Passau to Vienna Danube Bike Tour
Seven nights; six days of easy cycling along the meandering banks of the Danube River, from village to village on quiet bike paths - the ideal way to explore the rich art, history and architecture of the Austrian Empire.
“I liked biking so close to the river, taking the little ferry boats...I liked arriving at different little villages along the way, and the sights, the smells and tastes.”
- Lynda S.
"One of the most scenic trips we have ever taken. Excellent on all fronts." - Randall & Debra B.
Start: Passau, Germany, Hotel Residenz, 17:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate pickup location. Self guided guests will meet their driver at 09:30 on day two for briefing and bike rental familiarization.
Finish: Vienna, Austria 09:00, day eight. Please note that on guided trips guides will depart on the afternoon of day seven.
Guided groups will meet this afternoon in Passau, the City of Three Rivers. Introductions, briefings, and rental bike familiarization will precede dinner. We recommend an early arrival to Passau which has long been regarded as one of Germany’s most beautiful cities. Extra time is well spent visiting the impressive Saint Stephen’s cathedral, home to the largest church organ in the world, and the Oberhaus Museum which provides a fascinating overview of medieval life in Passau and its surrounding region. There are also five breweries in Passau and plenty of beer gardens where you can quench your thirst! D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only)
Hotel Residenz, Passau
Passau to Schlögen 44km
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 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
Schlögen to Linz 53km
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
Linz to Grein 65km
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
Grein to Melk 51km
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
Melk to Tulln 76km
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
Tulln to Vienna 38km
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 afternoon once you are settled in your hotel. BL
Hotel Austria, Vienna
Your Freewheeling Adventure concludes this morning following breakfast. B
Note about the route:
Easy riding along one of Europe's oldest bike paths, entirely paved. Most is traffic free, but there are some short stretches of shared roadways to get to your lodging.
Following one of Europe’s oldest and most famous bike paths, you will ride downstream on paved trails 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.
Maps & Elevations
"In Vienna, we enjoyed Prater Park and the ferris wheel. We also took a self-guided tour of the Ringstrasse (using Rick Steeves Guide), hopping on and off the tram. Recommend the 24-hour transit passes. The Shakespeare and Co. bookstore is pretty eclectic and fun. We really enjoyed the Hofberg Imperial Traesury tour (Kaiserliche Schatzkammer). The Schonbrunn Palace tour was jam packed; not sure we would do that again; the gardens were just too big, and everything else too frenetic. We did take the boat to Bratislava - a great way to visit Slovakia, and the Bratislava castle has been repaired and new gardens opened last month. We also enjoyed the Roman museum in Vienna; almost nobody inside, and it contained the best examples and explanations of heated floors we've seen. Highly recommended, especially on a rainy day." - R&D Barnes.
Continue along the Danube with Freewheeling Adventures from Vienna to Budapest. "Prior to the ride, we spent four days in Salzburg - well worth the visit. Also spent time in Vienna; loved the location of Hotel Austria." - Brian R. & Caroll L.
Vienna offers plenty to distract you for days; make sure to allow time for at least one of the Musicians Walks.
Passau, Germany, Hotel Residenz, 17:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate pickup location. Self guided guests will meet their driver at 09:30 on day two for briefing and bike rental familiarization.
Vienna, Austria 09:00, day eight. Please note that on guided trips guides will depart on the afternoon of day seven.
*GPS units may be shared.
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Custom or Private Tours
Want to go but on different dates?
Want to make a change to the itinerary?
We can adapt for you!
Here are some terms:
Bring your friends. We will run most of these trips for you whenever you want, at the advertised price for a group of four or more on a guided trip, or two if it's self-guided! We reserve the right to make changes if the original inns, etc. are already booked.
If you cannot find others, let us advertise the trip for you! Give us a commitment as far in advance as you can. As long as we have the minimum number of guests at the start, the price will be as advertised. The catch is that if it is just two of you and you want a guided trip, you must be willing to pay a 20% premium in the event that others do not join you. The bright side is that, once reserved, you can count on the trip, whether it remains private or becomes a larger group.
Ask for changes to the itinerary.
We are very flexible, and given enough time, can create a new itinerary to match your desires.