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.
Easy-going cycling on flat, well-marked paths through some of the best scenery in Austria.
In a Nutshell
Distance: You can go up to 210 km on this trip, but we have a few days where there is a choice to take the easier (shorter) cycle. If you are not feeling up to it, you can take it a bit easier.
Grading: 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.
Where is it?
The trip begins 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.
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.
Why cycle it?
The Danube Cycle Path has become one of Europes bucket-list adventures, as well as being known as one of the most relaxing cycling holidays to be taken. This is why it is so popular with all types of travelers from families, to novice cyclists as well as solo travelers. There is something so refreshing about cycling at your own pace, with enough time to stop off and enjoy a swim in the lake, a lazy picnic by the river, or an afternoon of sightseeing before dinner. There is a treasure trove of attractions on this trip, and visits to Vienna and Bratislava are just some of the highlights. Cycling along the easy pathways is the best way to experience all the towns and cities.
Cycle by day and sail by night
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.
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.