Self-Guided Cycling on the Danube: Passau to Vienna

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Reviews
  • Dates
  • Exodus

Ride on dedicated cycle routes through Austria and Germany

Follow the curves and bends of the Danube as it flows through steep-sided valleys and wide riverside woods towards beautiful Vienna. The densely wooded slopes and ravine forests help to create the setting for one of the most significant river landscapes of Central Europe; with the largely flat landscape perfectly suited to self-guided cycling. You will pass many delightful castles, ruins and abbeys whilst visiting historic towns such as Linz, Melk and Krems. The final destination of Vienna is the perfect place to explore, enjoy some great food and perhaps take in a concert.

* Discover the rich culture and historical architecture of Vienna * Ride on dedicated cycle routes * Visit infamous castles, ruins and palaces along the Danube * Sample the fine wines of the Wachau Valley

All breakfasts and one wine tasting included. Breakfast: Buffet style breakfast will usually consist of fresh bread, cheese, ham, croissants, butter, jam, tea or coffee. Lunch and Dinner (not included): there are numerous restaurants along the route with a selection of menus of two or more courses and the route notes will provide more details to help you decide. Self-guided cycling also lends itself really well to picnics. You can stop wherever you please, in a spot that suits you and eat your lunch taking in your chosen view.

* 7 nights family-owned and tourist class hotels * 6 days cycling with luggage transfers * 99% cycle path, 1% road * Mainly flat cycle paths with some gentle hills * Self-guided holiday. Min age 5 yrs
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Melk
  • Krems
  • The Danube
  • Passau
  • Vienna
  • Danube
  • Europe
Tour Types
  • Self Guided
  • Family
  • Active
  • Adventure
  • Cycling
  • Road Cycling
  • Mountains
  • Multi-Country Cycling Holidays
  • Scenic
  • Cultural
  • Walking
  • Multi-country
  • Winter
  • Singles
Day 1

Start at your hotel in Passau, the city of three rivers. If you arrive with time to explore be sure to visit the well-known cathedral; housing the world's biggest church organ. In the evening receive your bikes and a personal welcome briefing.

Day 2

Leave Passau, and cycle from Germany into Austria amidst one of the most significant river landscapes of Central Europe. The trail runs beside densely wooded slopes and ravine forest passing the only Trappist monastery in Austria at Engelhartszell before continuing to the famous Schlögener Loop. Here the Danube does a U-turn around a granite mountain before changing the direction of its flow twice, providing spectacular views from the surrounding hills.

Day 3

The valley narrows as it continues downstream and has a wilder appearance passing the beautiful castle of Ottensheim, also one of the oldest places in Austria. A day of river crossing and cycling along country lanes, entering the fertile plains of the grand Eferdinger basin before reaching the historic Cistercian Abbey at Wilhering. The trail continues to Linz, where the central Hauptplatz is a good place to start exploring the old town.

Day 4

A change of scenery today as the route guides you away from the Danube, via St Florian (an Augustinian abbey) to Enns. See the town square with its 60 metre high tower, the landmark of the oldest town in Austria. Back along the Danube you reach the beautiful baroque town of Grein; with a chance to visit the oldest municipal theatre in Austria, the maritime museum or Greinburg Castle.

Day 5

Historically Grein marked the beginning of the river's most treacherous stretch, often feared by sailors. The cycling is through the fascinating landscape of tall and densely wooded rock formations on both sides of the Danube. The journey takes you through quiet riverside towns, with numerous examples of castles that were positioned to exert power over the area, collecting tolls from those following its path. Your journey will end as one of the most striking edifices on this whole route comes into sight, the Benedictine abbey at Melk - stunning both inside and out, you can't miss it!

Day 6

This morning you ride through the magnificent Wachau terraced vineyards, which give this area its distinct and beautiful appearance. It is one of Austria's best known wine growing regions, with centuries old tradition of wine production. The route winds between the pretty villages of Spitz, Weisenkirchen and Durnstein; castles continue to dot the landscape. In Durnstein you will find another spectacular monastry and also the ruins of a castle where King Richard the Lionheart was held for ransom. All along the route there are opportunities to experience Austian hospitality in small taverns offering local food and drink. Finish your journey in the 1000 year old town of Krems and enjoy a wine tasting to showcase some of the delightful local produce!

Day 7

Today starts with a train ride from Krems to Tulln, then ride past Greifenstein and Klosterneuburg.This area has always been important culturally, politically and economically with settlements in existence before the Romans moved to the area. Again you will pass many castles, including the Kreuzenstein Castle in Korneuburg. There is also the famous story of the Korneuburg Rat Catcher, a similar story to the Pied Piper. Arriving into Vienna, enjoy a cup of coffee and a piece of typical Viennese cake, 'Sachertorte', in one of the numerous coffee houses. Enjoy an evening stroll around Stephansplatz or walk along the famous shopping street Mariahilfer Strausse.

Day 8

End Vienna. The city is a metropolis with unique charm, vibrancy and flair. It boasts outstanding infrastructure, is clean and safe, and has all of the culture, architecture and inspiration that you could wish for in this wonderful part of Europe. Highlights that you may consider include visits to the grand Schonbrunn Palace, Sigmund Freud Museum and a tour in the Vienna State Opera House. Don't miss a visit to one of the many wonderful coffee shops to enjoy the typical cake Sachertorte!

* All breakfasts * All accommodation (see accommodation section) * All luggage transfers * Route notes and maps * Local bike hire

Very beautiful and easy

A wonderful trip on perfectly manicured cycle path and very very flat, short hops each day and its an ideal beginners trip, a couple of bike ferry crossings which break the day up and the ferry goes when you get there and if you miss it then its back in ten minutes. Hotels were of a good standard and a real mix and match and you just never sure what you going to get or if any of the people whos on your trip will be there or not as they seem to put everyone in different hotels if possible. weather wasn't great when we were there and some nasty wind and rain, and i imagine this would have been even better in nice weather, Please note its self guided and not run by Exodus travel and the company werent even to sure who Exodus were, but it still all went smooth.

Rating: 5

Beautiful scenery, safe cycling

The vast majority of this trip is in cycle paths separated from road traffic with some lightly trafficked roads and only very occasional roads with significant traffic, and even then you are usually separated from them by a barrier of some type: in fact, if none of the above applies, you're probably 'lost' although that, too, is really difficult to do as the river is hard to lose and the signage is excellent! A large proportion is on a Euro cycle path from the Black Sea to the Atlantic and it is very well maintained: UK councils could learn a thing or two about maintaining safe cycling environments from the Austrians. The scenery is at times spectacular and varies from day to day as the river meanders across Austria. The accommodation we got was generally very good and there was usually somewhere good to have dinner in the evening. Lunch stops were a bit thin on the ground but we usually found somewhere. The bicycles were heavy but in very good nick: the route is mostly flat and any slight downhills outnumber the uphills - which often related to gaining the altitude required to cross over the bridges over the river rather than anything else. There are churches in abundance, from big to small and most towns have a schloss (castle). There are some spectacular monasteries and when you get to Vienna, it is clear that it was the centre of the world for quite a long time with monuments and buildings to show for it! The distances are manageable - on the last day, you can get a train to cut the distance down to about 50 km but we decided to cycle from Krems to Vienna (about 90 km) and we survived!

Rating: 4

Excellent trip

This is an easy ride; and the route is varied and very attractive. Virtually none of the cycling is along roads with motor traffic; and I appreciated how the sign-posted Danube cycle path diverted, from time to time, away from the river bank to go through fields, woods and quiet villages. The hotels, baggage transfers and logistics worked very well. I was impressed by the quality of the accommodation -- and its variety.

Rating: 5

The title of the trip was appropriate.

The organisation worked well. Trip notes and maps together made route finding easy. The route was varied and interesting; opportunities for eating and drinking were many. The quality of hotels was good, though only two provided tea or coffee making facilities in the room. The bikes were well-maintained, but are rather heavy, so it was a good job the route was mostly flat. There were no bottle cages provided, which made stopping for water a bit of a faff! Overall, a very enjoyable week.

Rating: 4

A relaxing diversion, with interesting things to see on the way

My wife has been keen on a trip through vienna for a while. We chose the passau to vienna trip as other reviewers rated it higher than the similar vienna to Budapest. Both follow the danube. The best thing about this trip is that being relatively gentle paced it allows time to visit places on the way, which is really the whole point. We saw a WW II concentration camp (utterly horrific) , visited a trappist monastery and tasted their beer and spirits, saw an awful lot of other churches, monasteries and gardens. The whole cycling route is dotted with pleasant cafes. The route plan recommends good restaurants and we were not disappointed. Austria is accustomed to vegetarian and vegan diets. The palaces and museums of vienna are spectacular, the kaisers crypt is worth a visit. We recommend a great veggie restaurant in vienna called Tian. The guide notes are very simple but in a good way. I recommend having a phone with Google maps or similar when you get to the cities though... Much easier to navigate the busy streets. The bikes on hire are a good standard, though we like to bring our own saddles and pedals. We took the option of an extra few days in vienna, I knocked a star off because the information on this part was not so well organised. We were given turn by turn instructions but no accompanying map and there was some confusion about whether we were supposed to have a vienna pass. (this would have saved us a lot of money it turned out later)

Rating: 4

A fantastic Austrian Experience

This trip was perfect. From forests and mountains to wine producing valleys this stretch of the Danube provides stunning scenery and lovely villages and towns such as Grein and Melk along the way. Well sign-posted purpose built, smooth cycling paths made this trip effortless and friendly, comfortable hotels along the way made this trip one I'd highly recommend if you are looking for an easy-going trip. As there are only a few stretches on quiet roads and a couple on paths alongside busy roads (the rest on quiet cycle tracks) and the distances are manageable you don't need to be a confident cyclist to enjoy this trip.

Rating: 5

A excellent first self-guided cycling trip

We cycled this route in May 2016 and we had a wonderful time. The cycle route is well maintained, the navigation was very clear with the resources provided and the scenery was spectacular. Vienna was a suiting end to a very scenic trip.  A great first self-guided cycling trip to try. 

Rating: 5

Cycling the Danube.

What a great trip, we had great weather for the cycle ride, we met some lovely people too.

Rating: 5


My partner and I did the self guided ride and enjoyed it very much. It gave us the chance to feel we really experienced the lovely Austrian scenery, pretty villages and towns with a sense of achievment to have done a 300 +km ride. My partner is 79!

Rating: 4


Thoroughly enjoyed this holiday . In general the accommodation was good and staff were friendly.

Rating: 4


You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
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Touring with Exodus

Exodus is an award-winning company built on adventures. It started life on 4 February 1974 when two friends got together to provide an overland truck to travel to the Minaret of Jam, deep in the heart of the Hindu Kush, the most inaccessible of the world’s great monuments. They continue to discover countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts and jungles - exploring this amazing planet we all live on.

At Exodus, they know what makes you tick when it comes to holidays. It’s a desire shared by so many others. A yearning to visit new places and come home with a real sense of what they’re all about. This means delving into local traditions, cultures, cuisine, lifestyles – anything that contributes to its unique identity. At the same time, they always remember that they are only guests. So they ensure they travel courteously and respectfully, in smaller groups to minimise their impact, to ensure that every Exodus holiday is a beneficial experience for everyone involved. This is a philosophy they take around the world, helping you reach some incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across 90 countries – choose from walking, cycling, culture, wildlife and even polar adventures in guided groups or self-guided, tailor-made for you or a ready-made itinerary in Peru or India, Costa Rica or Italy – the choices are endless. They also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as possible, making it simple for you to experience a very different holiday.

All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure with their combined experiences spanning 171 different countries and in their former lives, some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus – all guaranteed to give you the very best adventure possible. Extensive planning, research, fact-finding and training are just some of the ways this expertise comes through in your adventure.

Exodus recognises their obligation to operate their tours in a responsible and sustainable fashion to address the environmental, economic and social impact tourism can have. They are committed to the well-being of the communities that host you and the natural environment that you are there to experience. Key points in their philosophy include small groups which have less impact on local communities and environments, putting money directly into the communities visited by using locally owned and run accommodation and eating locally produced food, ensuring local staff and operators receive a fair rate for their services, encouraging their own staff to take an active interest in responsible and sustainable tourism and train them accordingly, endeavour to ensure that their practices help in the environmental conservation of the areas visited and provide their clients with advice and guidelines on how to respect the social, cultural and religious beliefs of local communities.


tour details

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Meals:7 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 0 dinners.
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