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Danube 15-day Bike & Barge Tour Passau-Vienna-Budapest-Iron Gates
Fjord-like Landscapes, Puszta, Balkan and Paprika
Come with us on an adventure-packed bike and boat tour through six countries and widely differing cultures that reveals the beauty of the majestic Danube river in all its glory. Discover the breath-taking natural scenery of the Iron Gates, one of the most spectacular gorges in Europe, the vast expanse of the Pannonian plains, cycle through the Danube Bend in Hungary and the breadbaskets of Croatia and Serbia, through idyllic wine-growing regions and past commanding fortresses high above the river. Visit Belgrade, the “white city”, fall in love with bewitching Budapest, the “Paris of the East”, marvel at the Baroque palaces in the picturesque Old Town of Bratislava and let yourself be carried away by the elegant charm of Vienna, the City of Waltz. Scenic and cultural highlights, excellent food and a crew that caters to your every whim, guarantee that your cycling holiday will be a unique and unforgettable experience.
The first thing you´ll experience when boarding is the friendly atmosphere and the cosiness of the river ship. In the restaurant you will start your culinary excursion through the Danube countries – the fantastic view of the beautiful scenery will sweeten the diversity of flavours you taste. In the Panorama-Lounge, with its bar, you can enjoy a glass of wine with your new friends and travel mates while the gorgeous landscape is passing by. Comfortable lounge chairs and discreet colours make you stay a littl longer. After an exciting day of cycling you can relax in the spa with sauna and whirlpool. For pleasant refreshment, jump into the pool (June-August) on the sun deck, from where you can enjoy a magnificent view. And if you are in the mood for reading, just borrow a book from the library! The comfortable ship will make your journey unforgettable. Wi-Fi is available on board (connection can vary, payable locally).
3 passenger-decks: Upper deck + Middle deck (windows can be opened), Main deck (windows cannot be opened).
All 75 outside cabins have 14 m² and feature a hotel-style double bed. The cabins are equipped with a private bathroom with a shower or bathtub, hair dryer, TV, safe and full air-conditioning.
Level 1+2: The route mainly follows the Eurovelo 6 cycle path; in some parts asphalted paths over flat terrain; in others on country roads with little traffic and cycle paths not all of which are asphalted. 1 stage runs over hilly terrain. Don’t feel like cycling today? You can reach your destination easily by boat.
On the one hand, a riverboat is a “holiday hotel”, while on the other, it is also a means of transport that moves with motor power and must be operated, even during night (partially with lock and bridge passages and the retractions and extensions of the structures caused as a result). Mistakes can happen with lock passages. This is the case for all Danube journeys and cannot be avoided. Please bear in mind that riverboats are restricted (bridge passages, locks) in size (length, height, width) and therefore cannot be compared with cruise liners at sea.
The cabins are limited in space but are nevertheless comfortable and furnished. In the event of extremely high or low water, the shipping company reserves the right to bridge stages by bus or even to cancel the trip at short notice without any legal claim arising therefrom (water levels are force majeure). The same applies for officially decreed repairs to locks or bridges, not announced in advance, or in the event of motor or propulsion damage to the ship without attributed fault.
Minimum 90 people on board
Optional excursions (not included in the price of your tour) can be booked individually or as a package at a discount on board only.
Bratislava: City tour with scenic train and walking tour
Budapest: City tour by bike or by HOP ON HOP OFF bus Budapest by night + traditional Hungarian folklore show at a Csarda
Belgrade: City tour by bike or bus Belgrade by night with folklore show
Ilok: Wine-tasting at a local wine cellar
Vienna: City tour by bike or HOP ON HOP OFF bus Waltz and operetta concert at a famous Viennese Palais
Wachau: Wine tasting with a local winegrower
Personal attention from a dedicated guide you cycle in a small group where you explore a lot of local cultures, discover hidden sites and secret places and enjoy some delicious appetizers. (min. 10 participants)
Saturday 07 May, 11 June, 16 July, 13 August, 17 September 2022
If you would like to rent a bike (139 EUR) or e-bike (249 EUR) please contact our office when booking: [email protected]
Slow Tours offers a number of other Bike & Barge Tours in Europe
Embarkation 4.00 p.m. in Passau, departure is at 5.00 p.m. Enjoy a final view of the beautiful city of Passau as you glide serenely into the sunset, past dark green forests before entering the lock at the Jochenstein power plant on the border between Germany and Austria.
Great Loop | Engelhartszell – Aschach, approx. 42 km
Your first day’s tour begins with a ride through the classic scenery of the ‘Great Loop’ Donauschlinge- one of the most beautiful sections of the Danube. Along the way you will encounter tiny villages and cozy cider taverns. In Austria’s only Trappist monastery at Engelhartszell you can taste their delicious liquors and cheese. The famous ‘Schlogener View’ provides a wonderful panorama of the surrounding Austrian countryside. The boat welcomes all cyclists back on board in the charming market town of Aschach.
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, which boasts one of the most magnificent baroque gardens in Europe. After a stretch of untouched countryside is followed and a short time later, you arrive to the vibrant city of Bratislava. Our miniature train tour of the Slovakian capital in which Hungarian kings were once crowned (optional) begins with a glorious view from the fortress perched on a hill overlooking the city and ends with a walk through the beautifully restored historic city centre.
Budapest | Excursion to Szentendre, approx. 27-54 km (or day of rest)
Savour the entrance to Budapest and the stunning views of the city‘s most famous buildings. Discover the city that straddles the Danube on a guided tour (optional) or take a detour to the delightful little town of Szentendre with its many artists and galleries. Get a taste of the fiery Hungarian temperament at a Hungarian folklore show with traditional music and folk dance accompanied by wine and local food (optional).
Baja – Mohacs, approx. 37 km
From the quiet Baroque town of Baja that is famous for its fish soup, you’ll cycle along the flood protection dykes in the Gemenc floodplain, through sleepy river landscapes past fields of sunflowers. At the end of today’s stage, you take the ferry to the little town of Mohacs, Hungary’s southernmost town on the Danube and famously the site of two battles with the Turks.
Belgrade (day of rest)
Explore the fun-loving Serbian capital at the confluence of the Sava and the Danube by bike or bus, take a journey in time from the past to the present and learn about the rise and fall of Yugoslavia (optional). In the evening, Belgrade is bathed in a sea of light. Visit a colourful folklore show with traditional dances from all parts of the country, followed by typical regional specialities in the well-known Bohemian district of Skadarlija with lively folk music from a Serbian band (optional).
Cataract Canyons /Iron Gates National Park (day of rest)
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 that are reflected in the blue waters of the river: this miracle of nature will take your breath away!
Novi Sad – Ilok, approx. 48 km
The imposing Petrovaradin fortress perches high above the provincial capital of the Vojvodina. After cycling upstream along a flat cycle path you take a ferry to reach the gentle foothills of the Fruska Gora, with its orchards, vineyards and idyllic farming villages. Everything in the medieval town of Ilok is about wine. In the evening you will have the opportunity to sample some famous Croatian wines at a local wine cellar (optional).
Batina – Mohacs, approx. 42 km
In the border triangle you cycle through the never-ending „Backa“. Small, idyllic villages and endless canola fields accompany you from Croatia to Serbia and Hungary. Farmers stop their work to greet you and now and then you will meet a carriage. You will experience untouched nature in the Nemzeti National Park and after the ferry ride to Mohacs there is enough time for a visit at the White Stork Museum or the Memorial of the Battle of Mohacs.
Kalocsa – Solt, approx. 50 km
Kalocsa is the “Paprika Capital” of Hungary and the character of the town is strongly influenced by colourful houses with hand-painted, bright floral patterns and the cathedral with its towers that can be seen even from a distance as they rise into the sky from the flat Hungarian plain. Visiting the Paprika Museum you’ll learn a lot about Hungary’s favourite spice. Continue your journey on the well-built cycle path along the flood protection dyke through the vast expanse of the Puszta. You will cycle through fields and orchards that stretch as far as the eye can see until you reach Solt, birthplace of the famous conductor Sir George Solti. Vecsey Castle and the library with some 34,000 books are especially worth seeing.
Danube Bend – Esztergom, approx. 43 km
The Danube is framed by steep wooded hills as it flows through the picturesque, hilly landscape of the “Hungarian Wachau“. Set in the middle of the Danube, the delightful island of Szentendre radiates real Puszta romance. As you continue your journey on idyllic cycle paths through picturesque villages you’ll be able to experience the Hungarian zest for life at first hand. The dome of the imposing basilica in Esztergom can be seen from far. Hungary’s largest church, with its Tuscan-style high altar and a side chapel with red marble walls is especially worth seeing.
Vienna (Bike excursion to Klosterneuburg, Danube Island…)
After so many action-packed days of cycling, you deserve some relaxation. Enjoy the breath-taking view of the idyllic floodplain forest of the Donauauen National Park and the impressive skyline as you sail to Vienna. Go for a bike ride on the Danube Island – Vienna’s favourite recreational area, cycle to the nearby Klosterneuburg Abbey or wander through the idyllic vineyards of Kahlenberg (with magnificent views over the city and the Danube). The day ends traditionally with a concert of classic waltz and operetta music at a famous Viennese Palais (optional).
Vienna (day of rest)
Discover Vienna: from the saddle on a guided bike tour or on your own with the HOP ON HOP OFF bus (optional). Ride through the historic city centre at a leisurely pace and see the sights at point-blank range. The magnificent Ringstraße boulevard will remind you of times a long time ago and inviting coffee houses will tempt you with delicious Viennese cakes and pastries. Afterwards, there’s enough time to stroll through the quaint lanes or visit the Naschmarkt. Let your day in Vienna end at a rustic wine tavern.
Wachau | Krems – Melk, approx. 37 km
This final stage of your cycling tour can be described as magical! The gentle hilly countryside of the Wachau valley with its picturesque villages, historic castles and palaces surrounded by apricot trees and terraced vineyards, is one of the loveliest stretches. In Weißenkirchen the cycle path is lined with cosy vintner’s taverns and you should definitely have a break in this area. (optional wine tasting)!
Enjoy the first rays of sunlight and the early-morning tranquillity of the Danube valley one last time. Catch a final view of the Danube Bend at Schlögen – before you reach Passau/surroundings, your heart bursting with memories and impressions. Disembarkation at approx. 10.00 a.m. Independent homeward journey. We recommend not to make any arrangements for onward connections departing before 11.00 a.m.
Tours marked with are special prices.
|Start||End||Max. No. Guests||Accommodation||Price p.p.|
|May 07 2022||May 21 2022||150||Single rooms||3,040€|
|Jun 11 2022||Jun 25 2022||150||Single rooms||3,040€|
|Jul 16 2022||Jul 30 2022||150||Single rooms||3,040€|
|Aug 13 2022||Aug 27 2022||150||Single rooms||2,885€|
|Sep 17 2022||Oct 01 2022||150||Single rooms||3,040€|
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote