Danube Classic - Germany to Austria
Alongside of the “blue” Danube lies the renowned and most famous cycling path in Europe - Passau to Vienna is an absolute cycling classic. Discover the enchanting river landscape, picturesque villages, lush vineyards and countless cultural sites from the time of the Romans and Nibelungengau. As you cycle comfortably along the banks of the mighty river, enjoy the wooded forests and the magical meadows of the Schlögener Loop, Strudengau, Nibelungengau and Wachau, as each region offers its own impressive and unique attractions. Art and cultural features convey myths and stories of the past while quaint accommodations and taverns invite you to relax in the culinary world of Austria. The welcoming Austrian hospitality and the scrumptious Austrian cuisine add to this absolutely remarkable experience.
Need to Know
- Great Danube Loop
- Linz – Capital of Upper Austria
- Grein - City Theatre
- Abbey of Melk
- Waltz metropole Vienna
Level 1: the cycling path is completely paved from one end to the other, flat, almost always directly along the riverbank, very suitable for beginners.
Day 1 – Arrival in Passau
Once you have arrived in Passau use your remaining free time for a city tour or get to know the “City of Three Rivers” by a walk through the picturesque old part of town. From 4pm-7pm bike hand over and set up – for late arrivals we will arrange this the following morning.
Day 2 - Passau – Schlögener Loop
Approx. 41 km
Kickstart your holiday by cycling through the Upper Danube Valley to Schlögen. In Engelhartszell, you can visit the one and only “Trappist” monastery in Austria and you can even sample some delicious liqueurs straight from the convent. Continue the journey to the impressive “Schlögener Loop”, where the river makes a complete 180-degrees turn.
Day 3 - Schlögener Loop – Linz
Approx. 55 km
Between the banks of the Danube there are small passenger ferries waiting for you to take you to the start of day 2. Next, you cycle through the slowly widening fertile basin of Eferding and further to Linz, the capital of Upper Austria and European Culture Capital of 2009. Enjoy a magical summer evening doing some shopping around the lovely main square of the city.
Day 4 - Linz – Strudengau
Approx. 60 km
This leg guides you through beautiful meadows and tranquil hinterland while passing the Celtic village Mitterkirchen, rolling by the majestic church in Baumgartenberg and on to the romantic castle of Clam. We would also highly recommend an excursion to Enns, the oldest town in Austria.
Day 5 - Strudengau – Nibelungengau
Approx. 50 km
Today’s tour takes you cycling through the fascinating landscape of tall and densely wooded rock formations on both sides of the Danube. High above the Danube is the Pilgrimage Church of Maria Taferl. From there, you are greeted from afar by the marvellous Benedictine Monastery of Melk.
Day 6 - Nibelungengau – Krems/surroundings
Approx. 50 km
Another highlight of this tour is the chance to cycle through the magnificent Wachau. A landscape where you will find terraced vineyards, apricot groves interspersed with castles, palaces and monasteries. There is also the option to take a break off your bike and relax on a short boat excursion. On your way to Krems you cycle through the winery villages of Spitz, Weißkirchen and Durnstein. Through these charming villages you will see quaint alluring taverns, which are just waiting to present Austrian hospitality at its best. Something you have to experience first-hand.
Day 7 - Krems/surroundings – Vienna
Approx. 40 km + Train ride Krems - Tulln
By train you will depart from this UNESCO World Cultural Heritage region. After arriving in Tulln, you will ride your bike for the last time on this tour directly through the Vienna Woods (Wiener Wald) and pass through “The Gates of Vienna”. Along the way don’t forget to stop in and visit the impressive monastery in Klosterneuburg and then continue on to “The City of Music”: Vienna.
Day 8 - Vienna Departure Day
People say that you must personally experience this great city. A few of the must-sees include the famous Naschmarkt (international food/goods market), the City Opera, the Ringstrasse, (a beautiful boulevard with imposing buildings which bear witness to ancient times) and of course the gorgeous imperial castle Schönbrunn. Extension at Vienna or train ride back to Passau (Season 1+2) or comfortable by bus (season 3).
Hybrid bikes in both man and woman frames, with all sizes available (including child frames), are included in the cost of this tour. We suggest 'hybrid' type bicycles to hire on this tour, as they are ideal for the nature of the route and the terrain involved, as well as offering a reasonable level of comfort over the daily distances shown. However, upon request, road bikes can be provided for a little extra supplement of £10 / $15 per day, while fun and popular electric bikes are also an option at £15 / $20 daily too.
Bikes are provided fully equipped with helmets, pump and puncture repair kit, pannier bags, handlebar map holder and bike computer, included in the total cost.
Please note, should you have specific questions related to the bicycles on offer, don't hesitate to ask.
This is a SELF-GUIDED cycle tour, while comprehensive maps and route notes are provided. It is available from around mid-March to mid-October, while the months of July and August are of course the busier times and the weather can be very warm to cycle, however this does not mean it would not be enjoyable! We ask for 48 hours to confirm our tours (as per the Pedal & Break booking guarantee*), yet this may be slightly longer in the aforementioned peak July and August period.
- 7 nights in chosen category, rooms with private facilities
- Breakfast or 6 x dinner (surcharge, only breakfast in Vienna)
- Daily luggage transport (1 suitcase per Person/ max. 20 kg)
- Welcome drink at arrival hotel in Passau
- 1 bottle of high-level wine in the Wachau Valley per room
- A tasting of regional products
- 1 x train Krems/surroundings – Tulln incl. bike
- 1 x train ride Vienna central station – Passau (transfer of own bike not included) in season 1+2
- 1 x bus ride Vienna - Passau (incl. own bike ) in season 3, train ride back possible advanced notification necessary)
- Free WLAN in all hotels (only Cat.A)
- Service-hotline (also on weekends)
- Handlebar bag with route book, maps and information material per room
- All bike tours are unescorted.
- The mileages and approximations are distances of the recommended routes.
- Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen and proper sport shoes.
- The arrival to Passau is not included in the tour price and has to be arranged on your own. This cycling tour is not suitable for people with limited mobility. Individual requests are in special cases possible (f.e. handicapped accessible room) Rental bikes & equipment
- 7-speed-bikes with back pedal brake or 21-speed bikes, (ladies/gents)
- Electric bikes, children’s bikes, specialized for children upon request.
- New 2019: children E-bikes from 9 years up All rental bikes are equipped with a pannier (saddle bag) and an odometer (except Electro bike). Parking Different possibilities: approx. 35,- to 65,- EUR per week. Reduction Reduction with 2 full paying adults in double room (additional bed): 0-6,99 years -100% 7-11,99 years -50% 12-14,99 years -25% 15-99 years -10% In Austria it is mandatory for children under 12 yrs to wear a helmet when on a bike. Additional charge*
- Helmet purchase – payable in advance € 25
- Reduction for „no return ticket to Passau“ € 34
- Supplement train ride Vienna airport – Vienna central station € 7
- Local tax payable on spot (approx. € 1 - 2,5 per person/night)
- Transfer Munich Airport– hotel Passau1 One way € 69, both directions € 119 1 from/to Munich city centre/train station – Passau: € 40 one-time surcharge (1-8 pers.) * must be reserved at time of booking.
The hotels provided here are of a superior standard, some 3* and mostly 4* that are traditional Austrian hotels offering a warm welcome being particularly 'cycle friendly'. They are specifically selected as being ideal places to relax after a hard day's cycling yet offering a taste of the local culture. This is evident in the Austrian cuisine on offer, with this being taken care of with all breakfasts and evening meals included in the overall cost.
However, we can provide variations of hotels upon request with both a slightly less 'standard' package, as well as an upgraded 'deluxe' offering.
Furthermore, there may be the option of further reductions on the tour costs shown should anyone wish to opt out of 'evening meals'.
Of course, single rooms are available at a supplement on the main tour cost, while this can again vary dependent on the overall package.
Not forgetting that extra nights are always available too.
Category A Selected 4* hotels, the best 3* hotel in town
Category B Selected 3 & 4* hotels and inns
Category C Selected 3* hotels and inns
Most of our tours are available from early April until the end of October to enable you to make the most of the weather and scenery with some available year round. There is no ‘best’ time to go, this is really down to personal preference and your requirements however, peak summer months like July and August can be warm in southern Europe and busier so we would recommend these to sun worshippers. We would suggest that around May, June and September are the preferable months for comfortable and optimum cycling experience.
What clothing and kit should I bring?
Each individual tour provides slight variations in kit provided so we would always recommend checking your individual booking. In all cases bicycles are provided along with full puncture repair kit. In the majority of cases helmets will be provided and you will be given this information as part of the booking process. Where these are not provided there is the option to add this on or bring your own. Clothing is not provided but we would recommend suitable, comfortable clothing to cover all eventualities! Lycra and padded short are not mandatory but we would recommend these for your comfort. Breathable fabrics and light layers with a shower proof jacket will enhance your experience and we would also recommend comfortable footwear.
How do I carry this clothing and kit from A to B?
You don’t! Whilst we would recommend taking a small backpack or loading your panniers with daily essentials such as a light cycle jacket, water, snacks and your phone and camera the great news is your main luggage will be transported by ourselves between your accommodations allowing you to enjoy you day baggage free. We usually ask you to leave this the morning of the day you depart the particular hotel and should arrive by late afternoon at your next destination but we always aim to have this there before you.
How fit do I need to be to do the tours?
Every tour description gives an indication of the level of suitability along with details on the distances and terrains covered. However, the majority of our tours on Pedal & Break are open and suitable for all with a reasonable level of fitness and all age groups. As we say Lycra is optional and we actively encourage and truly welcome those on a first time cycling holiday. You also do not all need to be the same level to enjoy our holidays as a group. A basic level of cycling is a must in order to be confident on the roads and routes and we would recommend a good base level of fitness. Our routes are designed to enjoy the scenery at a leisurely pace with sightseeing and refreshment stops factored in, after all this is your holiday! The days should not be viewed as a leg of the Tour de France and don’t require you to cycle flat out from dawn till dusk. The e-bike is also an excellent option for those needing a ‘boost’. As a husband and wife partnership on our first holiday this worked perfectly for us and enabled us to enjoy our holiday together stress free.
What is an e-bike?
An e-bike is an electric bike and does not require a license and nor should it be confused with a moped or scooter! An e-bike will be available on most of our tours and is the perfect option for the slightly more apprehensive cyclist, simply as these bikes provide the ideal boost when the legs feel a little tired or when facing a hilly section. You are still required to pedal as the bike is a modified standard bicycle and the e-bike merely gives you a helping hand. The electric element can be turned on and off as you like but from personal experience having this at a low level throughout with an extra boost added for setting off at junctions and up hills enabled my wife to enjoy her first cycling tour alongside me throughout and gave her the confidence she needed.