautiful views of the river stretching east to west and of the high mountains way to the south.
Miles: 19-22 Kms: 31-36
Day Six – World Heritage Site highlights
Returning to the bank of the Danube there is an option to visit Melk with its imposing Benedictine monastery. Melk forms the gateway to the vineyards and apricot orchards of the Wachau, a UNESCO World Heritage site and highlight of the tour. You cycle past the ‘wine’ towns of Spitz, Weissenkirchen and Durnstein. The ruined castle perched high above the blue church of Durnstein is where King Richard the Lionheart was held hostage whilst returning from the Crusades. From Durnstein, it’s on to your overnight stop in Traismauer and the opportunity to taste the Muller Thurgau or Green Veltliner wines for which the region is justly famous!
Miles: 32-38 Kms: 50-60
Day Seven – Flower city & Viennese grandeur
Your final day’s cycling takes you to the ‘flower city’ of Tulln. Here you can if you wish transfer by train to Vienna (n.b. the train fare is not included). Alternatively, you can continue by bike and follow the river into the heart of Vienna [additional 38 km (24 miles)].
Miles: 29-53 Kms: 47-85
Day Eight –Depart after breakfast
Depart after breakfast, although we would be happy to extend your stay to allow you more time to enjoy Vienna, capital city of the Habsburg Empire. Visit St Stephen’s Cathedral and the imperial palace of Schonbrunn, see the art treasures at Klosterneuburg Abbey or enjoy a night at the State Opera.
Once you have decided on the ideal Cycle Break in England or Europe, please fill out your details on our booking formProceed to Book
Mmmm... warming thoughts for cyclists from France's 'Black Prince Country'…More
View our most frequently asked questionsView the FAQ
Sign up for our email newsletterSign up for newsletter