Virtual Cycling Along Austria’s Danube Bike Path

From BikeTours.com president and founder, Jim Johnson

When I had the opportunity to bring a friend on her first trip to Europe and her first bike tour, the Danube Bike Path was an easy choice.

The Danube route has been one of my favorites since I first rode it in the late 1990s, and with all its variations it’s been a runaway client favorite since I established BikeTours.com in 2003.

It’s nearly entirely flat, away from traffic, well-marked, and has an extensive tourism infrastructure–including a great range of bike-friendly hotels and wonderful restaurants. And, of course, the scenery is often quite breathtaking. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve ridden it.

Joined by a video team and with a GoPro camera on my handlebars, we spent most of our time along or near my favorite section, in the Wachau wine region. In the video, you’ll see some wonderful highlights: castle ruins, villages and small towns, terraced vineyards, the magnificent Melk Abbey, and the hilltop pilgrimage town of Maria Taferl. You’ll share one of my favorite views: the Danube Bend as seen from atop an adjacent plateau, which is accessible by an easy hike. From there, we could look down on the two 180-degree turns in the river and see the riverboats and bike ferries traveling along.

In the “it’s a small world” category, we had taken a detour to work on some scenes for the video, so we weren’t actually on the bike path. As we stood chatting, two couples passed us on their bikes. I heard one of them say, “I wonder if that’s the video team Jim wrote us about.” I quickly responded, “Hey! I’m Jim!” I’d emailed clients who were going to be in the area while we were there, and I was delighted to bump into four of them–by total coincidence and well off the normal route. We rode together for the rest of the day–a total surprise and joy! We also stopped for a private wine tasting I hastily set up–an even more joyous event than if I had planned it!

By the time we finished our ride along the Danube, my friend turned to me and called her experience “life-changing.” Definitely not the first time I’ve heard those words used to describe a European bicycle tour.

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15 Comments

  • Biked from Passau to Budapest in 2012 via Vienna, this is a wonderful bike trip and I enjoyed it very much, can’t wait to bike in Europe again. I usually do one bike trip in Europe every summer, so far I have completed 11and most of them with Bike tours.com.

  • My wife and I did the Salzburg to Vienna ride a few years ago, which included much of the ride shown in the video. It was a one 9f our favorite European rides. Thanks for bringing back the memories.

  • What a splendid idea you have here. My wife and I did the Balkin Triangle bike tour in 2019. We still communicate via what’s-app with our super group. Great memories.

    • Thanks so much for your comment and kind words! That’s great that you still keep in touch with your group for 2019. And what a beautiful tour that is!

  • Our family has enjoyed several BikeTours trips including Salzburg to Vienna two years ago. These trips have been family highlights and we have wonderful memories. Can’t wait to book our fourth bike tour!!

    • Linda, thank you so much for your comment. I’m glad you have such fond memories–and that you’re excited about making more!

  • Hi Jim,
    Wow … the memories this brought back! The Danube is one of our favorite trips … thus the reason we took this trip twice with our biking group. It never disappoints! I believe you see more, and treasure the sites more, the 2nd time around! We’re anxious for the European travel to begin so we can schedule another one of our fabulous yearly biking trips. They are so much fun and the amazing scheduling, etc. is all due to you and Bike Tours. Thank you for providing us a fabulous vacation every year … in far away places. Take care.

    • What a wonderful and heartwarming comment, Mary Jo! Thank you! That means even more given how long you, Terry and the others have been such avid travelers and loyal supporters!

  • Hi Jim , thanks for posting this. I have great memories of the places we went ,
    the scenery and the people we rode with. We did the trip from Passau-Wien/Vienna-Budapest and couldn’t have been more pleased. I t is one of the
    best trips I have taken. The riding was fairly easy and the trip was well thought out. We had an excellent experience.

    • Thanks for your comment, John! I’m glad you still have such great memories of your tour! The Danube is always a delight!

  • Jim – The Altmuhl/Danube was our first bike tour a few years ago and was recommended by Brittany when our first choice had no vacancy. It was a great experience to say the least. We were/are hooked and have since taken the Tauern Path (Krimml to Passau) Tour, Lake Constance 7-night Tour, Burgundy Wine Tour, and were scheduled to take the Romantic Road Bavarian Lakes Tour in Sept 2020 when the world shutdown. We’ll be back when Europe opens up to Americans. Hope you and your company can hold on a little while longer. I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train — it’s our next bike adventure!!

    • Thank you for your kind words and unwavering confidence and support, Steve! They mean a lot. Here’s to many more bike adventures–starting soon!!

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