Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays

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A self-guided cycling holiday along the Danube river


  • Visit 4 countries in 1 week as you cycle along the world-famous Danube River
  • Explore the characterful capital cities Bratislava, Budapest and Vienna
  • Ride along the easy-going, and waymarked Danube Cycle Path
  • Sample the regional dishes and delicacies of the areas you cycle and sail through
  • Cycle past castles and vineyards of the Wachau Valley, UNESCO World Heritage

Cycle and sail the River Danube travelling through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary on a relaxing cycling holiday. There is no better way to see as much in one week than by riding the Danube Cycle Path and at night relaxing on the sundeck of a traditional river cruiser.

From the colourful Bavarian city of Passau, flat, easy going cycle paths lead to the famous Schlögener Loop and through the enchanting Slovakian capital of Bratislava. Journey through the Blue Danube where fairy-tale castles pepper the riverbanks and where Western meets Eastern Europe in the stunning city of Budapest. Indulge in the sweet treats of Vienna’s café culture and sail through the vineyards of the Wachau Valley to round off a delightful week of cycling and cruising one of Europe’s longest and oldest rivers.

Day 1: Arrive Passau

If you have time to spare before boarding, the historic Bavarian city of Passau is a delight to explore. The Old Town was created by Italian baroque masters in the 17th century and reveals soaring towers, picturesque palaces, promenades, and romantic lanes. Boarding will be in the late afternoon and there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy a drink with your fellow cyclists on arrival.

Day 2: Engelhartszell to Aschach

The picturesque and historic Austrian market town of Engelhartszell is famous for its Trappist Monastery. The traffic-free Danube Cycle Path heads downstream, to the impressive Schlögener Loop, where the river makes a dramatic about-turn of 180 degrees. Your boat meets you later in the day at the market town of Aschach. Enjoy dinner before retiring to your cabin as the boat sails into the night from Austria to Slovakia and to the town of Devin.

Cycle: 42 km

Day 3: Devin to Bratislava

Today you’ll be cycling along the former ‘Iron Curtain’ to the Imperial Palace of Hof. The next section of the ride takes cyclists to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, which is stunningly located at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. In the evening, there is an optional tour to see the illuminated castle that towers over the city and a tour of Bratislava (bookable on board), or alternatively, you can relax in the comforts of your floating hotel.

Cycle: 18-49 km

Day 4: Budapest to Szentendre

Take time to enjoy the panoramic views from the sundeck as it sails into Hungary’s capital. Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest’s extensive World Heritage Site includes the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue, Heroes' Square, and the Millennium Underground Railway. Today the choice is yours; Explore the many sights the city has to offer by foot, or hop-on/hop-off bus (bookable on board), enjoy a guided tour through the city (bookable on board) or have a day of cycling outside the city to Szentendre and back. Tip: Budapest is even more impressive at night!

(Optional) Cycle: 54 km

Day 5: Vác to Esztergom

One of the highlights of your tour is the Hungarian Danube Bend, acclaimed as one of the most beautiful sections of the Danube. The river winds through the Visegrad mountains and then makes an abrupt turn south between Esztergom and Szentendre. History, folklore and Hungarian way of life will accompany you on your way to Esztergom where the gorgeous basilica (Hungary’s largest Catholic Church) impresses its guests.

Cycle: 43 km

Day 6: Explore Vienna

Stroll through the charming capital city of Austria and take in its well-known attractions, such as; Hofburg Palace, Schönbrunn Palace, the stunning architecture of St. Stephens Cathedral, the State Opera House, and the Votifvirche. And when in Rome, you can’t go without having visited a local restaurant where you can try the famous, and traditional ‘Wiener Schnitzel’. A crispy thin slice of breaded meat, accompanied by a potato salad and often bigger than your plate!

Tonight there is an optional classical waltz and operetta concert in one of Vienna's famous palaces (bookable on board).

Day 7: Wachau Valley, Rossatz to Melk

Glide through the famous wine-growing region of the Wachau Valley where vineyards and apricot orchards rub shoulders with castles and monasteries. Enjoy a scenic route through ancient villages such as Dürnstein and St Michael. An optional extra is a visit to a traditional Wachau winegrower (bookable on board) for a wine tasting before returning your cruiser for a final farewell dinner.

Cycle: 37 km

Day 8: Sail to Passau & onward travel

Soak up the atmosphere of the Danube valley as you sail along and recall the amazing sight of the Danube Loop before arriving relaxed at Passau. Disembark at approximately 10:30 AM. Connecting travel should be booked no earlier than 11:30 AM onwards.

Your river cruiser - MV Carissima (4*) or MV Fortuna (4*)

There are two four-star river cruisers; the trusted and iconic MV Carissima, and the stylish MV Fortuna which is the newest addition to the fleet. Upon arrival, you are welcomed into the panoramic
lounge where you can enjoy a glass of local wine or beer from the bar before the welcome briefing begins.

After a day's cycling the sundeck provides ample space for relaxation and between the months of June and August the sundeck pool is available for a soothing dip. Alternatively, you can take time out in the sauna and whirlpool which can be booked per room and in advance for extra privacy (free of charge).

Wi-Fi is available on board (to be paid locally) and connection speeds vary.


All cabins are en-suite and equipped with air conditioning, TV, safe and hairdryer. There are 3 passenger decks: Upper Deck (windows can be opened), Middle Deck (windows can be partially opened), Main Deck (windows can not be opened).

Please note that the tour price is based on a Standard ECO Cabin on Carissima, and on Fortuna the tour price is based on a Standard Cabin. The other difference is that there are only Suites available on Fortuna, not on Carissima. Carissima departs on Saturdays, Fortuna on Sundays. Standard ECO Cabins comprise of split beds. There are cabin upgrades available, please refer to the deck plans and select the desired cabin when booking online (see 'book now' page), or tell one of our staff if you are on the phone. The 2-bed cabins are approx. 14–15 m² (and suites are approx. 25-28 m²).

First deck plan below is for MV Carissima, the second deck plan is for MV Fortuna;

Carissima Boat Danube

Carissima deck plan

Fortuna deck plan

First deck plan below is for MV Carissima, the second deck plan is for MV Fortuna

For images of river cruiser MV Carissima, please click here, or for MV Fortuna, please click here.

Solo Cyclists

This trip is available to solo cyclists, single cabins are subject to availability and a supplementary payment.


All meals on board are included; breakfast, lunch on board for non-cyclists or a packed lunch for cyclists, afternoon coffee break, dinner each evening and a late night snack. You can look forward to delicious regional cuisine, reflecting the area you are sailing through. Please let us know in advance if you have any special dietary requirements.

General Information

In case of flood or low tide, the shipping company reserves the right to bridge parts of passages by bus. In extreme situations, the shipping company reserves the right to cancel the journey on short notice. No legal right shall be constituted in both situations. (Water level is force majeure). The same applies for officially ordered - previously not announced - repair work on locks or bridges or in case of undeserved
breakdown of engine or power unit. Please be aware that your cruise ship on the Danube is not only your hotel but also a machine, working with engine power even at night. Especially crossing locks and bridges - and the preparation work - may cause noise. If you are a light sleeper please bring ear plugs.

All bike tours are unescorted. The mileages and approximations are distances of the recommended routes. In Austria it is mandatory for children under 12 yrs to wear a helmet when on a bike. In Slovakia you have to wear a helmet outside the city limits. In Hungary a high-vis safety vest is required.


This tour is available to start on selected Saturdays (MV Fortuna) or Sundays (MV Carissima) from April to October. Prices vary depending on the season and the type of cabin preferred. Please remember, starting prices are based on a Main Deck ECO Cabin. Upgrades can be booked to further cabin types, by adding a supplement when booking. This means that if you book a standard 2-bed cabin (double or twin) we also call this an upgrade as a supplement is payable for these types of cabins, however, these are more simple cabins in comparison to the suites. Please refer to the cabin pictures to give you a better idea of what to expect.

Grade & Terrain

Although almost completely flat, this cycle tour is graded easy to moderate as the daily distance ranges from 18 - 54km. You will be cycling on the Danube Cycle Path which follows predominantly flat, traffic free cycle paths and some quiet roads. It is however important to always be mindful of other cyclists and motorists.

This tour is particularly well suited to families and novice cyclists as the route is flat, and you have the option of staying on board or exploring one of the cities if you don’t feel like cycling.


You will be supplied with a detailed road book (incl. maps and route notes), an information pack as well as access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App which will allow you to easily follow the route. The route is way marked throughout and there is a tour guide on board that provides daily briefings on the route and highlights of the next day’s cycle.

Bike Hire

A modern 7/21 speed-hybrid bike with coaster/calliper brakes and panniers is included in the tour cost.

Helmets are not included as part of the rental package and we ask that you bring your own helmet or buy one on board (approx. €25, to be reserved in advance). Children’s bikes, seats, tagalongs and trailers are also all available on request. All rental bikes are equipped with a pannier (saddle bag) and a speedometer.

Due to very limited space on board there is limited availability to bring your own bike – please check with us.

Optional Excursions

There are several excursions that can be booked and paid locally, on board of your river cruiser. The excursions are explained in the daily briefings by the tour guide. Usually the excursions are guided walks and/or cycles in Bratislava, Budapest and Vienna as well as tickets to explore the city by hop-on/hop-off bus. In Budapest it’s possible to go to a traditional Hungarian folklore show, in Vienna you can experience a classical waltz and operetta concert and in the Wachau Valley you can sample some local wine at a tasting. The choice is yours.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Bike that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

Getting to/from Passau

Passau is located in Germany close to the Austrian border and is linked by rail to the following airport cities:

Linz (1h30), Salzburg(2h45), Munich (2h30) and Vienna (3h30).

Please visit the DB Bahn Website for train times, fares and bookings to Passau.

You may also wish to try Rail Europe for European rail tickets and passes. 


  • 7 x Overnight in an en-suite cabin
  • All meals, incl. packed lunches
  • Bike rental
  • Port charges
  • Daily live music
  • Daily briefings and a tour guide on board
  • Information pack with a detailed route book (one per cabin)
  • Access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App
  • 24/7 local support and from the office at Macs Adventure


  • Travel to /from Passau
  • Personal equipment.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Helmet.
  • Ebike upgrade
  • Solo / Single Cabin supplement
  • Local ferries
  • Cabin upgrade


  • Electric bike hire.
  • Single upper deck cabin supplement(s).
  • Cabin upgrade.

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this trip is extremely popular especially during peak season from July to August.

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded as easy because the route is almost entirely flat. Daily distances are between 18 and 49km so you will need to have a basic level of fitness and we advise some training before the trip.  If you would like to opt for a 'rest day' then you are always welcome to stay on board and relax. All cycle tours are unguided, however you will receive a map and route notes to ensure you find your way.

What equipment do I need?

Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. You’ll need to wear a helmet and bringing your own is always more comfy. Helmets are not available for hire but can be purchased on board for around €25. If you have any questions about what to take then we’d be happy to share our own top tips and advice.

When does the boat sail?

The Danube is a busy and working river, there are lots of operational boats on the river. On this tour when possible the Boat may sail at night while you sleep or early morning, depending on clearance and the Captains schedule. This can change from day to day but they do try to keep this on schedule to the itinerary where they need to sail to the next destination to pick you up after your cycle. If you like you can stay on the boat during the day if you need a rest or do not feel like cycling one day.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

The best option is to fly into Munich or Linz, which connect by train to Passau.

Shhhhhhhh......don't tell everyone....!


We did this cycle holiday this year and it was fab...u...lous....! Staff on the boat were all very helpful and the lads who sorted our bikes out were great. Food and accommodation were excellent. Entertainment on board also great albeit a little cheesy but I loved it. We were very lucky with our fellow bikers. There were many nationalities on board and we all got on well. We had more in common than on a beach type holiday. The sailing was smooth, interesting through lochs and breathtaking through picture postcard villages and towns. I couldn't fault was so well organised and info each night on following day's ride was well done. I just loved everything about it....




Danube boat and Bike trip


Absolutely loved our trip Beautiful scenery along the Danube and a great boat as accommodation and meeting people. Food excellent and dancing at night good fun Comfortable bikes and safe ferry rides




Scenic and fun bike trip for everyone!


The biking was very well organized and the routes took us among the most scenic parts of the river. The E bikes were fantastic and enabled us to easily ride the 28 miles each day. I would love to take another bike and barge trip after this experience.




Excellant experience! Great way to see Eastern Europe.


Made traveling and maximizing time easy. Great way to celebrate special occassions with friends or family.

Birthday Boy



Great way to Holiday


A wonderful way to vacation

Love to ride

British Columbia Canada


Bike and boat holiday exceeds expectations


A great trip with a good mix of cycling and sightseeing, and a lovely way to experience the scenery, culture and cities of Central Europe in the company of people from all over the world.




More than a holiday


I wanted something energetic, safe and free spirited. I travelled solo and had a fun packed holiday cycling, socialising. I just was able to enter into everything, met new people for all over the world. Trip was well organised. Off doing during the day, meals catered for and we were off to the next destination whilst we partied, slept, breakfasted. Bikes were sorted and ready at each venue. As a lone traveller, I booked package of trips to maximise a short term holiday. Just what I needed.


West Midlands


Best bike and boat tour?


A cruise with enjoyable excercise. Food and relaxation on board with healthy excercise on the bike rides. Stunning scenery on both. Had a great view if Parliament at night from our cabin window when we were moored across the Danube in Budapest.


North Yorks


Wonderful trip...couldn't be happier!


My family & I couldn't say enough about this trip: the staff were friendly, helpful & kind the accommodations were clean & comfortable fellow travelers were open & talkative the rides & destinations all varied to some degree keeping it interesting


Colorado, USA


I would recommend this trip to anyone


Only 4 major bike rides were included. Would suggest cutting out Budapest to give more time to explore the Danube. Times to be back on board Carissima were often too early, leaving little time to explore when the rides were finished.


South Shields


Danube Bike & Boat: Passau to Budapest

4.7 29


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