Austria / Slovakia / Hungary : The Danube

Cycling from Vienna to Budapest

Trip code: C07VB 4.5 (40 reviews)

Self-guided cycling

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1+
Leisurely plus

13.0Kg CO2e

Navigation App

Optional
e-bike hire

Optional
tandem hire

SUMMARY

  • Meander along the Danube
  • Cycle 3 countries in one week
  • Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Bike fitting and briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Navigation app
  • Bike hire included
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Esztergom to Visegrad boat including the transfer of the bikes (by train early/late season)
  • Train ticket including bike from Györ to Komàrom

TRIP DESCRIPTION

This is a classic self-guided cycle ride linking three historic cities. Your journey starts in Vienna, which requires little introduction, with its abundance of famous sites, entertainment and culture. The River Danube serves as the spine of the cycling route as you meander back and forth away from the river through woodland, farmland, avenues of walnut trees, wide flat landscapes and shady hills. A night is spent in the pretty city of Bratislava and in the lovely town of Gyor, as we head towards the Danube Bend at Esztergom. The end point for the trip is the city of Budapest with time to soak up the wonderful atmosphere and enjoy the stunning architecture.

Terrain

The suggested cycling mainly follows quiet tarmac roads and designated cycle paths, however, there are some sections on busier roads. Much of the route is flat, but there are some undulating sections.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive Vienna

Make your own way to the hotel. The rest of the day is left free to explore Vienna at your leisure. It 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!

You stay at Selected hotels.

hotel details



Hotels, Vienna to Budapest


On this trip we use well selected charming 4-star hotels, generally family owned.

All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory supplement for a single room for the tour duration.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 2: Vienna - Hainburg (47km/29.2mi)

On leaving Vienna the route takes you through the Donau-Auen National Park, an area of extensive flood plains, which have turned into small ponds offering a rich habitat to countless species of birds, animals and insects. From here, pass Orth Castle and the pretty village of Eckertsau before arriving in Hainburg.

elevation

Day 3: Hainburg - Bratislava (37km/23.0mi)

Follow the Roman bike trail to one of Austria's most important archaeological sites, the Roman remains at Petronell-Carnuntum. End your day in the Gothic old town of Bratislava, Slovakia's pretty capital city that exudes old world charm.

elevation

Day 4: Bratislava to Mosonmogyorovar (37km/23.0mi)

After a short cycle through Slovakia, you cross the Hungarian border into Rajka. Cycle past storybook villages, where you can still find traditional thatched-roofed farm houses. Your route guides you through the Szigetkoz (a small Rye island) towards Mosonmagyarovar; the charming old 'city of 17 bridges'. The city centre is noteworthy for its impressive collection of Baroque buildings.

elevation

Day 5: Mosonmagyarovar to Gyor (41km/25.5mi)

Today, you follow a flat cycling route as it takes you through the natural surroundings of the island between the Danube and the Mosoni Duna (Small Danube). Make a stop to see Hedervar Castle, before arriving in the colourful town of Gyor, to take in its sights and breathtaking historic centre.

elevation

Day 6: Gyor/Komarom to Esztergom (55km/34.2mi)

Take the train to Komarom then pedal along the riverbanks of the flat Danube Valley, passing quaint villages and lush vineyards. Fitter cyclists can choose a route over Tata, but be aware this is more strenuous and there are no shops and restaurants along the way. Those interested in the history of the area should plan some time for the Roman archaelogical site of Kelemantia, where a military camp stood from the 2nd to the 4th Century. The absolute highlight of the day however, is Esztergom (also known as Hungarian Rome), with the largest basilica in the country.

elevation

Day 7: Esztergom to Budapest (65km/40.4mi)

Head to the Danube Bend, probably one of the most attractive sections of the Danube bike trail. Here, the river winds its way through the Visegrad Mountains and makes a sharp turn towards the south. Explore the old Baroque town of Szentendre, before taking a leisurely boat ride into the centre of Budapest and appreciate its stunning architecture.

elevation

Day 8: End Budapest

End your trip in Budapest. There is much to see in this iconic city and we are pleased to book additional nights for you if you wish. Hungary's capital is bisected by the River Danube, and the 19th Century Chain Bridge connects its hilly Buda district with the flat Pest. The city is easy to explore on foot; don't miss the chance to visit one of the city's famous thermal baths or walk up to the dome of St Stephen's Basilica for a fantastic panoramic view!

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £342.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £342.

All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory supplement for a single room for the tour duration.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Flights from Heathrow to Vienna with British Airways
  • Other flights, including regional departures
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Electric bikes
  • Tandem bikes
TRAVEL DETAILS

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 prices include our standard flights
Out: British Airways Heathrow to Vienna transfer not included Return: Transfer not included then British Airways Budapest to Heathrow

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 open again 9am Monday) or email sales@headwater.com

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.

REVIEWS

I was really impressed with the hotels in the small towns we stayed at. As well, our luggage was always there at the hotels when we got there. We appreciated getting the route in a GPX file so we could use our Garmins insetad of your app since that is what we are used to using and didn't have to change our phone settings. Just an awesome trip!!!

Sandra Mcdonald, 20 May 2024

 

Fun holiday and nice places. Bit flat and occasionally a bit boring countryside but we enjoyed it.

Catherine Wilford, 17 May 2024

 

The Danube cycle was great. The route well thought through and the cycle paths in excellent condition throughout Austria Slovakia ( except the last stretch into Bratislavia through an industrial area which was not fun!) and Hungary. The people everywhere were so helpful. Need to review the route guidance re road side stops as the route into Bratislava had no cafes or other stops at all! Also exiting the train from Budapest to the local station at ?? was really difficult as we really struggled to carry those heavy bikes up the stairs to the bridge over the railway then down again. Would recommend this trip to others. Great easy cycling, lovely towns , terrific scenery and a good vibe. Bratislava well worth the extra night stopover in a lovely hotel. Realistically we did not need e bikes but it did mean we arrived in the destinations early afternoon and thus had time to wander around and see the local sites.

Howard Richards, 16 May 2024

 

We were very satisfied with everything.

June Roome, 11 May 2024

 

This trip was a follow-up for us, having cycled Passau to Vienna last year. There is definitely a reason why the P-V section of the Danube cycle path is the most popular. This section Vienna - Budapest was not as consistent in terms of scenery or quality of cycle path, both in path surface and direction finding, however overall we still really enjoyed it. It was very varied, although some days were so straight and flat as to be quite monotous in parts. We were completely away from the river for two whole days so it was more a "cycle roughly along the route of the Danube" rather than a Danube cycle path. Still that meant that it was a real joy when we did get back to the river, although it became quite busy in parts along the more scenic sections. Having been used to the incredible quality of the cycle paths through Austria last year, some of the bumpy tracks came as a bit of a surprise with one quite long very loose gravel section feeling quite uncomfortable, slippery and difficult to ride. We felt this should have been noted in the map pack as we found it a challenge even as experienced cyclists (day 5 Komarom-Esztergom). Overall however, looking back it was an incredible adventure across three countries, experiencing local communities and culture through a range of industrial, urban, rural and agricultural landscapes. Gyor was a particular highlight and of course finishing in Budapest was a stunning end to our trip. However I would recommend the P-V section first.

Julie Cresswell, 30 Sep 2023

 

A very well-organised and extremely enjoyable cycling holiday. All the hotels were superb, both in location and facilities. We had a very warm welcome everywhere. We would recommend adding an additional night in both Bratislava and Budapest to allow time to explore these wonderful, historic and interesting cities.

Anne Marlow, 15 Sep 2023

 

I am going to contact Megan direst with my views.

Hugh Tyler, 9 Sep 2023

 

The towns and cities passed through are all attractive and, for our trip, the weather was hot and dry throughout. The Danube is for a large part out of sight, with the route instead passing through farmed and by wooded areas.

There are a couple of things for which potential cyclists should be prepared. A section of the trip, from Gyor to Komarom,is taken by train. The railway station at Gyor has a number of platforms; apart from Platform 1, they are accessed via a subway. Getting your bike down the steps takes some effort - there are channels that take the wheels of your bike over the steps. Getting up steps onto the allocated platform is a more difficult matter; there is no lift so it is a case of carrying the bike up the steps.

The second aspect that cyclists should allow for is the few kilometres prior to reaching Obid. This section is on gravel paths and can be slow going and tiring.

David Stephens, 9 Sep 2023

 

Headwater staff, particularly Katie Smith ,were always friendly and helpful. Katie went out of her way to resolve our initial holiday queries

Pamela Prtak, 9 Sep 2023

 

Excellent experience overall

Gwynn Thorburn, 9 Sep 2023

 

Very good. Administration excellent. Notes very good. The App could do with being more informative. The fifth day’s cycling was tough because of surface quality and no decent cafe or restaurant en route.

Lindsay Forbes, 8 Sep 2023

 

Overall we had a great holiday, Lauren was very helpful during the whole booking experience, would recommend Headwater to anyone wanted a cycling holiday with no hassle.

Carol Bonner, 3 Sep 2023

 

The cycle route was not very scenic, so although it was lovely in parts, and we did enjoy the trip, we expected to be by the Danube more. I'm not sure I would call it a Danube cycle route. We did enjoy the trip, but we do feel some things could be improved. The customer service from Headwater was excellent, the issues were more related to us being on the actual holiday.

Helen Leach, 2 Sep 2023

 

An interesting trip. The cycling was not difficult. The mix of transport (included train and boat) added to the experience.

Anthony King, 1 Sep 2023

 

This trip was pleasant with excellent and safe cycle paths for the vast majority of the trip. However it was a little repetitive with long stretches of cycle paths through uninteresting terrain. The Danube is largely out of sight for most of the trip which is a huge pity and the few occasions we did rest on the banks was achieved more by chance than design. The itinerary left little time for discovering and exploring once we reached our destination points as we often arrived late in the day and with only 1 night in each hotel.

Ann Marie Mansbridge, 1 Sep 2023

 

Our holiday with Headwater ran smoothly from initial booking right through to the end of the holiday. Very little hassle, no unnecessary stress and an enjoyable experience

Susan Bissell, 31 Aug 2023

 

Headwater took the worry out of booking a holiday everything was well planned and all went smoothly.

Heidi Barlow, 5 Aug 2023

 

This was an excellent holiday. Great hotels and good venues. Easy cycling, as advertised. Bikes were big and heavy, but on flat trails they were perfect.

Colin Beresford, 14 Jul 2023

 

Hotels were very good choices. Bikes were good quality and comfortable. Daily distances provided a good level of exercise but within our ability and time to enjoy places and stops en route. Guide material very good.

Richard Tewkesbury, 29 Jun 2023

 

An excellent but not demanding bike ride with the three great cities on the way.

PILGRIM, 3 Jun 2023

 

This section of the Danube is not particularly scenic but the holiday description makes it seem better than it actually was. A lot of the cycling is away from the river and has trees either side for many kilometres so no views to admire; this made some sections of the ride repetitive. It would have been good to know about the path running out and the need to push up a grass bank ?yes we were on the correct route! Also, we, and our fellow travelers did not know about and were surprised by the 6km stretch of gravel going to Estergom.

PHILLIPS, 3 Jun 2023

 

A good trip ending up at some nice towns and cities for our evening stops. Our group felt that the scenery wasn’t quite what we expected - fairly uninteresting cycle tracks with very few places (villages, etc) to stop en route for coffee/lunch. Extremely disappointed that we were booked into different hotels in 2 overnight stops from the rest of our group. Bikes were fine, gears etc good, although why there are no water bottle holders is a mystery. Generally very safe routes apart from the last day when we on a busy road for 5 or so miles. Joanne was a good representative that answered queries quickly.

KNIGHT, 3 Jun 2023

 

Overall an enjoyable holiday. The bikes were heavier than expected, but sturdy. Some of the legs were monotonous and more busy roads than would have liked, particularly in heavy rain. The one day our luggage arrived later, but before 6pm, we were all very wet and couldn’t access our rooms straight away. We felt there should have been clearer directions to the hotels. Some were not easy to find. It was made more difficult being the end of a hot or wet cycle. The routes ended abruptly in a town and the physical maps were not detailed enough to establish where we were.

BROMBLEY, 3 Jun 2023

 

Our contact at Headwater, Andrew Palmer, was excellent throughout. Accommodation was great, maps and guidance were mostly accurate. Bikes described as lightweight were anything but. The title 'Cycle the Danube' is somewhat misleading, as for large sections of the route the river was not even visible. More on busy main roads than anticipated. Train, ferry and boat trip were enjoyable additions to the itinerary. Cycling was easy, lots of it on dykes which are part of the flood defences for the river. Some of the distances given in the Exodus brochure are way out. Bikes had 21 gears, you only need 2! All border crossings were open and unmanned. Overall an enjoyable trip, quite leisurely and interesting to see new places.

WATSON, 27 May 2023

 

A great way to try a not too strenuous (for the average fit person) self-guided cycle trip where navigation is mostly straightforward, with use of the fantastic local app. The combination of being in nature on the Danube, culture & history, cities and food is great.

PHILLIPS, 20 May 2023

 

Good fun holiday. The app is great, takes a little time to work and more time should be given on that. Perhaps send a sample one through before you go would help greatly.

Some bits were tricky but we felt we had had a fun an adventure.

Mrs Van Niekerk, 22 Apr 2023

 

Well organised trip. To make the most of cafe's during the cycle it is necessary to diverge from the tour route.

Mr Russell, 22 Apr 2023

 

Plenty of historic buildings to see in the towns, and plenty of easy flat cycling through a green rural landscape.

Mrs Stapenhurst, 15 Apr 2023

 

We really enjoyed the majority of the destinations, Bratislava was a particular highlight.

Ms Templeman, 8 Apr 2023

 

Tiring but good

Mr Small, 1 Apr 2023

 

The self- guided holiday model requires excellent equipment and extremely clear route notes. We spent a lot of time stopping and pondering which way to go and sometimes having to retrace our steps. Only a smallish portion of the ride from Vienna to Budapest actually borders the Danube.

Mrs Allerhand, 8 Oct 2022

 

Really enjoyed the trip and would explore more of Euro Velo 6 but hotels did not live up to 4 star expectations

Mrs Higham, 8 Oct 2022

 

We had an amazing holiday and have recommended to lots of our friends. Everything was managed really well, staff were friendly and the route was pretty easy to follow. Some of the instructions were a little tricky to follow at times but we got better at interpreting them as the holiday went on. The hotels are quite basic we had all 4 star but i would compare most of them to a UK premier inn standard - clean and comfy but standard and basic. However we would 100% go on another

Ms King, 17 Sep 2022

 

As 'first timers' on a cycling holiday, we all enjoyed every moment of the trip. Visited amazing places and a great way for a group of friends to catch up and have fun. Already arguing about the destination of next years cycling holiday !

Mr FULCHER, 27 Aug 2022

 

Very well organised holiday staying in comfortable hotels. We experienced more of the country than we expected and really enjoyed the experience.

Mrs BURKE, 20 Aug 2022

 

Easy cycling, mostly adjacent to the Danube with some forays inland, with ample opportunites for refreshing dips in the river and cafe stops along the way. Perfect for a heatwave!

Mr Moncrief, 30 Jul 2022

 

This was an excellent trip, made particularly memorable by the excellent (but very warm) weather. The itinerary is first class, but be aware that there are long stretches (full days in some cases) where you won't see the Danube. So, it is definitely not a cycle along the river bank. The route is mainly flat and there are stages where you cycle along man made 'dams' which are pretty boring at times. It is worth using the maps supplied to vary the route and explore other areas/routes.



The hotels were excellent and of 4 star quality. Our luggage always made it to the next hotel before us and we had no issues checking in.



The bikes are robust and 'industrial' and were in very good condition - we had no issues.



Overall, a great way to explore the 3 countries. I would definitely recommend it.

Mr Hamilton, 18 Jun 2022

 

We had a fantastic holiday overall. Megan was very professional and helpful during the booking process and we were delighted with our choice of route. The bikes were brilliant, some hotels were absolutely excellent (in Gyor and Bratislava specifically) and all personnel were amazing. The distances of the routes were just right for us (despite the blazing hot sunshine!) and we loved the cities and towns we visited throughout.

Mrs Martin, 18 Jun 2022

 

To be able to cycle on the level from Vienna to Budapest, taking in some interesting towns and countryside en route, is a great experience.

Mr Bacon, 21 Sep 2019

 

A really interesting and scenic journey but with some challenging surfaces on loose gravel along dykes[with alternative routes on/alongside main roads]and some quite long distances especially on the 1st day.

Lovely places en route such as Bratislava,Gyor,Visegrad and of course Vienna and Budapest.

We felt that the itinerary didn't allow adequate time for exploring the places we visited and we would suggest in future offering more flexibility i.e. some days off between cycling/taking us by car/train where the route is not so interesting or alongside main roads[something that Headwater have done on other holidays].

The written notes were on the whole good but the verbal briefing on arrival was non existent-I think that the bike company had staffing problems :this needs addressing and communication needs improving.

The bikes were fine and we had no problems with them.

We were very happy with all the hotels but especially liked Hotel Honti in Visegrad and Hotel Lajta Park at Mosonmagyarovar[smaller and a more relaxed friendly atmosphere].

Overall we would recommend the trip but with the provisos already expressed.

Mrs Allen, 14 Sep 2019

 


Self-guided cycling

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1+
Leisurely plus

13.0Kg CO2e

Navigation App

Optional
e-bike hire

Optional
tandem hire

7 nights from £1219

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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