Highlights
  • Easy scenic cycling - Along the Danube between Passau and Vienna
  • Vienna - Discover Austria's wonderful capital
  • Wachau wines - Sample some of Austria's premier wine
  • Medieval towns and cities - Explore historic Krems, Linz and Grein
  • Schlogener Schlinge - See the dramatic bend on the Danube
  • Melk Abbey - Visit the glorious Benedictine Monastery

Imposing castles, glorious abbeys and pretty farms line the banks of the River Danube. We cycle along the most famous section of the river between Passau in Germany and Vienna in Austria, through densely-wooded valleys and green fertile countryside. Highlights along the route include Wilhering, the medieval city of Krems and the wine-growing region of Wachau.

Trip Description

From Passau to Linz
From Passau, the 'City of Three Rivers', our first ride takes us along the north bank of the Danube and into Austria. In this region the Danube flows through a narrow valley of densely-wooded slopes until reaching Schlögen. Here we encounter the famous 'Schlögener Schlinge' (Great Loop) as the river does a U-turn and initially flows back west, blocked by a granite mountain. Passing Aschach and the 11th century Cistercian monastery at Wilhering, we cycle on to Linz and tour its historic centre.


Benedictine Abbey at Melk
Travelling on downstream, the next part of our journey takes us through green and fertile countryside to Grein. There's an option to make a detour to visit 'Burg Clam' - one of the best preserved castles in the country. Next we cross the melancholy 'Strudengau', a much-feared narrows where the Danube turns and races, to arrive at the old trading town of Ybbs. Arriving in Melk we enjoy a two-night stay and a rest day, allowing time to visit the world-famous Benedictine abbey with its impressive ceiling frescos and huge library.


Through the Romantic 'Wachau'
Leaving Melk, we cycle on through the Wachau, one of the best-known wine-growing regions in Austria and an area which offers some of the most beautiful landscapes along the entire length of the Danube: steep south-facing slopes are intricately terraced with vineyards, quiet country lanes lead to romantic villages, and medieval towns provide an interesting place to rest. We overnight in Krems and Stockerau before finally arriving in Vienna, Austria's charming capital city.

 
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Cities & Attractions

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Explore! Travel Reviews & Ratings
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Value
4.5 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.6 Lodging
4.3 Transportation
4.5 Meals
4.4
Along The Blue Danube

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R

Recommends

Very memorable holiday for adults and children. January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
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  • Activities 5.0
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Just arrived home from a week in Morocco on the family "Rock the Kasbah" adventure. I would like to say not only how great the activities were but also how good the the tour guide Fouad, the two drivers and cook were.
Engaged with the kids well, informative, fun and interested in the groups wellbeing and enjoyment.
As a benchmark it doesn't get much better when sleeping in the Sahara.
And as a pointer, if in Marrakech the attached images show information for an Explore owned Restaurant that is a must for food, hospitality and setting.
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N

Recommends

Great tour guide and very helpful. January 2017

5.0
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Just returned from the indochina encounter tour and had an amazing time. Tour guides in Cambodia and Vietnam were great and explore were very helpful when I missed my connecting flight! Thank you I'm already looking for my next one.
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Fantastic holiday in Turkey Lycian Way January 2017

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Very hot during the time I traveled even if it was October. Great tour guide, superb scenery , varied accommodation and lovely crowd of fellow trekkers. Traveled with friends but there were quite a few single people too and everyone mixed in well.
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Y

Recommends

Great guide for out trip! January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
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Thanks to the brilliant organization, humuor and kindness of our wonderful guide, Haymar Aung, Explore should give her the highest award. None of us were disappointed with our 'Burma Highlights' holiday.
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G

Recommends

Fantastic! October 2015

5.0
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I did the cycling tour mont ventoux and provence. Fantastic. Recommend this trip to anyone who likes a challenge. Andrew our tour leader made the whole week perfect for us. He went out of his way to make sure everything was just right for us. We made some new friends too. Great place with lots of sight seeing too. Great company,great cycling,and great feeling conquering ventoux.
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Itinerary

Day 1 - Join trip Vienna; travel to Passau

Description

Leaving our exploration of the wonderful city of Vienna until later, we begin the trip by heading straight to Passau, (either by train or private bus) a journey of some 3 hours. On arrival we shall settle into our hotel and get ready for tomorrow's cycle.

Included Meals : None

Day 2 - Cycle from Passau through small villages to Schlögen

Description

Passau lies at the confluence of the Danube, the Inn and the Ilz and has hence long been known as the 'City of Three Rivers'. Once one of the centres of power for Roman Catholicism, much of the city was destroyed by a great fire in 1662. But, rebuilt in Italian baroque style, it remains today certainly one of Germany's most beautiful cities and a fine starting point for our trip. Before leaving Passau we get fitted up with our bikes. We'll then cycle through the Donauleiten Nature Reserve, part of the southern edge of the Bavarian Wald. A wealth of plants from different geographical origins grow here, and amongst the notable fauna there are more different reptiles to be found than in any other region of Germany. After passing through the small village of Erlau, the town of Obernzell and Jochenstein we cross over the Danube by ferry at Schlögen and enter Austria at Engelhartszell. Travelling now largely on the old tow path, we pass through a valley dominated by the Ranereidl Castle. It is not long before we arrive at Schlögen and the start of the famous 'Schlögener Schlinge' (Great Loop). Here we stay the night.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 44 kilometres

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 3 - Cycle the 'Great Loop' from Schlögen to Linz

Description

The Danube, up until it reached Schlögen, had been merrily cutting its course through soft soils. At Schlögen, however, the river came up against a granite ridge barring its path. Unable to cut through, it turned 180 degrees and went north east back the way it had come until it was able to make its way past the obstruction, thus creating the famous 'Great Loop'. The Danube's smaller tributaries were used for farming pearls and 'Passau pearls' enjoyed great popularity for many years. We cycle along the flat river path following its twists and turns. Arriving in Linz we shall take the time to make a tour of the recently renovated historic centre. Though the capital of Upper Austria is a busy centre of trade and industry (in fact Europe's first ever industrial factory was in Linz) it also has a growing reputation as a city of culture and the arts.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 53 kilometres

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 4 - Pedal through the fertile countryside to Grein

Description

Today's ride passes through green and fertile Austrian countryside and there are many sights along the way that could distract us, sights like the open air 'prehistory' museum at Mitterkirchen, the Berglitzl (a hunters' camp dating back to the end of the last Ice Age in 12000 BC), and Burg Klam, one of the best preserved castles in the country. One again our cycling follows the river allowing plenty of time to admire this waterway. Our destination is Grein, a pretty town that is itself dominated by the picturesque castle of Greinburg. It also boasts a 16th century Rathaus' and the oldest surviving theatre in Austria.
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 65 kilometres

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 5 - Cycle from Grein to Melk

Description

Shortly after leaving Grein, travelling on the south bank, we ride through the 'Strudengau', where the presence of the Hausstein Rock causes dangerous eddies and the island of Worth forces the Danube waters swiftly through narrows that have long been difficult to navigate; so difficult in fact that eventually a canal was built to bypass this section of river. Further on we cycle by Ybbs, former trading centre on the Danube, located on the southern bank. Directly opposite on our side of the river is Persenbeug, in the early 1800's the most important shipbuilding town on the lower Danube. The ride continues, passing by Maria Taferl with its pilgrimage church, to Melk, dominated by its imposing Benedictine monastery.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 46 kilometres

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 6 - Ride along the terraced vineyards to Krems

Description

Today we cycle through the Wachau, with its terraced vineyards, fruit plantations and romantic villages constituting undoubtedly some of the most beautiful landscape along the entire Danube River. This region has been growing vines for wine production since the time of Charlemagne, and the industry still thrives today despite being variously ravaged over the centuries by weather, periods of war and pests. Today the wines produced in the Wachau are much prized throughout the world. Besides the sheer beauty of the landscape, we shall ride through historic towns and villages, like Weissenkirchen, Durnstein and Stein. Richard the Lionheart was once held hostage in Durnstein Castle, the ruins of which can be seen above the picturesque town. The medieval city centre of today's destination, Krems, invites us for a stroll. Regarded as the oldest city in lower Austria it is a beguiling mix of the Renaissance with the baroque and the Gothic, a profusion of narrow criss-crossing streets and alleyways, full of old town houses and pretty churches with impressive spires and towers.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 40 kilometres

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 7 - Cycle the Krems and Danube tow paths to Tulln

Description

With the Wachau region ending at Krems, the Danube enters the expansive flatlands of the Tulln plain. We set off today initially following the Krems River, but this soon meets up with the Danube itself. It does not immediately flow into it, however, and we find ourselves cycling along the well-surfaced tow path between the Krems to our left and the Danube to our right. We continue like this all the way to Altenworth, and shortly afterwards cross the Danube by way of a dam to the south bank. Almost immediately we cross the Traisen, another tributary about to join the Danube, and turn left to continue along our journey. Crossing streams and traversing both forest and fields, we pass through the villages of first Zwentendorf, then Pischelsdorf, Langenschonbichel and Kronau to reach our nightstop of Tulln.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 46 kilometres

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 8 - Arrive in Vienna by bike for orientation tour

Description

For the final stage of our journey we return once more to the northern, or left, bank. After a while we shall see on the opposite bank the village and castle of Greifenstein. At Korneuburg the mighty Danube begins to dip southwards and soon afterwards enters the outskirts of the capital, Vienna. Proceeding through the streets we shall make an orientation tour of Vienna's main attractions before heading to our hotel to check in. The rest of the day is free for independent sightseeing. The city of Vienna remains a testament to the once immensely rich and powerful Habsburg dynasty and its architectural treasures are many, with impressive statues and public buildings at every turn, interspersed with tasteful gardens. You may choose just to spend a few hours walking or cycling around, soaking up the atmosphere, or you might take in a couple of the wonderful museums, or perhaps visit the world-renowned Schloss Schonbrunn, the enormous summer palace of the Habsburgs. Whichever you choose, Vienna will certainly provide a wonderful end to our trip.

Our total cycling distance today is approximately 39 kilometres

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 9 - Trip ends Vienna

Description

The trip ends in Vienna this morning after breakfast.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 1,478

Price Per Day:

$ 164 per day
 
Details
Trip Includes

Included Bike

21 gear Bird custom hybrid bike Electric bikes (e-bikes) are available for an additional cost for the duration of the holiday. You will be required to pay a refundable deposit upon collection of the e-bike in country. Please contact us for more details or to request your e-bike.

Optional Activities

Optional Excursions

N/A

Accomodations

Accommodation Notes

Standard - Our mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en-suite facilities.

End City
Vienna
Guides

An Explore Leader is an integral part of any Explore trip and your trip will be led by one of our experienced Explore Leaders who have been handpicked and expertly trained. We believe that our Explore Leaders are the key to the success of our trips; they are passionate travellers who are bursting with first-hand local knowledge which they love to share. Your Explore Leader will also take care of all the planning and organisation throughout your journey. Their passionate approach will make this trip fun and inspiring, bringing the destination to life whether you're travelling alone or with others.

Tour Staff

Driver(s), Explore Tour Leader / Cycle guide

Additional Information:

Cycling Information

On this trip we cycle 333 km over seven days (an average of 48 km per day). The path runs on traffic-free asphalt cycle paths (95%) and gravel tracks (5%) beside the Danube and is almost completely flat. A support vehicle carries our luggage from point to point throughout but cannot escort the rides along the cycle paths. We have graded the route as easy.

Trip ID#: explore-CBD

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