ExpeditionPlus! Stage 1 Bicycling the Danube from Germany's Black Forest to Budapest
To bicycle the Danube in its entirety check out the itinerary and details here.View Day-by-Day ItineraryHide Day-by-Day Itinerary
Day 1: (Thursday, Jun 26) - Gather in Donaueschingen, Germany, on the edge of Germany's beautiful Black Forest Region
Highlights: Bike fitting and welcome dinner
Our tour begins in the Donaueschingen where two small streams, the Breg and the Brigach flow together to form the Danube River, Europe's longest. Flowing almost 2900 km (about 1800 miles) through Central Europe, the Danube is Europe's longest river. After exploring town we'll have dinner together tonight.
Day 2: (Friday, Jun 27) - Bicycle Donaueschingen to Sigmaringen, Germany
Highlights: The Swabian Alps of Middle Europe
The Danube has carved a sinuous valley through the Schwabian Alps, affording great bicycling in the valley bottom or short, steep climbs for those who wish. We're pedaling though the heartland of the Jurassic limestones of Central Europe. Castle ruins line the bluffs along the Danube and Beuron Abbey, dating to the 11th century, is a major stop along our route. Enjoy wandering the streets of Sigmaringen this afternoon. Distance: about 97 km (60 miles).
Day 3: (Saturday, June 28)- Ride Sigmaringen to Ulm
Highlights: Historic Medieval Ulm
The city of Ulm dates to the 9th century and is one of southern Germany's most important historic cities. The Ulm cathedral has the tallest steeple in the world so you should plan to hike to the top to view the terrain we just pedaled across! Explore the half-timber houses in the fisherman's neighborhood this afternoon. Ulm's modern university has made this city a leader in alternative energy production.
Distance: 110 km (68 miles).
Day 4: (Sunday, June 29) - Pedal from Ulm to Ingolstadt in Bavaria
Highlights: Explore the Walled Town of Ingolstadt
As we pedal today we are tracing the northern border of the Roman empire in Germany. Gunzburg, for example, still preserves the straight streets of a Roman military outpost dating to 70 BC. Ingolstadt, too, is an historic center with its 12th century Medieval wall well preserved.
Distance: 110 - 148 km (68 - 92 miles).
Day 5: (Monday, June 30)- Bicycle Ingolstadt to Regensburg
Highlights: Beautiful bicycle rides, Historic Regensburg
Regensburg is, perhaps, the most historic city we bicycle through until we get to Vienna. It was a Roman outpost under Marcus Aurelius in 179 AD and marks both the northernmost point of the Roman Empire in Germany and the northernmost extent of the Danube. Its Medieval center is wonderfully preserved. From Regensburg we turn southeast to head towards Austria.
Estimated distance: 89 km (55 miles).
Day 6: (Tuesday, July 1) - Bicycle Regensburg to Deggendorf
Highlights: Walhalla Temple, and Benedectine Monasteries near Metten
More Roman settlements mark our route today along with Benedictine monasteries, including one near Metten. Bibliophiles will want to stop for a tour of the library in the Abbey of St. Michael of Metten as among the 160,000 volumes in this historic collection is one of the earliest bibles printed in Germany and a 1493 "Nuremberg Chronicle," one of the earliest printed world history books (printed in German and Latin).
Distance: 93 km (58 miles)
Day 7: (Wednesday, July 2) - Bicycle from Bavaria to Austria along the Danube
Highlights: Benedictine Monastery, Passau and the Inn River as we into Austria
We pass another Benedictine Monastery as we leave Deggendorf this morning on our way to Passau, gateway to Austria. In Passau we see the Danube nearly double in size as it is joined by the Inn River, flowing out of Austria and Germany. Our destination today is Schlogen, on a meander of the Danube 50 km. from Passau.
Estimated distance: 105 km (65 miles).
Day 8: (Thursday, July 3) - Schlogen to Linz, Austria
Highlights: The Famous Danube Valley of Austria
The Danube River and the valley it has formed shape the central transportation artery of Austria. Today and tomorrow we ride through the heartland of Austria. Castles perch above the river and after Linz we begin to see more agriculture on alluvial farmland washed out of the Alps far to the south.
Approximate distance: 110 km (68 miles)
Day 9: (Friday, July 4) - Bicycle the Danube Valley to Krems
Highlights: Vineyards of the Danube; the Abbey in Melk
We continue through farmland, including vineyards on our way to Melk, where you'll want to stop and photograph the spectacular baroque Abbey of Melk. We'll be in Krems tonight. Estimated distance: 90 km (56 miles)
Day 10: (Saturday, July 5) - Bicycle to Vienna along the Danube
We'll have an easy day along the Danube today though not without bicycle traffic since this stretch of the Danube Bicycle Path is one of the busiest in the world. Estimated distance: 80 km (50 miles)
Day 11: (Sunday, July 6) - Rest day in Vienna
Highlights: Vienna, former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
This is a rest day in Vienna, one of the great imperial cities of Europe. You've earned a rest after nine cycling days. There is so much to see here we'll provide a briefing this morning, then you are free to wander and explore at your leisure. Be sure to explore the Hofburg imperial palace, home to the ruling Habsuburg family for over six centuries. The rest of the day you can go on a quest for the best Viennese pastries!
Day 12: (Monday, July 7) - Pedal Vienna, Austria to Bratislava, Slovakia
Highlights: Vineyards along the Danube and Slovakia
An easy ride today takes us to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Czechoslovakia was formed from parts of the historic Austro-Hungarian empire in 1918 and came under Soviet domination in 1948. Not until 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, was the country freed from the Soviets. Bratislava became capital of Slovakia when it separated from the Czech Republic during the "velvet divorce" in 1993.
Estimated mileage: 76 km (47 miles)
Day 13: (Tuesday, July 8) - Bratislava, Slovakia to Gyor, Hungary
Highlights: Bicycling along the Danube to Hungary
While Gyor was a border town early in its history under the Romans, it was an imperial city under the Austro-Hungarian empire. It was also right in the way of barbarian invasions through the centuries. Much of the present city was built by Italian architects after the retreat of the Ottoman empire in the 17th century. Distance: 90 km (56 miles).
Day 14: (Wednesday, July 9)- Gyor to Esztergom
The region we bicycle through was so much of a frontier region that the towns here were destroyed and rebuilt repeatedly. The bridge over the Danube in Esztergom, for example, was first built in 1895, destroyed by the Germans in 1944 and only rebuilt in 2001. Esztergom was the capital of Hungary for two and a half centuries until mid 13th century, was occupied by the Ottoman Turks for 150 years and enjoyed a period of rebirth with lots of baroque architecture after 1700.
Estimated mileage: 105 km (65 miles)
Day 15: (Thursday, July 10) - Esztergom to Budapest
Highlights: Bicycling along the Danube into Budapest
We have a fairly short ride into Budapest today so you'll have most of the afternoon to explore and tomorrow is a rest day, as well. Our hotel is near the center of Pest so you'll be close to most of the sights. We have a special dinner tonight including a cruise on the Danube.
Estimated distance: 67 km (42 miles)
Day 16: (Friday, July 11) - Bike Tour ends in Budapest
Highlights: Enjoy Budapest
Surely you'll want to stay an extra day or two in Budapest. Split in two by the Danube, Buda Castle sits on the west bank high above the river and Pest (say "Pesht") is on the lowland across the river. You?ll want to visit the castle, the parliament, and just wander the banks of the Danube which so dominates this city. Enjoy a relaxing day and give your legs a rest! If you must be home bound, have a great trip and thank you for joining us!
HighlightsVineyards of Austria, Vienna, Farm Villages of Bavaria, Black Forest, Ulm, One of Europe's longest distance bicycle paths, RegensburgKeep in Mind: We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.
Includes16 days, 15 nights accommodation, 9 dinners (excluding drinks)including a dinner cruise in Budapest, all breakfasts plus "The Usual""The Usual" (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)
CountriesGermany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary
Begin/EndDonaueschingen, Germany/Budapest, Hungary
Arrive/DepartZurich or Frankfurt/Budapest, Hungary
Total Distance1193 - 1273 km (741 - 791 miles); 13 riding days averaging 92 - 98 km/day (57 - 61 miles)
Daily Distance68 - 148 km (42 - 92 miles)
TermsTerms & Conditions
Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes
* We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
History and Geography of the Danube River
The Danube River has been one of the most significant cultural and historic boundaries in Europe.
- History and Geography of the Danube River