Cycle your way along Central Europe’s mighty Danube River. As you pedal along this leisurely and flat cycling trail, you’ll come across meandering river valleys, charming villages, superb churches and ancient castles.
Day 1 - Arrive Passau
Your trip starts today with your arrival in Passau, located in Lower Bavaria, Germany and known as the ‘Three River City’, sitting at the confluence of the Danube, the Inn and the Ilz rivers. Passau is easily accessible from other cities in Germany and Austria. We recommend arriving/departing by train where possible within Europe due to this method of transports minimal carbon emissions. There are no activities planned for today so you may arrive at any time but we recommend arriving earlier enough to explore the treasures of the city including the impressive Dom St Stephan Cathedral with its distinct green domes and its huge organ, the largest church organ in the world with 17,388 pipes. This evening is spent in Passau.
Day 2 - Passau – Schlögen
Today you will ride from Germany into Austria. Your first stage of cycling begins with a scenic ride along a densely wooded granite river valley through the Sauwalk to Schlögen where the hard, impermeable granite rock forces the Danube to flow back on itself in a hairpin turn, creating an interesting natural feature; this is known as the famous Schlögener Loop. On your ride today, you will encounter the Engelszell monastery; the building was a Cistercian monastery from 1293 until 1786 and today is a Trappist monastery, the only one of its kind in Austria. Tonight is spent in the town of Schlögen. (Cycling distance – 44 kilometres)
Day 3 - Schlögen – Linz
The cycling route today takes you along the widening Danube river valley between Schlögen and Linz. You will have a few river crossings today and will cycle along some quiet country paths through fertile green pastures, encountering delightful central European scenery. You will reach the historic Wilhering monastery, home to a stunning church, before we continue on to the town of Linz. Linz has many museums and churches to explore including the Museum of Modern Art and the Church of St. Martin, which is the oldest church in Austria to have survived in its original form. This evening is spent in the city of Linz. (Cycling distance – 53 kilometres)
Day 4 - Linz – Grein
Your ride today brings you to the Roman settlement site of Lauriocum at the town of Enns, one of Austria’s oldest towns with a magnificent Renaissance design. Another stop along the way is the riverside town Mauthausen, the chilling site of a concentration camp in World War II, paradoxically set in a pristine location. A visit here is a sobering experience but an important history lesson about the death of over 150,000 innocent people. After a visit here, you continue your ride through the lush meadows of the Machland River plain to the Strudenau River valley. Your final destination today is the city of Grein, a riverside town with a wonderful 15th century castle that awaits your discovery. (Cycling distance – 65 kilometres)
Day 5 - Grein – Melk
Today you will pedal your way from Grein to Melk. After Grein, the Danube starts to become narrow and craggy as you ride through the beautiful landscapes of the Strudenau; here you encounter ancient castle ruins and quaint Austrian villages liberally dotted along the river. After the villages of Marbach, you will pass the Maria Taferl, a small town set on a hilltop which was once a place of pilgrimage. As you continue on to Melk you will come across the historical landscapes of the Nibelungengau. Melk is the town that marks the beginning of the stunning Wachau Valley and in your sight will soon appear one of the most spectacular buildings of the region, the Benedictine Monastery of Melk; equally as stunning both inside and out and a must to visit. This evening is spent in Melk. (Cycling distance – 51km)
Day 6 - Melk - Tulln
The route today travels along the Danube through the beautiful, UNESCO World Heritage protected Wachau Valley region with its picturesque landscape of vineyards and orchards. En route you will come across Dürnstein, a charming town of narrow winding streets, lively town squares and cute shops. It’s then on to the historic town of Krems; home to a prominent 17th century town hall and a myriad of beautiful churches. After visiting the town, you cross the Danube and looking back, can enjoy great views of the town. Cycling on, you will pass through Traismauer and past the Gottweig monastery, set atop the Gottweig Mountain and surrounded by lush forest. Your final destination for today and stopping point is the medieval town of Tulln, known as the Flower City. (Cycling distance – 45km)
Day 7 - Tulln – Vienna
Today is your final day of cycling and the shortest cycling stage. The route takes you through the Wienerwald, a stunning forest of pines, firs, oaks and beeches, to Klosterneuburg, which has an imposing Augustine Church dating back to 1108. The final stretch of the ride sees you approach the metropolis of Vienna, the vibrant and grand capital of Austria and a fitting end point to a rewarding week of cycling. You will hand your bikes back on arrival at your hotel in Vienna and the rest of the day is free to explore Vienna. (Cycling distance – 38km)
Day 8 - End Vienna
Your tour ends after breakfast in Vienna. With so much to see and do in Vienna we recommend booking extra nights to make the most of your time here – enquire at time of booking.