DAY 1: Arrive Passau
If you have time to spare before picking up you hire bike (between 4-7pm), the historic Bavarian city is a delight to explore. The Old Town was created by Italian baroque masters in the 17th century and reveals soaring towers, picturesque palaces and promenades and romantic lanes. At the heart of the old town is the Cathedral of St Stephen, which boasts the world’s largest cathedral organ.
Passau has direct train connections to Salzburg, Munich (2.5h) and Vienna (3.5h), which are the most convenient airports.
DAY 2: Passau to Schlögener Loop
Late arrivers can pick up their hire bike this morning. Then it’s off for today’s delightfully flat and traffic-free route along the scenic River Danube Cycle Path visiting several fascinating attractions, including a Trappist monastery at Engelhartszell, where cordials and liqueurs boast "special healing powers". Next up it's the Schlögener Loop, where the river makes a dramatic about-turn of 180 degrees.
DAY 3: Schlögener Loop to Linz
You’ll leave the impressive Schlögener Loop behind and continue the easy-going route through the fertile and picturesque Eferdinger basin. The valley is wider here and you’ll pass numerous ferries and boats as they sail the Danube, while you go by pedal power. The destination is Linz, the capital of Upper Austria, where you can make the most of a summer’s evening with a stroll through the enchanting old town.
DAY 4: Linz to Grein
Today’s cycling heads along the Danube and though a breath-taking scenery of lush meadows. Cycle to Mauthausen to view a row of 17th century houses decorated with striking murals. Further along, the Celtic village of Mitterkirchen offers a fascinating insight into how people lived some 2,700 years ago. The final destination today is Grein, which is home to Austria's oldest city theatre and the magnificent Castle of Grein.
DAY 5: Grein to Melk
Today’s scenery is remarkable for its diversity. The narrow Strudengau valley gives way to a wider landscape from the attractive town of Persenbeug, and then to the Wachau valley, which is characterised by terraced vineyards and fruit orchards. At Melk you will revel in the sight of a gorgeous baroque Benedictine monastery.
DAY 6: Melk to Krems/Traismauer
More delights are in store today in the beautiful Wachau valley, where you will rarely be without the sight of a castle, palace or monastery. The route winds its way to Krems, with the chance to stop off at the pretty winery villages of Spitz, Weissenkirchen and Durnstein. If there’s a must-do on this tour it’s popping into one of the quaint taverns for a glass or two of the local wine and a warm Austrian welcome.
Cycle: 40km or 55km
DAY 7: Krems/Traismauer to Vienna
You’ll take the train to Tulln, which is famous for its beautiful market gardens and Art Nouveau painter Egon Schiele, and then cycle through the fabulous Vienna Woods (Wiener Wald). As you cycle towards Vienna, the City of Music, it’s worth taking the time to visit the impressive monastery in Klosterneuburg.
DAY 8: 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 you chance to revel in the wonderful peace and tranquility 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.
Overnight: Bad Deutsch Altenburg
DAY 9: Bad Deutsch Altenburg to Bratislava
Today takes you on a short but scenic train transfer after which you’ll 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.
DAY 10: 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 tranquility 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.
DAY 11: 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: 35km or 45km
DAY 12: Komarom to Daunube 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.
DAY 13: 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.
DAY 14: Onward Travel
Depending on your onward travel plans, you may like to further explore Budapest or even spend an extra night or two relaxing in one of the spa's or visitng one of the many castle's of fortresses.
This tour is available on a number of Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from April through to October.
If you're tour ends in Budapest July 26-28 2019, owing to the World Forumla 1
Grand Prix, a supplement will be applicable. Supplement costs will
confirmed at the time of booking.
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 and roads,
so please be mindful of other road users at all times, especially on routes
shared with traffic. You will be supplied with detailed maps, route notes and
an information pack for your trip.
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).
men's or women's bikes. Unisex electric bikes, children’s bikes and other
specialised equipment for children may be available upon request. All rental
bikes are equipped with a pannier (saddle bag) and a speedometer. Helmets are included as part
of the rental package but your own is likely to be a better fit.
If you’d like to hire a bike, please let us know your height and frame size you
If you would prefer to bring your own bicycle please ensure it is thoroughly serviced and is an appropriate bike for this trip.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Bike that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.
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 fit do I need to be?
This trip is graded easy as the route is almost entirely flat, with a big hill on the final day. Daily distances are on average between 40 and 60 km so you will need to have a basic level of fitness and we advise some training before the trip.
Which is the best airport to fly to?
Linz, Salzburg & Munich are the closest airports and all connect by train to Passau. Vienna is also an option.
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.
What personal equipment do I need?
You will need comfortable sports shoes, comfortable clothes for cycling, waterproof jacket and trousers, a 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 that you limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
What happens if I can’t cycle a stage?
Public transport and taxis are available, if you are need of support please ask the hotel reception staff for local travel advice. Otherwise, please do contact our local partners who will be more than happy to help.