Easy
Difficulty level
Cycling
Activity (Bike)
7 Night, 8 Day
Duration

Austria, Slovakia, Hungary: Vienna to Budapest Bike Tour

Eight days – seven nights, and seven days of easy cycling along the Danube River and the Hungarian Sea.

“At times I wasn’t sure whether I was on a bike tour with good food or a food tour with great biking.” – Steve O.



WHY THIS TRIP?

  • Partly traffic-free riding on easy bike paths following a river downstream!
  • Starts in Vienna, and finishes in Budapest – both deeply interesting cities worthy of extended stays.
  • Many small towns and villages along the way, with interesting, ancient architecture.
  • Deep history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
  • Benedictine abbey at Pannonhalma.
  • Lake Balaton – the Hungarian Sea, with its beaches and pretty scenery.

 

ROUTE EXPECTATIONS:

The easiest routes we offer, these are generally flat and cover relatively relaxed distances. You will be comfortable riding a hybrid bike, walking in sneakers, or paddling a light kayak, and will normally have time to take many photos and enjoy extended lunches.


A downstream, predominantly flat ride the first 4 days, on level riverside terrain or in the flat countryside. Mid-ride days have moderate climbs through the uplands.


Daily Distance:

  • DAY 1: Introductions
  • DAY 2: ~60 km
  • DAY 3: ~58 km
  • DAY 4: ~46 km
  • DAY 5: ~72 km
  • DAY 6: ~55 km
  • DAY 7: ~82 km
  • DAY 8: Farewells

Elevation Profile:

(Click image to enlarge)

 

Not sure about difficulties, and support level? Check out our What to Expect page!

 

Start: Vienna, 17:00, day one.

Finish: Budapest, 18:00, day nine.

Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.

1

Introductions

Meet in Vienna, the cultural, economic and political centre of Austria. Introductions, bike and route familiarization will precede dinner. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only.)

Hotel Austria, or Hotel City Central, or, Hotel Stefanie, Vienna

2

Vienna to Hainburg on the Danube. 55km, or 76km with optional afternoon ride to Carnuntum.

Begin cycling along the beautiful Danube River through the Donau-Auen national park east of Vienna. Pass the ruins of the Roman city of Carnuntum, as you approach Hainburg, the easternmost town in Austria, known for its well-preserved medieval fortification. BLD

Hotel Zum Goldenen Anker, or, Hotel Altes Kloster, Hainburg an der Donau

3

Hainburg to Bratislava. Long Option 51km; Short Option 38km.

Today is a full day of riding, taking advantage of this protected area and flat cycle paths. Devin Castle, an important symbol for Slovakia’s national rebirth. Re-enter Austria by crossing the river Morava and cycle through quiet fields before another crossing of the Danube. Visit Carnuntum, archaeological site of what was once the biggest Roman city in the province of Western Pannonia – a thriving trading post and significant military stronghold on the Danube. Rest tonight in Slovakia’s bustling modern capital with its charming Old Town: center of Maria Theresa’s campaign to reclaim Hungary from the Ottomans. BLD

Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel, or, Hotel Devin, or Falkensteiner Hotel Bratislava, Bratislava

4

Bratislava to Gyor. 90km

Follow the Danube bike path out of Bratislava, then leave the river path to enjoy the Hungarian countryside, seamlessly switching countries again. Your destination is Gyor, at the confluence of three rivers. Originally a Hungarian stronghold from A.D.900, it boasts a superb 12th century cathedral. BLD

Hotel Capitulum, or, Barokk Hotel Promenád Győr, or Golden Ball Club Hotel & Fitness, Gyor

5

Gyor to Zirc. 74km

Depart Gyor and cycle through quiet farm fields to Pannonhalma, a thousand-year-old Benedictine abbey, housing one of Europe’s richest monastic libraries, but also produces artisanal chocolate, exquisite wines and lavender liquor. Ride into forested hills to find the charming town of Zirc where you will rest tonight. BLD

Hotel Szarvaskút és Kemencés Étterem, or Gasthof Kirchenwirt, or Hotel Forest Hills, Zirc

6

Zirc to Balaton. Long 75km, Short 60km

Today’s ride descends from southern Bakony through the pretty, interesting, very rural Balaton uplands toward the pretty northern Lake Balaton shore – a precious place in landlocked Hungary, where they call it the ‘Hungarian Sea’. B

Anna Grand Hotel Wine & Vital, or Villa Vitae, Balaton

7

Balaton Loop Ride. Long 78km; Short 52km

Ride around the Hungarian sea on dedicated, paved bike paths and very quiet roads. The volcanic mountain range rising along its northern shore together with the Mediterranean climate provide the perfect conditions for excellent wines, cuisine, and outdoor enjoyment. We have prescribed routes, but your daily distance can be infinitely adjustable to suit your preference of the moment. BL

Same lodging

8

Ride towards Gardony. 32km, or up to 88km. Afternoon pickup and transfer into Budapest.

A final ride along the Balaton lakeshore on a bike path, followed by some road riding towards Budapest, and a pickup early afternoon for a transfer into the magnificent city of Budapest. Once at the center of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it boasts some of the most incredible architecture in Europe. Your driver/guides will deliver you to your hotel of choice in Budapest. Ask us if you would like help with choice and booking. BL

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.


WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE COST OF YOUR TRIP?

Not sure about difficulties, and support level? Check out our What to Expect page!

Guided: C 4665 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 4 picnic lunches, 5 dinners, luggage handling, van and guide support, maps, route notes, and taxes

Does not include bike rentals & single supplement charges (pricing can be found in next booking step), airfare to/from tour, and guide(s) gratuities.


Self-Guided: C 4175 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, luggage transfers, local mobile phone, maps and route notes, taxes

Does not include bike rentals & single supplement charges (pricing can be found in next booking step), airfare to/from tour, and support driver gratuities.

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.


2022 Guided dates:

  • May 14-21
  • Jun 11-18
  • Jul 9-16
  • Aug 13-20
  • Sep 10-17

2023 Guided dates:

  • May 14-21
  • Sep 10-17

Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.

Interested in custom or private departures?


Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.

1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.

2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, price remains the same as advertised if you have at least six. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.

 
PLEASE NOTE: Trip Cancellation Insurance is highly recommended. Please ask us for a no-obligation quote from our insurance providers: Century Insurance, or CSA Travel Protection.

More Reading:


This route is a continuation of the cycling trail from Passau to Vienna and winds its way along the Danube between the two important European cities of Vienna and Budapest. They hold the legacies of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the form of exquisite and impressive architecture. The route goes through the capital city of Slovakia – Bratislava, and the historically significant towns of Gyor and Esztergom where you can marvel at the largest cathedral in Hungary. The fascinating town of Szentendre is a highlight. Full of churches, galleries, and museums, such as the renowned Hungarian Open Air Museum, you can enjoy this town’s charm and situation on the banks of the Danube below the Pilis Mountains. This bicycle tour gives you relaxed and easy cycling all the way to Budapest on quiet roads and bike pathways, through a nice balance of vibrant centers and rustic, traditional landscapes of fields, vineyards and forests.

Note: This adventure is easily preceded with the Austrian ride from Passau to Vienna, for a two week downstream experience. Please ask if you are interested.