Adventure of the Week, Cycling

Adventure of the Week – Danube Bike & Boat: Passau to Vienna

18 Jan , 2017  

The Danube Bike and Boat: Passau to Vienna tour is a relaxed cycling tour along a route that meanders eastward passing through quaint towns and villages towards two of the Danube’s great and historical cities; Vienna and Bratislava. Cycling during the day and sailing on an authentic river boat at night allows you to enjoy the most picturesque sights, sounds and attractions along this predominantly Austrian section of the Danube river. 

In a nutshell

The Danube Cycle path

Easy-going cycling on flat, well-marked paths through some of the best scenery in Austria.


Starting in Passau on the German border take the chance to explore the Bavarian city which sits at the confluence of the 3 rivers that form the Danube. If you have time be sure to visit the impressive St. Stephen’s Cathedral before boarding your floating hotel: the MS Theodor Korner. The first day of cycling begins in Mathausen and ends in Grein, passing through the Celtic village of Mitterkirchen, a fascinating outdoor museum that gives an insight into the area’s Celtic past. In the evening the Theodor Korner sets sail, destination: Slovakia. Devin lies to the west of Bratislava and is dominated by the imposing Devin Castle which perches atop a cliff 200 metres up, explore the historical centre of Bratislava before beginning the cycle into the city proper. On arrival in Bratislava take a walk through the tight alleyways and town square and see if you can spot the cannon balls stuck in the walls from a time when Napoleon attempted an attack on the former Hungarian capital.

Approaching Vienna

Day 4 is spent exploring one of Europe’s great cities. Walk Vienna’s cobbled lanes, enjoy a warm drink in one of the famous Viennese coffee houses and take in as many of the attractions as you can. If you wish to be taken back in time Vienna’s St Stephen’s Cathedral, the Hofburg Palace, the Ringstraβe and the Burgtheater are good places to start. Day 5 sees you begin your journey back upstream towards Passau, the cycling here is some of the best of the trip as you peddle through the stunning Wachau Valley scenery. Beautiful villages are set amidst vineyards themselves bordered by apricot orchards which rub shoulders with castles, monasteries and numerous historical ruins. The wine growing villages of Spitz, Weisskirchen and Durnstein are filled with tempting taverns, the perfect place to rest and refuel. Over the final few days you cycle through the town of Melk with its Benedictine Monastery and past the famous Schlögener Schlinge, surely the most impressive and baffling river feature in Europe. Your Danube cycling tour ends where it started in Passau.

The Schlogener Schlinge. Thanks to Sonya Soon for the photo.

The Schlogener Schlinge. Thanks to Sonya Soon for the photo.


164 – 210 km. With a choice of routes on some days, the total distance varies depending on how fit you feel.


This tour is graded easy. The cycling is on the flat and well marked Danube cycle path, which is almost entirely free of traffic other than some quiet roads in a few sections making the tour particularly well suited to families and novice cyclists.

The SS Theodor Korner

Cycle by day and sail by night.

Why cycle here?

  • Enjoy a hassle-free cycling trip through spectacular scenery that takes you to some of the Danube’s most historically important cities. For more on the Danube, have a glance at our Route Notes Travel magazine, which features opinion, advice and a few of our customers’ #MacsMoments.
  • Spend time in one of the world’s great capital cities, Vienna, formerly a playground for the rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire the city has retained much of its pomp and grandeur meaning the sightseeing opportunities are endless.
  • Cycle through the famous Wachau valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Austria’s, and Europe’s, premier wine producing regions. There is a chance to take part in a wine tasting tour with an expert winemaker who gives an insight into the production of the region’s famous Rieslings.
  • The easy and traffic free cycling makes this cycling tour a genuine option for a safe and culture-filled family cycling holiday.
Historical cities

The onion shaped domes of St Stephen’s Cathedral, Passau

Planning and preparation


This tour is available to start on Saturdays from April to October. Prices vary depending on the season and the type of cabin preferred. Starting prices are for a main deck ECO cabin. Upgrades can be booked to further cabin types, by adding a supplement when booking.

Children price reduction: under 3 yrs FREE when sharing a 2-bed cabin with 2 full-paying adults. Aged 3-13 yrs (inclusive) 50% discount when sharing a cabin with min. 1 full-paying adult.

Getting to/from Passau

By Air: There are no significant airports in Passau, however, the city has direct train connections to Linz (1h30), Salzburg (2h45), Munich (2.5h) and Vienna (3.5h), which are the most convenient airport – see the DB Bahn Website to check train times. We can arrange transfers from Munich Airport to Passau.

By Train: Visit the DB Bahn Website to check train times and book tickets to Passau from European destinations. You may also wish to try Rail Europe for European rail tickets and passes.

By Car: Parking is available in Passau from between €58 and €69 per week including return transfers to the ship.

If you would like to discuss any aspects of the Danube Bike & Boat: Passau to Vienna tour, or have questions about our range of cycling tours, contact our team on [email protected].

For further adventure inspiration our online magazine Route Notes is available to read now, the magazine features comment and opinion from our customers and staff as well as the best of the 2016 #macsmoment photo sharing competition.


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Having graduated in 2015 I joined the team here at Macs Adventure in May 2016. I split my time between spreading the word about our range of fantastic walking and cycling tours, building my knowledge of digital marketing and deciding where to travel next...