Skip to content
Danube Explorer: Cycling from Passau to Vienna short break. Austria cycling tours

Danube Cycle Path Highlights


Flowing between steep mountain slopes, green meadows and medieval castles, the Danube river has carved one of the most scenic routes in central Europe, and we invite you to explore it in the most exciting way – by bike on our highlights 6-day itinerary!

The Danube Cycle Path from Passau to Vienna is Europe’s most popular cycling route. This iconic path goes on a dedicated cycling path along the river, so you will be able to marvel at the natural beauty around you without worrying about any car traffic. On your way, you will also have plenty of time to stop and indulge yourself in the culinary delights of the region: from the traditional dishes of the rural cuisine to the sparkling wine and sweet and light cider of the Wachau region everyone will find something they like.

The cycling paths are mostly flat and accessible to cyclists of all levels, which is one of the reasons why this tour is a true classic and ideally suited as a first cycling holiday for the whole family.

  • Passau
  • Great Danube Loop
  • Linz – Capital of Upper Austria
  • Grein – City Theatre
  • Romantic Wachau
  • Abbey of Melk & the city of Krems
  • Waltz metropole Vienna

Click to view map


Day 1: Arrival in Passau

Individual arrival. Once in Passau, enjoy the day of leisure by strolling through the narrow and winding streets of this quaint city or simply relaxing in a typical beer garden. Historical heritage is to be found and encountered around every corner. The “City of Three Rivers,” i.e. river Danube, Inn and Ilz, continues to be an inspiration to all. Between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., bike hand over – for late arrivals on the next morning.

Day 2: Passau – Linz | 59 km

Starting the tour nice and easy by ship, you travel through the magnificent Schlögener Loop. The Granite Mountains of the Mühlviertel have forced the Danube into a 180- degree bend. Along the wooded lush slopes of the narrow green valley, the river escorts you to the capital of Upper Austria and European Culture Capital of 2009: Linz.

  • Distance for the day: approx. 59 km + ship ride Passau – Schlögen + train ride Ottensheim Linz
  • Accommodation: Hotel Donauwelle in Linz or similar

Day 3: Linz – Strudengau | 60 km

A worthwhile excursion to Enns, the oldest town in Austria, is highly recommended although it is left up to you to decide. In the gorgeous Baroque village Grein, a few highlights, including Austria’s oldest theatre, the Maritime Museum and the city’s impressive castle Greinburgcan be visited.

Day 4: Strudengau – Nibelungengau | 46 km

Once leaving Grein, you cycle through the stunning Nibelungengau over to Pöchlarn, where you find the monument of Nibelungen and the birthplace of artist Oskar Kokoschka. From a distance and high above the Danube, one of the most famous buildings in the region, the Benedictine Abbey of Melk, salutes you with grandeur.

Day 5: Nibelungengau – Vienna | 48 km

Today you will experience the captivating landscape of the Wachau valley. You pass through the extremely romantic winery villages Spitz, Weißenkirchen and Dürnstein. After that, you visit Krems, the 1000-year-old wine-growing town complete with gothic architecture. From Krems, you travel by train to the city of Waltz: Vienna.

Day 6: Vienna

Departure on your own or extension in Vienna. Before leaving the city, make sure to visit the famous Naschmarkt (international foods/goods) and stop by the beautiful imperial castle Schönbrunn.

What to Expect


The tour includes accommodation in standard en-suite double/twin rooms in typical 3/4-star Austrian Inns (guesthouses) and hotels. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us, and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour. Rooms may be single, twin or double. A double bed may consist of twins pushed or joined together. Requests for twin rooms will be accepted, however, they cannot be guaranteed.

Click to view default hotels

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a property of equal standard. We will provide full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.


Breakfast is included every day. When no restaurant location is available on route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before.

Difficulty & terrain

Level 1; the cycling path is completely paved from one end to the other, flat, almost always directly along the riverbank and is very suitable for beginners and children. The route is flat or slightly downhill, going along the Danube on a well-built cycling path, almost all the way without sharing lanes with motor vehicles. Minor motor roads make up only very short sections of this route – the Danube cycle path is one of the best cycling routes in Europe (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 (1 set per room).

When to go

This trip is available from April until September.

The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your vacation on any time in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.

Weather is best in July – August.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice on Germany and Austria.

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this holiday are Munich (MUC) and Vienna (VIE).

By train or bus
  • In case you travel by train, the best connections are from Schärding and Passau train stations.
  • At Passau, the public parking costs €35-€65 per week, no reservation possible/necessary.
  • The train journey from Vienna to Passau would be approx. 3 hours.
  • For more details, visit Deutsche Bahn or use the Omio planner above.



  • 5 nights in comfortable country inns, private en-suite rooms
  • 5 breakfasts
  • Daily luggage transfer (1 suitcase per person / max. 23 kg)
  • 1 bottle of high-level wine in the Wachau Valley per room
  • 1 x ship fare Passau- Engelhartszell incl. bike
  • 1 x train fare Ottensheim – Linz incl. bike
  • 1 x train fare Krems – Vienna incl. bike
  • Access to Navigation App with route book and information (also available as GPX tracks)
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative


  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • 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 & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • 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)
  • Extra nights in Passau or Vienna
  • Half Board (add 4 dinners – not available in Vienna)
  • Bike rental (7/21 gear)
  • E-bike rental