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.
Why you’ll 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
Start: Vienna, Austria
Finish: Budapest, Hungary
Destinations: Austria, Hungary, Slovakia
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.
After breakfast there will be a bike fitting for the group followed by a short test ride. Then take a 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.
Day 3: Cycle Vienna to Bratislava
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. See firsthand how bordering two independent countries has left its mark on Bratislava with an introductory walk.
Day 4: Cycle Bratislava to Gyor
Follow the flowing waters of the Danube as it turns south. Pass by picturesque villages, lowland forests and across lush farmland to the historic Hungarian city of Gyor. This vibrant Baroque city – highlighted by Káptalan Hill, Bécsi kapu tér square, and the picturesque Király Street – has been inhabited by varying cultures since ancient times and offers a fascinating contrast to the slow pace of the river and its surrounds.
Day 5: Cycle Gyor to Komarom
Leaving Gyor behind, track back to the banks of the Danube and on to the city of Komarom, which straddles the borders of Hungary and Slovakia. 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 leg muscles.
Day 6: Cycle Komarom to Esztergom
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, 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.
Day 7: Cycle Esztergom to Budapest
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 our longest day in the saddle but be sure to enjoy 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.
Day 8: Budapest city ride
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.
7 breakfasts, 1 lunch
Bicycle, Support Vehicle, Ferry, (e-bike option available, subject to availability)
Hotel (6 nights), Guesthouse (1 night)
- Carnuntum entrance
- Esztergom Basilica entrance
- Budapest – Szechenyi Baths
Images Courtesy of Intrepid Group