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

  • Itinerary Summary

    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.
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    1. 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.

    2. 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).

    3. 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)

    4. 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).

    5. 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)

    6. 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)

    7. 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)

    8. 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)

    9. 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)

    10. 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)

    11. 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).

    12. 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

    13. 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).

    14. 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).

    15. 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).

    16. 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.

    17. 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.

    18. 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!

    • Highlights

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

      18 days, 17 nights accommodation, welcome drink in Budapest, 13 dinners (excluding drinks), all breakfasts plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

      Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria
    • Begin/End

      Budapest, Hungary/Bucharest, Romania
    • Arrive/Depart

      Budapest, Hungary/Bucharest, Romania
    • Total Distance

      1581 km (982 miles) 14 riding days averaging 113 km/day (70 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      55 - 169 km (34 - 105 miles)
    • Rating

    • Terms

      Terms & 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.

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