Photo Blog: Danube River Cycling Holiday
The Danube River is the second longest river in Europe, its blue waters stretch from Germany all the way to Romania. The banks of the river are also home to Europe's original long-distance cycle path where paved routes provide relaxing cycling with lots to see and do.
In May 2017 myself, my partner and our two year old son enjoyed a 7 night River Danube Boat & Bike holiday filled with memorable days cycling through stunning landscapes, delicious food and a relaxing stay on the remarkably spacious, art-deco style MS Theodor Körner.
Below is a selection of photos that we took along the way, I hope they provide a taster of the experiences you’ll enjoy on this wonderful tour.
Riding through the beautifully green Strudengau region of Austria. In fact, everywhere on the trip was incredibly green!
Cycling the lesser known Wachau wine region passing endless vineyards and orchards was incredibly enjoyable.
On the first cycle day we chose the optional detour and hillier route through the beautiful Strudengau region of Austria to the medieval Clam Castle. The views definitely made the small climb worthwhile!
The tour started and ended in historic Passau where the Danube, Ilz and Inn Rivers meet. If you have time, pop into the cathedral to see Europe's largest organ with just under 18,000 pipes and 233 stops or head up to the Vest Oberhaus castle to enjoy fabulous views over the town.
This is Hofburg Palace, a former imperial palace. Vienna is full of beautiful buildings and parks and a superb place to spend a day off the bikes. St. Stephens Cathedral and the brilliantly colourful Hundertwasserhaus are also recommended – as is the Sacher Torte cake and a Viennese Melange coffee!
The Baroque architecture of Melk Abbey, one of our favourite locations on the tour.
Sailing Aboard Our Boat on the Danube
Staying aboard the MS Theodor Körner was a great way to explore the Danube River. The boat had plenty of social areas and the top deck was especially great for relaxing and watching the scenery float by.
Sailing along the river, watching the sun set every evening was just incredible.
The view from our dining table as we sailed from Passau to Mauthausen, enjoying a gala dinner on the first evening. Watching the other river cruisers and working barges pass by and have the waves of the Danube lapping against our window while dining was amazing.
Wonderful Daily Cycle Rides
Every morning our bikes labelled with our names were neatly laid out on the river bank ready for us to ride. We just added our handlebar bag and pannier and we were off. As we cycled back to the boat, we handed them straight to the crew who wheeled them down the gang plank to store on board. They could not have been more helpful.
Cycling along the river listening to the birds tweeting and the water beside you was marvellous. The route was very varied but it was always lovely to come back to the river.
The Danube cycle path is one of the world's oldest and is very well maintained and sign posted making the cycling very smooth. It was great to be able to cycle both down and upstream on this tour. When the MS Theodor Körner was motoring upstream, we were actually faster than the boat!
This was on our ride from Melk to Grein just after we had stopped for a local apple and pear cider, which was recommended by the crew on the boat.
Our son James loved his bike seat and was always entertained watching the boats, trains, butterflies, camels and frogs. He also enjoyed the amazing playgrounds, hot chocolate stops and waving at fellow guests from the MS Theodor Körner.
Crossing the Danube on the ferry boats was really fun and meant that you got to cycle on the best side of the river. To call some you had to ring a bell, whilst for others you had to hammer a piece of metal! We especially liked the last one that also sold schnapps!
Delicious Local Food and Wine
The food we enjoyed at an Austrian Heuriger (a local wine tavern) in Wachau along with a few glasses of their own wine. You can make a daily packed lunch on the boat but we also liked to stop off and try local specialities recommended by the fabulous on board guide. Cold meats, bread and cheeses were all fresh and very tasty.
This is a starter we enjoyed on board the boat. We appreciated having a choice of main meal each evening with a meat, fish and vegetarian option. They made special meals for our son - he was even given a flute of fizzy water with lime when everyone was having a glass of fizz at the gala dinner!
We couldn’t not try a selection of German sausages when in Passau with delicious sweet mustard and a large wheat beer!
Wine tasting in the Wachau valley, a well-known wine region within Austria, was the perfect stop before pedalling further. If only they made more of the wine and exported it to the UK!
If you would like to know more about this holiday, please visit the tour page.
Alternatively, make an enquiry online or speak to one of our team by telephone: +44 (0)1273 224066 (Office Hours (UK time): Monday to Friday: 9am - 5.30pm)