Pedal beside the majestic Danube River on a cycling odyssey.

Retrace the steps of the Roman, Ottoman and Turk Empires on this adventure along the mighty Danube River. Journey through picturesque villages, forests and lush farmlands as you cycle from Vienna to Budapest, passing through Slovakia and it's cosmopolitan capital. Live it up in Baroque style at the elegant Schönbrunn Palace or get lost in the cobbled laneways of Komarom, a city with one foot in Hungary and the other in Slovakia. Visit the architectural jewel of the Danube River, the Esztergom Basilica, and pass by the imposing white-hued Bratislava Castle. Celebrate a day in the saddle with a luxurious soak in one of Budapest's iconic baths.


Start
Vienna, Austria
Finish
Budapest, Hungary
Countries
Austria, Hungary, Slovakia
Style
Original
Theme
Cycling
Code
ZMXD
Physical rating
Ages
Min 16
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Cycle leafy paths from vibrant Vienna to Bratislava and bohemian Budapest

  • Follow the Danube downstream, passing romantic castles, picturesque villages and lowland forests

  • Experience one of Austria's most important archaeological sites, the Roman remains at Carnuntum

  • Marvel at the domed Basilica of Esztergom, reflected in the still waters of the Danube Bend

  • Straddle the borders of Hungary and Slovakia in the historic spa town of Komarom

Is this trip right for you?

  • While the cycling distances are relatively long – sometimes up to 75 kilometres – the terrain of the Danube as it flows downstream is naturally flat so you’ll only need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy the trip. But remember, we will always have the support vehicle on hand if you need to take a break for an hour or a day.

  • As our riding is done mostly on sealed roads and bike paths with the occasional gravel section there are no technical cycling skills required.

  • There’s the possibility of a few hiccups along the way – a puncture here and there maybe – but there’s no doubt this is an incredibly rewarding adventure.

  • As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack instead. As this is an eight-day trip, a large backpack should be enough to carry all of your belongings.

  • As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details, and please note that in some hotels a single supplement exclusion applies where single rooms are not available. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.

Itinerary

Welcome to Vienna! Your cycling adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please confirm with the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the reception noticeboards. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If arriving early make sure you go for a walk around this beautiful city. Perhaps even take a spin on the famous old Prater Ferris Wheel. Following the group meeting, maybe head out for an optional welcome dinner at a Viennese Heurigen (wine tavern). Heuriger means "this year's wine", and the Heurigen originated as a way for winemakers to offer samples of their new wine with a few snacks. Fortunately this now also includes a hearty meal, which will be much needed for the days of cycling ahead.

Please note that many shops, including bicycle shops close at midday on Saturday, and all of Sunday so it is difficult to purchase a bike helmet before the cycling begins on Day 2 - please bring your own helmet with you.

Cycle distance: none
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After breakfast there will be a bike fitting for the group followed by a short test ride. Then take a sightseeing tour of Vienna by bike (approximately 3 hours). Follow the path of the Habsburg and explore the rich artistic and cultural icons like the Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Hofburg Palace and all that the Ringstrasse has to offer.

Cycle distance: approx. 15 kms
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave Vienna’s city centre and ride along the mighty Danube to the tiny hamlet of Hasslau an der Donau. From here, journey east along the riverbanks to one of Austria's most important archaeological sites, Carnuntum, and its eclectic mixture of Roman ruins and modern reconstructions. Spend some time wandering among the remains of Roman life on the Danube before climbing back onto your bike and slowly winding along the riverside bike paths to the Slovak border. In the afternoon arrive in the Slovak capital, the cosmopolitan Bratislava (approximately 45 kilometres in total). See firsthand how bordering two independent countries has left its mark on Bratislava with an introductory walk.

Please note that the Bratislava Castle is closed on a Monday so we are unable to enter it.

Cycle distance: approx. 45 kms
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Carnuntum entrance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Follow the Danube as it turns south and re-enters Hungary. Pass by picturesque villages, lowland forests and across lush farmland to the tiny village of Hedervar, home of the charming 13th century Renaissance and Baroque style Héderváry Castle (approximately 80 kilometres). Afterwards it's only a short five kilometre ride to the tiny village of Lipot. While the village is certainly quiet, it has a laid-back atmosphere that makes for a perfect end to what will be the longest day in the saddle.

Cycle distance: approx. 80 kms
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leaving the quiet ambience of Hedervar behind, cycle most of today on paths free of traffic. Stop to visit the Baroque city of Győr for a quick tour, including a visit to Káptalan Hill, Bécsi kapu tér square, and the picturesque Király Street. Afterwards, track back to the banks of the Danube and on to the city of Komarom, which straddles the borders of Hungary and Slovakia (approximately 70 kilometres in total). While Komarom is known for its forts and strategic position on the Danube River, it is also a beautiful city housing many museums and historical sites. Take part in an introductory walk with a stroll across the Elizabeth Bridge, the pathway between two counties. To add some pampering at the end of a long day why not try an optional spa visit to soothe those aching muscles.

Cycle distance: approx. 70 kms
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today there is an early departure to ensure a timely arrival into Esztergom (approximately 55 kilometres). The former capital city of Hungary, Esztergom is the seat of the Hungarian Catholic Church and boasts an amazing array of architectural gems such as Royal Palace, the Víziváros, and Watertown, which is built on the banks of the Danube itself. The crowning glory of Esztergom is undoubtbly the Esztergom Basilica, a stunning example of Classicism and the third largest church in Europe. Reflected in the still waters of the Danube Bend, the Basilica is a sight to behold from outside and within. Take part on an introductory orientation walk of this beguiling city.

Cycle distance: approx. 55 kms
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Esztergom Basilica entrance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Cycle the famous ‘Danube Bend’ beneath the wooded hills of Visegrád. Here the river turns south towards the Hungarian capital city of Budapest. Today is a long day in the saddle (approximately 75 kilometres) with a stop half way for a picnic lunch on the river bank. To help end the day on a high, an afternoon visit to one of Budapest's famous spas is included. There is ample free time in the evening to explore at your leisure.

Cycle distance: approx. 75 kms
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Szechenyi Baths Entrance & locker
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
The final day starts with an early morning city cycling tour in Budapest (approximately 3 hours) that takes in the best that this remarkable city has to offer, including a visit to the food market. Return to the hotel with ample time to shower and say goodbye to your newfound friends. If you want to spend some extra time in Budapest or require a later checkout, we strongly recommend booking extra accommodation at the time of booking.

Cycle distance: approx. 15 kms

As we spend the morning riding it is not recommended to book a flight out of Budapest before 5pm.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Bicycle, Support vehicle, Ferry

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights), pension (1 night)

Included activities

  • Carnuntum entrance
  • Esztergom Basilica entrance
  • Szechenyi Baths Entrance & locker

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for details. Please note the single supplement does not include day 4 in Lipot due to limited hotel capacity.
2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organise a suitable sized bike.
3. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We are unable to hire bike helmets locally so please ensure you bring your own bike helmet from home.
4. There is an included ride on the morning of Day 8 (the last day of the trip) so it is not recommended to book a flight out of Budapest before 5pm

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Cycle the Danube trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 6 reviews in the last year.

Cycle the Danube, June 2017

John Wright

Cycle the Danube, June 2017

edmond dorne