Wind your way from the elegant city of Vienna along the Danube Cycle Path. Crossing the Austrian - Slovak border the cycle route passes vineyards on the slopes of the Little Carpathian Mountains into the capital, Bratislava. Using quiet country roads this itinerary continues into Hungary where you will pedal through numerous delightful towns far away from the throngs of tourists. Explore the Baroque city of Györ and gain an insight into the history and cultural influences that have shaped Hungary. Visit the unusual artist village of Szentendre and its outlying island before heading to Budapest - the 'Paris of Eastern Europe'.
Daily cycling distances range from 26-85km / 16-53mi, with shorted options available on some days. The route is mostly flat, sometimes lightly hilly. The Austrian section is on well equipped bike paths whilst in Hungary you will cycle on country roads and side roads, sometimes unpaved. Route finding in Hungary is less straightforward and will require more map reading. Entering and exiting the cities (particularly Gyor, Eztergom and Budapest), there is some traffic to be aware of! The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. It is considered suitable for cyclists with a reasonable level of fitness including older children. For parents pulling trailers or trail-a-bikes please be aware that the cycling effort required is increased depending on the weight of the children. If you are not experienced cyclists we recommend the Blue Danube Cycle which is more suitable for families. *For safety reasons, we insist that cycle helmets be included as a compulsory item on your equipment list.
Check into the hotel where you will receive your travel documents. The remainder of the day is free to explore the town.
In the morning you will meet a representative and receive your bike. From Vienna you take the Danube-Cycle-Path through the national park “Donauauen", which was established to protect the Danube floodplain areas and the large diversity of plants and animals found within this ecosystem. The route continues past the castles of “Orth” and “Eckartsau” before reaching the health resort town of Bad Deutsch Altenburg. Nearby you can view the Roman excavations of Petronell-Carnuntum, an important archaeological site. Overnight Petronell-Carnuntum or Bad Deutsch Altenburg.
The Danube is bordered by the hills of Hainburg and the small Carpathian mountains at this point. The day starts with a short transfer by train, following which you cycle on to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Don’t miss the lovely pedestrian zone, old quarter, numerous sites and shopping opportunities. Bratislava is Europe’s youngest capital ideally located between the Danube plain, hills and vineyards. Overnight Bratislava.
Continuing along the banks of the Danube you soon reach the Hungarian border and continue through small farming villages to the enchanting landscape of the Szigetköz, an idyllic paradise for birds and fish. In the midst of this region with more than 500 tiny islands you will find farming villages and a labyrinth of countless Danube creeks. Following a short train ride you reach Györ, one of the important cities of the Hungarian lowlands with a glamorous, historical city center. Take the time to explore on foot the laneways, churches and palaces in the baroque city centre.
Following your departure from Gyor where you need to concentrate on the directions, you cycle today through the landscape of western trans Danubia, passing the national stud in Babolna. Continue cycling to the divided town of Komarno (border-town between Hungary and Slovakia), a favourite of King Matthias.
Continue along the Slovakian Danube bank you bike through small farm-villages through a flat region to Esztergom. En route you pass the Roman fort of Kelemantia. In Esztergom you can admire the imposing Basilica and wander along the banks of the Danube before continuing to the Danube Bend. If you are staying in category A accommodation a boat ride is included today from Esztergom to Visegrad.
Steep mountain-slopes frame the pictorial landscape of the Danube Bend up to Szentendre Island. You and your bike cross to Szentendre Island by ferry. After cycling south along the island, take another ferry from the island back to the mainland to the lively and unusual artists village of Szentendre. You continue by bike (category A) or boat to the Hungarian capital, Budapest (depending on boat service a train will be substituted - boat or train from Szentendre is included for those staying in Category B accommodation, optional for category A). The cycle program concludes on arrival in Budapest. We recommend that travel on foot and use trams to explore Budapest.
You can enjoy the first half of the morning in the metropolis of Budapest. Departure from Budapest by scheduled bus daily at 11am and 3:00pm, with a travel time of 3 hours - bus schedule subject to change, refer to inclusions or ask our office for further details. We recommend spending an extra night in Vienna. Alternatively, you may choose not to return to Vienna and instead to continue your travels from Budapest.
This was our first self guided bike ride. Better than we expected. Basic bike skills plus practice before trip beneficial. We made a plan for each days riding the evening before and stuck to it - this proved convenient and gave us confidence to complete each days riding. We had a fantastic time doing this ride - highly recommended.
L & A Wright., Pelican Waters, QLD. Aust
I highly recommend the Hungarian Rhapsody cycling tour. It is a great way to do a self-guided tour in a supported way - you choose which detours to take or how long to explore each place... so long as you get to your hotel each night. We met some great people en route and enjoyed the option of riding together or alone as desired. The accommodation was excellent, as was the food and the service from UTracks. Great fun!
P. Brake, Tasmania, 20 Oct 2016
A great trip! Cycling is a fabulous way to explore the countryside. The self-guided option gave us the freedom to stop as often as we wanted to, enjoy local coffee, ice-cream (& the odd beer) and explore the interesting places along our route. We would definitely choose a cycling holiday again.
D. Brackley, Hadden, UK, 18 May 2017
The rivers was so inviting for a swim, so often, it was hard to keep pedaling forward. This for us was such a grand adventure of discovery, seeing the beauty and historical magnificence of Eastern Europe - surprised.
C. Rhyne, NC, USA, 09 Aug 2017
Per Person, Twin Share