Danube by Bike & Boat through 6 Countries

Passau - Vienna - Bratislava - Budapest - Belgrade - Iron Gates - Passau

15 Days / 14 Nights - Guided & Self-guided

Cycle and cruise down the Danube, through six European countries (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Serbia) taking in some of the most exciting sections of one of Europe’s great waterways.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 4 European capitals: Vienna; Budapest; Bratislava; Belgrade
  • The mighty canyon known as the Iron Gate in the Derdap National Park – one of Europe’s most spectacular gorges
  • UNESCO Wachau wine area
  • The commanding citadel Petrovaradin
  • Kalocsa, the “Paprika Capital” and centre of folk art

Itinerary

Day 1: Passau

Embarkation 4.00 p.m. At 5.00 p.m. Enjoy a final view of the beautiful city of Passau as you cruise towards the Germany/Austria border.

Day 2: Schlögen Danube Bend | Engelhartszell-Aschach, approx. 42 km

Cycle from Obernzell through the ruggedly romantic Danube Bend at Schlögen, one of the most beautiful sections of the river lined with sleepy farming villages. Have a break at Austria’s only Trappist monastery in Engelhartszell.

Day 3: Devin – Bratislava, approx. 15-43 km

A narrow cycle path runs along the Iron Curtain from the castle ruins in Devin to the splendid palace of Schloss Hof, with one of the most magnificent Baroque gardens in Europe. Arrive Bratislava capital of Slovakia. Walk through the beautifully restored historic city centre.

Day 4: Budapest | Excursion to Szentendre approx. 27-54 km (or rest day)

Savour the entrance to Budapest and the stunning views of the city‘s most famous buildings. Optional guided tour or take a detour to the delightful little town of Szentendre with its many artists and galleries. In the evening attend a Hungarian folklore show with traditional music and folk dance accompanied by wine and hearty local food (optional).

Day 5: Baja – Mohacs, approx. 37 km

Cycle along the flood protection dykes in the Gemenc floodplain, through sleepy river landscapes past fields of sunflowers. Take a ferry to the little town of Mohacs, the site of two battles with the Ottoman Turks.

Day 6: Belgrade (rest day)

Explore the fun-loving Serbian capital at the confluence of the Save and the Danube by bike or bus. In the evening attend a colourful folklore show with traditional dances followed by typical regional specialities in the well-known Bohemian district of Skadarlija (optional).

Day 7: Cataract Canyons /Iron Gates National Park (rest day)

Experience the stunning fjord-like landscape at close quarters from the ship’s deck. The river cuts through the Romanian Carpathian Mountains and the mighty foothills of the Balkan mountain range, a spectacular landscape with steep gorges, dark forests with historic monuments and impregnable fortresses on the shores.

Day 8: Novi Sad – Ilok, approx. 48 km

The imposing Petrovaradin fortress perches high above the provincial capital of the Vojvodina. Cycle the gentle foothills of the Fruska Gora, with its orchards, vineyards and idyllic farming villages. Reach the medieval town of Ilok where everything revolves around wine. Optional wine-tasting of some famous Croatian wines at a local wine cellar.

Day 9: Batina-Mochas, approx. 42km

In the border triangle, cycle through small idyllic villages and endless canola fields from Croatia to Serbia and Hungary. Enjoy the barely touched Nemzeti National Park. At Mochas, visit the White Stork Museum or the memorial of the Battle of Mochas.

Day 10: Kalocsa – Solt, approx. 50 km

Kalocsa is the “Paprika Capital” of Hungary. It has a museum with everything there is to know about Hungary’s favourite spice. The character of the town is colourful houses with hand-painted, bright floral patterns and the cathedral with its towering spires, a landmark on the flat Hungarian plains. Continue along the flood protection dyke through the vast expanse of the puszta, corn fields and orchards that stretch as far as the eye can see until you reach Solt, birthplace of the famous conductor Sir George Solti. Visit Vecsey Castle whose library has some 34,000 books.

Day 11: Danube Bend – Esztergom, approx. 43 km

The Danube is framed by steep wooded hills as it flows through a picturesque, hilly landscape. In the middle is the delightful island of Szentendre. Cycle through picturesque villages towards the dome of the imposing basilica in Esztergom, Hungary’s largest church that sits high over the Danube.

Day 12: Vienna (Bike excursion to Klosterneuburg, Danube Island…)

Go for a bike ride on the Danube Island – Vienna’s favourite recreational area, then cycle to nearby Klosterneuburg Abbey. Wander through the idyllic vineyards on Kahlenberg with magnificent views over Vienna and the Danube. The day ends with a concert of classic waltz and operetta music in the Schonbrunn Palace (optional).

Day 13: Vienna (rest day)

Discover Vienna on a guided bike tour or on your own with the HOP ON HOP OFF Bus (optional) through the historic city centre.

Day 14: Wachau | Krems – Melk, approx. 37 km

The gentle hilly countryside of the Wachau with its picturesque villages, historic castles and palaces surrounded by apricot trees and terraced vineyards, is one of the loveliest stretches of the river. In Weißenkirchen the cycle path is lined with cosy vintner’s taverns.

Day 15: Passau

Catch a final view of the Danube Bend at Schlögen – before you reach Passau mid morning.

Grade / Terrain

Easy to moderate - almost completely flat on the Danube Cycle Path which follows traffic free cycle paths and some quiet country roads. The daily distance ranges from 37 -54km. One day is hilly. Electric bikes are also available (limited number).

Meals

Full board

Trip Notes / Dates / Prices 2022

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Budapest

Serbia: the Kazan Defile – the tallest rock sculpture in Europe

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