Danube Cycle Path: Passau to Budapest
- Cycle along flat and easy-going paths along the Danube River
- Marvel at the Schlögener Loop & Hungarian Danube Bend
- Travel through Germany, Austria, Slovakia & Hungary
- Explore the Wachau Valley, UNESCO World Heritage
- Visit the Baroque Old Town of Györ
ItineraryDay 1 Arrival in Passau
Your Danube cycling adventure starts in Passau, also known as the City of Three Rivers. If you have time to spare before collecting your rented bike (before 4:00 PM) 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, 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.
This 4-star hotel provides free Wi-Fi internet in all areas, rooms with a flat-screen TV and a restaurant serving Bavarian cooking. It’s in a historic building dating back to 1512 in Passau’s Old Town. The Hotel Weisser Hase’s rooms all have a private bathroom and a sitting area. The Weisser Hase’s 5th floor spa area offers a sauna and solarium.
If you arrived late on your first day, it is possible to collect your rented bike before setting off on your first bike ride. 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 is the Schlögener Loop, where the river makes a dramatic bend of 180 degrees.
This pretty 4* hotel complex offers the perfect accommodation to relax and revitalise after a hard day's cycling.
You’ll leave the impressive Schlögener Loop behind and continue cycling along 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.
The Park Inn by Radisson charms its guests with premier services in an ideal location adjacent to Palais Kaufmännischer Verein and bordering historic Old Town, just steps from excellent shopping areas and the main pedestrian zone, Landstraße. With high-end amenities such as flat-panel LCD television, individual climate control and room service, our rooms guarantee guests a relaxing getaway in the heart of the city.
Today’s cycling heads along the Danube and through breath-taking scenery of lush meadows. Cycle to Enns, the oldest town in Austria and worthwhile a visit! Further along, you will pass the Celtic village of Mitterkirchen, the majestic church of Baumgartenberg and the romantic castle of Clam. The final destination today is Grein, which is home to Austria's oldest city theatre and the magnificent Grein Castle.
The inn Zur Traube, run by the Barth-Schneeberger family, is set at the foot of the imposing Greinburg castle. The town centre is a 5-minute walk away. With lovely comfortable rooms and a restaurant offering home-cooked Austrian fare, you are certain to have a delightful stay here.
Discover remarkable scenery in a landscape that is known for its diversity. Pass densely wooded areas and rock formations on both sides of the Danube River as you pedal along the cycle path. The narrow Strudengau valley gives way to a wider landscape from the attractive town of Persenbeug, and then to the Wachau valley, which is characterized by terraced vineyards and fruit orchards. At Melk, you will revel in the sight of a gorgeous baroque Benedictine monastery.
In what is probably the smallest 4 star hotel of the Wachau, you will find all the ingredients for a perfect holiday: familial atmosphere, decent luxury, and perfect service.
More delights are in-store today in the beautiful Wachau Valley, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will rarely be without the sight of a castle, palace or monastery as you follow the route on its way to Krems. Stop off at the pretty winery villages of Spitz, Weissenkirchen, and the cobbled streets of Durnstein. If there’s a must-do on this tour it’s popping into one of the quaint taverns to sample a glass or two of the local wine. Don't leave without trying some of the apricot-based delicacies on offer, guaranteed to be locally produced; Austrian hospitality at its best!
Charming 17th-century inn, updated to include modern comforts and only a few minutes from the old town of Krems.
Leave the Wachau Valley behind as you hop on a train to Tulln, famous for its beautiful market gardens and Art Nouveau painter Egon Schiele. Cycle through the woods of "Wiener Wald" and pass through the gates of Vienna. It is worth taking the time to visit the impressive monastery in Klösterneuburg before making it to the City of Music. Try Austria's national dish 'Wiener Schnitzel', which is a thin, breaded, pan-fried veal cutlet traditionally served with potato salad.
Austria Trend Hotel's comfortably appointed rooms and five suites - all of which are equipped with bath/WC, room safe, hairdryer, telephone, cable television and radio - invite you to enjoy a truly relaxing stay. All rooms face the interior courtyard, offering you the quiet, pleasant atmosphere you have been looking for. Outstanding service and the complete satisfaction of guests are the hotel’s most important goals.
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 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.
Situated in Petronell-Carnuntum, Hotel Marc Aurel is close to Archaeological Park Carnuntum and Archaologischer Park Carnuntum. Additional area attractions include Haydn Geburtshaus and Schloss Harrach.
Enjoy 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, the hills of Hainburg and the Carpathian Mountains, Bratislava enchants with its dreamy old quarter. This compact city is guaranteed to surprise you with its charming cobbled streets and laid-back atmosphere. The walled castle is even more beautiful at night when it's entirely illuminated against a dark evening sky.
Hotel Saffron is located in the centre of Bratislava, just a 15-minute walk from historic Old Town. The city centre, the Slovak National Bank, the Presidential Palac and the Government of the Slovak Republic are all within a short walking distance from the hotel.
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. After your cycle, you can relax on a train journey taking you to Györ, with its Baroque-style old town.
The Hotel Ibis Györ is located in the city centre of Györ. Its proximity to the baroque centre, the shopping mall, the stadium and the industrial park make the hotel an ideal place for a weekend or business travel.
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 Komarno, which was much favored by the renowned King Matthias.
The Hotel Bow Garden situated only 100 metres away from the historical centre of the city of Komarno. It was reconstructed from the Jewish synagogue and an old winery with 155 years of history. The area of the hotel with size of 5000 m2 is offering you a unique atmosphere for work and leisure. The high standard of lodging, catering, congress services and a varied offer of relaxing and sporting activities are a guarantee of an unforgettable visit.
The magical scenery and quaint villages accompany you on your cycle today, first along the banks of the Slovakian Danube and then on small, quiet roads. Pass the impressive Roman fort of Kelemantia on your way to Esztergom, known as Hungarian Rome. Another highlight is the magnificent Hungarian Danube Bend located just past Esztergom. Enjoy one of the most beautiful sections of the Danube, the river winds through the Visegrad mountains here 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.
The hotel is situated on the slope of the Castle Hill of Esztergom in a wonderful, silent garden. Ideal environment for recovering people, for business people, for conference guests, and pilgrims. All the religious and cultural facilities and museums of Esztergom are nearby. Esztergom has been an important city at Danube for about 1000 years. Crossing Maria Valeria bridge is easy to reach historical and cultural cities of Slovakia.
Amid the hilly landscape of Hungary, the River Danube divides into parts and gives form to Szentendre Island where you will cycle through traditional Hungarian villages and settlements. One of the highlights are the handicraft boutiques and the Open Air Museum of Skanzen. After a short ferry* you will reach your final destination Budapest, where you’ll experience the atmosphere and attractions of this cosmopolitan capital. It’s a city where Eastern Europe meets Western.
*Depending on the time of year the ferry may not be operating and you will be provided with train tickets instead of ferry tickets.
Mercure Budapest Buda situated in the neighbourhood of Buda Castle, a 5-minute walk from the Castle District and 4 metro stations from the city center. All rooms are air-conditioned and feature a satellite TV.
Depending on your onward travel plans, you may like to further explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Budapest. It may be worth it to spend an extra night or two relaxing in one of the spas, visiting one of the many castles of fortresses and sampling the local cuisine such as Hungarian Goulash.
Other InformationIs it for me?
With easy-going cycling, fascinating cultural and historic sites, as well as stunning scenery, the Danube cycle path is perfect for experienced cyclists, beginners, and active families looking for two weeks on two wheels! Cycling on mostly flat dedicated cycle ways, the latter half of the trip will give way to some hills. With plenty of opportunities to sample local dishes and admire centuries old towns, every pedal stroke is completed in your own time.
Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!
Leisure Cycling | Leisure Cycling
This cycling holiday is graded easy to moderate and the daily rides follow mostly flat and largely traffic-free routes. The Wachau Valley in Austria can be described as slightly more undulating in comparison to the other sections of the path. The Danube Cycle Path is a dedicated, paved and well-marked route. There will be a mixture of cycle paths and roads, so please be mindful of other road users at all times, especially on routes shared with traffic.
Please note that for the Danube, exact accommodation cannot be confirmed until 2-4 weeks prior departure.
Our Danube Cycle Path trip includes accommodation in standard en-suite double or twin rooms in quaint inns and 3 and 4-star hotels. Occasionally if a hotel is not available in the location specified in the standard itinerary of this trip, you will be accommodated in a hotel of the same or better standard in the surrounding area. Each day's distance is approximate as the distance will depend on the location of your hotel.
Single rooms are available although a supplement is payable. This trip is available to solo cyclists and is perfect as the route is popular so there are plenty of people to chat with every day.
Twin rooms - in Austria 95% of all hotel rooms are double rooms (one large bed frame with separate bedding). Twin with separate beds are more than unusual and quite often these rooms will instead come with 1 double bed with a sofa bed alongside it.
Breakfast is included each morning. Packed lunches are not included but are in most cases available at your accommodation (please 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 an 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.
The Danube Cycle Path is one of Europe's most popular cycling routes and it is very well maintained and waymarked throughout. Following the waymarking along the banks of the river would be sufficient, but we will also be supplying you with a trip information pack, and access to the GPX tracks via the Macs Adventure smartphone App. You will also receive a printed, personalised tour book on arrival at your first hotel. This tour book contains everything you need including personalised route notes and maps, as well as your hotel list with directions and vouchers. This book will also include recommended side visits and more information about points of interest that you will pass along the route. Rest assured that you will have no trouble finding your way!
Please note that due to popular demand we aim to get your personalised itinerary with hotel confirmations to you 3 to 4 weeks prior to departure. There may be a slight delay in receiving your personalised information when booking last-minute or during the high season.
- 13 nights in 3 and 4-star hotels and Inns
- Daily luggage transfers
- 1 bottle of wine from the Wachau Valley (per room)
- Train journey from Krems area to Tulln (including bike)
- Train journey from Mosonmagyarovar to Györ (including bike)
- Boat (or train) journey from Szentendre to Budapest (depending on the season)
- Handlebar bag with route book, maps and an information pack
- Emergency support from our local partners and our office
- Lunch, Dinner, Snacks and Drinks
- Travel to Passau & From Budapest
- Bike Hire and helmet
- Personal equipment
- Return transfer of your own bikes
- Local tax (€ 1 - € 2,5 p.p.n.) valid for Passau-Vienna section
- Travel Insurance (required)
- Bike Hire and helmet
- Return travel from Budapest to Passau
This trip is available on selected Sundays and Mondays from April through to October.
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 towns that 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 even on cloudy days.
Please note that the following events are held in Budapest in 2023: Formula 1 Grand Prix (July 23/24). This will not have a huge impact on your trip but the city will be busier as usual and a supplement will be applicable for any extra nights.
Passau is located in Germany close to the Austrian border. It is easily accessible with direct train connections to four major airports. Linz (1h30), Salzburg (2h45), Munich (2.5h), and Vienna (3.5h). Please see www.oebb.at for train times & prices.
Budapest Airport is served by a number of scheduled and low-cost airlines connecting through to most major international cities. If you need to return to Passau this can be booked at an extra cost for you. This is a combination of bus travel to Vienna and train travel to Passau.
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: 7-speed bikes with coaster brake (backpedal) or 21-speed bikes (unisex) are available to rent, these are not included in the tour package but can be booked as an extra. Electric bikes (unisex), children’s bikes, and other specialized equipment may be available upon request.
All rental bikes are equipped with a pannier (saddle bag), an odometer (except for the electric bikes) and a helmet.
If you’d like to hire a bike, please let us know the height and frame size you currently ride. 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, bike theft, emergency evacuation, and hospital care.
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