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.
Make your way to your 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 and with an observation tower that offers a good view of the town and the river, and St Stephens Cathedral which has the world’s largest church organ.
Collect your bike this afternoon (4-7 pm) or tomorrow morning. Generally we provide bikes with 21 gears – if you would like a 7 speed bike please specify this on booking.
If you pick up your bike this morning, the cycle begins directly at the bike garage. Today you'll cycle through the Upper Danube Valley to Schlögen, following the river. Pass 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, then continue to Schlögen. The famous Schlögener Blick provides a wonderful view of the surrounding Austrian countryside.
Between the banks of the Danube there are small passenger ferries that you can take. On the southern bank of the Danube you pass Aschach and cycle through the slowly widening fertile basin of Eferfing. Continue past the monastery at Wilhering and 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”, situated on the Danube and illuminated at night, is worth a look, or enjoy an evening strolling around the lovely main square.
The cycle continues along the Danube cycle path and you can visit Enns, the oldest town in Austria, or across the river, the Mauthausen concentration camp. It is possible to visit the camp and its interesting museum, although the detour requires a steep uphill climb. This leg takes you through beautiful meadows and tranquil hinterland, past the Celtic village of Mitterkitchen and the majestic church in Baumgartenberg, and on to the romantic castle of Clam and the town of Grein. In Grein you will find the oldest Austrian theatre which is open to visitors. Continue to Strudengau.
Today's cycle takes you through the fascinating landscape of tall and densely wooded rock formations on the both sides of the river. From Strudengau you soon arrive in Ybbs, a former trading centre on the Danube. High above the Danube is the pilgrimage church of Maria Taferl, and well before you reach the town of Melk you can see its huge monastery. There will be ample time in the afternoon to explore the museum and abbey and absorb the sweeping view from its balcony. Overnight in the Nibelungengau (the region surrounding Melk)
Today you pedal through the renowned Wachau, with its truly romantic scenery of terraced vineyards, apricot groves and quaint villages. En route to Krems you cycle through the winery villages of Spitz, Weisskirchen and Durnstein and pass several abbeys, castles and ruins. There's also the possibility to take a break from your bike and relax on a short boat excursion. 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, where you cycle through the Vienna Woods (Wiener Wald) towards metropolitan Vienna, capital of Austria. Along the way, we recommend stopping to visit the impressive monastery in Klosterneuberg before continuing to the "City of Music". 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)
Trip concludes after breakfast. Make sure you visit the famous sights of Vienna such as the ‘Naschmarkt’, the City Opera, the Ringstrasse with its imposing buildings and the beautiful imperial castle Schönbrunn.
During the trip you will be provided with a 21 speed touring bike with hand brakes, bike rack, panniers. odometer 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. E-bikes are not fitted with odometers.
Six great days of riding through the Bavarian and Austrian countryside following the path of the fantastic Danube. Our trip, our pace.
M. Mead., Australind, WA, Australia
There was a lot of trip information which was great. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip, bikes were excellent quality.
C. Schultz, Qld. Australia
We have just returned from our Europe holiday which included your Passau to Vienna bike tour and offer the following comments:Arrangements: instructions for arrival and instructions from staff at the first hotel were excellent. They clearly were familiar with the procedures and had vouchers etc ready.Accommodation: the hotels selected were better than had been expected and were something of a surprise - we had opted to upgrade the hotel accommodation, choosing the mid-range offering. A couple of hotels were difficult to access for some of the group (steep hills & out of town). The hotel at Traismauer proved difficult to locate and some other riders struggled with the distance because the previous hotel was also out of town.Meals: were much better than expected. Bikes: were solid, reliable and adequate for the riding undertaken. No breakdowns were experienced.The course: although we experienced unseasonal hot weather (39degrees) was not taxing and easily handled. The maps and instructions provided were excellent although details for finding the hotel accommodation were challenging. We used an Ipad with Austrian maps to guide us once in towns.Overall: A wonderful experience. We chose Utracks because of our good experiences with an earlier booking and would recommend this tour.
J. Mulcahy., QLD, Australia
My Husband and I are both in our sixties and have wonderful memories of our cycle trip down The Danube, especially cycling through the Wachau Valley on the 1st of May. The trip also gave us a wonderful sense of achievement. Thank You.
L Schrey, New Zealand
This was our first self-guided trip. It was a great experience in a safe environment. The cycle rides in the tranquil settings were magic.
Mr R and Mrs B Hooker, Hastings, New Zealand
Great way to see many historic towns and cities along the Danube, at your own pace, and sample the various foods at small cafes and restaurants along the way, meet the locals, plus a real motivation to keep fit.
P & L. Adkins., Springwood, QLD. Australia
First class arrangements, info, accommodation, equipment and service, would recommend to anyone.
G. Alder, Hawthorn, South Australia, 21 Oct 2016
Per Person, Twin Share