Eight days. Easy and relaxing cycling along the meandering banks of the Danube River, from village to village on quiet cycling paths - the ideal way to explore the rich art, history and architecture of the Austrian Empire.
Following one of Europe’s oldest and most famous cycling trails, you will ride downstream on paved paths and quiet roads. Starting at the confluence of the Danube, Inn, and Ilz rivers, you will feel as if you are cycling through time as you roll past medieval castles and churches, experiencing Austria as seen through the eyes of early travellers. Visit Austria’s most beautiful monastery at Melk, and the acclaimed wine region of Wachau, on your way to Linz, a city that has maintained its musical and artistic vibrancy since Mozart completed the Linz Symphony in 1783. UNESCO has recognized the Wachau region as a landscape of high visual quality that vividly illustrates the organic and harmonious evolution of humans interacting with the environment since pre-historic times. Your final destination is Vienna, filled with cultural, artistic, and architectural treasures, and one of Europe’s most stimulating cities. This is a very easy, pleasant bicycle tour, suited to families and leisurely cyclists with a rich appreciation for European culture and heritage.
Note: A one week extension is available, to make this a two-week trip ending in Budapest. Please ask if you are interested.
Day 1: Passau
Meet in Passau, the City of Three Rivers, for introduction to each other and your rental bikes. The impressive cathedral contains the largest church organ in the world. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only)
Hotel Residenz, Passau
Day 2: Passau - Schlögen 44km/27 miles
Today’s ride begins with the beauty of Sauwald - a densely-wooded granite river valley, which leads to the phenomenal meander at Schlögen, formed where the impermeable granite forces the Danube to flow back on itself. You will rest tonight nestled in this hairpin turn of the river. BLD
Hotel Donauschlinge, Schlögen
Day 3: Schlögen - Linz 53km/33 miles
After visiting the sanctuary of the Wilhering monastery, you will continue following the bike path on the quieter left bank through the Donauleiten Nature Preserve towards Linz, a steelmaking town with cultural and artistic contributions that belie its industrial reputation. The plethora of museums and churches include the Church of St. Martin - the oldest church in Austria, still in its original, untouched form. BL
Hotel Wolfinger, Linz
Day 4: Linz - Grein 65km/41miles
First ride to the Roman settlement of Lauriocum at Enns, one of the oldest towns in Austria. Its tower was built in the mid 16th Century and is recognized as a masterpiece of Renaissance design. If you would like a climb, and can tolerate the sadness, there is an opportunity to visit the lesser-known concentration camp of Mauthausen; a sombre site in an astonishingly beautiful setting where 150,000 people were worked to death by the Third Reich. Following this, a ride through the meadows of the Machland River plain to the valley of the Strudengau River will help to lighten spirits. Your destination is the city of Grein, located at the foot of a remarkable 15th century castle on the riverbank. BLD
Hotel Goldenes Kreuz, Grein
Day 5: Grein - Melk 51km/32 miles
Today, you will quickly notice how the valley walls make the river strikingly narrow at Strudengau. The gentle landscape of the Nibelungengau region marks the beginning of the final stage to Vienna. Many regard these last three days as the highlight of the tour. You will pass though romantic and picturesque Austrian villages to the ancient pilgrimage site of Maria Taferl, then will carry on to Melk, where you can acquire a sample of the healing herbal concoctions made at its famous Benedictine Monastery. BD
Hotel-Restaurant Zur Post, Melk
Day 6: Melk - Tulln 76km/48 miles
Ride through the UNESCO designated Wachau wine region. This is perhaps the prettiest landscape of the entire Danube valley. With its many vineyards and orchards, the steep, south-facing slopes are known as a terraced “Stairway to Heaven”. Following country lanes and bike paths, you will stop beneath the castle ruins at Aggstein, and/or in the pretty town of Durnstein, for strong coffee and pastries. Continue to Krems, boasting a 17th century town hall and many beautiful churches. The monastery at Göttweig leads to your resting place for the night in the town of Tulln. BD
Hotel Nibelungenhof, Tulln
Day 7: Tulln – Vienna 38km/24 miles
Begin with a delightful morning ride through the Wienerwald Forest to Klosterneuburg. Stop at a 12th Century Augustine Church before the final ride into Vienna where the majestic Danube becomes dwarfed by one of Europe’s most important cultural centers. Museums, galleries, cathedrals, and palaces abound in Vienna. We recommend the Stephansdom Cathedral, the Uhrenmuseum (clock museum), the Sigmund Freud Museum and the Salvador Dalí show. Your guides will depart this evening after helping to arrange your transport for tomorrow morning. BL
Hotel Austria, Vienna; or
|Start:||Passau, Germany 16:00, day one|
|Finish:||Vienna, Austria 09:00, day eight|
|Route notes:||Follow the river on paved bike paths and quiet roads. Easy terrain with very few small hills.|
|Guided Cost:||$3295 (per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 4 picnic lunches, 5 dinners, luggage handling, van and guide support, maps, route notes, GPS units*, and value added tax)|
|Self-Guided Cost:||$2395 (per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, luggage transfers, maps, route notes, GPS units*, and value added tax). *GPS units may be shared|
|Bicycle Rental:||Hybrid: $195|
|2013 Guided Dates:||May 25-Jun 1; Jun 8-15; Jun 22-29; Jul 6-13; Jul 20-27; Aug 3-10; Aug 17-24; Aug 31-Sep 7; Sep 14-21; Sep 28-Oct 4.
Add your own dates (learn more)
|Self-Guided Dates:||You choose! We confirm within 48 hours.|
|Extend your stay:||Continue along the Danube with Freewheeling Adventures from Vienna to Budapest. Vienna offers plenty to distract you for days; make sure to allow time for at least one of the Musicians Walks.|
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.