Austria : The Danube

Cycling along the Danube from Passau to Vienna

Trip code: C07LA 4.8 (18 reviews)

Self-guided cycling

7 nights,

Level: 1+
Leisurely plus

11.0Kg CO2e

Navigation App

e-bike hire


  • Discover the rich culture and historical architecture of Vienna
  • Ride on dedicated cycle routes
  • Visit infamous castles, ruins and palaces along the Danube
  • Sample the fine wines of the Wachau Valley


  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Bike fitting and briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Navigation app
  • Bike hire included
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Train ticket from Krems to Tulln
  • 1 wine tasting


Follow the curves and bends of the Danube as it flows through steep-sided valleys and riverside woods towards beautiful, historic Vienna. The densely wooded slopes and ravine forests create the setting for one of the most magnificent river landscapes in Central Europe. The route is largely flat too, which makes it suited to self-guided cycling.

You will pass many delightful castles, ruins, and abbeys whilst visiting historic towns such as Linz, Melk, and Krems. The destination is Vienna which is the perfect city to explore, taste great food, and perhaps enjoy a concert.


A great introduction to self-guided cycling abroad using 90% cycle paths and 10% side / local roads. The valley is particularly steep on either side of the river but hills are only encountered if you choose some of the optional visits available. Occasionally the hotels you stay in are located further up a hill but these hotels offer a pick up for those who wish to arrange it.




Day 1: Start Passau

Start at your hotel in Passau, the city of three rivers. If you arrive with time to explore be sure to visit the well-known cathedral; housing the world's biggest church organ. In the evening receive your bikes and a personal welcome briefing.

You stay at Selected hotels.

hotel details

Hotels, Passau to Vienna

We use a mixture of charming 3 and 4-star hotels, on this trip, that are generally well located.

We may be able to arrange a triple room if required, and there is a small reduction for this. The reduction will need to be calculated for each booking, as we cannot guarantee availability of triple rooms on all nights. Please ask for a quote if this is your preferred option.

Day 2: Passau-Schlogen (40km/24.9mi)

Leave Passau, and cycle from Germany into Austria amidst one of the most significant river landscapes of Central Europe. The trail runs beside densely wooded slopes and ravine forest passing the only Trappist monastery in Austria at Engelhartszell before continuing to the famous Schlogener Loop. Here the Danube does a U-turn around a granite mountain before changing the direction of its flow twice, providing spectacular views from the surrounding hills.


Day 3: Schlogen - Linz (50km/31.1mi)

The valley narrows as it continues downstream and has a wilder appearance passing the beautiful castle of Ottensheim, also one of the oldest places in Austria. A day of river crossing and cycling along country lanes, entering the fertile plains of the grand Eferdinger basin before reaching the historic Cistercian Abbey at Wilhering. The trail continues to Linz, where the central Hauptplatz is a good place to start exploring the old town.


Day 4: Linz - Grein via Enns (60km/37.3mi)

A change of scenery today as the route guides you away from the Danube, via St Florian (an Augustinian abbey) to Enns. See the town square with its 60 metre high tower, the landmark of the oldest town in Austria. Back along the Danube you reach the beautiful baroque town of Grein; with a chance to visit the oldest municipal theatre in Austria, the maritime museum or Greinburg Castle.


Day 5: Grein - Melk (50km/31.1mi)

Historically Grein marked the beginning of the river's most treacherous stretch, often feared by sailors. The cycling is through the fascinating landscape of tall and densely wooded rock formations on both sides of the Danube. The journey takes you through quiet riverside towns, with numerous examples of castles that were positioned to exert power over the area, collecting tolls from those following its path. Your journey will end as one of the most striking edifices on this whole route comes into sight, the Benedictine abbey at Melk - stunning both inside and out, you can't miss it!


Day 6: Melk - Krems (40km/24.9mi)

This morning you ride through the magnificent Wachau terraced vineyards, which give this area its distinct and beautiful appearance. It is one of Austria's best known wine growing regions, with centuries old tradition of wine production. The route winds between the pretty villages of Spitz, Weisenkirchen and Durnstein; castles continue to dot the landscape. In Durnstein you will find another spectacular monastery and also the ruins of a castle where King Richard the Lionheart was held for ransom. All along the route there are opportunities to experience Austrian hospitality in small taverns offering local food and drink. Finish your journey in the 1000 year old town of Krems and enjoy a wine tasting to showcase some of the delightful local produce!


Day 7: Krems - Vienna (40km/24.9mi)

Today starts with a train ride from Krems to Tulln, then ride past Greifenstein and Klosterneuburg.This area has always been important culturally, politically and economically with settlements in existence before the Romans moved to the area. Again you will pass many castles, including the Kreuzenstein Castle in Korneuburg. There is also the famous story of the Korneuburg Rat Catcher, a similar story to the Pied Piper. Arriving into Vienna, enjoy a cup of coffee and a piece of typical Viennese cake, 'Sachertorte', in one of the numerous coffee houses. Enjoy an evening stroll around Stephansplatz or walk along the famous shopping street Mariahilfer Strausse.


Day 8: End Vienna

End Vienna. The city is a metropolis with unique charm, vibrancy and flair. It boasts outstanding infrastructure, is clean and safe, and has all of the culture, architecture and inspiration that you could wish for in this wonderful part of Europe. Highlights that you may consider include visits to the grand Schonbrunn Palace, Sigmund Freud Museum and a tour in the Vienna State Opera House. Don't miss a visit to one of the many wonderful coffee shops to enjoy the typical cake Sachertorte!


Show prices including flights and onward rail?  


The above prices do not include any travel.

These prices include our standard flights and onward rail

  • Flights from Heathrow to Munich with British Airways, then onward rail to the region.
  • Other flights, including regional departures
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Business/club/first class fares
  • Electric bikes

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air-rail prices include our standard flights and onward rail
Out: British Airways Heathrow to Munich then rail Munich HBF to Passau HBF and taxi to hotel payable locally Return: Taxi to Vienna airport payable locally then British Airways Vienna to Heathrow

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf. We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open until 4pm today) or email

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.


It took us 4 years to be able to go on this holiday having seen a leaflet about cycling the Danube before covid . Headwater made every aspect of arranging the holiday easy and it far exceeded our expectations , from the variety of hotels , ease of luggage transfer , excellent route app , and pleasure of seeing the country on a bike ( easily achievable on e bikes )fantastic Austrian hospitality. We enjoyed it so much that we were sad to finish our last day of cycling , if time would had allowed we would have carried on to Budapest … next time !

Rosemary Barnes, 14 Jun 2024


Very professional

Leonard May, 18 May 2024



Elizabeth Hellier, 16 May 2024


It was a great experience. Well organised. Logistics very impressive. Absolutely beautiful scenery.

Lindsay Forbes, 7 May 2024



Susan Markham, 6 May 2024


Absolutely 100% excellent organisation and customer service from Headwater, specifically Megan who responded to my many queries (emails, phone calls) efficiently and effectively. The cycle route from Passau to Vienna was amazing - breathtakingly beautiful in places, with interesting villages, vineyards and countryside.

Patricia Martin, 1 Sep 2023


We were travelling as a group of 4 on e-bikes.Although some of our team would have been happy with road bikes we were delighted with the extra power due to the heat and the headwind. On one occasion our accomodation was on a hill at the end of the day so the e-bikes were a delight.

We all thoroughly enjoyed our holiday, found the path in great condition. there was a great variance of landscape as we moved down the Danube. The cafe's that we stopped in were of good quality. There was always the option of visiting castles Abbeys on the path without too much time taken out of our day. We always managed to reach our hotel by 5ish.

Margaret Colvin, 8 Aug 2023


Excellent holiday with excellent equipment. Got a great sense of achievement. Enjoyed seeing all the towns and countryside - even if it did rain one day! Headwater were very helpful and communicated well.

Marion Kinnear-white, 31 Jul 2023


Excellent holiday. Good hotels and clear guidance

Julie Sargent, 14 Jul 2023


We thorough enjoyed our two Danube trips with Headwater & all the arrangements were 1st class . The bikes and route Apps were good as were the transfer arrangements. We would certainly recommend both Passau to Vienna (265103) & Vienna to Budapest (264840) . It was good to have extra days in the 3 cities & request hotels of our choice where we had extra nights .

Timothy Green, 6 Jul 2023


A very memorable experience, totally enjoyable and extremely well organised. I will definitely book again.

BRYANT, 15 May 2023


(Copied into separate email to Joanne Chaplin - I seem to have rambled too much!)

Mrs Cresswell, 1 Oct 2022


More personal Headwater monitoring is needed overall - you are not as in touch as you were in 2012 when we last did this trip. For example, don't arrange an evening meal (in a particularly poor Beer Garden) too close to the time for the evening briefing! You need to check hotels and their location personally - especially in cities - leaving it to your partner-company to sort out is not satisfactory. The route directions to hotels were generally very poor and need to be re-written - based on your own personal experience!

Mrs Cooper, 3 Sep 2022


Overall very good, only gripe we had was the hotel in Vienna was a long way from the city Center, luckily we had an extra day staying there.

Mrs Ruffle, 3 Sep 2022


We had an excellent cycling holiday from Passau to Vienna. We would have liked more time in Passau as we arrived late in the evening, probably should have added an extra day there . We had an excellent time and plenty of recreational time each day when we arrived at a new place.

Would highly recommend this holiday.

Ms Macdonald, 20 Aug 2022


Great trip for people with different levels of cycling experience

Mr Mayes, 13 Aug 2022


Overall we had a good holiday. The quality of the hotels were good. The bikes were sturdy and we had no problems. The local agents used by Headwater holidays did not follow the itinerary that was given on the Headwater website. This meant that some days we cycled longer than expected (other days less) and stayed in very rural villages that had little or no facilities.

Ms Messervy, 6 Aug 2022


The activity level of the cycling was not difficult, but the distances are quite long (we were not on e-bikes!). If booking again we would add a rest day either in Grein or Melk. The scenery was varied with some spectacular sections but also some flat bland areas. That said we really enjoyed the overall experience.

Mr Catchpole, 14 May 2022


Self-guided cycling

7 nights,

Level: 1+
Leisurely plus

11.0Kg CO2e

Navigation App

e-bike hire

7 nights from £1149


Call: 01606 720199