ExpeditionPlus! Stage 2 Bicycling the Danube from Budapest to the Black Sea

ExpeditionPlus! Stage 2 Bicycling the Danube from Budapest to the Black Sea

This bicycle tour follows the Danube River, Europe's longest, from the imperial capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Budapest, all the way to the mouth of the Danube where it flows into Black Sea. Enjoy long, leisurely rides through farm villages most days while visitng Novi Sad and Belgrade, Serbia and Bucharest, Romania. Our tour ends in Sulina, at the mouth of the Danube and includes a shuttle and final night in Bucharest. This is the second stage of a our full Danube bicycle expedition.

To bicycle the Danube in its entirety check out the itinerary and details here.

There are no upcoming tours scheduled at this time.

Tour Style: Hold A Space Request Private Departure Download Itinerary Tour Map
  • Trip At-A-Glance
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
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Trip At-A-Glance

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 18 Days
  • Total Distance / 1581 km (982 miles) 14 riding days averaging 113 km/day (70 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 55 - 169 km (34 - 105 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 1.0
  • Countries / Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia
  • Begin/End / Budapest, Hungary/Bucharest, Romania
  • Price / From $6150
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    • Iron Gates of the Danube
    • ,
    • boat ride to the Black Sea
    • ,
    • Budapest
    • ,
    • Belgrade
    • ,
    • Bucharest
    • ,
    • Long, easy rides

    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.

    Longer mileage with flat rides along the plains; rest days on day 12; no riding last 2 days
  • Includes
    18 days, 17 nights accommodation, welcome drink in Budapest, 13 dinners (excluding drinks), all breakfasts

  • Arrive / Depart
    Budapest, Hungary/Bucharest, Romania
  • Overall Tour Level
    1.0 difficulty level 1.0
  • Daily Ride Summary




    Day Level



Terrain Legend

Gentle Gentle

Rolling hills Rolling hills

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary
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DAY 1: (Friday, July 11) - Arrive in Budapest

Highlights: Sites in Budapest, Danube river in the city

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 probably want to come a couple days early to explore this historic city. You'll want to visit the castle, the parliament, and just wander the banks of the Danube which so dominates this city. We'll fit you with a bicycle this evening and have a welcome drink together.

DAY 2: (Saturday, July 12) - Bicycle down the Danube to Kalocsa

Highlights: Cycling an island of the Danube

The Danube divides into two channels south of Budapest, forming an island nearly 30 miles long. We bicycle this island to Rackeve, once a part of Serbia and site of a beautiful Greek orthodox church - historic evidence that we are nearly in the Balkans! We are in Kalocsa tonight, the paprika capital of Hungary.

Estimated mileage: 134 km (83 miles).

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3: (Sunday, July 13) - Kalocsa to Mohacs

Highlights: Szekszard wines and Danube-Drava National Park

We pedal through the lowlands north of the confluence of the Drava and Danube Rivers today, a marshy area near the border with Croatia. Szekszard is famous for it strong red wines. Mohacs, where we will be tonight, was the site of an important battle against the Turks in 1526 when the Ottomans defeated the Hungarian army and began a century and a half occupation of the region.

Estimated mileage: 91 km (57 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4: (Monday, July 14) - Mohacs, Hungary to Osijek, Croatia

Highlights: Crossing into Croatia

We cross the border into Croatia today, a lost corner of the plains of Hungary that have gathered Germans, Greeks, Serbs, and Croatians over the centuries. This is a small wine-producing region centered on Osijek, where we will spend the afternoon and evening. Osijek is situated on the Drava River. Distance: 70 km (43 miles).

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5: (Tuesday, July 15 ) - Osijek, Croatia to Novi Sad, Serbia

Highlights: Bicycling into Serbia

We continue through this corner of Croatian Slavonia today on our way to Serbia, the core of Marshall Tito's Yugoslavia. Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia.

Estimated mileage: 115 km (71 miles)

DAY 6: (Wednesday, July 16) - Novi Sad to Belgrade, Serbia

Highlights: Belgrade, capital of Serbia and formerly the capital of Yugoslavia

A short ride today takes us to Belgrade. You'll have the afternoon to relax and explore this capital city, with its Kalemegdan Fortress overlooking the confluence of the Sava with the Danube, with its relaxed cafes and delicious pastry. Distance: 55 km (34 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7: (Thursday, July 17) - Belgrade to Golubac, Serbia

Highlights: Pedaling to the Iron Gates of the Danube

We've traced the path of the Danube east, then south through central Hungary. As the river forms the boundary with Hungary and Serbia it turns eastward to push its way through the great mountain chain of the Transylvanian Alps. Here, the famous "Iron Gates" of the Danube formed over millions of years. We follow the river through Serbia today and stay the night right where the Danube enters the "Iron Gates." Distance: 127 km (79 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8: (Friday, July 18) - Golubac, Serbia to Portile de Fier, Romania

Highlights: Bicycling the Iron Gates of the Danube

The great backward "S" arch of the Carpathian Mountains (Transylvanian Alps) sweeps through the border lands of Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia forming the only real obstacle as the Danube flows toward the Black Sea. Here a great gorge - the "Iron Gates" has been carved through the mountains. We follow the river through this gorge to our destination across the river in Romania. Distance: 126 km (79 miles)

DAY 9: (Saturday, July 19) - Portile de Fier to Calafat, Romania

Highlights: The Plains of Walachia, Romania

We are out of the Iron Gates now and the majestic Transylvanian Alps tower above us far to the north. We pedal through densely settled farm lands in Romania on the north side of the Danube. Distance: 103km (65 miles)

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10: (Sunday, July 20) - Calafat to Corabia, Romania

Highlights: Bicycling the plains of Wallachia, Romania

We continue through farmlands and small villages on this low-lying plain of the Danube River in Romania. Distance: 146 km (91 miles)

DAY 11: (Monday, July 21) - Corabia to Ruse, Bulgaria

Highlights: Bicycle lowland Romania

Our route today takes us to Giurgiu on the Romanian border and then across the Romanian-Bulgarian "Friendship Bridge", completed in 1954. We arrive in one of the most famous Bulgarian towns, where we will be for the next two nights. Approximate distance: about 162 km (101 miles).

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 12: (Tuesday, July 22)- Rest day in Ruse

Highlights: Ruse, 19th and 20th-century Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture

We have a rest day in Ruse today; enjoy a walk around the center of town. Ruse is the most important river port of Bulgaria and is famous for its 19th to 20th century Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture.

Distance: no biking today

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 13: (Wednesday, July 23) - Ruse, Bulgaria to Calarasi, Romania

Highlights: Bicycling Downwhill through Walachia

We cross the "Friendship Bridge" again this morning and re-enter Romania (keep your passports out!) We'll be in Calarasi this evening. Distance: 163 km (101 miles).

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 14: (Thursday, July 24) - Calarasi to Braila, Romania

Highlights: Bicycling through the countryside along the Danube

We follow the river or different branches of the river through numerous farm villages to Braila. This is a long ride today but we'll start early and take our time as the ride is entirely flat. Distance: 170 km (105 miles).

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 15: (Friday, July 25) - Braila to Tulcea

Highlights: The Heart of the Danube Delta

Our ride today begins with a ferry crossing of the Danube; we arrive in Tulcea (say "tool-chuh") this afternoon. Not only have we traveled nearly 3,000 kilometers but we have also traveled back in time nearly three thousand years as Tulcea was inhabited by the ancient Greeks who built their settlement on that of earlier settlers dating to the 7th century BC. At various times in history Tulcea was controlled by the Byzantines, the Genoese, and the Ottoman Turks.

Distance: about 96 km (59 miles).

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 16: (Saturday, July 26) - Boat from Tulcea to Sulina

Highlights: Ferry along the Sulina Branch of the Danube

We say goodbye to our bicycles this morning and catch a boat to complete our last leg down the Danube to Sulina. We'll take a swim in the Black Sea and enjoy an evening on the seashore.

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 17: (Sunday, July 27) - Transfer to Bucharest

Highlights: Sunrise over the Black Sea

We catch an early boat this morning and then a bus to Bucharest for our last evening together.

  • Meals: Breakfast

DAY 18: (Monday, July 28) - Tour ends today in Bucharest

Highlights: Tour ends with a transfer to the Bucharest Airport

Our journey ends this morning with a transfer to the airport. Alternatively, maybe you are headed into the interior of Romania to explore Transylvania, the land of Dracula. Have a great trip!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

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.

Longer mileage with flat rides along the plains; rest days on day 12; no riding last 2 days

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To Do Today!

3–6 Months Prior to 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. As you make your plans refer to the Getting To and Away sent to you in your booking confirmation email it provides meeting times and the starting and ending hotels and shuttle information when applicable.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights. Please refer to the Getting To and Away sheet you received in your Reservation Confirmation Email.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program www.experienceplus.com/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 Weeks–2 Weeks Prior to Departure

Day of Your Flight

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

What to Expect on Tour





  • Sailing the boat, every afternoon relaxing on the boat after biking and swimming, lovely dinners, hearty breakfasts, bee keepers, traditional dinner out, rides through the islands (up and down!), guides, fellow passengers, crew on the boat-- really it was ALL great.

    Cheryl A., Colchester, VT - June 2021
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