Blue Danube Cycle

Blue Danube Cycle

Trip Highlights

  • Cycling along the Danube bike path
  • Exploring the three river town of Passau and the majestic city of Vienna
  • Experiencing the timelessness of the river landscape
  • The abbey at Melk and the Danube loop
  • The romantic Wachau Valley

Trip Summary

Follow the winding route of the Danube and discover the lively history of one of Europe's most important rivers. Cycle past Austrian castles, Benedictine monasteries and ancestral vineyards en route to Vienna. From Germany, follow the Danube eastward into Austria, across the fertile plains of the Wachau Valley, where vineyards climb the slopes to imposing medieval monasteries perched atop hills between Melk and Krems. Wind past castle ruins and apricot orchards before reaching the capital of Austria, where you can take in a performance of the "Blue Danube" waltz, the melody that evokes Vienna the world over.


This trip involves 6 days cycling between 40 and 60km / 25 and 37mi per day usually along paved cycle paths across generally flat terrain. The terrain is almost exclusively on the Danube cycle path. In and out of the cities there will be some traffic. You need only carry your camera/rain gear and water bottle. Your luggage is transported for you between hotels/inns. The trip is graded introductory to moderate and is considered suitable for beginners and children who have a good level of fitness. A limited number of children’s bikes are available (minimum height 120cm), as are bike seats (max 18kg) and trailers (2 children, maximum 40kg), and tag-a-long bikes (minimum height is 120cm/3ft 11.3in). *For safety reasons, we insist that cycle helmets be included as a compulsory item on your equipment list.


Make your way to your hotel, where you will receive your travel documents. The remainder of the day is free to explore the town. Located at the junction of three rivers, the Danube, Inn and Ilz, Passau has a number of interesting sites including the Fortress “Veste Oberhaus”, built in 1219 and with an observation tower that offers a good view of the town and the river, and St Stephens Cathedral which has the world’s largest church organ. Collect your bike this afternoon (4-7 pm) or tomorrow morning. Generally we provide bikes with 21 gears – if you would like a 7 speed bike please specify this on booking.

Meals:  D

If you pick up your bike this morning, the cycle begins directly at the bike garage. Today you'll cycle through the Upper Danube Valley to Schlögen, following the river. Pass through the Austrian border town of Engelhartszell, which is home to a former Cistercian abbey (1293-1786) and since 1925 the only Trappist monastery in Austria, then continue to Schlögen. The famous Schlögener Blick provides a wonderful view of the surrounding Austrian countryside.

Meals:  B,D

Between the banks of the Danube there are small passenger ferries that you can take. On the southern bank of the Danube you pass Aschach and cycle through the slowly widening fertile basin of Eferfing. Continue past the monastery at Wilhering and reach the capital of Upper Austria, Linz. The city has a lively arts and music culture. In 1783 Mozart wrote his Symphony No. 36 here, now known as the Linz Symphony. The modern art gallery “Lentos”, situated on the Danube and illuminated at night, is worth a look, or enjoy an evening strolling around the lovely main square.

Meals:  B,D

The cycle continues along the Danube cycle path and you can visit Enns, the oldest town in Austria, or across the river, the Mauthausen concentration camp. It is possible to visit the camp and its interesting museum, although the detour requires a steep uphill climb. This leg takes you through beautiful meadows and tranquil hinterland, past the Celtic village of Mitterkitchen and the majestic church in Baumgartenberg, and on to the romantic castle of Clam and the town of Grein. In Grein you will find the oldest Austrian theatre which is open to visitors. Continue to Strudengau. Note that if you are staying in Category A hotels, you will overnight in Ardagger, about 10km before Grein.

Meals:  B,D

Today's cycle takes you through the fascinating landscape of tall and densely wooded rock formations on the both sides of the river. From Strudengau you soon arrive in Ybbs, a former trading centre on the Danube. High above the Danube is the pilgrimage church of Maria Taferl, and well before you reach the town of Melk you can see its huge monastery. There will be ample time in the afternoon to explore the museum and abbey and absorb the sweeping view from its balcony. Overnight in the Nibelungengau (the region surrounding Melk)

Meals:  B,D

Today you pedal through the renowned Wachau, with its truly romantic scenery of terraced vineyards, apricot groves and quaint villages. En route to Krems you cycle through the winery villages of Spitz, Weisskirchen and Durnstein and pass several abbeys, castles and ruins. There's also the possibility to take a break from your bike and relax on a short boat excursion. Alongside the cycle path you will find the so called “Heurigen” (typical Austrian wine taverns) where you can taste wine or regional foods.

Meals:  B,D

This morning you take the train to Tulln, where you cycle through the Vienna Woods (Wiener Wald) towards metropolitan Vienna, capital of Austria. Along the way, we recommend stopping to visit the impressive monastery in Klosterneuberg before continuing to the "City of Music". The route into Vienna is mostly on a cycle path with no vehicles allowed, allowing you easy access to the main centre and your hotel. (Dinner is not included tonight)

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast. Make sure you visit the famous sights of Vienna such as the ‘Naschmarkt’, the City Opera, the Ringstrasse with its imposing buildings and the beautiful imperial castle Schönbrunn. Also highly recommended is the Kunsthistorisches Museum. We can assist with extra night bookings if you'd like to stay longer in Vienna.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 dinners (dinner not included in Vienna). Continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, cheese, occasionally eggs and meats, coffee, tea and juices. Dinner will consist of 3 courses which include regional specialities
  • 7 nights accommodation in rooms with ensuite facilities on a twin share basis, according to the chosen hotel category (Cat C: 2-3 star hotels is standard, or upgrade option to Cat B: 3-4 star hotels or to Cat A: 4 star hotels - supplement applies)
  • Transfer of luggage from hotel to hotel (1 suitcase of max 20kg per person)
  • 21 speed bike rental equipped with 2 panniers (7 speed bikes on request or if 21speed is fully booked, children trailers - max 2 children, 40kg - on request. A limited number of 8-speed electric bikes are available for hire - must be pre-booked and a supplement applies). Odometer (not on e-bikes). Lock and repair kit including pump.
  • Welcome drink at your arrival hotel in Passau
  • 1 free bottle of wine per room from a vineyard in the Wachau Valley
  • A tasting of regional products
  • Train ride Krems (or Traismauer) to Tulln (including bike)
  • Maps, route information and tourist information, and handlebar bag per room, GPS Tracks are available on request
  • Emergency hotline
  • Note: Children’s prices are available on request – excellent discounts apply.

What's Not Included

  • Travel to Passau and from Vienna
  • Dinner in Vienna, lunch and drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided cycling trip
  • Entrance fees
  • Ferries
  • Transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Helmets - bring your own or you can purchase through UTracks to have them provided locally (must be pre-booked and pre-paid) - please ask for our rates
  • Train or bus Vienna back to Passau - we can book this if required, please ask for our rates

Upcoming Travel Dates


Six great days of riding through the Bavarian and Austrian countryside following the path of the fantastic Danube. Our trip, our pace.

M. Mead., Australind, WA, Australia

Excellent introduction to self guided cycling in Europe. We did not upgrade our hotels and were pleased they were mostly right by the bike path. The few basic ones in the smaller towns were clean and friendly and extremely accommodating to a lactose free diet. All hotels rooms had wifi, hair dryers, and were very roomy. The cycling itself was just beautiful with tree lined sections, riverfront, vineyards and quaint towns. There were some very short sections right beside the highway but you had a dedicated path with a barrier. The instructions and recommendations in the booklets were sufficient. We definitely recommend this trip to anyone who wants to enjoy a cycling trip with lots of amazing food and beautiful scenery without an intense workout!

G. Jackson, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 24 Aug 2018

Lovely cycle trip on excellent cycle lanes. Good bikes. Nice hotels. Cycling not a challenge but heat was - 34 to 36 degrees most days in August. Would recommend early summer or autumn.

A. Morris, Waterford, Ireland, 18 Aug 2018

Overall, we loved the experience, and the service provided. Apart from preferring hotels to be closer to the centre of the main villages on the river we were really pleased with the trip. The staff in the hotels were mostly very friendly and helpful. Thanks for your support and contribution to a memorable holiday.

K. Dowsley, Ascot Vale, VIC, 15 Oct 2018

Thoroughly enjoyed our cycle trip from Passau to Vienna in September. The pace of cycling and the outdoors are delightful. Our ebikes made the trip quite achievable for two people of medium fitness who don’t ride that often (glad someone suggested we bring gel seats for our bike saddles). We will long remember the Wachau Valley with fruit trees full of apples and stone fruit and vineyards; Engelhartszell Abbey, Melk Abbey and delightful stops along the river for lunch. It’s a mighty river and Vienna was a terrific destination for a few days of sight seeing and cultural enjoyment.

K. O’Brien, Blaxland, NSW, 15 Oct 2018

UTracks certainly made this self guided trip easy by taking care of all the details. Nothing to do but hop on the bike, ride, take in the scenery and decide where to stop for cake, coffee and pictures - lovely!!!! Andrew and Liz

L. Ellwood, Hobart, Tasmania, 02 Nov 2018

I loved the ride, amazing countryside incredible helpful people if you were lost. The accommodation was fantastic. The meals were always plenty...breakfast was always great.

A. Cross, Dunedin, New Zealand, 13 Nov 2018

The Blue Danube Cycle Tour is one to recommend, beautiful scenery riding along excellent bike paths, staying in first class accommodation, luggage was always waiting on our arrival at hotel, meals provided were excellent. Would highly recommend this trip to anyone wanting to cycle in Germany.

P. McDonald, Sawtell, NSW, 12 Jun 2019

The Blue Danube bike ride is an excellent option for anyone looking for an active travel option to explore this lovely corner of the world. The standard of the bike facilities is excellent and with a number of punts taking cyclists and walkers across the river there is always a lot of flexibility about which side of the river you ride. We travelled independently but the route was very easy to follow and having the luggage transferred each day to the next hotel worked perfectly.

G. Rose, Glen Iris, VIC, 27 Jul 2019

There was a lot of trip information which was great. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip, bikes were excellent quality.

C. Schultz, Qld. Australia

We have just returned from our Europe holiday which included your Passau to Vienna bike tour and offer the following comments:Arrangements: instructions for arrival and instructions from staff at the first hotel were excellent. They clearly were familiar with the procedures and had vouchers etc ready.Accommodation: the hotels selected were better than had been expected and were something of a surprise - we had opted to upgrade the hotel accommodation, choosing the mid-range offering. A couple of hotels were difficult to access for some of the group (steep hills & out of town). The hotel at Traismauer proved difficult to locate and some other riders struggled with the distance because the previous hotel was also out of town.Meals: were much better than expected. Bikes: were solid, reliable and adequate for the riding undertaken. No breakdowns were experienced.The course: although we experienced unseasonal hot weather (39degrees) was not taxing and easily handled. The maps and instructions provided were excellent although details for finding the hotel accommodation were challenging. We used an Ipad with Austrian maps to guide us once in towns.Overall: A wonderful experience. We chose Utracks because of our good experiences with an earlier booking and would recommend this tour.

J. Mulcahy., QLD, Australia

My Husband and I are both in our sixties and have wonderful memories of our cycle trip down The Danube, especially cycling through the Wachau Valley on the 1st of May. The trip also gave us a wonderful sense of achievement. Thank You.

L Schrey, New Zealand

This was our first self-guided trip. It was a great experience in a safe environment. The cycle rides in the tranquil settings were magic.

Mr R and Mrs B Hooker, Hastings, New Zealand

Great way to see many historic towns and cities along the Danube, at your own pace, and sample the various foods at small cafes and restaurants along the way, meet the locals, plus a real motivation to keep fit.

P & L. Adkins., Springwood, QLD. Australia

First class arrangements, info, accommodation, equipment and service, would recommend to anyone.

G. Alder, Hawthorn, South Australia, 21 Oct 2016


Duration:8 Days
Countries:Germany, Austria
Starting Point:Passau
Finishing Point:Vienna
Grade:introductory to moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:DBC
Prices From:GBP£785 Per Person
Single Supplement - Category C (2 to 3 star):GBP£190  Click for more information
Single Supplement - Category B (3 to 4 star):GBP£220  Click for more information
Single Supplement - Category A (4 star):GBP£230  Click for more information
Single Traveller Surcharge - Category C (2 to 3 star):GBP£200  Click for more information
Single Traveller Surcharge - Category B (3 to 4 star):GBP£220  Click for more information
Single Traveller Surcharge - Category A (4 star):GBP£240  Click for more information
Please do not book any flights or extra arrangements until such time that your booking is confirmed by Sherpa Expeditions by phone or email.