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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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  • Reviewed October 2018
    Diarmuid Mulherin

    Beautiful scenery, safe cycling

    The vast majority of this trip is in cycle paths separated from road traffic with some lightly trafficked roads and only very occasional roads with significant traffic, and even then you are usually separated from them by a barrier of some type: in fact, if none of the above applies, you're probably 'lost' although that, too, is really difficult to do as the river is hard to lose and the signage is excellent! A large proportion is on a Euro cycle path from the Black Sea to the Atlantic and it is very well maintained: UK councils could learn a thing or two about maintaining safe cycling environments from the Austrians. The scenery is at times spectacular and varies from day to day as the river meanders across Austria. The accommodation we got was generally very good and there was usually somewhere good to have dinner in the evening. Lunch stops were a bit thin on the ground but we usually found somewhere. The bicycles were heavy but in very good nick: the route is mostly flat and any slight downhills outnumber the uphills - which often related to gaining the altitude required to cross over the bridges over the river rather than anything else. There are churches in abundance, from big to small and most towns have a schloss (castle). There are some spectacular monasteries and when you get to Vienna, it is clear that it was the centre of the world for quite a long time with monuments and buildings to show for it! The distances are manageable - on the last day, you can get a train to cut the distance down to about 50 km but we decided to cycle from Krems to Vienna (about 90 km) and we survived!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The abbey at Melk is very impressive, and the old castle (ruins) at Hinterhaus are worth a visit for the view (takes about 30-40 minutes off saddle to walk up to it just before Spitz).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Not applicable
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Nigel Forrest

    Excellent trip

    This is an easy ride; and the route is varied and very attractive. Virtually none of the cycling is along roads with motor traffic; and I appreciated how the sign-posted Danube cycle path diverted, from time to time, away from the river bank to go through fields, woods and quiet villages. The hotels, baggage transfers and logistics worked very well. I was impressed by the quality of the accommodation -- and its variety.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The steep valleys and remoteness on the first two days. The Donauschlinge resort at Schloegen is lovely.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Not applicable.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you don`t have a GPS app or device, be wary of the (sometimes thin) written instructions for getting into and out of some of the towns, as supplied by the Radreisefreunde local organisers. You are given maps as well as written directions, at the briefing meeting at the beginning. The maps were generally excellent; but they don`t always correspond to where you`re staying (they provide for multiple overnight accommodation alternatives -- and in some cases none of those apply to your particular itinerary). I found difficulty getting out of Melk on the right track; and into the right place in Vienna on the final day. However, overall, navigation was easy and trouble-free.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Ian Hill

    The title of the trip was appropriate.

    The organisation worked well. Trip notes and maps together made route finding easy. The route was varied and interesting; opportunities for eating and drinking were many. The quality of hotels was good, though only two provided tea or coffee making facilities in the room. The bikes were well-maintained, but are rather heavy, so it was a good job the route was mostly flat. There were no bottle cages provided, which made stopping for water a bit of a faff! Overall, a very enjoyable week.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    too many to mention.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    not applicable as it was self-guided.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have ridden a bike a lot in recent times. Savlon helps with saddle soreness. Learn a bit of German, particularly to do with food and drink. Being able to read a map is essential if you miss the direction signs, though they are generally pretty clear.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I don't think so.
  • Reviewed September 2017
    Andrew noble

    A relaxing diversion, with interesting things to see on the way

    My wife has been keen on a trip through vienna for a while. We chose the passau to vienna trip as other reviewers rated it higher than the similar vienna to Budapest. Both follow the danube. The best thing about this trip is that being relatively gentle paced it allows time to visit places on the way, which is really the whole point. We saw a WW II concentration camp (utterly horrific) , visited a trappist monastery and tasted their beer and spirits, saw an awful lot of other churches, monasteries and gardens. The whole cycling route is dotted with pleasant cafes. The route plan recommends good restaurants and we were not disappointed. Austria is accustomed to vegetarian and vegan diets. The palaces and museums of vienna are spectacular, the kaisers crypt is worth a visit. We recommend a great veggie restaurant in vienna called Tian. The guide notes are very simple but in a good way. I recommend having a phone with Google maps or similar when you get to the cities though... Much easier to navigate the busy streets. The bikes on hire are a good standard, though we like to bring our own saddles and pedals. We took the option of an extra few days in vienna, I knocked a star off because the information on this part was not so well organised. We were given turn by turn instructions but no accompanying map and there was some confusion about whether we were supposed to have a vienna pass. (this would have saved us a lot of money it turned out later)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The thing that will stay with me is what we saw in the mauthausen concentration camp.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Self guided

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take in the sights on the way. A set of waterproofs and overshoes were useful on our only wet day.
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Alex Burgess

    A fantastic Austrian Experience

    This trip was perfect. From forests and mountains to wine producing valleys this stretch of the Danube provides stunning scenery and lovely villages and towns such as Grein and Melk along the way. Well sign-posted purpose built, smooth cycling paths made this trip effortless and friendly, comfortable hotels along the way made this trip one I'd highly recommend if you are looking for an easy-going trip. As there are only a few stretches on quiet roads and a couple on paths alongside busy roads (the rest on quiet cycle tracks) and the distances are manageable you don't need to be a confident cyclist to enjoy this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the former concentration camp at Mauthausen was a chilling reminder of the atrocities carried out by the Nazis in World War Two. A very worthwhile visit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go for it! It couldn't be simpler. We flew in to/out of Vienna and took a train from Vienna Airport to Passau but you could also fly in to Munich and take a train from here to Passau if you wanted to. Don't pay for entry to Melk Abbey (you can walk up to the Abbey and wander around the courtyard without paying).
  • A excellent first self-guided cycling trip

    We cycled this route in May 2016 and we had a wonderful time. The cycle route is well maintained, the navigation was very clear with the resources provided and the scenery was spectacular. Vienna was a suiting end to a very scenic trip.  A great first self-guided cycling trip to try. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I particularly enjoyed the cycle route to Krems. Passing through endless fields of vineyards and green farmland with the Danube river in the background was a great experience. There were castles and majestic palaces atop the Austrian hills and we passed many local wine producers and quaint villages on this cycle day. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We cycled independently however the introductory briefing on the first day was informative and friendly. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We booked our train in advance from Vienna to Passau and a first class upgrade was cheap for the 3hr train journey. The Mauhausen Memorial is approximately 5km off route (uphill!) but it's well preserved and definitely worth a visit. The memorial is on Day 4 between Linz and Grein. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my first self-guided cycling trip and it is a excellent introduction. Cycling through Austrian countryside along well-maintained and traffic free paths was a brilliant experience. The hotels are all excellent quality and I would highly recommend this trip! 
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Roger Dyer

    Cycling the Danube.

    What a great trip, we had great weather for the cycle ride, we met some lovely people too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Arriving at each destination at the end of each day without getting wet.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When you get to Vienna airport, walk across to the railway station and get a direct train to Passau. They run every two hours and we were not told of this service.
  • Reviewed October 2012
    Anonymous

    CYCLING THE DANUBE - PASSAU TO VIENNA

    My partner and I did the self guided ride and enjoyed it very much. It gave us the chance to feel we really experienced the lovely Austrian scenery, pretty villages and towns with a sense of achievment to have done a 300 +km ride. My partner is 79!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We loved riding through the fields of corn, through the vineyards with the vines laden with grapes and through the dappled light in the forests. The Danube was always  a source of activity and interest and we crossed it many times on the quaint little wooden ferries .The towns of Grien and Melk were particularly lovely places to stay overnight.There were some interesting side trips offered. Luggage transfers went smoothly. All the hotels were of a good standard and Hotel Nibelungenhof in Traismaure was really excellent with wonderful warm hospitality and superb food.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were on our own

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you can google the map on your phone Im sure it would be a big help as the Trip notes let us down on several occasions. Dont worry about the bikes, they are excellent and almost ride themselves. Stefan who set us up with the bikes in Passau was most helpful and accomodating.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were only given one set of trip notes and one bag and we found this difficult. Please issue these to all riders. We would have preferreed to be accomodated in a smaller town than Linz. It was the small towns that were an important part of our enjoyment of the trip, Grien, Melk and Traismauer were lovely.The trip notes were obscure at times and this combined with our not so hot navigational talents meant we rode many more kms than necessary.For example Linz- Grien We could not find Werksstrasse after the Mittenkirk Bridge.Pg 21 of trip notes. says "take care" re the branching road.. It would have been simpler to say follow the Donauradweg signs turning right on the path before the fork in the road. This lead us to do 8 extra km on out longest day. Melk - Krems Traismauer. The trip notes say simply "continue" to Hotle Nibelungenhof. We needed to know which way to continue. We got lost again. Traismauer- Vienna. We had been given train tickets from  Traismauer  to Tulln but when we got to the station at 9.30am we were told there are no trains, we gathered they only depart at peak hour. This was frustratiing as we had anticipated riding 40km, not 80 that day. Arriving in Vienna. This turned into a nightmare and we took 2 hours from the outskirst to our hotel. Pg 34 says "turn right at the JV Schemmeri Bruche" It is very hard to see the name on this brige- and we missed it- however there are 2 huge lions on it. It would have been helpful if we were looking for the lions not an small obscure name. Try and simplify the directions to hotel Donauzentrum. We took nearly 8 hrs to ride that leg and were exhausted at the end.It would be helpful if you gave the full addresses of the hotels, at the end of the day you want all the help you can get to arrive there!We felt that the trip was maybe a lillte pricey when we discovered the accomodation costs.  
  • Reviewed October 2012
    Anonymous

    CYCLING THE DANUBE - PASSAU TO VIENNA

    Thoroughly enjoyed this holiday . In general the accommodation was good and staff were friendly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling through the Wachau wine growing area. Lovely scenery and saw some of the grape harvest! Arriving in Traismauer we were given a friendly welcome and the best traditional Austrian meal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Self guided and managed by Rad and Reisen- not Exodus. When we arrived at the Donau Zentrum hotel inVienna the staff in the hotel didnot know much about the bikes. Also, a Kindle was damaged during the luggage transfer . This was packed inthe middle of the case and something very heavy must have been place on top. When we tried to claim for it we were told that only the luggage itself was insured by Rad and Reisen.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I think going bed and breakfast is better and more flexible than half board. There are plenty of places to eat en route. Bring a gel seat cover!
  • Reviewed September 2012
    Anonymous

    CYCLING THE DANUBE - PASSAU TO VIENNA

    Our bicycling trip (Passau to Vienna) was a wonderful family adventure for myself, my husband, and our adult son and daughter (ages 28 and 26). Everything was extremely well-organized by Exodus, and the staff there quickly responded to any questions or issues that arose, both before our travels and during. We had some difficulty locating the place where we were to pick up the bikes despite following the instructions provided, and few people in the area seemed to know of them. We eventually found it, but as it was raining hard, we were all somewhat sleep-deprived, and the distance from our hotel was longer than we had expected with only major roads on which to travel, we asked the bike rental company for a ride back to our hotel, which they did for 60 Euros. That process felt more stressful than necessary, but once we started out the next morning from Passau, everything was perfect. We loved biking along the Danube - the paths are well marked, the scenery is stunning, and the information provided by Exodus was extremely useful. We would definitely book again with Exodus and look forward to our next adventure!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many special moments - the sheer beauty of the Wachau Valley and the area around the Schlogener loop, the many stops for beer in the charming villages along the route, the visit to Mauthausen -not exactly inspirational, but powerful, moving, and meaningful - and the opportunity to spend special time with family. 
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