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Danube Cycle Path: Passau to Vienna Relaxed

Danube Cycle Path: Passau to Vienna Relaxed

Overview

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 most excitingly – by bike on our relaxed 10-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 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 rustic 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.

  • Relaxed cycling on a dedicated path from Passau to Vienna
  • Explore the culture-filled cities of Passau and Vienna and the small, charming towns along the way
  • Optional wine tastings and juicy apricots as you cycle through the vineyards and orchards of the beautiful Wachau Valley
  • Schärding’s colourful market square
  • The natural spectacle, Schlögener Schlinge

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Passau

Depending on the time and place of your arrival, you can spend the rest of the day strolling through the pretty little baroque town of Schärding or going for a walk through the “New Centre” of Passau, which has been completely redesigned as a pedestrian, car-free area.

Day 2: Passau – Engelhartszell | 26 km

You depart from Passau and cycle into the Upper Danube Valley, passing through the villages of Obernzell to Engelhartszell. Make sure to stop and visit the “Trappist” monastery in Engelhartszell and sample some of the well-known liqueurs.

Day 3: Engelhartszell – Eferdinger Valley | 45 km

After travelling along the northern Danube riverbank to the unique and impressive Schlögener Loop, take a ferry across the southern bank. Tip: make sure to head up to the highly recommended Schlögener Lookout Point. You will certainly not forget the scenery! Ride your bike to the quaint, picturesque Danube market in Aschach or even further on to Eferding.

Day 4: Eferdinger Valley – Linz | 30 km

Pass the villages of Wihering and Ottensheim cycling into the state capital of Upper Austria and European Culture Capital of 2009, Linz. The classic and ideal cycling/walking paths are intertwining a traditional main square, and there is a world of contemporary art and many extraordinary museums in Linz.

Day 5: Linz – Mauthausen | 26 km

Passing the hydroelectric power plant Abwinden/Asten to St. Florian, it is time to visit a gorgeous Baroque monastery. After soaking in the Baroque architecture, you will continue cycling to the oldest city in Austria, Enns. Visit the old town square with its treasured 60-meter City Tower from the 16th Century, the City Museum nearby, and the Lauriacum with its significant archaeological collection. Then crossing the mighty Danube to Mauthausen via ferry.

Day 6: Mauthausen – Strudengau | 35-42 km

Cycle along the Danube through the quaint villages of Naarn and Perg and on to Mitterkirchen. Mitterkirchen is a Celtic village with an attractive open-air museum. Continue through the Strudengau and into the small Baroque village of Grein, today’s destination, where you can visit the oldest City Theatre in Austria.

  • Distance for the day: approx. 35-42 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel Zur Traube*** or similar

Day 7: Strudengau – Nibelungengau | 30 km

Today your cycling tour takes you through the Strudengau. On the southern bank, you pass St.Nikola and Sarmingstein. In Persenbeug, you enter the Nibelungengau. Tip: If you still have time, you should cycle up to Maria Taferl, a famous pilgrimage place (approx. 10 km bike tour). Then continuing through seemingly endless terraced vineyards.

Day 8: Nibelungengau – Wachau | 45 km

After visiting the Nibelungen monument, your bike tour will lead you to the renowned Benedictine Abbey of Melk. Shortly after that, enter into the beautiful and popular area of Wachau. After cycling through the extensive vineyards, you will reach Spitz, situated at the foot of the “1000-bucket Mountain”. Your bike tour leads you into the superb surroundings of an extremely picturesque winery village.

Day 9: Wachau – Vienna | 19 km

Today you cycle through the small winery villages of Weissenkirchen and Dürnstein, which are well known for their unusual churches and their authentic castles. Eventually, you approach the 1000-year-old winery and Gothic city of Krems. From Krems, a train will take you comfortably to Vienna. Experience the Danube Metropolis, capital of Austria and the “City of Waltz”, it’s a city full of flair with charm and attractions.

Day 10: Vienna | Departure

Before leaving Vienna, don’t forget to visit the famous Naschmarkt and stop by the beautiful imperial castle Schönbrunn. Departure or extension upon request.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in nice 3 & 4-star hotels and inns. 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.

Meals

Breakfast is included every day. When no restaurant location is available on the 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

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 October.

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

Inclusions

Included

  • 9 nights in 3/4-star hotels and comfortable country inns, private en-suite rooms
  • 9 Breakfasts
  • Daily luggage transport (one piece of luggage per person, max 20 kg)
  • Welcome drink at arrival hotel in Passau
  • 1 bottle of high-level wine in the Wachau Valley per room
  • 1 x train Krems – Vienna incl. bike
  • Handlebar bag with route book, maps and information materials (1 per room)
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • 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 along the trail are bookable upon request
  • Half Board (add 8 dinners – not available in Vienna)
  • Bike rental (7/21 gear)
  • E-bike rental

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