Cycling Across Austria: A Self-Guided Danube Adventure

The water was a blend of olive, blue-grey and dark-sea green. I watched as three rivers flowed gently into one. The Inn River from the south and the Ilz River from the north merged together into the spectacular watercourse of the Danube, the second longest river in Europe. We started off in Passau, a town in Lower Bavaria, Germany. Our aim was to cycle the course of the Danube for 300km until we reached Vienna - almost across the top of Austria.

Down by the Danube

For six days, we rode through evergreen Austrian forests surrounded by picturesque, steep-sided valleys. The magnificent Melk Abbey shone gold in the sun above us and the harrowing presence of Mauthausen Memorial was unforgettable. Austria is truly brilliant for beginner self-guided cyclists - our riverside route was flat and undemanding on our legs, and clear directions and good signposting left us free to enjoy the scenery instead of hours puzzling over maps.

Melk Abbey Melk Abbey


We stayed in charming and well situated 3* and 4* hotels along the river. The hotels were either on the doorstep or within walking distance of the most interesting place nearby - famous abbeys or castle ruins. My favourite was at Hotel Donauschlinge, a secluded hotel situated on the famous Schlögen bend.

Danube Loop, Wachau Valley Danube Loop, Wachau Valley

You can also add a bit of luxury and take advantage of the inclusive Donau Card, which provides discounted admission at more than 70 different leisure facilities and entrance fees along the Danube Cycle Path. Perfect for relaxing at the end of a day in the saddle!

Cycle Route

The route is painstakingly maintained, making navigation easy The route is painstakingly maintained, making navigation easy

Our trip follows the official R1 Donauweg, the dedicated Danube cycle path, to avoid environmental damage. The cycle path is 100% traffic free, well sign-posted and maintained to an excellent standard. This made for a stress free self-guided trip, knowing we wouldn't have to worry.


St. Charles' church, ViennaSt. Charles' church, Vienna

Absorb the history on route with the beautiful abbeys, imposing castles and sobering concentration camps on route. Finish the trip in Vienna, the resident city of the Habsburg dynasty and a resplendent, lavish display of architectural prowess.

Local Produce

With our inclusive wine tasting, you can sample locally sourced wine served with local breads and charcuterie. The Danube bike path passes through Wachau, a picturesque landscape with a 2,000 year history of producing fine wines.

On the banks of the Danube On the banks of the Danube

The Danube Cycle Path is one of the most famous cycle routes in Europe. Exodus offers both the self-guided Vienna to Passau trip and self-guided Vienna to Budapest trip. Don’t miss it!

Learn more about these kind of trips...

Learn more about trips going to...

Read our expert insights on...