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.
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