Touring Passau to Vienna Along The Danube River
We live in a time where work, food, information and experiences are all on hyperdrive. We can instantly get notifications from all around the world right on your phone. The Stuffocation and Information Overload can and will eventually drive you to do some pretty crazy things, which in hindsight are often the best times of your entire life.
I awoke one morning, rolled over to my Information Overload device (SmartPhone) to find a notification from my friends Pete and Karina who had just posted a few Photos… and there was bikes!! and Panniers!! Have they done what i think they just did??
They decided this year to travel abroad for 6 months and recently completed a 260km Self Sufficient Bike Tour. I was so inspired by their bike trip so i had Pete send me the info from their trip. I had mixed emotions of both jealousy and complete admiration for their trip. Hopefully their info inspires you to do the same!
Meet Pete And Karina
Travel Notes From the Cycling Adventures
Passau to Vienna along the Danube River
~320km (although we only made it 260km before we ran out of time and needed to train the rest of the way)
Me (Pete) and my one and only wife (Karina)
Hired touring bikes from Passau with two waterproof panniers each
Do everything ourselves and book accommodation when finding a good town at the end of each day (only possible because it wasn’t peak season).
Day 1: Passau to Aschach an Der Donau (South side of the river)
- Passau: good starting point for the trip as it had some interesting attractions (fort museum) and plenty of supplies.
- Danube hydro: the Austrians have constructed several hydro power plants along the river, one of which can be toured at Jochenstein.
- Engelszell: the Engelszell Stift (abbey) where the monks make beer and cheese.
- Schlogen to Aschach: amazing scenery with mountains either side of the river which were covered with autumn colours and the odd castle. On top of that the bike track was covered in forest on the southern side of the river, so this was the favourite part of our trip.
Day 2: Aschach to Au an der Donau (North side of the river)
- Enns: the oldest town in Austria which has a 60m high tower to climb and some nice parks.
- Au an der Danau: tiny village which has a great restaurant. We couldn’t find a hotel for the night but fortunately met a German guy who recommended the B&B up the road in Haid, which was amazing.
- Linz: along with a lot of this day, the track was looking over a lot of industrial area and modern towns.
Day 3: Au on der Donau to Emmersdorf on der Do au (Both sides of the river)
- Staffling: We rode away from the river into farmland. This area is rich with agriculture and traditional living (we saw and old guy using a sithe!!)
- Ybbs: there was a Fahrrad (cycling) museum which would’ve been interesting.
- Melk: has a massive stift/abbey which is amazing.
- Emmersdorf: little town with a great view of the Melk Stift. It’s a bit awkward though when there are no available B&B’s and you need to go to a fancy hotel!
Day 4: Emmersdorf to Krems (north side of the river) then train to Vienna.
- The Wachau region (towns between Weibenkirchen to Krems): this is an UNESCO heritage listed area where all of the towns are old and beautiful. The towns sit within a rich wine growing area as well, so the hills around are covered with vineyards, deciduous trees and castles. This was another favourite area and one to take the time to explore.
- Vienna: amazing for architecture and music. We watched a rock organ/orchestra set at a venue for 5€ (We bought standing tickets 1hr before the show) then chilled at Jazzland for the rest of the night.
In the end It was a fairly well rounded trip and had activities to satisfy all of the senses. The cycling itself was great too because the whole track is downhill… although the 20km/hr wind in our face didn’t help. Looking back it would have been even better doing more of the Danube River from the Black Forest (Germany) to Budapest…. Maybe next time.