Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Self-guided cycling adventure along the Danube Cycle Path
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Highlights

  • Cycle the Danube's trio of nations; Austria, Slovakia & Hungary
  • Ride from the musical city of Vienna to the castles of Budapest
  • Visit the impressive Hungarian Danube Bend
  • Experience the sweet delights of a Viennese coffee house
  • Explore the natural wonderland of Szigetkoz

Cycle through Austria, Slovakia and Hungary on this easy going cycling tour along the Danube River. From the musical city of Vienna, ride through the towns and villages of Europe's most famous waterway finishing in the fairy tale city of Budapest.

Starting out from Vienna begin with an easy-going ride along the River Danube before crossing into Slovakia. Explore the capital city, Bratislava, where medieval castles meet head on with socialist-era architecture. Cycling along easy-going country lanes, to the famous panoramic ‘Danube Bend’ as you head for the fairy tale castles of Budapest. Here Eastern Europe meets Western, and there is plenty to see and do, but if this sounds all too tiring, you may prefer to plump for the customary experience of heading to one of the cities hot springs and enjoying a long hot soak!

DAY 1: Arrive Vienna

Easily reached, Vienna's nearby airport has extensive connections across Europe and beyond.


On arrival stroll through this wonderful “City of Music” and visit some of its famous attractions, such as the giant Ferris Wheel Riesenrad and the fabulous Hofburg Palace. The stunning architecture and interiors of the Cathedral of St Stephen, the State Opera House and the Votifkirche should not be missed. Leave enough time for a relaxing drink and snack in a famous Viennese coffee bar or enjoy local foods in a typical Viennese tavern.


Overnight: Vienna


DAY 2: Vienna to Bad Deutsch Altenburg

Today’s theme is peace and relaxation, although you will still be cycling for a few hours! Not far from Vienna you’ll discover an off-the-beaten-track landscape and a Nature Reserve boasting a stunning and diverse collection of flora and fauna. This is your chance to revel in the wonderful peace and tranquillity of the region. At the town of Bad Deutsch Altenburg, the Archaeological Park of Carnuntum awaits, offering a fascinating journey back to ancient Roman times.


Cycle: Approx 45km


Overnight: Bad Deutsch Altenburg


DAY 3: Bad Deutsch Altenburg to Bratislava

This morning cycle on to the city of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia and Europe’s youngest capital city. Located between the Danube plains, hills and vineyards, Bratislava enchants with its dreamy old quarter and walled castle which sits above modernist influences of recent decades.


Cycle: Approx 25-30km


Overnight: Bratislava


DAY 4: Bratislava to Sziegetköz to Györ

The wild and untouched land and waterscape of the Szigetköz is an idyllic paradise for birds and fish. Cycling from Bratislava, you will relish the tranquillity and the stunning scenery encompassing 500 tiny islands boasting numerous farming villages and a labyrinth of countless Danube creeks. A train journey takes you to Györ, with its beautiful Baroque-style old town.


Cycle: Approx 50km


Overnight: Györ


DAY 5: Györ to Komarom

Did you know that the National Stud of Babolna is world famous for breeding truly magnificent Arabian horses? On a visit to the stud farm and museum, you’ll catch a glimpse of some of the secrets of the Hungarian horse breeding techniques. Today’s cycling takes you through lush, rolling hills on mainly quiet country road into the village of Komarom, which was much favoured by the renowned King Matthias.


Cycle: Approx 55-60km


Overnight: Komarom


DAY 6: Komarom to Danube Bend

The Magical scenery and quaint villages accompany you on your cycle today, first along the banks of the Slovakian Danube and then via small, quiet roads. On your way to Esztergom – known as Hungarian Rome and the Town of Bishops and Kings – you’ll pass the impressive Roman fort of Kelemantia. Another highlight is the magnificent Hungarian Danube Bend located just past Esztergom. Acclaimed as one of the most beautiful sections of the Danube, the river here winds through the Visegrad mountains and then makes an abrupt turn south between Esztergom and Szentendre. In the Basilica of Esztergom, you’ll find Hungary’s largest Catholic church and all kinds of attractions to explore.


Cycle: Approx 55-60km


Overnight: Esztergom


DAY 7: Danube bend to Budapest

Amid the hilly landscape of Hungary, the River Danube divides into parts and gives form to the Szentendrei Sziget island. A short ferry trip brings you to the island where you can cycle through traditional Hungarian villages and settlements, including Szigetmonostor. A highlight town is Szentendre, which is famed for its numerous handicraft boutiques and the Open Air Museum of Skanzen. The final destination on your cycling tour is Budapest, where you’ll welcome the chance to experience the atmosphere and attractions of this wonderfully cosmopolitan capital. It’s a city where Eastern Europe meets Western and there is so much to see.


Cycle: Approx 55-60km


Overnight: Budapest


DAY 8: Budapest & Depart

Depending on your onward travel arrangements, you may have time to take in more of Budapest's historic sights. If you require return travel to Vienna, we can provide public bus tickets (limited times and services).

Accommodation

This tour includes
accommodation in standard ensuite double/twin rooms in 3* hotels and inn's.
We can also upgrade you to 4* hotels if you prefer.


Accommodation Location

We work with a number of
accommodations along the cycle path, so all distances are an
approximation of the recommended routes. You may be accommodated 5-10km
away in the surrounding area, which may add or reduce the distance you
cycle each day.


Single Rooms & Solo Cyclists

If you're travelling with friends or family but
prefer your own room, single rooms are subject to availability and a
supplementary payment. This trip is also available to solo cyclists and is perfect asbeing a popular route means there are plenty of people to chat with every day.


Meals


7 breakfasts are included. Packed lunches are available from your accommodation (order the night before) or you can stop on the way for a traditional wurst or bowl of goulash. Travelling through 3 countries means your tastebuds are also on incredible journey! You will find suggestions of where to dine in your route notes. Your accommodation hosts are also happy to advise of the local places to eat.

Availability

This tour is available for departure on Saturdays during April and October. From May through to September, you can depart on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. We suggest you contact as soon as you have finalised your travel plans as this tour is very popular from June through to September.


Please note that during May 2019, Bratislava will be hosting the 'Ice Hockey World Cup'. If you are planning to depart during May 2019, itineraries during May 2019 will be amended on days 3 and 4. Your adventure specialist will be happy to  discuss the changed routing with you.


When to go?

May to September are the busiest months, and in July and August the days are wonderfully long for exploring and making the most of the historic centres you will visit. The summer months generally do not become unbearably hot and temperatures are often pleasantly warm, especially for cycling. Do keep in mind that some days will be hotter than others and it is important to make sure to always carry plenty of water, avoid cycling at noon and wear sunscreen while cycling.


Grade, Terrain & Navigation


This cycle tour is graded easy to moderate. The Danube Cycle Path is a paved, well-marked
cycle route. However, you will be cycling on a mixture of cycle paths, country road and routes which will take you through villages, towns and cities,
so please be mindful of other road users at all times, especially on routes
shared with traffic. You will be supplied with detailed maps, easy to follow route notes and
an information pack for your trip. Should you require 24/7 telephone support is provided should you have any problems along the way.


Baggage Transfer

Daily door to door baggage transfer is included in the price of your trip. We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum of 1 bag per person (maximum weight 20kg).


Rental Bikes

Bike hire is available, including electric bikes, children’s bikes and other specialised equipment available upon request. All rental bikes are equipped with a pannier (saddle bag), lock, basic repair kit and a speedometer. Helmets are not included with the bike hire. You can purchase one to be provided with the bike, however bringing your own is likely to be a better fit and be more hygenic.


Travel Insurance

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


General Information & Regulations

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. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for, example, proper rain gear (jackets and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer and a day pack.

Getting to Vienna / from Budapest

By Air: Vienna Airport  has extensive airline connections across Europe and beyond. Vienna Airport train station has a direct service through to central Vienna every hour (journey time 15mins). Please see Trainline Europe for times & prices.


If you prefer to travel to and from Budapest, it is very easy to travel from Budapest Airport to Vienna. Budapest Airport shuttle bus is a short journey to Budapest Ferihgey Train Station. Change here for direct services to Vienna (approx 4 hours journey time). Please check The Trainline Europe for tickets and prices.


Getting from Budapest

Included in the tour cost is a public bus ticket from Budapest to Vienna. Times and services are limited, please let us know at the time of booking if you require a ticket. This service can only be provided at the end of your journey.


You may prefer to fly out of Budapest Airport. Budapest Airport has extensive airline connections across Europe and beyond. and is easily accessible via an airport shuttle bus service.


If you are making your own return travel arrangements to Vienna, the train service between Vienna and Budapest has regular services throughout the day and takes around 2hrs 30mins. Please visit Trainline Europe for times, prices and tickets.

Included

  • 7 nights in 3* hotels
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Daily baggage transfer
  • 1 x train Mosonmagyarovar – Györ incl. bike
  • 1 x boat ride from Szentendre - Budapest (or train when ships not sailing)
  • Emergency phone contact with our local partners
  • Handlebar bag with travel book, maps and information pack per room.

Excluded

  • Dinners, drinks, snacks & lunches
  • Travel to Vienna / from Budapest
  • Bike hire
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance

Extras

  • Bike hire
  • Return travel from Budapest to Vienna is available by public bus (this is included but must be pre-booked).
  • Single room supplement(s)

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

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded easy to moderate. The route is predominatley flat but there are some gentle hills in the last couple of rides. Daily distances are between 30 and 60km so you will need to have a basic level of fitness. It's a good idea to get out on your bike for a couple of consecutive days in the lead up to your holiday so you get used to riding back to back days. As each route heads through the villages and towns along the Danube River there are plenty opportunities to sample local foods, explore historic towns or kick back and relax in a pavement cafe with a local sweet treat.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

There are direct flights to Vienna from London with EasyJet, British Airways, and Austrian Airlines. Ryanair fly to Bratislava from London, Birmingham & Edinburgh and from there it is only an hour by train or bus to Vienna. Linz (2hr) and Salzburg (3hr) are also possible as Austria has great train connections. The return bus to Vienna is included, however, you may prefer to fly out of Budapest, which has flights to London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol & Leeds

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 June to September.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need comfortable shoes and clothes for cycling and weather appropriate gear such as waterproof jacket and trousers, a cycling helmet and a sunhat. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

What happens if I can't walk/cycle a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop. You accommodation hosts will be happy to talk to you about local transport options.

Fun Danube Ride

4

We did the Macs Adventure (MA) 7-day Vienna-Budapest Danube bike trip 14-20 Sept 2019. Our group members were in their mid-60s, fit, and experienced cyclists. This was a fun trip, met great people, and had wonderful experiences. The route distances are reasonable, and we typically made it to the next town in the early afternoon. You do only have that afternoon to explore a town, so it is challenging to understand much of its culture. Had the route information and a few of the hotels been either better or better located, I would give this trip 5-stars, but given those issues it is more 3-4-stars. This is a self-guided tour, so you need to be comfortable dealing with ambiguous map and route information. While a MA trip, the logistics (bikes, bags transfers, maps, etc.) were provided by Rad Reisen (RR). The RR maps were of little help due to their scale and lack of details. While not originally provided, we did get MA digital maps that were extremely helpful. There are parts of this ride that are spectacular. There are also sections that are far from the Danube, on very busy roads, or on very jarring dirt roads that would be completely impassable if wet. One junction was just a dead-end and a dirt road through a corn field. The dirt road was the route, but without the digital map we would have been lost. While the riding was easy, you do need to be strong enough to push and lift a heavy bike on-off trains and ferries that aren't really equipped to handle bikes. The bikes were reasonable (both ebikes and non-ebikes) and very sturdy, but cruiser type geometries. If you ride a road bike, they will likely be uncomfortable (sitting straight up on a very wide saddle). Overall, the hotels were good and provided a reasonable breakfast, but not always in the nice parts of towns, which was frustrating on a few occasions. They all had secure places for bikes and helpful staff. The RR bag transfer was flawless.

Jack

Colorado USA

true

Great experience

4

I was recommended by someone to do this tour who had previously booked the trip with MAC adventures. It was a wonderful experience. The bikes we hired from MAC were great and the man who handed them over couldn't have been more helpful.Enjoyed all the accommodation we stayed at. Luggage always there waiting for us. Day one we had a problem the cycle chain off and we had to call the company to find us and fix the bike this was well organised. And came to us quick quickly. My only negative point is the directions were very poor and we took incorrect turnings several times and so did other people so it wasn't just us. And only receiving the routes when you arrive in Vienna you cannot look them up before hand in the UK. Which I would have preferred. The signage was also poor in parts of the routes showing more than one way to go very confusing. This could have been improved. Having said that enjoyed the trip very much

christine pretty in pink

London

true

Not quite what we expected

3

We expected a higher level of cycle tracks vs public roads and more views of the Danube. A little disappointed.

Arty

Perth, Australia

false

Great holiday

5

A great family holiday. Could stop off to swim or explore at any point along the route. Although we cycled just as a family was lovely to meet with other cyclists in the evening or wave to them if they or we had stopped for a drink or swim

Sarah

London

true

Beautiful views & adventure with my best buds! What a blast!

5

Had a great time. Just challenging enough without being too exhausting. My only complaint is that we got lost several times, twice for several hours. A little lost is ok, but would've like to avoid that much lost time. Maybe more description on how to take your bikes down the stairs and over the train tracks. That was really difficult until we learned about the little yellow bike rails. The hotels were great. Not a particular fan of the hotel in Budapest but it was ok. Kind of sterile and institutional. Loved Bratislava and Bad Deutsch Alternburg. The bike ride at the Danube bend near the end of the trip was outstanding. Overall the trip was very well fantastic!! Very well organized and stress free. Our luggage was always at the hotel on time. I had a great time on this trip. I would highly recommend it!

Donna

Austin, Texas

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One of my best holidays

5

Not a cyclist but rode the bike in the gym and managed the cycling without too much trouble. Occasional problems navigating out of the towns - handy to have GPS - but otherwise no problems following the route. The organisation of the accommodation, baggage transfer, bike hire and necessary tickets all without problems. Enjoyed it thoroughly, even the challenging bits - cycling against the wind upslope on a road shared with traffic, and the occasional dirt tracks - but I fancy those parts made the trip even more memorable.

First timer

Malaysia

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Wonderful Getaway

4

A great father and daughter experience. Good exercise, great food, beautiful nature, fun wayfinding. When we needed to contact MACs for a hotel room type change they were immediately responsive and resolved our concern.

Father/Daughter team

Orange County, CA

true

A great adventure through Austria, Slovakia & Hungary

4

We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would do another cycling holiday (this was our first). The route was not always near the danube and there was too much on roads. In Slovakia the signs were very poor. The hotel accommodations in Komarno was not good and should never be called a 4 star. Hungary was great, the people were very friendly and great food and wine.

Aaron M

Edinburgh

true

Vienna to Budapest

4

A fun trip with 2 friends, none of us had huge prior biking experience. E-bikes were easy, and worked well especially on the varying surfaces encountered. However, do not think this is a cycleway for 6 days along the Danube, seeing the river all the time. You will go through many villages, country and some VERY BUSY roads, small and large towns, and farm tracks - over as many surfaces as you can imagine, and more - some days barely seeing the river at all. It makes for an exciting week, and the cities are truly worth seeing. Be prepared to be lost with the map you are given en route. While being lost can be "fun" and diverting, it also means missing out on things you especially wanted to see eg. we cycled the extra way to Babolna to see the Arabian horse stud (especially outlined in the brochure) and couldn't find it - the directions given were completely incorrect. Very disappointing. Others completely missed the Hapsburg Hunting lodge - a real highlight - again, they couldn't find the turn off (mainly because this was part of a farm track at the back of a village). Updating the book - both with maps, enlarged maps, and explicit written directions on the type of road you are looking for, with definitions that everyone understands, has to be a relatively simple exercise, and would make for much more client enjoyment, especially if one encountered bad weather. If all of this sounds like a complaint, it is only that some people might prefer a route where the cycling is all along bike paths and one has consistent river views. Apparently the Passau-Vienna part is much more akin to that. This section is definitely 4-wheel driving on a bike on some days, which we enjoyed but it isn't for everyone. I'd recommend to a friend but with these proviso's.

Peedee

Boston

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A little disappointing

3

This is our fourth holiday of this type, and the second with Macs Adventures. Of all the trips, this is the one that least lived up to our expectations. If, like us, you had visions of cycling alongside the Danube you will be mostly disappointed. Apart from the last day, much of the time was spent away from the river. There was a lot of road cycling in and out of the cities. On the plus side, it is about as flat a route as you could hope for on a trip of this distance. The directions were, on the whole, inadequate and also relied heavily on "Euro 6" signposts, which were great in places, and absent in others. This is in comparison with our previous holidays, and also compared with what we saw of other people making the same trip as us but with other companies. Macs Adventures said were not able to supply us with GPS files for the route, but we asked the local agent (Rad+Reisen), and they were happy to supply very good files, which saved us lots of time especially in and out of towns. Rad+Reisen were very efficient: the bikes had been prepared and individually labelled with our names ready for pickup on the first day. Luggage transfers went without a hitch. The smaller hotels were of variable quality. The most pleasant cycling day was the last, with long stretches alongside the Danube, and a few short ferry crossings. To make the most of this day, and see sights along the way, an early start would be needed, as the included boat trip from Szentendre to Budapest leaves at 1700. We were lucky in having warm, sunny weather throughout, and would recommend adding at least a day at both ends in order to explore Vienna and Budapest.

Ianto

Wales

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Danube Cycle Path: Vienna to Budapest

4.4 31

90.0

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