Great Cycling Holiday along the Danube
One River. Four Countries. Four Weeks. 1220 km!
- Radweg-Reisen Tour
- Donaueschingen – Budapest
- Daily routes ●●○○○
- Altitude profile ●●○○○
km / day avg.
This great cycling tour along the Danube starts at the source of the Danube and from there sets off across South Germany. On the way you will look down from the highest church tower in the world, in Ulm, wonder at the rocks and cliffs of the Danube Gap from a boat and taste beer made at the world's oldest monastery brewery in Kelheim. In Regensburg Germany's most intact historic city awaits you before you head off to Passau, the town of three rivers, for your first day of rest. By the time it gets to Austria, this lively, young river has long since turned into a powerful current. After passing Linz, you follow it through the Wachau region. The lively metropolis of Vienna now awaits you. There is so much to discover that you can take a break from cycling here for the day to get to know the town in a more relaxed manner. It's worth it! Two more European capitals are waiting for you: Bratislava and Budapest. The last section rewards you again with one of the most beautiful sections of the Danube cycle path: following the Danube bend, you cycle along the Danube, leaving the easterly direction to turn off towards the south. In Budapest, after four weeks packed with sights both large and small, you will have reached your destination. You can be proud of yourself: 1220 km of the Danube cycle path are now behind you!
- Booking code
- Start / Destination
Donaueschingen / Budapest
29 days / 28 nights
approx. 1220 km
Daily routes ●●○○○
between 35 and 65 km, Ø 50 km
Altitude profile ●●○○○
- Route condition
Mostly level ground with some short inclines, mostly along cycle paths. There are some longer sections along unpaved paths and some short sections alongside roads. Roads with heavier traffic are occasional.
- Parking information
Parking deck An der Stadtmühle, acces: Hindenburgring, parking space next to the junior high (Realschule), opening hours: 24 / 7, cost: free.
No reservation possible through Radweg-Reisen.
- Return journey to Donaueschingen
We recommend departure by plane.
- Tour operated by
Day 1: Individual arrival in Donaueschingen
Brigach und Breg bringen die Donau zuweg is the phrase people say here meaning that the Brigach and Breg rivers jointly form the river Danube. The Romans considered the spring in the Fürstenberg Castle parkland to be the start of the Danube. The castle, in Belle Epoque style, is an impressive testimony to the Fürstenberg family’s former significance.
Day 2: Donaueschingen – Mühlheim / Fridingen, approx. 45 / 55 km
The first section takes you through the Baar region. In Immendingen you can witness a spectacular natural scene known as the Danube Sink, where the river disappears for a large part of the year into the limestone ground. Instead of flowing into the Black Sea, part of the Danube flows via the Aachtopf, Lake Constance and the Rhine into the North Sea. Behind Tuttlingen the valley narrows and you soon reach today's destination Fridingen.
Day 3: Fridingen – Sigmaringen / Scheer, approx. 45 - 50 km
Today you follow the Danube enjoying the wonderful countryside that has evolved in this valley over the course of the years. Limestone cliffs, looming over 100 metres high, line your path. Every once in a while you will spy castles or ruins perched on top of the rocks. In Sigmaringen the historic Hohenzollern Castle awaits you. It is still home to the Hohenzollern family today.
Day 4: Scheer – Obermarchtal / Ehingen, approx. 50 - 70 km
Instead of rough cliffs and rock, a gentler landscape greets you today. It’s worth taking a detour to the former Celtic town of Heuneburg. Via Riedlingen, whose townscape is shaped by timber-frame houses, you cycle to Ehingen. This baroque town places great emphasis on its beer culture: four independent, traditional breweries have been instrumental in shaping the history of this town.
Day 5: Ehingen – Ulm, approx. 45 - 65 km
You follow either the Danube or decide to take a detour via Blaubeuren. This is where a spring emerges in the Blautopf or blue pot, which also marks the start of a huge cave system. The colour of the water is so blue it looks as if it has been dyed. This blue river takes you to the Swabian town of Ulm which boasts the highest church tower in the world. It takes 768 steps to climb up it. You are rewarded at the top with panoramic views of the Alps.
Day 6: Ulm – Lauingen / Dillingen, approx. 50 / 55 km
Between Ulm and Dillingen you pass many small towns that are all located flood safe on raised ground and have been beautifully preserved. Over 50 million little Lego bricks in all manner of colours and shapes can be admired in Legoland in Günzburg. Lauingen, the Town of Towers is located just before Dillingen, which you will recognize by its magnificent castle.
Day 7: Dillingen – Donauwörth, approx. 45 / 40 km
Taking you through the meadowland around the Danube, your last section of the tour takes you to Donauwörth at the mouth of the Wörnitz. This is where the former most important trade route between Nuremberg and Augsburg crossed the Danube. The elegant houses are a reminder of the town’s historic importance. The Käthe-Kruse doll museum is a treat not only for children.
Day 8: Donauwörth – Ingolstadt, approx. 65 km
Today you will be moving on swiftly. You soon reach the foothills of the Franconian Alb mountains, which liven up the route as you cycle along this gently undulating section of the tour. It’s worth taking a look at Neuburg’s old town, for example the court church or the town theatre. Ingolstadt has a wonderful medieval flair and is known all over the world as the town where Audi manufactures its cars. Visit the Mobile Museum or wander through the historic city centre.
Day 9: Ingolstadt – Kelheim, approx. 55 km + boat trip
Today you follow the Danube Cycle Path to Neustadt and then on to Bad Gögging passing many hop fields on the way. As you continue you will see a very special natural spectacle: the Danube Gap between Weltenburg and Kelheim. The Danube carves its way here through the rocks of the Franconian Jura mountains. Departing from the famous Benedictine Monastery, a boat takes you to Kelheim.
Day 10: Kelheim – Regensburg, approx. 40 km
Before you start you should go up to the Hall of Liberation, which gives you wonderful panoramic views of the area. The route then takes you on to Regensburg, the northernmost point of the Danube. This town is considered Germany’s best preserved city and has been declared a UNESCO Heritage Site. Bring your day to a pleasant end with a walk through the winding alleyways of the town’s Spitalviertel ‒ or hospital quarter.
Day 11: Regensburg – Straubing, approx. 50 km
We recommend that you take your first break at the Walhalla close to Donaustauf. The route then takes you on along the Danube to Castle Wörth. From here you can look over the Gäuboden, or Bavaria's granary and one of the largest loess regions in South Germany. Today’s section ends in the old city of Straubing which looks back on Celtic and Roman roots. The town’s striking tower is this small town’s land mark.
Day 12: Straubing – Deggendorf, approx. 40 km
Today you first cycle through Bogen, which became known when a statue of the pregnant Madonna was found here in 1104. The Church of the Assumption on Bogenberg is the oldest pilgrimage church of the Madonna in Bavaria. The tour takes you on through Pfelling and Mariaposching to the Benedictine Abbey in Metten. Deggendorf is your destination today. Gothic and baroque styles characterise the unusual pear-shaped site of the old town.
Day 13: Deggendorf – Passau, approx. 60 km
This section takes you to the small historic town of Vilshofen. It is famous largely due to the Ash Wednesday speeches given here by the Chairman of the CSU Party, Strauß. You will soon reach your destination of the three-rivers town and former diocese, Passau. You can discover the Danube, Inn and Ilz by boat and let your day come to a pleasant end with a walk through the historic city centre or a visit to the fortress Veste Oberhaus.
Day 14: Passau
In Passau you will have practically reached the halfway point of your tour along the Danube cycle path and deserve a day of rest. The historic baroque town, created by Italian masters of the 17th century will charm you with its southern flair. Explore the three rivers - the Danube, Inn and Ilz by boat and visit St. Stephen's Cathedral. Oberhaus Fort and the pilgrimage church Mariahilf are also worth a visit.
Day 15: Passau – Region Schlögen, approx. 45 km
Your cycle tour continues along the northern bank of the Danube towards Austria. Via Obernzell with its castle and wonderful ceramics museum, you cycle to Engelhartszell. This is where you will find Austria's only Trappist Monastery. The Schlögener Loop is where the Danube winds narrowly around a huge incline of granite, which is topped by the romantic Haichenbach ruins.
Day 16: Schlögen – Linz, approx. 50 km
Through the bird paradise of the Eferdinger Becken and various small market villages, today’s stage will take you to Linz. The state capital of Upper Austria was European Capital for Culture in 2009 and is home to the Lentos, one of Austria’s most important museums for contemporary art. The Linz City Express will take you to all the city’s important sights. You can enjoy a beautiful view of the city from the Pöstlingberg.
Day 17: Linz – Grein, approx. 55 km
Today you will continue cycling to Enns, where Upper Austria's oldest town will greet you with a 60 metre high tower. You will leave the river Enns and continue cycling in direction of the romantic Struden- and Nibelungengau, past the Celtic village Mitterkirchen, until you reach Grein. Austria's oldest municipal theatre and Castle Greinburg can be found in this small Baroque town.
Day 18: Grein – Wachau, approx. 55 km
Settled in your saddle, continue through Wachau Cultural Landscape, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. The region is known for its vineyards and orchards. You can taste wine at many of the traditional wine taverns, home-produced by the local wine-growers. The highlight of this section in terms of cultural history is the Benedictine Monastery of Melk, which you will be able to see from afar.
Day 19: Wachau – Traismauer / Tulln, approx. 50 / 60 km
Your route takes you on through Wachau, passing the wine-growing villages of Spitz and Dürnstein. You arrive in Krems, which was mentioned first in documents as early as 995. What follows is totally different in terms of landscape: the expanse of the Tullner region opens up before you. Along the way we recommend visiting Göttweig.
Day 20: Traismauer / Tull – Vienna, approx. 55 / 45 km
Cycling through the outskirts of Vienna Woods, you reach the charming metropolis of Vienna on the Danube. If you like you can accelerate this section by taking the local Tulln-Vienna train, which runs every 30 minutes (not included). Schönbrunn Castle, the Spanish Riding School, St. Stephen's Cathedral and Vienna's big wheel are just some of the sights. If you're looking for a souvenir, you'll find something suitable in Demel, the Court Confectionary Bakery.
Day 21: Vienna
Spend a relaxed day in the Imperial and Royal metropolis of Vienna. Go on a traditional Fiakerfahrt (hackney carriage drive) through the old town and spoil yourself with a slice of Sachertorte in one of Vienna's wonderful coffee houses. Wander through the narrow lanes and enjoy the comings and goings at any of Vienna's markets: Naschmarkt, Hannovermarkt and Kutschkermarkt are just some.
Day 22: Vienna – Bad Deutsch-Altenburg / Hainburg, approx. 50 km
The Danube cycle path leads you out of the city and through pristine river valley forests. In Orth you can visit one of the largest Renaissance castles in Austria. The route then continues on to today´s destination, where in you shouldn´t miss a look at the Roman history in the archaeological park in Petronell-Carnuntum.
Day 23: Hainburg – Bratislava, approx. 35 km
The day begins with a trip to the archaeological park of Carnuntum. Significant buildings from a Roman town have been uniquely reconstructed here. Next, your tour takes you back to Hainburg and just a short while later you will cross the Slovakian border. The capital town of Bratislava is influenced by the castle here of the same name. Wandering through the old town, lovers of drinking chocolate should definitely go to Cokoladovna Cafe.
Day 24: Bratislava – Győr, approx. 45 km + train ride
In Rajká cross the border to Hungary to then cycle over Little Rye Island. An expansive area of wetland and many Danube side streams characterise this section of the route. In the village of Mosonmagyaróvár (Town of the 17 Bridges) you alight the train to travel the last section of the route. In Györ bring the day to a pleasant close in any of the many beer gardens.
Day 25: Győr – Komárom, approx. 55 km
Today you leave the flat Little Hungarian Plain to head for the small, gentle hills of Transdanubia. Husbandry is practiced a great deal here so you're bound to see some of the famous Arabian horses. The national stud farm is not far. Cycling through the walnut avenues is beautiful. Your destination today is Komaróm. Here, the Danube divides the Hungarian and Slovakian parts of the town, which used to be a single entity.
Day 26: Komáron – Visegrád, approx. 55 km + boat or train ride
Keeping close to the river you cycle through the flat Danube valley today. Little towns and villages and green vineyards line the cycle path. The more athletic can try the route via the town of Tata, which includes a number of hills. People interested in history should take the time to visit the Roman Fort of Kelemantia. The destination today of Esztergom and its classicist basilica is an absolute highlight.
Day 27: Visegrád – Budapest, approx. 55 km
First of all you cycle along the Danube Bend to Visegrad. You go past the ruins of the royal palace and the castle, before taking a ferry over to the other side of the river. The small town of Vac is worth a visit- especially its arch of triumph and lovely market place. Back on the ferry, you cross over to Szentendre Island, nestled between two branches of the Danube, and then continue to a small town of the same name, famous for its artists. The final leg of your journey is spent relaxing on the boat to Budapest.
Day 28: Budapest
Enjoy the end of your long cycling holiday in the lively Danube metropolis. It is said to be one of the towns with the most beautiful locations in the world. The Danube winds through the town like a sliver thread, dividing the two districts of Buda and Pest. Although the town as it stands today is just 100 years old, you will notice traces of the former glory of the monarchy everywhere.
Day 29: Individual departure
Allow your cycling holiday along the Danube to come to a relaxed end after breakfast. Over the last four weeks you have cycled 1220 km and pedalled through four different countries. You've seen a lot! Allow that holiday feeling to linger before you set off home.