Follow the winding route of the Danube and discover the lively history of one of Europe's most important rivers. Cycle past Austrian castles, Benedictine monasteries and ancestral vineyards en route to Vienna. From Germany, follow the Danube eastward into Austria, across the fertile plains of the Wachau Valley, home to both piety and wine. Vineyards climb the slopes to imposing medieval monasteries perched atop hills between Melk and Krems. Wind past castle ruins and apricot orchards before reaching the capital of Austria, where you can take in a performance of the "Blue Danube" waltz, the melody that evokes Vienna the world over.
This trip involves 6 days cycling between 40 and 60km / 25 and 37mi per day usually along paved cycle paths across generally flat terrain. The terrain is almost exclusively on the Danube cycle path. In and out of the cities there will be some traffic. You need only carry your camera/rain gear and water bottle. Your luggage is transported for you between hotels/inns. The trip is graded introductory to moderate and is considered suitable for beginners and children who have a good level of fitness. A limited number of children’s bikes are available, as are bike seats and trailers (2 children, maximum 60kgs). *For safety reasons, we insist that cycle helmets be included as a compulsory item on your equipment list.
Check into the hotel where you will receive your travel documents. The remainder of the day is free to explore the town. Located at the junction of three rivers, the Danube, Inn and Ilz, Passau has a number of interesting sites including the Fortress “Veste Oberhaus” built in 1219 where there is an observation tower for a good view of the town and the river and St. Stephens Cathedral with the world’s largest church organ.
This morning you will pick up your bicycles from the bike garage. Generally we provide bikes with 21 gears – if you would like a 7 speed bike please specify this on booking. The cycle begins directly at the bike garage, following the Danube through the Austrian border town of Engelhartszell which is home to a former Cistercian abbey (1293-1786) and since 1925 the only Trappist monastery in Austria. From here you continue to Schlögen. The famous Schlögener Blick provides a wonderful view of the surrounding Austrian countryside.
On the southern bank of the Danube you pass Aschach and the monastery Wilhering until you reach the capital of Upper Austria, Linz. The city has a lively arts and music culture. In 1783 Mozart wrote his Symphony No. 36 here, now known as the Linz Symphony. The modern art gallery “Lentos” is worth a look. It is situated on the Danube and illuminated at night.
The cycle continues along the Danube cycle path passing the Mauthausen concentration camp. It is possible to visit the camp which has an interesting museum, although the detour requires a steep uphill climb. Meandering away from the river the route takes you through fields of wheat, corn and sunflowers. In the afternoon you arrive at Clam Castle and the town of Grein, dominated by the castle of “Greinburg”. In Grein you will find the oldest Austrian theatre which is open to visitors. Overnight in the surrounding area near Grein.
Passing through Strudengau, you arrive in Ybbs, a former trading centre on the Danube. The route continues past Maria Taferl to Melk with its imposing Benedictine Monastery. Well before you reach the town you can see the huge monastery and there will be ample time in the afternoon to explore the museum, abbey and absorb the sweeping view from its balcony. Overnight in the surroundings near Melk according to hotel category chosen (for example - this may be Category A - Emmersdorf, Category B - Melk, Category C -Marbach).
Today, you pedal through the renowned Wachau, with its truly romantic scenery of vineyards and quaint villages, en route to Krems. You will pass several fantastic sights (abbeys, castles, ruins). Alongside the cycle path you will find the so called “Heurigen” (typical Austrian wine taverns) where you can taste wine or regional foods.
This morning you take the train to Tulln and cycle past the castle of "Greifenstein". You then continue to metropolitan Vienna, capital of Austria. The route into Vienna is mostly on a cycle path with no vehicles allowed, allowing you easy access to the main centre and your hotel. (Dinner not included tonight)
Make sure you visit the famous sights such as the ‘Naschmarkt’ and the beautiful castle Schönbrunn. Train ride back to Passau is included or alternatively you can extend your stay in Vienna. Trip concludes.
During the trip you will be provided with a 21 speed touring bike with hand brakes, bike rack, panniers and repair kit (per room). If you would like a 7 speed bike (also with backpedal brake) you need to book this in advance. You should specify which bike is required at the time of booking. You will be provided with panniers to carry your gear during the day. Children’s bikes, children trailer (1 – 2 children – max. 60kg / 132lb) and child seat are subject to availability on a request basis - reservation is necessary in advance.
ELECTRIC POWERED BIKE
A limited number are available for an additional supplement. These must be requested at the time of booking or in advance. Our specially made 8-speed KTM or Flyer models increase your pedaling power 3 fold and allows cyclists of different athletic conditions to book a bike tour together. The saddles vary between models, and will be free-wheel or with a backpedal brake (on request). In 'normal' mode the battery can power up to 100km / 62mi and in the highest mode it can power approx 65-70km / 40-43.5mi.
Per Person, Twin Share