Headwater - Passau to Vienna Self-Guided Cycling

11 days
2'131 CHF
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Cycle through a thousand years of history

The route from Passau, on Germany's eastern border, to Vienna is one of the most popular cycle paths in Europe, and it's no wonder! This stretch of the Danube carves its way through a thousand years of history; 60 dramatic castles and palaces lie along the river and the ever-changing landscape is a kaleidoscope of fertile plains, narrow gorges, lowland forests, bird-rich marshland and acres of picturesque vines.


  • Gentle cycling on dedicated cycle paths alongside the Danube, one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe
  • Hilltop castles, Baroque palaces, historic abbeys, ornate monasteries
  • Sunflower fields, vineyards, peach and apricot orchards
  • Masses of culture: art galleries, Roman remains, 23,000-year-old sculptures
  • Eclectic mix of hotels from C15 convents to riverfront mansions

Key information

  • 10 Nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • 6 Days cycling
  • Departs every 2 days
  • High quality bikes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 6 dinners
  • High quality bike
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers

What's not included

  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplements
Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Days of Cycling
Day by day breakdown
Day 223.0km/14.5miles
Day 327.0km/17.0miles
Day 529.0km/18.5miles
Day 739.0km/24.5miles
Day 941.0km/26.0miles
Day 1022.0km/13.5miles


  • Day 1

    Arrive in Passau

    Arrive at your riverfront hotel and then enjoy dinner in the heart of the old town tonight.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Passau to Schlogen

    After receiving your bike and welcome brief, pedal east to Obernzell, famous for pottery, before popping into the Keramicmuseum in a riverside castle. The scent of wood smoke and grilled trout may tempt you into lunch as you cross into Austria where the valley is steeper and cloaked with oak woods. On reaching the hotel, relax in the pool before dinner on the terrace watching passenger boats sparkling with fairy lights cruise past.

    Cycling distance either 23km/14.5mi or 47km/29.5mi

    Comfortable Hotel


    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Schlogen to Aschach (Linz)

    Spot kingfishers today in the Donauschlinge Nature Reserve. Stop and enjoy the views at the picnic tables that dot the waterfront before you reach Aschach's frescoed waterfront. Catch the Linz ferry, or follow the towpath through reed marshes to Ottensheim beach for a swim. Hop on the train here and in no time you'll arrive at your hotel, an ancient convent, in Linz's extravagant town square.

    Cycling disctance either 27km/17mi or 46km/29mi

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    At Linz

    Linz's ornate Baroque architecture in the Hauptplatz leads to boutique shops on LandstraBe, and to the old Schlossmuseum, creaking with ancient armour. Browse the Lentos Art Museum before, perhaps, catching the train to explore tiny C12 Enns, Austria's oldest city. Or, for a poignant history lesson on the Holocaust, visit the WW2 Nazi camp at Mauthausen.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Linz to Melk

    After a 30 minute transfer (included) to C16 Grein, you'll pedal through orchards as the Danube Valley becomes more fertile, before stopping for lunch in Ybbs, home to a quirky collection of penny-farthing bicycles. The hilltop twin towers of Maria Taferl appear and Melk's monastery looms high above as you pedal towards Margaret Ebner's welcoming family hotel in Melk.

    Cycling distance either 29km/18.5mi or 48km/30mi

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    At Melk

    Melk's massive Benedictine monastery was rebuilt in 1683 and the interior abbey is as breathtaking as the countryside views from the rooftop terrace. For a day trip, cycle to Schloss Schallaburg (8km return), one of the finest Renaissance castles north of the Alps, where you can stroll in the magnificent rose gardens and enjoy acclaimed cultural exhibitions. After dinner, enjoy wandering Melk's atmospheric cobbled streets.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Melk to Krems

    Today you coast along the UNESCO Wachau Valley, a necklace of villages and vineyards, anchored by pretty churches along the north bank. Each is charming, especially Durnstein where Richard the Lionheart was held for ransom in the craggy hilltop castle. Admire the statuette, Venus of Willendorf, dating back to 23,000BC, before arriving in Krems for a splash in the pool, and candlelit dinner on the terrace overlooking the valley.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    At Krems

    Krems has one of the most beautiful historic centres in Europe and is packed with interest, from the Wine Museum housed in a restored Dominican monastery to the C13 abbey that exhibits paintings of Martin Johann Schmidt. You can cycle out to Schloss Grafenegg (14km away), a gargoyle-encrusted Gothic castle set in 85 acres of parkland, perfect for picnics, or just relax in the fabulous hotel spa and pool.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    Krems to Tulln

    Freewheel down river to Tulln, known as the 'Town of Roses'. Pop into the Roman museum which is packed with artefacts, and dine out tonight amid the fountains, statues and ornate buildings that crowd the pretty centre before returning to your waterfront hotel.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Tulln to Vienna

    Coast along the last stretch and relax over lunch in imperial Klosterneuburg. Then cycle along Danube Island before continuing to your hotel, right in the heart of the city. Enjoy dinner out in Vienna's lively centre which is breathtakingly floodlit at night!

    Cycling distance either 22km/13.5mi or 41km/26mi

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Leave Vienna

    Leave Vienna

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info




There are no specific health risks.


There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 6 dinners included


Is this trip for you?

Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)

Much of the cycling is on the old river towpath which is now lovely, flat and surfaced; previously up to 60 horses strained to drag heavy cargo boats upstream against the powerful current! Today, dozens of farms and cafes offer waterfront lunch stops as you cycle between sun-baked villages and wayside stalls piled high with apples, peaches and plums. Most cycling days are completely flexible, as local boat and train services are excellent, cheap and cater brilliantly to cyclists.

Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 056 631 86 64