Where is the Danube Cycle Path?

The Danube Cycle Path in the Wachau
The Danube Cycle Path in the Wachau

Everyone is talking about it. 70.000 travel every year the Danube Cycle Path. You have to do it once, the Danube Cycle Path from Passau to Vienna.

With a length of 2850 kilometers, the Danube is the second longest river in Europe after the Volga. It rises in the Black Forest and flows into the Black Sea in the Romanian-Ukrainian border area. The classic Danube cycle path, which is also known as Eurovelo 6 from Tuttlingen, begins in Donaueschingen. Of the euroveil 6 runs from the Atlantic at Nantes in France to Constanta in Romania on the Black Sea.

When we speak of the Danube Cycle Path, we often mean the busiest stretch of the Danube Cycle Path, namely the 317 km long stretch that runs from Passau in Germany to Vienna in Austria, taking the Danube from around 300 m above sea level in Passau to 158 m above sea level in Vienna, i.e. 142 meters down, flows.

Danube Cycle Path Passau Vienna, the route
Danube Cycle Path Passau Vienna, 317 km from 300 m above sea level to 158 m above sea level

The most beautiful section of the Danube Cycle Path Passau Vienna is in Lower Austria in the Wachau. The valley floor of St. Michael via Wösendorf and Joching to Weissenkirchen in der Wachau until 1850 as Thal Wachau bezeichnet.

The 333 km from Passau to Vienna is often divided into 7 stages, with an average distance of 50 km per day.

  1. Passau - Schlögen 43 km
  2. Schlögen-Linz 57 km
  3. Linz-Grein 61 km
  4. Grein - Melk 51 km
  5. Melk-Krems 36 km
  6. Krems-Tulln 47 km
  7. Tulln-Vienna 38 km

The division of the Danube Cycle Path Passau Vienna into 7 daily stages has shifted to fewer but longer daily stages due to the increase in e-bikes.

Below are the places where you can stay overnight if you want to cycle from Passau to Vienna in 6 days.

  1. Passau - Schlögen 43 km
  2. Schlögen-Linz 57 km
  3. Linz-Grein 61 km
  4. Grein-Spitz on the Danube 65 km
  5. Spitz on the Danube – Tulln 61 km
  6. Tulln-Vienna 38 km

You can see from the list that if you cycle an average of 54 km a day on the Danube Cycle Path Passau Vienna, on the 4th day you will cycle from Grein to Spitz an der Donau in the Wachau instead of Grein to Melk. A place to stay in the Wachau is recommended because the section between Melk and Krems is the most beautiful of the entire Danube Cycle Path Passau Vienna.

You will find that most of the Danube Cycle Path tours offered from Passau to Vienna last 7 days. However, if you would like to be on the road for fewer days in order to cycle where the Danube Cycle Path is most beautiful, namely in the upper Danube valley at the Schlögener Schlinge and in the Wachau, then we recommend 2 days in the upper Danube valley between Passau and Aschach and then 2 to spend days in the Wachau. We have worked out the following program of an exclusively guided cycle tour for you:

Cycle where the Danube Cycle Path is most beautiful: Schlögener Schlinge and Wachau. In 4 days from Passau to Vienna

Program

  1. Day Monday: Arrival in Passau, welcome and dinner together in the vaulted cellar of a former monastery, which has its own wine from the Wachau
  2. Day Tuesday: Passau – Schlögener Schlinge, dinner together on a terrace on the Danube
  3. Day Wednesday: Schlögener Schlinge - Aschach,
    Transfer from Aschach to Spitz an der Donau, dinner together at the Winzerhof
  4. Day Thursday: Cycling in the Wachau, visit to Melk Abbey, soup for lunch and dinner, wine tasting and visit to a wine tavern
  5. Day Friday: Cycling in the Wachau and boat trip to Vienna with dinner on board
  6. Day Saturday: breakfast together in Vienna, farewell and departure

Travel dates

Travel period

May 1-6, 2023

5. - 10. June 2023

Price per person in a double room from €1.398

Single supplement €375

Included services

• 5 nights with breakfast (Monday to Saturday)
• 4 dinners including one on board the ship 
• All tourist taxes and city taxes
• Transfer from Aschach to Spitz an der Donau
• Luggage transport
• 2 travel companions
• Admission to the Benedictine monastery in Melk
• Soup on Thursday lunchtime
• Wine tasting
• Visit to a wine tavern
• All Danube ferries
• Boat trip from the Wachau to Vienna on Friday evening

Number of participants: min. 8, max. 16 guests; End of the registration period 3 weeks before the start of the trip.

booking request

Directions Danube Cycle Path Passau Vienna

Start at the Rathausplatz in Passau

From the town hall square at the corner of Fritz-Schäffer-Promenade in the old town of Passau, follow a sign that says “Donauroute” to Residenzplatz, which is bordered to the north by the chancel of St. Stephen's Cathedral.

The town hall tower in Passau
At Rathausplatz in Passau we start the Danube Cycle Path Passau-Vienna

On the Marienbrücke over the Inn

On the Marienbrücke it goes over the Inn into the Innstadt, where it goes between the railway tracks of the disused Innstadtbahn and the listed building parts of the former Innstadtbrauerei the Inn, and after its confluence with the Danube, along the Wiener Straße downstream in the direction of the Austrian border, where the Wiener Strasse on the Austrian side becomes the B130, the Nibelungen Bundesstrasse.

Building of the former Innstadt brewery
The Danube cycle path in Passau in front of the listed building of the former Innstadt brewery.

Krampelstein Castle

Further along we pass opposite Erlau on the German bank, where the Danube makes a double loop, at the foot of Krampelstein Castle, situated on a rocky outcrop at the place where a Roman sentry post used to be, high above the right bank of the Danube. The castle served as a toll station and later as a retirement home for the bishops of Passau.

Krampelstein Castle
Krampelstein Castle was also called the Tailor's Castle because a tailor allegedly lived in the castle with his goat

Obernzell Castle

The landing stage for the Obernzell Danube ferry is in front of Kasten. We take the ferry to Obernzell to visit the Obernzell moated castle on the left side of the Danube.

Obernzell Castle
Obernzell Castle on the Danube

Obernzell Castle is a moated castle on the left bank of the Danube that used to belong to the prince-bishop. Bishop Georg von Hohenlohe of Passau began building a Gothic moated castle, which was rebuilt by Prince Bishop Urban von Trennbach between 1581 and 1583 into a powerful, representative, four-storey Renaissance palace with a half-hipped roof. On the first floor of Obernzell Castle there is a late Gothic chapel and on the second floor there is the knight's hall with a coffered ceiling, which occupies the entire southern front of the second floor facing the Danube. After visiting Obernzell Castle, we take the ferry back to the right side and continue our journey to the Jochenstein power plant on the Danube.

Jochenstein power plant

Jochenstein power plant on the Danube
Jochenstein power plant on the Danube

The Jochenstein power plant is a run-of-river power plant on the Danube, which derives its name from the Jochenstein, a rocky island on which the border between the Prince-Bishopric of Passau and the Archduchy of Austria ran. The movable elements of the weir are located near the Austrian bank, the powerhouse with the turbines in the middle of the river, while the ship lock is on the Bavarian side. The monumental round arches of the Jochenstein power plant, completed in 1955, were the last major plan by the architect Roderich Fick, who impressed Adolf Hitler so much that the two head buildings of the Nibelungen Bridge were built according to his plans in Hitler's hometown of Linz.

Transition at the Jochenstein power plant
The round arches of the Jochenstein power plant, built in 1955 according to plans by the architect Roderich Fick

Engelhartszell

From the Jochenstein power station we continue our journey along the Danube Cycle Path to Engelhartszell. The municipality of Engelhartszell is located at 302 m above sea level in the Upper Danube Valley. In Roman times Engelhartszell was called Stanacum. Engelhartszell is known for the Engelszell Trappist monastery with its rococo church.

Engelszell Collegiate Church
Engelszell Collegiate Church

Engelszell Collegiate Church

The Engelszell Collegiate Church was built between 1754 and 1764. Rococo is a style that originated in Paris in the early 18th century and was later adopted in other countries, most notably Germany and Austria. Rococo is characterized by lightness, elegance and an exuberant use of curved natural forms in ornamentation. From France, the Rococo style spread to the Catholic German-speaking countries, where it was adapted into a style of religious architecture.

Interior of the Engelszell Collegiate Church
Interior of the Engelszell collegiate church with rococo pulpit by JG Üblherr, one of the most advanced plasterers of his time, whereby the asymmetrically applied C-arm is characteristic of him in the ornamental area.

Also in the area of ​​the market town of Engelhartszell, a little downstream from Engelszell Abbey, in the district of Oberranna, remains of the Roman wall were discovered in 1840. Over time it turned out that it must have been a small fortress, a quadriburgus, a square military camp with 4 corner towers . From the towers one could monitor the river traffic of the Danube over a long distance and overlook the Rannatal, which flows in opposite.

View of the Ranna estuary
The view of the Ranna estuary from the Römerburgus in Oberranna

The Quadriburgus Stanacum was part of the fortress chain of the Danube Limes in the province of Noricum, directly on the Limes Road. The Burgus in Oberranna has been part of the Danube Limes on the via iuxta Danuvium, the Roman military and trunk road along the southern bank of the Danube, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2021. The Römerburgus Oberranna, the best-preserved Roman building in Upper Austria, can be visited daily from April to October in the protective hall building visible from afar in Oberranna directly on the Danube Cycle Path.

Schogener loop

Then we cross the Danube on the Niederranna bridge and drive on the left to Au, which is on the inside of the Schlögener Schlinge.

Au in the Schlögener loop
Au in the Schlögener loop

What is special about the Schögener loop?

What is special about the Schlögener loop is that it is a large, deeply incised meander with an almost symmetrical cross-section. Meanders are meanders and loops in a river that develop from geological conditions. In the Schlögener Schlinge, the Danube gave way to harder rock formations of the Bohemian Massif to the north, forcing resistant rock slabs to form the loop. The "Grand Canyon" of Upper Austria can best be viewed from the so-called Schlögener Blick. Of the Stupid look is a small viewing platform above Schlögen.

The Schlögener loop of the Danube
The Schlögener Schlinge in the upper Danube valley

We take the cross ferry to Schlögen and continue cycling through the upper Danube valley, where the Danube is dammed up by the Aschach power plant. The historic town of Obermühl went under as a result of the damming. At the eastern end of the town, on the banks of the Danube, there is a granary that originally had 4 floors, but now has 3 floors because the bottom floor was filled up during the damming.

Frey grain box

17th century granary in Obermühl
17th century granary in Obermühl

The granary has an extraordinary 14 meter high, pegged hip roof. On the facade are painted and scratched window openings as well as corner ashlars in stucco plaster. There are 2 pouring openings in the middle. The granary, too Freyer grain box is called, was built in 1618 by Karl Jörger.

Karl Jörger, the builder of the granary

Baron Karl Jörger von Tollet was a nobleman of the Duchy of Austria above the Enns and a leading figure in the provincial estates. Karl Jörger was commander-in-chief of the estate troops of the Traun and Marchland districts during the uprising of the "Oberennsische" estates against the Catholic Emperor Ferdinand II Karl Joerger accused of high treason, he was imprisoned and tortured in the Veste Oberhaus, which belonged to the bishop of Passau.

The Veste Oberhaus in Passau
The Veste Oberhaus in Passau

lookout tower

The lurking tower above the left bank on a wooded granite rock sloping almost perpendicularly to the Danube at the foot of the Neuhauser Schloßberg is a medieval toll tower with a square floor plan. The lower 2 floors of the southern and western walls of the formerly multi-storey tower have been preserved with a medieval rectangular portal and 2 windows above it in the southern wall. The Lauerturm belonged to the Neuhaus castle of the Schaunbergers, who had the right to toll outside of Aschach. At that time, the ruler was Duke Albrecht IV of Austria. Alongside the Wallseers, the Schaunbergers were the most powerful and richest noble family in Upper Austria.

The lurking tower of Neuhaus Castle on the Danube
The lurking tower of Neuhaus Castle on the Danube

The Schaunbergers

The Schaunbergers originally came from Lower Bavaria and acquired the area around Aschach in the first half of the 12th century and called themselves "Schaunberger" after their new center of rule, the Schaunburg. The Schaunburg, the largest castle complex in Upper Austria, was a hilltop castle on the north-western edge of the Eferding Basin. Due to the location of their possessions between the two power blocs of Austria and Bavaria, the Schaunbergs succeeded in playing off the Habsburgs and Wittelsbachs against each other in the 14th century, which ended in the Schaunberg feud in the wake of which the Schaunberger had to submit to Habsburg suzerainty. 

Imperial Court

Imperial court on the Danube
Boat dock at the Kaiserhof on the Danube

The Aschach-Kaiserau boat landing stage is located opposite the Lauerturm, from which the rebellious peasants blocked the Danube with chains in 1626 during the Upper Austrian Peasants' War. The trigger was the punitive action of the Bavarian governor Adam Graf von Herberstorff, who had a total of 17 men hanged in the course of the so-called Frankenburg dice game. Upper Austria was pledged by the Habsburgs to the Bavarian Duke Maximilian I in 1620. As a result, Maximilian had Catholic clergy sent to Upper Austria to enforce the Counter-Reformation. When a Catholic pastor was to be installed in the Protestant parish of Frankenburg, an uprising broke out.

Collegiate Church Wilhering

Before we take the ferry to Ottensheim, we make a detour to Wilhering Abbey with its rococo church.

Ceiling painting by Bartolomeo Altomonte in the Wilhering Collegiate Church
Ceiling painting by Bartolomeo Altomonte in the Wilhering Collegiate Church

Wilherin Abbey received donations from the Counts of Schaunberg, members of whose family are buried in two high Gothic graves to the left and right of the church entrance. The interior of the Wilhering Collegiate Church is the most outstanding ecclesiastical space of the Bavarian Rococo in Austria due to the harmony of the decoration and the well thought-out incidence of light. The ceiling painting by Bartolomeo Altomonte shows the glorification of the Mother of God, primarily through the depiction of her attributes in the invocations of the Litany of Loreto.

Danube ferry Ottemheim

The Danube ferry in Ottensheim
The Danube ferry in Ottensheim

In 1871, the abbot of Wilhering blessed the "flying bridge" in Ottensheim instead of the zill crossing. Until the Danube was regulated in the middle of the 19th century, there was a bottleneck in the Danube in Ottensheim. The "Schröckenstein" in Dürnberg, which protruded into the river bed, blocked the land route to Urfahr on the left bank, so that all goods from the Mühlviertel had to be brought from Ottensheim across the Danube in order to be transported further in the direction of Linz.

Kürnberg Forest

The Danube Cycle Path runs from Ottensheim along the B 127, Rohrbacher Straße, to Linz. Alternatively, there is the possibility of Ottensheim to Linz with a ferry, the so-called Danube bus, to get.

Kürnbergerwald before Linz
The Kürnbergerwald in the west of Linz

Wilhering Abbey acquired the Kürnbergerwald in the mid-18th century. The Kürnbergerwald with the 526 m high Kürnberg is a continuation of the Bohemian Massif south of the Danube. Due to the elevated position, people have settled there since the Neolithic Age. A double ring wall from the Bronze Age, a Roman watchtower, places of worship, a burial mound and settlements from a wide variety of cultural and historical epochs have been found on the Kürnberg. In modern times, the Habsburg Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire organized large hunts in the Kürnberg Forest.

The Trinity Column and the two bridgehead buildings on the main square in Linz
The Trinity Column and the two bridgehead buildings on the main square in Linz

The Domplatz in Linz east of the neo-Gothic Mariendom serves as a venue for classical concerts, various markets and Advent at the Dom all year round. The building of the Museum of Digital Art on the left bank of the Danube, visible from afar, the Ars Electronica Center, is a transparent light sculpture, a structure in which no outer edge runs parallel to the other, which takes on a different shape depending on the viewing angle. Opposite the Ars Electronica Center, on the right bank of the Danube, is the glass-encased, linearly structured, basalt-grey building of the Lentos, the museum for modern art in the city of Linz.

Museum Francisco Carolinum Linz
The Francisco Carolinum Museum in Linz with a monumental sandstone frieze on the second floor

The building of the Francisco Carolinum in the inner city, a museum for photographic art, is a free-standing, 3-storey building with Neo-Renaissance facades and a 3-sided monumental sandstone frieze depicting the history of Upper Austria. The Open House of Culture in the center of Linz in the former Ursuline School is a house for contemporary art, an experimental art laboratory that accompanies the implementation of an artistic work from the idea to its exhibition.

Rathausgasse Linz
Rathausgasse Linz

The Rathausgasse in Linz runs from the town hall on the main square to the Pfarrplatz. What many Linzers are proud of is located at Rathausgasse 3 on the corner of the Kepler residential building. The Leberkas from Pepi, a traditional dish of Bavarian-Austrian cuisine, which is eaten between two halves of a bread roll as "Leberkässemmel".

The Linzer Torte is a cake made from stirred shortcrust pastry, a so-called Linzer dough, with a high proportion of nuts. The Linzer Torte contains a simple filling of jam, usually currant jam, and is traditionally made with a lattice top layer that is spread over the mass.
A piece of Linzer Torte contains a filling of currant jam with a dough lattice as the top layer.

Archduke Franz Karl Joseph of Austria took a Linzer Torte with him from Linz on his way to his summer resort in Bad Ischl. A Linzer Torte is a tart made from shortcrust pastry with a high proportion of nuts, spiced with cinnamon and containing a filling of currant jam and a decorated, characteristic diamond-shaped lattice as the top layer. The almond slivers on the lattice decoration of the Linzer Torte are probably to be understood as a reminiscence of the earlier customary production of the Linzer Torte with almonds. But due to the high proportion of butter and almonds it was Linzer Torte long mostly reserved for the rich people.

From Linz to Mauthausen

The Danube Cycle Path runs from the main square in Linz over the Nibelungen Bridge to Urfahr and on the other side follows the course of the promenade along the Danube.

Pleschinger Au

On the north-eastern outskirts of Linz, in the Linzer Feld, the Danube curves around Linz from south-west to south-east. On the north-eastern side of this arch, on the outskirts of Linz, there is a floodplain known as the Pleschinger Au.

The Danube Cycle Path runs along the north-eastern outskirts of Linz in the shade of the trees in the Pleschinger floodplain.
The Danube Cycle Path runs along the north-eastern outskirts of Linz in the shade of the trees in the Pleschinger floodplain.

The Danube Cycle Path runs at the foot of a dam on the edge of the Pleschinger Au along the Diesenleitenbach until the floodplain landscape consisting of agricultural meadows and sections of riparian forest rejuvenates and the Danube Cycle Path continues along the stepped path along the Danube. In this area you can now see the east of Linz, St. Peter in der Zitzlau, with the harbor and the smelter of voestalpine AG.

voestalpine Stahl GmbH operates a smelting works in Linz.
The silhouette of the smelting works of voestalpine Stahl GmbH in Linz

After Adolf Hitler had decided that a smelter should be built in Linz, the ground-breaking ceremony for the Reichswerke Aktiengesellschaft für Erzbergbau und Eisenhütten "Hermann Göring" in St. Peter-Zizlau took place just two months after the annexation of Austria to the German Reich in May 1938 . Around 4.500 residents of St. Peter-Zizlau will therefore be relocated to other districts of Linz. The construction of the Hermann Göring works in Linz and the production of armaments took place with around 20.000 forced laborers and more than 7.000 concentration camp prisoners from the Mauthausen concentration camp.

Since 1947 there has been a memorial of the Republic of Austria on the site of the former Mauthausen concentration camp. The Mauthausen concentration camp was located near Linz and was the largest Nazi concentration camp in Austria. It existed from 1938 until it was liberated by US troops on May 5, 1945. Around 200.000 people were imprisoned in the Mauthausen concentration camp and its subcamps, of whom more than 100.000 died.
Information board at the Mauthausen concentration camp memorial

After the end of the war, US units took over the site of the Hermann Göring works and renamed it the United Austrian Iron and Steel Works (VÖEST). 1946 VÖEST handed over to the Republic of Austria. VÖEST was privatized in the 1990s. VOEST became voestalpine AG, which today is a global steel group with around 500 group companies and locations in more than 50 countries. In Linz, at the site of the former Hermann Göring works, voestalpine AG continues to operate a metallurgical plant that is visible from afar and shapes the cityscape.

The smelter of voestalpine AG in Linz
The silhouette of the voestalpine AG steelworks characterizes the townscape in the east of Linz

From Linz to Mauthausen

Mauthausen is only 15 km east of Linz. At the end of the 10th century, a toll station was founded in Mauthausen by the Babenbergers. In 1505 a bridge was built over the Danube near Mauthausen. Mauthausen became known in the 19th century for the Mauthausen granite supplied by the Mauthausen stone industry to the major cities of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, which was used for paving stones and the construction of buildings and bridges.

The Lebzelterhaus Leopold-Heindl-Kai in Mauthausen
The Lebzelterhaus Leopold-Heindl-Kai in Mauthausen

The Nibelungen Bridge in Linz, which connects the Führer's hometown with Urfahr, was built between 1938 and 1940 with granite from Mauthausen. The prisoners of the Mauthausen concentration camp had to split the granite necessary for the construction of the Nibelungen Bridge in Linz by hand or by means of blasting from the rock.

The Nibelungen Bridge over the Danube connects Linz with Urfahr. It was built from 1938 to 1940 with granite from Mauthausen. The prisoners of the Mauthausen concentration camp had to split the necessary granite from the rock by hand or by means of blasting.
The Nibelungen Bridge in Linz was built between 1938 and 1940 with granite from Mauthausen, which the prisoners of the Mauthausen concentration camp had to split from the rock by hand or by means of blasting.

The Machland

The Danube Cycle Path runs from Mauthausen through the Machland, which is known for its intensive cultivation of vegetables such as cucumbers, turnips, potatoes, white cabbage and red cabbage. The Machland is a flat basin landscape formed by deposits along the northern bank of the Danube, stretching from Mauthausen to the beginning of the Strudengau. The Machland is one of the oldest settlement areas in Austria. There is evidence of Neolithic human presence on hills north of Machland. Celts settled in the Danube region from about 800 BC. The Celtic village of Mitterkirchen arose around the excavation of the burial ground in Mitterkirchen.

The Machland is a flat basin landscape formed by deposits along the northern bank of the Danube, stretching from Mauthausen to the beginning of the Strudengau. The Machland is known for its intensive cultivation of vegetables such as cucumbers, turnips, potatoes, white cabbage and red cabbage. The Machland is one of the oldest settlement areas in Austria. There is evidence of Neolithic human presence on hills north of Machland.
The Machland is a flat basin formed by deposits along the north bank of the Danube, which is known for the intensive cultivation of vegetables. The Machland is one of the oldest settlement areas in Austria with the presence of people in the Neolithic period on hills in the north.

The Celtic village of Mitterkirchen

Just south of the hamlet of Lehen in the municipality of Mitterkirchen im Machland in the former floodplain area of ​​the Danube and Naarn, a large burial mound of the Hallstatt culture was found. The older Iron Age from 800 to 450 BC is called the Hallstatt period or Hallstatt culture. This designation comes from the finds from a burial ground from the older Iron Age in Hallstatt, which gave the place its name for this epoch.

Buildings in a primeval village in Mitterkirchen im Machland
Buildings in a primeval village in Mitterkirchen im Machland

In the vicinity of the excavation site, the prehistoric open-air museum in Mitterkirchen was built, which conveys a picture of life in a prehistoric village. Residential buildings, workshops and a burial mound were reconstructed. Around 900 vessels with valuable burial objects indicate the burial of high-ranking personalities. 

Mitterkirchner float

Mitterkirchner floats in the prehistoric open-air museum in Mitterkirchen
The Mitterkirchner ceremonial chariot, with which a high-ranking female person from the Hallstatt period was buried in Machland, together with ample grave goods

One of the most important finds is the Mitterkirchner ceremonial chariot, which was found in 1984 during excavations in a chariot grave in which a high-ranking female person from the Hallstatt period had been buried with plenty of grave goods. A replica of the wagon can be viewed in the Celtic village of Mitterkirchen in the burial mound that has been faithfully reproduced and is accessible.

Mansion in Mitterkirchen

The interior of the head of the village with fireplace and couch
The interior of the reconstructed house of a chief of a Celtic village with a fireplace and a bed

The manor house was the center of an Iron Age village. The walls of a mansion were built of wicker, mud and husks. By applying lime, the wall became white. In winter, window openings were covered with animal skins, which let a little light through. The ridge roof is supported by wooden posts set up inside the house.

Holler Au

The eastern end of the Machland merges into the Mitterhaufe and Hollerau. The Danube Cycle Path runs right through the Hollerau to the beginning of the Strudengau.

Holler Au in the Mitterhaufe
The Danube Cycle Path runs through the Holler Au. Holler, the black elder, occurs along paths in the floodplain forest.

Holler, the black elder, occurs in the alluvial forest because it naturally occurs on fresh, nutrient-rich and deep soils, such as those found on alluvial sites. The black elder is a shrub up to 11 m tall with a crooked trunk and a dense crown. The ripe fruits of the elder are small black berries arranged in umbels. The tart and bitter-tasting berries of the black elder are processed into juice and compote, while the elder blossoms are processed into elderflower syrup.

strudengau

The entrance to the narrow, wooded valley of the Strudengau at the Grein Danube Bridge
The entrance to the narrow, wooded valley of the Strudengau at the Grein Danube Bridge

After driving through the Hollerau, you approach the entrance of the Strudengau, a narrow valley of the Danube through the Bohemian Massif, on the Danube Cycle Path in the area of ​​the Grein Danube Bridge. We drive once around the corner and we are the main town of the Strudengauthe historic town of Grein, view.

grint

Greinburg Castle towers over the Danube and the town of Grein
Greinburg Castle was built at the end of the 15th century as a late Gothic building on the Hohenstein hilltop above the town of Grein.

Greinburg Castle towers over the Danube and the town of Grein on the Hohenstein hilltop. The construction of the Greinburg, one of the earliest castle-like late Gothic buildings with protruding polygonal towers, was completed in 1495 on a square four-storey floor plan with powerful hipped roofs.

Castle Greinburg

Greinburg Castle has a wide, rectangular arcaded courtyard with 3-storey arcades. The arcades of the Renaissance are designed as round arcades on slender Tuscan columns. The parapets contain painted false balustrades with rough rectangular fields as illusionary column bases. At ground level there is a wide arcade step, which corresponds to two upper-storey arcades.

The arcades in the arcaded courtyard of Greinburg Castle
In the arcaded courtyard of Greinburg Castle, Renaissance arcades in the form of round-arched arcades on Tuscan columns

Greinburg Castle is now owned by the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha's family and houses the Upper Austrian Maritime Museum. In the course of the Danube Festival, baroque opera performances take place every summer in the arcaded courtyard of Greinburg Castle.

From Grein through the Strudengau to Persenbeug

In Grein we cross the Danube and continue on the right bank in an easterly direction, past the Danube island of Wörth at the Hößgang, through the Strudengau. At the foot of the Hausleiten we see on the opposite side, at the confluence of the Dimbach and the Danube, the historic market town of St. Nikola an der Donau.

St Nikola on the Danube in the Strudengau, historic market town
St Nikola in the Strudengau. The historic market town is a combination of a former church hamlet around the elevated parish church and the bank settlement on the Danube.

The journey through the Strudengau ends at the Persenbeug power plant. Due to the 460 m long dam wall of the power station, the Danube is dammed up to a height of 11 meters in the entire course of the Strudengau, so that the Danube now appears more like a lake in a narrow, wooded valley than a wild and romantic river with a high flow rate and dreaded whirlpools and swirl.

Kaplan turbines in the Persenbeug power plant on the Danube
Kaplan turbines in the Persenbeug power plant on the Danube

The Persenbeug power plant dates back to 1959 and was a pioneering reconstruction project in Austria after World War II. The Persenbeug power plant was the first hydroelectric power plant of the Austrian Danube power plants and today has 2 Kaplan turbines, which together are able to provide around 7 billion kilowatt hours of hydroelectric power annually.

persenflex

The Danube Cycle Path runs on the road bridge over the Persenbeug power station from Ybbs on the right bank to Persenbeug on the left, northern bank, where the two locks are located.

The two locks of the Persenbeug power station on the north left bank of the Danube
The two parallel locks of the Persenbeug power station on the left, northern bank of the Danube below Persenbeug Castle

Persenbeug is a riverside settlement that is overlooked by Persenbeug Castle to the west. Persenbeug was a difficult place for navigation on the Danube. Persenbeug means "evil bend" and derives from the dangerous rocks and whirlpools of the Danube around the Gottsdorfer Scheibe.

Gottsdorf disc

The Danube cycle path in the area of ​​the Gottsdorf disc
The Danube cycle path in the area of ​​the Gottsdorf disc runs from Persenbeug at the edge of the disc around the disc to Gottsdorf

The Gottsdorfer Scheibe, also known as the Ybbser Scheibe, is an alluvial plain on the northern bank of the Danube between Persenbeug and Gottsdorf, which stretches southwards and is surrounded by the Donauschlinge near Ybbs in a U-shape. The Danube Cycle Path runs in the area of ​​the Gottsdorf disc at its edge around the disc.

Nibelungengau

From Gottsdorf, the Danube Cycle Path continues along the Danube, which flows from west to east at the foot of the granite and gneiss plateau of the Waldviertel, to Melk.

The Danube Cycle Path in the Nibelungengau near Marbach an der Donau at the foot of the Maria Taferl mountain.
The Danube Cycle Path in the Nibelungengau near Marbach an der Donau at the foot of the Maria Taferl mountain.

The area from Persenbeug to Melk plays an important role in the Nibelungenlied and is therefore called the Nibelungengau. The Nibelungenlied, a medieval heroic epic, was considered the national epic of the Germans in the 19th and 20th centuries. After a strong interest in a national Nibelung reception developed in Vienna, the idea of ​​erecting a Nibelung monument in Pöchlarn on the Danube was initially propagated in 1901. In the anti-Semitic political landscape of Pöchlarn, the suggestion from Vienna fell on fertile ground and as early as 1913 the municipal council of Pöchlarn decided to name the section of the Danube between Grein and Melk the “Nibelungengau”.

The Beautiful View by Maria Tafel
The course of the Danube from the Donauschlinge near Ybbs through the Nibelungengau

Maria Tafel

The place of pilgrimage Maria Taferl in the Nibelungengau is visible from afar thanks to its parish church with two towers on the ridge above Marbach an der Donau. The pilgrimage church of the Sorrowful Mother of God is situated on a terrace above the Danube valley. The Maria Taferl pilgrimage church is a north-facing, early Baroque building with a cross-shaped floor plan and double-tower façade, which was completed by Jakob Prandtauer in 2.

The Maria Taferl pilgrimage church
The Maria Taferl pilgrimage church

Dairy

The Danube is dammed again before Melk. There is a migration aid for the fish in the form of a bypass stream, which enables all Danube fish species to pass through the power plant. 40 species of fish, including rare species such as Zingel, Schrätzer, Schied, Frauennerfling, Whitefin Gudgeon and Koppe have been identified in this area.

The dammed Danube in front of the Melk power plant
Fishermen at the dammed Danube in front of the Melk power plant.

The Danube Cycle Path runs from Marbach to the Melk power station on the staircase path. On the power station bridge, the Danube cycle path goes to the right bank.

Danube power station bridge in Melk
On the Danube Cycle Path over the Danube power station bridge to Melk

The Danube Cycle Path runs below the Melk power station on the stairway to the floodplain landscape named after Saint Koloman Kolomaniau. From the Kolomaniau, the Danube Cycle Path runs along the ferry road to the Sankt Leopold Bridge over the Melk to the foot of Melk Abbey.

The Danube Cycle Path after the Melk power plant
The Danube Cycle Path after the Melk power plant

Pen Melk

Saint Coloman is said to have been an Irish prince who, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, was mistaken for a Bohemian spy in Stockerau, Lower Austria, because of his alien appearance. Koloman was arrested and hanged on an elder tree. After numerous miracles at his grave, the Babenberg Margrave Heinrich I had Koloman's body transferred to Melk, where he was buried a second time on October 13, 1014.

Pen Melk
Pen Melk

To this day, October 13 is Koloman's commemoration day, the so-called Koloman Day. The Kolomanikirtag in Melk has also taken place on this day since 1451. Koloman's bones are now in the front left side altar of the Melk Abbey Church. The lower jaw of Koloman was found in 1752 in the colomani monstrance in the form of an elderberry bush, which can be seen in the former imperial rooms, today's Abbey Museum, of Melk Abbey.

Wachau

From the Nibelungenlände at the foot of Melk Abbey, the Danube Cycle Path heads towards Schönbühel along Wachauer Straße. Schönbühel Castle, located on a rock above the Danube, marks the entrance to the Wachau Valley.

Schönbühel Castle at the entrance to the Wachau valley
Schönbühel Castle on a terrace above steep rocks marks the entrance to the Wachau Valley

The Wachau is a valley where the Danube breaks through the Bohemian Massif. The northern shore is formed by the granite and gneiss plateau of the Waldviertel and the southern shore by the Dunkelsteiner Forest. There was one about 43.500 years ago Settlement of the first modern humans in the Wachau, as could be determined from found stone tools. The Danube Cycle Path runs through the Wachau on both the south bank and the north bank.

The Middle Ages in the Wachau

The Middle Ages have been immortalized in 3 castles in the Wachau. You can see the first of the 3 Kuenringer castles in the Wachau when you start on the right bank of the Danube Cycle Path through the Wachau.

The Danube Cycle Path Passau Vienna near Aggstein
The Danube Cycle Path Passau Vienna runs near Aggstein at the foot of the castle hill

On a 300 m high rocky outcrop behind the alluvial terrace of Aggstein, which falls steeply on 3 sides, is enthroned Aggstein castle ruins, an elongated, narrow, east-west-facing twin castle that is symbiotically integrated into the terrain, each with a rock head integrated into the narrow sides.

The main castle on the stone of the Aggstein ruins seen from the Bürgl
The main castle with the chapel on the stone of the Aggstein ruins seen from the Bürglfelsen

After the ruins of Aggstein Castle, the Danube Cycle Path runs along the stepped path between the Danube and the wine and apricot (apricot) gardens. In addition to the wine, the Wachau is also known for its apricots, also known as apricots.

The Danube Cycle Path along the Weinriede Altenweg in Oberarnsdorf in der Wachau
The Danube Cycle Path along the Weinriede Altenweg in Oberarnsdorf in der Wachau

In addition to jam and schnapps, a popular product is apricot nectar, which is made from Wachau apricots. There is an opportunity to taste apricot nectar at the Donauplatz in Oberarnsdorf at the Radler-Rest.

Cyclists rest on the Danube Cycle Path in the Wachau
Cyclists rest on the Danube Cycle Path in the Wachau

Castle ruins rear building

From the Radler-Rast you have a good view of the first castle in the Wachau on the left. The Hinterhaus castle ruins are a hilltop castle dominating the south-western end of the market town of Spitz an der Donau, on a rocky outcrop that drops steeply to the south-east and north-west to the Danube, opposite the thousand-bucket mountain. The elongated Hinterhaus Castle was the upper castle of the Spitz lordship, which, in contrast to the lower castle located in the village, was too house of lords was called.

Castle ruins rear building
Castle ruins Hinterhaus seen from the Radler-Rast in Oberarnsdorf

Roller ferry Spitz-Arnsdorf

From the cyclist rest stop in Oberarnsdorf it is not far to the roller ferry to Spitz an der Donau. The ferry runs all day on demand. The transfer takes between 5-7 minutes. The ticket is bought on the ferry, where there is a camera obscura by the Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson in the dark waiting room. The light that falls through a small opening into the darkened room creates a reversed and upside-down image of the Wachau.

The roller ferry from Spitz to Arnsdorf
The rolling ferry from Spitz an der Donau to Arnsdorf runs all day without a timetable, as required

Spitz on the Danube

From the Spitz Arnsdorf roller ferry you have a beautiful view of the vineyard terraces of the eastern foothills of the castle hill, also known as the thousand bucket hill. At the foot of the thousand bucket mountain the rectangular, high western tower with a steep hipped roof of the parish church of St. Mauritius. From 1238 to 1803 the Spitz parish church was incorporated into the Niederaltaich monastery. This explains why the Spitz parish church is dedicated to St. Mauritius, because the Nieraltaich monastery is one Benedictine abbey of st Mauritius.

Spitz on the Danube with the mountain of thousands of buckets and the parish church
Spitz on the Danube with the mountain of thousands of buckets and the parish church

St. Michael

The parish church of Spitz was a branch of St. Michael in der Wachau, where the Danube Cycle Path goes next. St. Michael, the mother church of the Wachau, is slightly elevated on a partially artificial terrace in the area donated to the Bishopric of Passau by Charlemagne after 800. Charlemagne, king of the Frankish Empire from 768 to 814, had a Michael sanctuary built on the site of a small Celtic sacrificial site. In Christianity, Saint Michael is considered the supreme commander of the Lord's army.

The fortified church of St. Michael is in a position dominating the Danube valley on the site of a small Celtic sacrificial site.
The square four-storey west tower of the branch church St. Michael with a braced pointed arch portal with a shoulder arch insert and crowned with round arch battlements and round, projecting corner turrets.

Thal Wachau

In the south-east corner of the fortifications of St. Michael there is a three-storey, massive round tower, which has been a lookout tower since 1958. From this lookout tower you have a beautiful view of the Danube and the valley of the Wachau stretching to the northeast with the historic villages of Wösendorf and Joching, which is bordered by Weißenkirchen at the foot of the Weitenberg with its elevated parish church that can be seen from afar.

The Thal Wachau from the observation tower of St. Michael with the towns of Wösendorf, Joching and Weißenkirchen in the far background at the foot of the Weitenberg.
The Thal Wachau from the observation tower of St. Michael with the towns of Wösendorf, Joching and Weißenkirchen in the far background at the foot of the Weitenberg.

Prandtauer Hof

The Danube Cycle Path now leads us from St. Michael through the vineyards and the historic villages of Thal Wachau in the direction of Weißenkirchen. We pass the Prandtauer Hof in Joching, a baroque, two-storey, four-winged complex built by Jakob Prandtauer in 1696 with a three-part portal installation and a round-arched gate in the middle. After the building was originally erected in 1308 as a reading courtyard for the Augustinian monastery of St. Pölten, it was called the St. Pöltner Hof for a long time. The chapel on the upper floor of the north wing dates from 1444 and is marked on the outside by a ridge turret.

Prandtauerhof in Joching in Thal Wachau
Prandtauerhof in Joching in Thal Wachau

Weissenkirchen in the Wachau

From Prandtauerplatz in Joching, the Danube Cycle Path continues on the country road in the direction of Weißenkirchen in der Wachau. Weißenkirchen in der Wachau is a market located on the Grubbach. Already at the beginning of the 9th century there were possessions of the Bishopric of Freising in Weißenkirchen and around 830 a donation to the Bavarian monastery of Niederaltaich. Around 955 there was a refuge "Auf der Burg". Around 1150, the towns of St. Michael, Joching and Wösendorf were merged into the Greater Community of Wachau, also known as Thal Wachau, with Weißenkirchen as the main town. In 1805 Weißenkirchen was the starting point of the Battle of Loiben.

Parish Church Weißenkirchen in the Wachau
Parish Church Weißenkirchen in the Wachau

Weißenkirchen is the largest wine-growing community in the Wachau, whose inhabitants live mainly from wine-growing. The Weißenkirchner wines can be tasted directly at the winemaker or in the vinotheque Thal Wachau. The Weißenkirchen area has the best and most well-known Riesling vineyards. These include the Achleiten, Klaus and Steinriegl vineyards.

Achleiten vineyards

The Achleiten vineyards in Weißenkirchen in der Wachau
The Achleiten vineyards in Weißenkirchen in der Wachau

The Riede Achleiten in Weißenkirchen is one of the best white wine locations in the Wachau due to its hillside location directly above the Danube from south-east to west. From the upper end of the Achleiten you have a beautiful view of the Wachau in the direction of Weißenkirchen as well as in the direction of Dürnstein and the floodplain landscape of Rossatz on the right side of the Danube.

Weissenkirchen Parish Church

A mighty, towering, square north-west tower, divided into 5 floors by cornices and with a roof core in the steep hipped roof, and a 1502nd, older, six-sided tower from 2, the original tower with gable wreath and stone helmet of the two-nave predecessor building of the Weißenkirchen Parish Church, which is set halfway south into the west front, towers over the market square of Weißenkirchen in der Wachau.

A mighty, towering, square north-west tower, divided into 5 floors by cornices and with a bay window in the steep hipped roof, and a second, older, six-sided tower from 1502, the original tower with a gable wreath and a stone helmet of the two-nave predecessor building of the parish church Wießenkirchen, which is halfway set south into the western front, towers over the market square of Weißenkirchen in der Wachau. From 2 the parish of Weißenkirchen belonged to the parish of St. Michael, the mother church of the Wachau. After 1330 there was a chapel. In the second half of the 987th century the first church was built, which was expanded in the first half of the 1000th century. In the 2th century, the squat nave with a monumental, steep hipped roof was baroque-style.
A mighty towering north-west tower from 1502 and a 2nd semi-discontinued older six-sided tower from 1330 tower over the market square of Weißenkirchen in der Wachau.

From 987 the parish of Weißenkirchen belonged to the parish of St. Michael, the mother church of the Wachau. After 1000 there was a chapel. In the second half of the 2th century the first church was built, which was expanded in the first half of the 13th century. In the 14th century, the squat nave with a monumental, steep hipped roof was baroque-style. After visiting the historic center of Weißenkirchen, we continue our tour on the Danube Cycle Path Passau Vienna with the ferry across the Danube to St. Lorenz. From the ferry dock in St. Lorenz, the Danube Cycle Path runs right through the vineyards of Rührsdorf with a view of the Dürnstein ruins. 

Dürnstein

Dürnstein with the blue tower of the collegiate church, the symbol of the Wachau.
Dürnstein Abbey and Castle at the foot of the Dürnstein Castle ruins

In Rossatzbach we take the bike ferry to Dürnstein. During the crossing we have a beautiful view of the Augustinian monastery of Dürnstein on a rocky plateau and in particular of the collegiate church with the blue tower, which is a popular photo motif. In Dürnstein we drive through the medieval old town, which is surrounded by a well-preserved wall that reaches up to the castle ruins. 

Castle ruins of Dürnstein

The Dürnstein castle ruins are situated on a rock 150 m above the old town of Dürnstein. It is a complex with a bailey and outwork in the south and a stronghold with Pallas and a former chapel in the north, which was built in the 12th century by the Kuenringers, an Austrian ministerial family of the Babenbergs who held the bailiwick of Dürnstein at the time . Azzo von Gobatsburg, a pious and wealthy man who came to what is now Lower Austria in the 11th century in the wake of a son of Margrave Leopold I, is considered to be the progenitor of the Kuenringer family. In the course of the 12th century, the Kuenringers came to rule the Wachau, which, in addition to Dürnstein Castle, also included the Hinterhaus and Aggstein Castles.
Dürnstein Castle, located on a rock 150 m above the old town of Dürnstein, was built by the Kuenringers in the 12th century.

The Dürnstein castle ruins are situated on a rock 150 m above the old town of Dürnstein. It is a complex with a bailey and outwork in the south and a stronghold with Pallas and a former chapel in the north, which was built in the 12th century by the Kuenringers, an Austrian ministerial family of the Babenbergs who held the bailiwick of Dürnstein at the time . Azzo von Gobatsburg, a pious and wealthy man who came to what is now Lower Austria in the 11th century in the wake of a son of Margrave Leopold I, is considered to be the progenitor of the Kuenringer family. In the course of the 12th century, the Kuenringers came to rule the Wachau, which, in addition to Dürnstein Castle, also included the Hinterhaus and Aggstein Castles.

Taste Wachau wine

At the end of the Dürnstein settlement area, we still have the opportunity to taste Wachau wines at the Wachau Domain, which is located directly on the Danube Cycle Path in Passau Vienna.

Vinothek of the Wachau domain
In the vinotheque of the Wachau domain you can taste the entire range of wines and buy them at farm-gate prices.

Domäne Wachau is a cooperative of Wachau winegrowers who press their members' grapes centrally in Dürnstein and have been marketing them under the name Domäne Wachau since 2008. Around 1790, the Starhembergers bought the vineyards from the estate of the Augustinian monastery of Dürnstein, which was secularized in 1788. Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg sold the domain to the vineyard tenants in 1938, who subsequently founded the Wachau wine cooperative.

French monument

From the Wine Shop of the Wachau Domain, the Danube Cycle Path runs along the edge of the Loiben Basin, where there is a monument with a bullet-shaped top commemorating the battle in the Loibner Plain on November 11, 1805.

The Battle of Dürnstein was a conflict as part of the 3rd coalition war between France and its German allies, and the allies of Great Britain, Russia, Austria, Sweden and Naples. After the Battle of Ulm, most of the French troops marched south of the Danube towards Vienna. They wanted to engage the Allied troops in battle before they arrived in Vienna and before they joined the Russian 2nd and 3rd Armies. The corps under Marshal Mortier was supposed to cover the left flank, but the battle in the Loibner plain between Dürnstein and Rothenhof was decided in favor of the Allies.

The Loiben plain where the Austrians fought the French in 1805
The Loiben plain where the French army fought against the Austrians and Russians in 1805

On the Danube Cycle Path Passau Vienna we cross the Loibner plain on the old Wachau road at the foot of the Loibenberg to Rothenhof, where the valley of the Wachau narrows one last time before it enters the Tullnerfeld, a gravel area heaped up by the Danube, which goes all the way to the Vienna Gate enough, passes.

Is the Danube Cycle Path signposted?

Is the Danube Cycle Path signposted?
The Danube Cycle Path is very well signposted

The Donauradweg Passau Wien is signposted with square, turquoise-blue signs with a white border and white lettering. Under the heading "Donauradweg" there is a bicycle symbol and below it in a plane a directional arrow and the blue Eurovelo logo with a white 6 in the middle of the yellow EU star circle. However, the signs shown above can only be found in Lower Austria. Above the border to Passau in Upper Austria, there are signs on which a bicycle symbol is flanked on the left by the coat of arms of the state of Upper Austria and on the right by the Upper Austria logo of Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH. Below this is a directional arrow on the left and to the right of it in a square white framed field the inscription “R1” and to the right of it the word “Donauweg”. Below that is a location, eg Linz, and how many km it is to get there.

In order to emphasize the importance of the Danube Cycle Path in Lower Austria, it has now been given the name "Austrian cycle route 1' with 355 repositioned, optimized signs.

The beauty of the Danube Cycle Path

Cycling down the Danube Cycle Path just like that is wonderful.

It is particularly nice to cycle directly along the last free flowing stretch of the Danube in Austria in the Wachau on the southern bank of the Danube from Aggsbach-Dorf to Bacharnsdorf, or through the floodplain landscape from Schönbühel to Aggsbach-Dorf.

Au landscape in the Wachau. Where the Danube regularly floods areas, floodplain landscapes have been preserved. Remnants of the floodplain are less influenced by humans and closer to the appearance of the original nature. Aulandschaft consists of alternation of forest, bushes, meadows and water areas. There is an alluvial landscape in the Wachau near Rossatz and between Emmersdorf and Grimsing. Remnants of floodplain landscape can be found on a narrow strip between the banks of the Danube and the main road in Schönbühel-Aggsbach. https://www.raumordnung-noe.at/fileadmin/root_raumordnung/infostand/oertliche_raumordnung/siedlungssiedlung_wachau/wachau.pdf
Auen-Weg in a strip of floodplain landscape between the Danube bank and the main road in Schönbühel-Aggsbach in the Wachau

Alluvial landscape has been preserved in the Wachau where the Danube has regularly flooded areas. Remnants of the Aulandschaft are less influenced by humans and therefore closer to the appearance of the original nature. Aulandschaft consists of an alternation of forest, bushes, meadows and water areas. floodplain is in the Wachau near Rossatz, between Emmersdorf and Grimsing and on a narrow strip between the banks of the Danube and the main road in Schönbühel-Aggsbach through which the Danube Cycle Path Passau Vienna runs on the southern bank of the Danube through the Wachau from Melk to Krems.

When the autumnal evening sun shines through the leaves of the natural floodplain forest that borders the Danube Cycle Path on both sides along the Danube in the flood plain of the Danube.

Danube cycle path through the Au landscape near Schönbühel Aggsbach
The Danube Cycle Path Passau Vienna runs through the floodplain landscape near Schönbühel-Aggsbach in the Wachau between Melk and Krems

stairway

The nice thing about the Danube Cycle Path Passau-Vienna is that the cycle path runs along the Danube and for long stretches even directly on the banks of the Danube on the so-called stairway. The stairway was built right on the riverbank so ships could be pulled upriver by horses before steamers took over. Today, long stretches of the stairway along the Danube in Austria are used as cycle paths.

The Danube cycle path on the stairway in the Wachau
The Danube cycle path on the stairway in the Wachau

Is the Danube Cycle Path paved?

The Danube Cycle Path Passau-Vienna is well paved throughout.

When is the best time of year for the Danube Cycle Path?

The recommended seasons for the Danube Cycle Path Passau-Vienna are:

The best times for the Danube Cycle Path are in spring May and June and in autumn September and October. In midsummer, in July and August, it can sometimes be a bit too hot to cycle during the day. But if you have children who are on holiday in summer, you will be on the Danube Cycle Path during this time and use the slightly cooler times of the day, such as in the morning and in the evening, to continue cycling. An advantage of the summer temperatures is that you can take a cool bath in the Danube. There are also beautiful places in the Wachau in Spitz an der Donau, in Weißenkirchen in der Wachau and in Rossatzbach. If you are traveling with a tent along the Danube Cycle Path, you will also enjoy the summer temperatures. In midsummer, however, it is advisable to get on your bike very early in the morning and spend the hotter days in the shade by the Danube. There is always a cool breeze right near the water. In the evening, when it gets cooler, you can do a few more kilometers.

In April the weather is still a bit unstable. On the other hand, it can be very nice to be out and about on the Danube Cycle Path in the Wachau during the time when the apricots are in bloom. At the end of August at the beginning of September there is always a change in the weather, as a result of which the stream of cyclists on the Danube Cycle Path decreases significantly, although ideal cycling weather prevails from the 2nd week of September to mid-October. It is particularly nice to be out and about on the Danube Cycle Path in the Wachau during this time, as the grape harvest begins at the end of September and you can watch the winegrowers harvest the grapes. There is often also the opportunity to taste the wine that is beginning to ferment, which is called “Sturm” in Lower Austria, when driving past a winegrower's farm.

Grape harvest in the Wachau
Grape harvest in the Wachau
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