Saturday: Passau | In 2020: Thursday, Passau
Boarding time is at 4 p.m. Experience Mediterranean flair in Passau, the city of three rivers. You should definitely set aside some time on the day of your arrival for a walk through the picturesque baroque city with its narrow lanes and Passau cathedral home to the largest church organ in the world. Your cycling holiday begins after embarkation when you sail into the sunset and Passau’s magnificent silhouette with its church towers and domes slowly fades into the
horizon behind you.
Sunday: Mauthausen – Grein | In 2020: Friday: Engelhartszell - Brandstatt
Today’s bike tour takes you directly along the Danube where you have enough time to enjoy the natural state of the meadow landscape. The Celtic village Mitterkirchen gives you an impression of the past. The alternative route, “Clam Castle,” through the beautiful back country of the “Strudengau” is slightly hilly but offers a fantastic scenery. Grein, with its mighty castle, is the final destination of today’s stage. After a romantic sunset cruise you arrive at Devin with its castle ruin overviewing the Danube in the morning.
In 2020 45km:
Breathe in the fragrance of the dense forest and freshly mown meadows. Explore the pristine countryside of the Upper Danube valley on the former towpath as it runs past sleepy villages. Small, rustic inns at the edge of the trail invite you to linger, the aroma of fresh fish grilled according to tradition on a stick wafts through the air. The Schlögener Blick observation point offers a truly stunning view of the Schlögener Schlinge where the Danube carves its way through a gorge and doubles back on itself.
Monday: Devin - Bratislava | In 2020: Saturday. Brandstatt - Linz
From Devin you follow the former ‘Iron Curtain’, cross the former border and reach the imposing Baroque Palace of Hof with its beautifully terraced gardens. Cycle through the Austria’s ‘vegetable garden’ to the coronation city and former capital of Hungary Bratislava located at the slopes of the Little Carpathians. Explore the hidden alleyways and sights of Bratislava on a city tour (optional).
In 2020 26km:
Catch some fresh country air again – at lunch time, you’ll reach the Upper Austrian capital of Linz. Discover the European Capital of Culture 2009 on a bright yellow miniature train (optional). The cathedral is the biggest church in Austria, the Pöstlingbergbahn the steepest adhesion railway in the world. Are you curious about the future? At the ARS Electronica Museum you can try out some of the most impressive examples of modern technology for yourself. Make sure you don’t miss it!
Tuesday: Vienna (day of rest) | In 2020: Sunday, Mauthausen - Grein
During a city tour by bike or bus (optional) you will experience Vienna’s most famous examples of architecture: the imperial Hofburg, St. Stephens Cathedral, the gorgeous ‘Ring’-boulevard and the State Opera House, the Burgtheater and town hall and, of course, the colourful ‘Hundertwasserhaus’. There is enough time in the afternoon to scroll or visit one of the famous Viennese cafés. The evening can end in numerous ways. For example by visiting a Waltz and Opera concert at a famous Viennese Palace (optional).
In 2020 35km:
A beautiful and varied route lies ahead of you as you explore the idyllic hinterland of the Strudengau by bike: the Celtic Village of Mitterkirchen, the Baroque monastery of Baumgartenberg and the romantic ruins of Burg Clam castle. Then it’s time to enjoy the little medieval town of Grein with its Baroque facades, imposing castle and the oldest municipal theatre in Austria. After a romantic journey sailing past towns and villages full of twinkling lights, you arrive – just like Sisi did way back then – in the City of Waltz early in the morning.
Wednesday: Wachau/ Krems - Melk | In 2020: Monday, Vienna (day of rest)
Today’s biking day is a special highlight! Amidst small dreamy towns, apricot trees, vineyards, castles, monasteries and ruins, this hilly landscape enchants everybody. You will be biking on cloud nine! A powerful ruin looms above the small baroque town of Durnstein, while the blue spire of the monastery church is a landmark of Wachau valley. In Weißenkirchen (possibility for a wine-tasting – optional) you will find comfortable wine taverns right along the bike path.
On a city tour of Vienna all the sights are within reach from the saddle of your bike or on the HOP ON HOP OFF bus (optional). The magnificent Ringstraße will remind you of times long past and inviting coffee houses will tempt you with delicious Viennese cakes and pastries, while the Naschmarket market is a feast for all the senses. End the evening on a magical note with a concert of waltz and classical operetta music in Sisi’s summer residence (optional).
Thursday: Melk - Grein | In 2020: Tuesday, Wachau Valley round trip
After breakfast you have plenty of time to visit the gorgeous baroque monastery of the Benedictine brethren of Melk. Today’s stage is marked by diversity. Starting in the wide valleys of the Nibelungenau you follow the Danube and cycle further into the Strudengau – a narrow point of the Danube which used to be notorious amongst skippers. Yours today’s final destination is the – already well known – city of Grein, home of Austria’s oldest city theatre (optional).
In 2020 25-40km:
An unforgettable day in the picturesque Wachau. Cycle through delightful wine-growing villages surrounded by terraced vineyards and apricot trees. The charming little town of Dürnstein with its narrow lanes is an absolute highlight. In Weißenkirchen – the most important wine-growing village in the World Cultural Heritage Landscape – you can discover the first rate famous Wachau wines.
Friday: Great Danube Loop/ Obermühl - Engelhartszell | In 2020: Wednesday, Weißenkirchen - Pöchlarn
Today you will cycle through the Danube Valley and will pass through many picturesque villages. Along the cycle path you may smell freshly grilled mackerels, with small pubs doing all they can to entice cyclists to stay. Make sure you follow the small walking trail to the lookout high above the Danube Loop – what a breathtaking panoramic view of the Danube Valley it provides of the meandering Blue Danube! Need a refreshment? Try some of the special cordials at the Trappist monastery at Engelszell, your day’s destination.
In 2020 35km:
Enjoy this stage of your cycling holiday passing through the wild and romantic scenery along the mighty Danube with its rustic wine-growing villages set amongst the vineyards. In Spitz, situated on the “1000-Eimer Berg”, take the ferry to the sleepy southern bank of the river and after a leisurely ride reach the imposing Benedictine Abbey of Melk, one of the loveliest Baroque ensembles in Europe. Having passed the town of Pöchlarn, which featured in the
Nibelungen saga, settle down to enjoy the stunning views of the rugged and romantic Nibelungengau.
Saturday: Passau | In 2020: Thursday, Passau
As you cruise back up the Danube enjoy the early morning sunshine as you wind your way to Passau, where you will arrive at about 10:00 a.m. and you’ll disembark about 30 minutes later. Connecting travel should be booked for 11.00 a.m. onwards.
Enjoy the first rays of sun and the early morning tranquillity one last time from the deck of the ship before you reach Passau, your heart bursting with memories.
Disembarkation: approx. 9 a.m. We recommend that you do not make any arrangements for onward trains departing before 10.30 a.m. To be on the safe side, later departure times would be even better.