We invite you to a bike and boat adventure through six countries and widely differing cultures revealing the beauty of the majestic Danube river in all its glory. Discover the breath-taking natural scenery of the Iron Gates, one of the most spectacular gorges in Europe, the vast expanse of the Pannonian plains, cycle through the Danube Bend in Hungary and the breadbaskets of Croatia and Serbia, through idyllic wine-growing regions and past commanding fortresses high above the river.
On this tour you will also visit Belgrade, the white city, fall in love with charming Budapest, the Paris of the east, marvel at the Baroque palaces in the picturesque Old Town of Bratislava and let yourself be carried away by the elegance of Vienna, the City of Waltz. Scenic and cultural highlights, excellent food and a crew that caters to your every whim, guarantee that your cycling holiday will be a unique and unforgettable experience.
Please note: bike rental is not included in the cost of this holiday.
Please note: unfortunately, all 2024 dates are fully booked.
- Visit the four capital cities along the Danube: Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade
- Iron Gates National Park
- Kalocsa, the Paprika Capital
- Petrovaradin fortress
- Esztergom Basilica
- Donauauen National Park
- Danube Bend
- Wachau Wine Region
Click to view map
Day 1: Passau
Embark in the late afternoon (16:00) and soak up the views of the city of Passau. Glide serenely into the sunset, past dark green forests, before entering the lock at the Jochenstein power plant on the border between Germany and Austria.
Day 2: Schlögen Danube Bend / Obernzell – Obermühl | 35km
Today, cycle from Obernzell through the ruggedly romantic Danube Bend at Schlögen, one of the most beautiful sections of the river lined with sleepy farming villages. Take a break at Austrias only Trappist monastery in Engelhartszell and taste their home-distilled beverages. Continue along the river bank and on the way, drop in at one of the many inviting cider taverns. At the charming village of Obermühl, hop aboard the ship and prepare to set sail.
- Cycling for the day: 35km
Day 3: Devin – Bratislava | 15-43km
A narrow cycle path runs along the Iron Curtain from the castle ruins in Devin to the splendid palace of Schloss Hof, which boasts one of the most magnificent Baroque gardens in Europe. After a stretch of untouched countryside, arrive in the vibrant city of Bratislava. Here, there is an opportunity to embark on a short train tour of the Slovakian capital, where Hungarian kings were once crowned (optional). Alternatively, there is a short hike that begins with a glorious view from the fortress perched on the hill overlooking the city and ends with a walk through the beautifully restored historic city centre.
- Cycling for the day: 15-43km
Day 4: Budapest / Excursion to Szentendre | 27-54km
Savour the entrance to Budapest and the stunning views of the citys most famous buildings. Discover the city that straddles the Danube on a guided tour (optional) or take a detour to the delightful town of Szentendre with its many art galleries. Get a taste of the fiery Hungarian temperament at a Hungarian folklore show with traditional music and folk dance accompanied by wine and local food (optional).
- Cycling for the day: 27-54km (or rest day)
Day 5: Baja – Mohacs | 37km
From the quiet Baroque town of Baja, which is famous for its fish soup, cycle along the flood protection dykes in the Gemenc floodplain through sleepy river landscapes past fields of sunflowers. At the end of todays stage, take the riverboat to the town of Mohacs, Hungarys southernmost town on the Danube and famously the site of two battles with the Turks.
- Cycling for the day: 37km
Day 6: Belgrade
Explore the Serbian capital at the merging of Sava river and Danube river by bike or bus, take a journey in time from the past to the present and learn about the rise and fall of Yugoslavia. In the evening, Belgrade is bathed in a sea of light. Visit a colourful folklore show with traditional dances from all parts of the country, followed by typical regional specialities in the well-known Bohemian district of Skadarlija with lively folk music from a Serbian band (optional).
Day 7: Cataract Canyons / Iron Gates National Park
Discover the stunning fjord-like landscape at close quarters from the deck of the riverboat. The river cuts through the Romanian Carpathian mountains and the mighty foothills of the Balkan mountain range. A spectacular landscape with steep gorges, dark forests with historical monuments and impressive fortresses on the shores reflected in the rivers blue waters.
Day 8: Novi Sad – Ilok | 48km
The imposing Petrovaradin fortress perches high above the provincial capital of the Vojvodina. After cycling upstream along a flat cycle path, take a ferry to reach the gentle foothills of the Fruska Gora, with its orchards, vineyards and idyllic farming villages. Everything in the medieval town of Ilok is about wine. In the evening, there is an opportunity to sample some famous Croatian wines at a local wine cellar (optional).
- Cycling for the day: 48km
Day 9: Batina – Mohacs | 42km
In the border triangle, cycle through the never-ending Backa. Small, idyllic villages and endless canola fields dot the route from Croatia to Serbia and on to Hungary. Experience the untouched nature of the Nemzeti national park and after the ferry ride to Mohacs, there is enough time for a visit to the White Stork Museum or the Memorial of the Battle of Mohacs.
- Cycling for the day: 42km
Day 10: Kalocsa – Solt | 50km
Kalocsa is the Paprika Capital of Hungary and the character of the town is strongly influenced by colourful houses with hand-painted bright floral patterns and the cathedral with its towers that can be seen even from a distance as they rise into the sky from the flat Hungarian plain. Visit the Paprika Museum and learn about Hungarys favourite spice. Continue the journey following the cycle path along the flood protection dyke through the vast expanse of the Puszta. Arriving at Solt, the birthplace of the famous conductor Sir George Solti. Vecsey Castle and the library, with some 34,000 books, are especially worth seeing.
- Cycling for the day: 50km
Day 11: Danube Bend – Esztergom | 43km
Steep wooded hills frame the Danube as it flows through the picturesque, hilly landscape of the Hungarian Wachau. Set in the middle of the Danube, the delightful island of Szentendre radiates real Puszta romance. As the journey continues along cycle paths through picturesque villages, experience the Hungarian zest for life first-hand. The dome of the imposing basilica in Esztergom can be seen from a distance. With its Tuscan-style high altar and a side chapel with red marble walls, Hungarys largest church is especially worth seeing.
- Cycling for the day: 43km
Day 12: Vienna (Bike excursion to Klosterneuburg)
Take in the breathtaking view of the idyllic floodplain forest of the Donauauen national park and the impressive skyline as you sail to Vienna. Go for a peddle on the Danube Island, Viennas popular recreational area. Cycle to the nearby Klosterneuburg Abbey or wander through the idyllic vineyards of Kahlenberg with magnificent views over the city and the Danube. The day ends traditionally with a concert of classical waltz and operetta music at a famous Viennese Palais (optional).
Day 13: Vienna
Discover Vienna from the saddle on a guided bike tour or on a private hop-on, hop-off bus (optional). Cycle through the historic city centre at a leisurely pace and see the sights close up. The magnificent Ringstraße Boulevard and its inviting coffee houses will tempt you with delicious Viennese cakes and pastries. Afterwards, theres enough time to stroll through the quaint lanes or visit the Naschmarkt. End the day back in Vienna at one of its many rustic wine taverns.
Day 14: Wachau / Krems – Melk | 39km
The gentle hilly countryside of the Wachau valley with its picturesque villages, historic castles and palaces surrounded by apricot trees and terraced vineyards is one of the tours loveliest sections. In Weißenkirchen, the cycle path is lined with wine merchant taverns.
- Cycling for the day: 39km
Day 15: Passau
Enjoy the first rays of sunlight and the early-morning tranquillity of the Danube valley one last time. Catch a final view of the Danube Bend at Schlögen, before reaching Passau. Disembark at approximately 11.00 depending on weather conditions. Independent homeward journey.
Please note: We recommend not to make any arrangements for onward connections departing before 12.00.
What to expect
Accommodation is in an outward-facing cabins below deck on a charming riverboat, for the duration of the tour. Cabins on riverboats have en-suite bathrooms, a window, air-conditioning, TV and a hair dryer. Upgraded cabins available upon request.
Click to view default ship
- MV Swiss Crown
Package includes full board: breakfast buffet, lunch on board (non-cyclists) or packed lunch (cyclists), afternoon coffee break, dinner (two to three dishes to choose from). Gala dinner with a farewell cocktail included in the rate.
Difficulty and terrain
This tour is rated as easy and is suitable for most people. The route mainly follows the Eurovelo 6 cycle path. In Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, it runs asphalted paths over flat terrain; in Croatia and Serbia, country roads with little traffic and cycle paths, not all of which are asphalted. Only one stage runs over hilly terrain; if you dont feel like cycling on this day, you can reach your destination easily by remaining on the boat (read more about difficulty grades). Upon arrival, you will receive detailed travel information with route maps or overview maps, route descriptions, tourist attractions and important telephone numbers (one set per room). The package also includes daily information meeting as well as a tour guide on board.
When to go
This trip is available on 4th May, 3rd August and 28th September 2024 – unfortunately these are already fully booked. For more information on travelling in Austria, please visit our blog Best time to go to Austria.
Click to view travel options
- In case you travel by train, the best connections are from Schärding and Passau railway stations. At Passau the parking costs between €114 (outdoor area) to €129 (parking garage), including shuttle transfer to and from pier; payable locally.
- For more information, use the Omio planner above.
- 14 nights in simple but comfortable main deck cabins with private facilities and air conditioning
- Port charges
- Programme according to itinerary from/to Passau
- Captains greeting and welcome cocktail
- Gala dinner with farewell cocktail
- Full board: breakfast buffet, lunch on board (non-cyclists) or packed lunch (cyclists), afternoon coffee break, dinner (two to three dishes to choose from)
- Tour guide on board (does not cycle with the group)
- Daily information meeting
- Detailed travel documents, cycling guide App and GPS tracks per cabin
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a cabin of their own (upper deck only)
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Cabin upgrades (upon request: middle and upper deck)
- Bike and e-bike rental
- Helmet rental
- Guided supplement including a private guide while cycling and bus city tours in Budapest, Belgrade and Vienna (only available on select dates)
Both hybrid and e-bikes are available to rent on this tour. All bikes are equipped with puncture-proof tires, one waterproofed pannier bag, one handlebar bag and an air pump. You will receive one service kit with breakdown tools and a bicycle lock per cabin. All bicycles have a deep comfort entry (wave frame) and mens frames are available from a height of 186 cm. Sample pictures are attached below.
28-Zoll-Unisex KTM tour bikes are equipped with either 21 or 24-derailleur-gear with override, calliper breaks, and robust wheels.
E-bikes come with a hub gear, freewheel, powerful electric motor and gradually selectable pedal assistance. The battery range depends on the support level, driving style, body weight and terrain.
Note: The exact models may differ depending on availability, but the standard will be the same. You are liable for any damage, loss or theft during the journey. Corresponding bike insurance can be completed on board.