Bicycling the Danube Plus! Czech Republic and Prague

Bicycling the Danube Plus! Czech Republic and Prague

Pedal off the beaten track past gently rolling countryside, lakes, and through tiny towns as you bicycle from Passau, Germany through Austria and the Czech Republic ending in Prague. Every day is an opportunity to explore the colorful towns and impressive historical sites including a stop in the town of Melk to visit the Benedictine Melk Abbey, perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube river. You’ll get a flavor for the local food and landscape while pedaling past vineyards (and stopping to taste some fantastic wine!), through forbidden forests along the Austrian/Czech border, and into late Renaissance towns unchanged since the 17th century. Gently rolling cycling, bicycle-friendly paths and roads in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic make this region enormously popular for cyclists of all stripes.

Sounds great but don't have 14 days? Join us for the first 7-days Cycling the Danube: Passau to Vienna, or check out our 9-day tour Cycling Vienna to Prague.

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Jun 21-Jul 4, 2019
USD$5500
USD$650
 
Jul 26-Aug 8, 2019
USD$5500
USD$650
 
Aug 9-22, 2019
USD$5500
USD$650
 
Aug 23-Sep 5, 2019
USD$5500
USD$650
 

* 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.

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Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 14 Days
  • Total Distance / 664km (413 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 60km (37 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level / 2.0
  • Countries / Austria, Czech Republic, Germany
  • Begin/End / Passau/Prague
  • Price / From USD$5500
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
  • Similar Tours
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Cycling bike paths, Boat ride on the famous Danube river, Crossing three borders, Wine tastings, Historic abbeys and castles.

    Keep 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.

    We use charming and modern hotels but A/C or fans may not always be available since they haven't been needed traditionally. Separated twin beds are rare in many places; instead there will be two mattresses together that sit on the same base.
  • Includes
    14 days, 13 nights accommodation; 8 dinners with wine, 13 breakfasts; guided visits as described in itinerary, and the usual (see below).

    The Usual (Included with every ExperiencePlus! tour)

    • Superb tour leaders who are fun, bilingual and avid cyclists.
    • Help with flights, trains and pre/post tour hotels.
    • Comfortable lodging in 3-4 star hotels. 
    • All breakfasts and at least half of your dinners.
    • Use of a high quality 27-30 speed bike.
    • Full van support to carry luggage – and tired cyclists, too! 
    • Special events like wine tastings, cultural visits and chocolatiers.
    • All tips and gratuities at tour hotels and group meals.
    • Unique routes, marked with our famous chalk dust arrows.
    • Daily mileage options.
    • Detailed route map and free use of our traveling resource library.

    What's not included:

    • Transportation to and from the bicycling tour including airfare, or train travel
    • Helmets - we ask that you bring your own to ensure the best fit
    • Meals not listed in the itinerary
    • Tour Leader gratuity

    See the complete list of what's included with every ExperiencePlus! Tour.

  • Arrive / Depart
    Munich Airport (MUC) or Frankfurt International Airport (FRA)/Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG)
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    **Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    61km / 393m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    3
    67km / 442m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.5
    4
    59km / 356m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    5
    55km / 355m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    6
    93km / 492m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.5
    Shorter optional ride available
    7
    30km / 61m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    Today's ride is an optional loop ride
    8
    43km / 217m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.0
    9
    61km / 743m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.0
    10
    32km / 286m
    difficulty level 1.0
    11
    69km / 742m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.5
    12
    61km / 675m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.5
    13
    63km / 716m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 3.0
    14
    Last day

    Tour Level Note:

    **We use Ride With GPS (ridewithgps.com) to calculate elevation and mileage information. Due to variance between mapping technologies, totals may differ slightly across devices and applications

Terrain Legend

Mostly flat Mostly flat

Rolling hills Rolling

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary

DAY 1: Welcome to Passau

Highlights: Old Town Passau, a spectacular part of the Danube valley, welcome dinner.

Welcome to Passau, a beautiful German city located near the Austrian border and at the confluence of three rivers: the Danube, Inn and Ilz. Settle into your hotel and stretch your legs by walking through Old Town’s baroque architecture and paying a visit to Passau's Saint Stephan's Cathedral, home to the largest organ outside of the United States. This afternoon we will meet for a bike fitting and test ride. Then we will gather again for a welcome drink and our first dinner together.

DAY 2: Passau, Germany to Linz, Austria

Highlights: Crossing the border to Austria, the spectacular Danube valley

The Danube River and the valley it has formed shape the central transportation artery of Austria. Today and tomorrow you'll ride through the heartland of Austria featuring impressive castles perched above the Danube river. Take time to explore the Ars Electronica Museum in Linz, also known as the museum of the future, as it tries to bridge the gap between art, science and technology.

  • Distance: 61 km (38 mi)
  • Gain: 393 m (1289 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 3: Linz to Bad Kreuzen

Highlights: Diverse and stunning cycling through farmland, vineyards and Danube bike paths

You'll leave the river valley to reach Bad Kreuzen. Those who wish can take time to visit the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. The experience is powerful and sobering as you walk up and down the 186 "death stairs." Over 130,000 people were killed here including Jews, Italians, Russian POWs, criminals, and political prisoners.

  • Distance: 67 km (42 mi)
  • Gain: 442 m (1450 ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 4: Bad Kreuzen to Melk

Highlights: Cycling along bike path near a thick forest, 12th Century Melk Abbey

Enjoy a downhill coast on a smooth bike path into the town of Melk, home to the spectacular baroque Melk Abbey. Built at the beginning of the 12th century the abbey was a monastic school. Unpack your bags at our hotel just down the street from the abbey and stroll through the charming town to photograph the gold statuary adorning this domed Abbey Church. Venture inside the church to admire the ceiling fresco and its red marble walls before enjoying one of the suggested restaurants for dinner on your own this evening.

  • Distance: 59 km (37 mi)
  • Gain: 356 m (1168 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 5: Melk to Dürnstein

Highlights: Vineyards of the Danube, wine tasting

Today you pedal into the heartland of Austrian wine country. This beautiful ride leads you through the medieval villages of the Wachau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arriving in Dürnstein you'll visit the cellar and vineyards of one of the area's best producers, and taste some of their traditional white wines.

  • Distance: 55 km (34 mi)
  • Gain: 355 m (1164 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6: Dürnstein to Vienna

Highlights: Vienna!

Enjoy an easy day along the Danube today. You'll reach Vienna via a complex system of bicycle paths that lead directly to your hotel. Vienna is the largest city in Austria and one of Europe's leading musical centers. It was first a Roman and Celtic settlement, but as the Austro-Hungarian Empire rose to prominence, magnificent Medieval and Baroque architecture became especially prevalent.

DAY 7: Vienna Optional Ride

Highlights: Imperial Vienna, Hofburg palace, Guided tour of Vienna

Today we’ll enjoy an optional rest day in Austria’s capital, Vienna. This city has been home to legendary artistic and intellectual residents including Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud. Vienna is also known for its imperial palaces as well as its mix of historic and contemporary buildings. We’ll have a guided tour of this fabulous city to explore its artistic and architectural grandeur and to gain extra insight to the city's impressive history. This afternoon, feel free to stretch your legs with a ride along the Danube.

DAY 8: Vienna to Trebon, Czech Republic

Highlights: Crossing into the Czech Republic, clock tower of Trebon, visit one of the oldest breweries in the Czech Republic

We begin the day with a shuttle to the Austrian town of Gmünd. Pick up lunch in the charming town center before you pedal across the border into the Czech Republic! The ride takes you through gentle farmland passing through tiny Czech villages and dense forests. Our hotel tonight is located inside the ancient city walls of Trebon. Trebon is famous for its brewery which dates back to 1379. Take a spin around some of the Trebon pond system, a part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves, climb the 16th century clock tower, or visit the majestic Trebon Castle. Be sure to enjoy the local specialty, a sweet wafer, but save room for dinner together tonight at our favorite local restaurant.

  • Distance: 43 km (27 mi)
  • Gain: 217 m (712 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 1.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 9: Trebon to Cesky Krumlov

Highlights: Guided tour of Cesky Krumlov, UNESCO World Heritage castle

Today we will make our way to Cesky Krumlov, one of the Czech Republic’s most beautiful cities. Cesky Krumlov is situated in a meander of the longest river in the Czech Republic, the Vltava River. Our hotel is in the main square of this historic city center, structured around the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cesky castle. The castle was originally built in the 1200’s by the main branch of the Bohemian noble Rosenberg family, a hugely influential family in Czech medieval history from the 13th century until 1611. This evening we’ll enjoy a guided walk through town.

DAY 10: Cesky Krumlov to Ceske Budejovice

Highlights: Scenic bike path along the river; Visit to the original Budvar Brewery

Today we will leave Cesky Krumlov and enjoy pedaling through scenic rural pastures before we connect with the Vltava river. We will follow a bike path along this tranquil river to our destination for the evening, Ceske Budejovice, the capital city of Bohemia. Famous for its beer first brewed in the 13th century, brewing remains a major industry in Ceske Budejovice. We will visit the Budvar Brewery which some say Budweiser beer was brewed to imitate. After a tour of this famous brewery we’ll enjoy an excellent dinner together in this statutory city.

June and early August departures will be at Hotel Budweis.

DAY 11: Ceske Budejovice to Tabor

Highlights: Hluboká Castle

We will follow the bike path along the Vltava River out of Ceske Budejovice today and then pedal through lush green forests and small villages on our way to Tabor, which earned its notoriety as home to the most radical wing of the Hussite movement in the 15th century. Perched on a steep hillside surrounded by dense forest, the streets of Tabor are beautiful and vibrant. Take a stroll through the stunning main square.

  • Distance: 69 km (43 mi)
  • Gain: 742 m (2434 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 12: Tabor to Konopiste

Highlights: Wonderful ride through the countryside, spa hotel

Today we pedal through peaceful pastureland. Take a break under the shade of wild apple trees for a quick snack or to capture a picture of the scenic back country roads leading us to our destination for the night near the Konopiste Castle. Play some golf at the largest golf resort in the Czech Republic or enjoy the many amenities of the hotel spa this evening before seeing the Konopiste Castle tomorrow, famous for having been the last residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, whose assassination in Sarajevo triggered World War I.  

  • Distance: 61 km (38 mi)
  • Gain: 675 m (2214 ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: Day Level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 13: Konopiste to Prague

Highlights: Cycling along the Moldau river, Prague

A stunning start to the day as we pedal through Konopiste Castle’s park where you’ll have a chance to visit this impressive castle if you wish. Then we will pedal until our route converges with the Moldau river. A riverside bike path will take us peacefully right into the Czech Republic’s capital city of Prague, and the final destination for the tour. Prague, sometimes called “the City of a Hundred Spires,” is known for its Old Town Square in the heart of its historic center. Take a stroll around the city and enjoy its colorful Baroque buildings, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock, which gives an animated show hourly.

  • Distance: 63 km (39 mi)
  • Gain: 716 m (2348 ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: Day Level 3.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 14: Farewell!

Highlights: Guided tour of Prague

We'll say good-bye after our guided tour of Prague this morning. Stick around though because Prague deserves a few extra days to visit sites, shop, and hear some great music. No matter what you decide to do next, thanks for cycling with us!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Welcome to Passau

Lodging: Centro Hotel Weisser Hase

Meeting time 2 p.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on the itinerary.

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into the Munich Airport (MUC). You can also fly into the Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

If you arrive at Munich and continue to Passau

  1. *Public bus No. 635 from Munich Airport to Freising Bahnhof (20 min/Eur 2.90), or taxi (15 min/EUR 16)
  2. *Train from Freising to Passau Hbf (2 hours/fares vary), no pre-booking necessary.
  3. Taxi (see point 2 under Frankfurt arrival below)

*Note: For the above train trip, we suggest purchasing a regional day ticket valid on the bus and regional trains. You can purchase it at one of the vending machines or at the desk from a person, both run cooperatively by the German Railway and the MVV (Munich transit company). This ticket is also a great option for your train trip from Munich to Passau if you plan to stop over in Munich.

If you arrive at Frankfurt and continue to Passau

  1. **Train from Frankurt am Main Flughafen to Passau Hbf (4.5 hours/fares vary)
  2. Taxi from Passau central station to the Day 1 Hotel (5 min/EUR 6)

**Note: Depart from the AIRail Terminal, next to Terminal 1. Frankfurt Airport is a very busy transportation hub and it is advisable to purchase train tickets with a seat reservation in advance. If you buy a flexible ticket in advance and miss your intended train, it still means that you will have to purchase a new seat reservation separately upon arrival. Purchasing your ticket and seat reservations upon arrival does offer the most flexibility. However, if trains are full, you will have to wait.

Look up German train schedules at Bahn.de or Trainline.eu. Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us.

Day 14: Departure Information

Farewell!

Your trip ends on the final day after a guided tour of Prague, around 12 noon back at the hotel.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying out of Prague (PRG)

  • Taxi from the Ending Hotel to the Airport (35 min/EUR 30)

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

Keep 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.

We use charming and modern hotels but A/C or fans may not always be available since they haven't been needed traditionally. Separated twin beds are rare in many places; instead there will be two mattresses together that sit on the same base.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program: https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/bicycle-tour-training/
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike will be equipped with: a men's or women's saddle, a quick release style seat post adjustment, rear rack and expandable pack, pump, patch kit, spare tube, cable lock, cyclometer, rear lights, a water bottle cage (or two) and a water bottle (or two) and in some cases a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com. Tracks are available upon request approximately three to four weeks prior to the departure.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

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