The Great Danube Ride
1-15 May 2020
E-bike (extra cost)
One of the great cycling paths in the world, the Danube Cycle Way is popular for good reason. From Passau in Germany, we ride through four countries (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary) through some of the great cities of Europe finishing in Budapest, Hungary. This will be a classic European journey of history, food, beautiful countryside, fun and as a rare experience, easy cycling without any major climbing!
If you are a past Pedal Pedal traveller there will be a pre-release for bookings before the tour is opened to the general public on 10 Feb 2019.
This will be a self-guided experience where your luggage will be transferred each day and it will be up to us as a group to navigate our way along the easy to follow trail (hint: follow the river downstream).
The group will be escorted by Jason Williams from Pedal Pedal. An Austrian cycling friend will join us and be on hand to provide advice and stories about the places we are travelling.
We will have a dedicated support vehicle that will tail the group and provide backup to anyone not up for the ride or for non-riding partners.
From Passau to Vienna the Danube Trail is sealed, well sign-posted and incredibly easy to follow. From Vienna to Budapest, while the trail is not quite so well marked and does follow roads from time to time, it is still very much a cycling route designed for cyclists.
As we are following the Danube downstream there are no major climbs but the route will undulate as it descends. Starting at an altitude of 294m in Passau we finish at 96m elevation in Budapest.
We will supply detailed route information and step-by-step notes to help with navigation.
As an escorted self-guided trip you will be free to travel at your own pace leaving each day at a time that suits you, stopping when you want and controlling how you see the countries we are cycling through. Usually small groups of similarly paced cyclists form and ride together throughout the day so while you are travelling with a large group it never feels like a crowd.
PRICING & PAYMENT
€2500 per person, twin share
A AU$500 deposit is required to confirm places on the trip. The deposit is non-refundable but we will refund providing we can find a replacement person to fill your place on the tour should the tour be fully booked. Final payment will be due 60 days before the start of the tour. We will calculate the AUD price based on the exchange rate at the time of final payment.
All bookings and payments are processed through our main business entity, The Great Trails Company.
The Book Now button will direct you to our parent company The Great Trails Company where you can book. A AU$500 deposit per person will secure your place on the tour.
Day 1: Arrival Passau, Germany
Day 2: Cycle Passau to Schlögen, Austria (approx. 40km)
Day 3: Cycle Schlögen to Linz (approx. 50km)
Day 4: Cycle Linz to Grein (approx. 60km)
Day 5: Cycle Grein to Wachau (approx. 60km)
Day 6: Cycle Wachau to Tulln (approx. 60km)
Day 7: Cycle Tulln to Vienna (approx. 40km)
Day 8: Rest day in Vienna
Day 9: Cycle Vienna to Bratislava, Slovakia (approx. 65km)
Day 10: Rest day in Bratislava
Day 11: Cycle Bratislava to Györ, Hungary (approx. 45km + train)
Day 12: Cycle Györ to Komárno (approx. 55km)
Day 13: Cycle Komárno to Visegrád (approx. 55km + boat)
Day 14: Cycle Visegrád to Budapest (approx. 55km)
Day 15: end
See below for detailed itinerary. Itinerary is subject to change.
Day 1 - Arrival Passau
Passau, a German city on the Austrian border, lies at the confluence of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers. Known as the Three Rivers City, it's overlooked by the Veste Oberhaus, a 13th-century hilltop fortress housing a city museum and observation tower. The old town below is known for its baroque architecture, including St. Stephen's Cathedral, featuring distinctive onion-domed towers and an organ with 17,974 pipes.
Arrive during the course of the day at our starting hotel. The tour officially starts with a group meeting at 6pm followed by an included group dinner.
Day 2 - Cycle Passau to Schlögen (40km)
We start out on our tour along the Danube, first passing Obernzell and and on to Engelhartszell (the only Trappist monastery in Austria). We then cycle through the nature reserve Donauleiten, finally reaching the Schlögen Bend. At this point onthe Danube’s journey granite proved to be too much of an opponent and forced the Danube to change directions by 180 degrees.
Day 3 - Cycle Schlögen to Linz (50km)
Today we cycle through the green Eferdinger basin via the market towns of Aschach, Ottensheim and Wilhering and all the way to the Upper Austrian capital of Linz. The historical Old Town of Linz has many pubs and eateries for you to discover. Other highlights of the European Capital of Culture 2009 include the magnificent views from Pöstlingberg Mountain and a stroll through the Donaulände Park.
Day 4 - Cycle Linz to Grein (60km)
Today we take a little detour away from the course of the Danube to St Florian, an Augustinian monastery, and Enns. In Enns visit the town square with its 60 meter town tower, landmark of the oldest town in Austria, or visit the archaeological collection in the municipal museum Lauriacum. Returning to the river, arrive at the beautiful little baroque town of Grein. Grein is home to the oldest municipal theatre in Austria still in use, a maritime museum, and Greinburg castle.
Day 5 - Cycle Grein to Wachau (60km)
This section of the Danube is home to the dangerous currents of the Strudengau, was once feared by sailors. In Maria Taferl, high above the Danube, you will find a magnificent pilgrimage church, which attracts thousands of pilgrims every year. Make a stop in Melk for the beautiful Melk monastery that overlooks the Danube.
Day 6 - Cycle Wachau to Tulln (60km)
Cycling through the Wachau region enjoy the charming atmosphere of the region’s orchards and vineyards. We pass through the wine towns of Weißenkirchen and Dürnstein with its castle ruin, cycle past the 1000-year old town of Krems and finish in Tulln.
Day 7 - Tulln to Vienna (40km)
A relaxed ride brings you to the metropolis of Vienna, Austria’s capital. It’s hard to ignore Vienna’s artistic and intellectual legacy which was shaped by residents including Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud. The city is also known for its Imperial palaces, including Schönbrunn, the Habsburgs’ summer residence.
Day 8 - Rest Day in Vienna
Take a full day to enjoy Vienna and rest your cycling legs.
Day 9 - Cycle Vienna to Bratislava, Slovakia (65km)
The national park Donau-Auen is first up today, where we ride through a diverse landscape of the flora, fauna and landscapes. After Hainburg we reach the border to Slovakia and its capital city Bratislava that is your next overnight stay.
Day 10 - Rest Day in Bratislava
Bratislava is surrounded by vineyards and the Little Carpathian mountains, crisscrossed with forested hiking and cycling trails. The pedestrian-only, 18th-century old town is known for its lively bars and cafes. Perched atop a hill, the reconstructed Bratislava Castle overlooks old town and the Danube. Enjoy your day in this unique city.
Day 11 - Cycle Bratislava to Györ, Hungary (45km + train)
It is only a short distance in Slovak territory before crossing the border into Hungary. The route today is full of charming villages and agriculture. Upon reaching Mosonmagyaróvár take the train to Györ. The district capital offers many sights and a breathtaking historic center.
Day 12 - Cycle Györ to Komárno (55km)
We divert away from the Danube breifly today to Bábolna, a well preserved town with a beautiful inner city. The local National Stud is known far beyond its borders. Racehorses are bred in the splendid inner courtyard. Returning to the Danube, overnight in Komárno.
Day 13 - Cycle Komárno to Visegrád (55km + boat)
Today´s route runs along the riverbanks in the flat Danube valley passing villages and wonderful views of vineyards. The highlight of the day is Esztergom, known as the “Hungarian Rome“. The basilica here is the largest church of the country. Take time for a comprehensive visit, before you will board a riverboat, which takes you to your destination Visegrád. The Royal Palace and the castle of Visegrád will delight you and the open air museum as well as the baroque old town of Szentendre are worth seeing. Tonight’s dinner at the hotel is included.
Day 14 - Cycle Visegrád to Budapest (55km)
The first part of today take you through the “Donauknie”, probably the most attractive section of the Danube bike trail, a great final ride. Soon you will arrive in Budapest, where we celebrate the journey with a final night group dinner.
Day 15 - End of Tour
In the Hungarian capital city there are many things to discover. Stay on an enjoy the city. The tour ends after breakfast.
INCLUSIONS & EXTRAS
The accommodation used on this trip is mainly of a 4 star standard with a few extra special nights included for charm, history and the chance to stay somewhere unique.
The hotels we intend to use:
Hotel Residenz in Passau
Hotel & Seminarkultur an der Donau in Schlögen
Hotel Wolfinger in Linz
Hotel Goldenes Kreuz in Grein
Schloss Hotel Dürnstein in Wachau
Diamond City Hotel in Tulln
Roomz Hotel Prater in Vienna
Hotel Devin in Bratislava
Hotel Capitulum in Györ
Hotel Peklo in Komárno
Wellness Hotel in Visegrád
NH Hotel Budapest City Center in Budapest
The tour accommodation is based on twin sharing. If you are a single traveller you will be matched with another person of your gender to share a twin room. If you would like a single room throughout the trip there will be a single supplement of €625.
All breakfasts are included at our accommodation.
Lunches are not included allowing you to choose where to eat as you ride. There are plenty of places to choose from and your route information will have some suggestions.
A welcome dinner on the first night and celebration final night dinner are are included as well as dinner at the hotel in in Visegrád (day 13). Other dinners will be free for you to choose your own experience. Of course we will be able to offer advice on where to eat.
The bikes included in tour price are 21 speed hybrid bikes. Due to the easy nature of this tour the bikes are simple and well suited to the terrain we will encounter. The larger sized bikes have a top bar while the smaller frames are step through.
Waterproof handlebar bags, panniers, pump and repair kit are included with each bike.
Feel free to bring your own pedals, saddle, and water bottle. You must bring your own helmet.
Ebikes will be available at a surcharge price of €200. Ebikes must be reserved well in advance of the tour so please do let us know when you book if you would like to use one.
This tour is self-guided trip but still has all the support features of a fully supported bike tour:
Escorts - Jason and an Austrian cycling friend will escort the group throughout the trip.
Backup Vehicle - we will have a dedicated support vehicle at the back of the group to look after anyone who needs a break from the cycling or for non-cycling partners.
You must have travel insurance as part of the conditions of travel. Your insurance must cover emergency medical and evacuation.
Ebikes are available at a surcharge price of €200.
Voluntary Single Supplement €625.
You will need to bring your own helmet as they are not supplied locally.
FLIGHTS, STOPOVERS, EXCURSIONS
Our agent partners at Nexus Travel in Monbulk are on hand to help with flight bookings, insurance, extra hotel nights, stopovers and anything else that you might need aside from the bike tour. If you would like any help or advice give Lucy a call on (03) 9756 7566. Lucy works Mon-Thu 9am-4pm.