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Danube 15-day Bike & Barge Tour Passau-Vienna-Budapest-Iron Gates
Glide along the most beautiful stretches of the Danube to the breath-taking scenery of one of the most spectacular gorges in Europe on this 15-day Bike & Barge Tour through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and more.
Come on an adventure-packed bike and boat tour through 6 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 the 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 you´ll experience when boarding is the friendly atmosphere and the coziness of this 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 are tasting. In the Panorama-Lounge, where the bar is located, 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 colors make you stay a little 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 in the library! The comfortable ship will make your journey unforgettable. Wifi is available on board (payable on spot, connection can vary)
All 75 de-luxe staterooms have 14 m² and feature a hotel-style double bed, which may be converted to two single beds. The half-height windows on the Main deck cannot be opened, the staterooms on the Upper and Middle deck provide full-size picture windows which do open. All cabins are equipped with a private bathroom with a shower, hair dryer, TV, safe and full air-conditioning. ECO cabins are located in the front/rear part of the ship (engine noise possible).
Passenger - decks
The cycle paths are asphalted for the most part and run through flat to lightly hilly terrain – mainly following the routing of Eurovelo 6 – via cycle paths and country roads with little traffic. Don’t feel like cycling today? You can reach your destination easily by boat
On 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 always be operated, even at 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 in the sea
Minimum 50 people on board
The route mainly follows the Eurovelo 6 cycle path; in A/SK/H it runs on asphalted paths over flat terrain; in HR/SRB 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
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.
Schlögen Danube Bend | Obernzell-Obermühl approx. 35km
Enjoy a delightful day’s cycling from Obernzell through the ruggedly romantic Danube Bend at Schlögen, one of the most beautiful sections of the river lined with sleepy farming villages and a natural landscape. Get a break at Austria’s only Trappist monastery in Engelhartszell and refill your energy with home-distilled drinks. Along the way, you can drop in at one of the many inviting cider taverns. At the charming village Obermühl you go aboard the barge and sail into the beautiful sunset.
Devin – Bratislava, approx. 15-43km
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. There follows a stretch of untouched countryside and a short time later, you arrive in 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. 27-54km (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 hearty local food (optional).
Baja – Mohacs, approx. 37km
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 most southerly town on the Danube and famously the site of two battles with the Ottoman Turks.
Belgrade (day of rest)
Explore the fun-loving Serbian capital at the confluence of the Save 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. 48km
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 revolves around wine. In the evening you will have the opportunity to sample some famous croatian wines at a local wine cellar (optional).
Batina – Mohacs, approx. 42km
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 hardly touched nature in 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. 50km
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 skies from the flat Hungarian plain. Visiting the Paprika Museum you’ll learn all there is to know 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, and 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. Vecsey Castle and the library with some 34,000 books are especially worth seeing.
Danube Bend – Esztergom, approx. 43km
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 that sits high over the Danube can be seen from far and wide. 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 breathtaking view of the idyllic floodplain forest of the Donauauen National Park and the impressive skyline as you sail into Vienna. Go for a ride on the Danube Island – Vienna’s favourite recreational area, cycle out to the nearby Klosterneuburg Abbey or wander through the idyllic vineyards on Kahlenberg (with magnificent views over the city and the Danube). The day ends traditionally with a concert of classic waltz and operetta music in the Schönbrunn palace (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 from close up. The magnificent Ringstraße will remind you of times long past 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, a feast for the senses. End your day in Vienna in traditional fashion at a rustic wine tavern.
Wachau | Krems – Melk, approx. 37km
This final stage of your cycling tour can best be described as magical! 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 and you should definitely treat yourself to a break here (optional wine tasting)!
Enjoy the first rays of sun 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, your heart bursting with memories and impressions. Disembarkation at approx. 10.00 a.m. Independent homeward travel. We recommend that you do not make any arrangements for onward connections departing before 11.00 a.m. To be on the safe side, later departure times would be even better.
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.
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