Cycling

Why families will love cycling the River Danube

10 Oct , 2012  

One of Europe’s most popular cycle paths, especially among families, heads along the beautiful River Danube, between Bavaria and Hungary. And even a quick glance of the profile reveals why parents with young children flock to ride the route.

For most of the River Danube Cycle Way, especially through Upper and Lower Austria and into Slovakia, is either flat or gently sloping downhill. The style of cycling that you can expect is easy-going and with very little requirement for a wide range of gears.

If you’re a beginner adult cyclist or you are cycling with children attached on a tag-along, or even with youngsters riding their own bikes, the River Danube couldn’t be more perfect for a cycling holiday. We’re not just saying this, we’ve seen it for ourselves!

Added to this, the cycle way is also almost entirely traffic-free. One of the biggest reasons that families say they do not go cycling more is the worry of busy roads and traffic – which is why cycle ways that do not allow motorised vehicles are becoming so popular across Europe.

The River Danube Cycle Way offers a wealth of places to stop and attractions to see. Families will find this a huge bonus because many children prefer not to be in the saddle all day long. The journey can be split into easily cycled sections with lots of stopping off places. Why not visit a castle, such as the Castle of Grein, or take in the striking murals in the Strudengau valley at Mauthausen, or the stunning and natural Danube Loop or Hungarian Danube Bend?

Wow factor: Danube Loop

Wow factor: Danube Loop

Another attraction of cycling the river is the boats that pass by. Parents will tell you that little ones love to spot all kinds of transport and boats are a favourite. You could start a competition to guess how many boats will pass in an hour or play I Spy red boats, blue boats etc.

In fact, if you choose, you can book a cycling holiday that allows overnight stays on a riverboat. Boat and Bike River Danube holidays make a lot of sense for families for a number of reasons:

  • No need to repack all your luggage for transferring between hotels each morning
  • Easy access to the boat at the end of each cycle
  • Chance to travel by boat when little legs become weary or simply for a change of pace
  • Families are well catered for on board with food and entertainment.

If you still prefer to stay in dry land accommodation each night, the advantage of a River Danube cycle holiday is that there is plenty of choice of inns and hotels. You can choose the standard of accommodation each night according to your budget. There are a huge number of inns and hotels along the route so you can decide to cycle as far or as little as you want each day, which means this cycle path will suit a wide range of cycling abilities and ages of cyclists.

Book a cycle tour holiday and your luggage will be transported between accommodations each day, while you cycle free of heavy panniers.

Pelicans on River Danube

Pelicans on River Danube

Another great attraction of the River Danube for cycling is the abundance of wildlife. Nature reserves along the way offer the best opportunities for spotting a variety of bird and mammal species. Look out for rare birds, such as the white pelican, white tailed eagle and black stork. Did you know, too, that the Danube River Basin has more than 100 different species of fish?

If you have visited the River Danube Cycle Way, do tell us about your top tips for family cyclists, or what you most enjoyed.

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A journalist, web copywriter blogger and social media chatterbox, Fiona combines her love of the outdoors – especially Scotland – with a diverse freelance work life. If she's not at her desk writing about the outdoors, she'll be outside cycling, running, kayaking, snowboarding and walking Munros. She shares her outdoors passion with partner, the G-Force. Sometimes her teenage daughter Little Miss Outdoors tags along, too.