Road Scholar : Home
Bicycling Along the Danube

Program Number: 3044RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/19/2014 - 7/2/2014; 9/11/2014 - 9/24/2014; 5/28/2015 - 6/10/2015; 9/10/2015 - 9/23/2015;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Austria/Germany
Price starting at: $3,299.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Bicycling Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 24; 12 Breakfasts, 0 Lunches, 12 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Centuries ago, “treppelweg,” or towpaths, were laid down along the mighty Danube so that horses could pull barges along the river. This system allowed goods to be transported between the Black Forest and the Black Sea — a 1,777-mile journey. In Germany and Austria, many of these storied paths have today been converted into beautiful bike paths. Follow the “treppelweg” on an unforgettable bike journey that reveals the amazing environments, fascinating folklore and city and village life along the Danube.




Highlights

• Led by experts who know the Danube well, bike along this river on scenic, car-free bike paths.
• Board the Postlingbergbahn, an old-fashioned narrow gauge tramway, for a steep ride from the main square of Linz to the top of a nearby mountain.
• Enjoy an organ concert at St. Stephan’s Cathedral in Vienna, home to the largest church organ in the world.



Activity Particulars

Biking 15-40 miles a day at a steady 11 mph pace with rest breaks every 20-25 minutes. Bike paths and some secondary roads; mostly flat terrain. Personal bike helmet required.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Munich (Germany), coach to Deggendorf, 2 nights; bike to Passau, 2 nights; bike to Schlogen (Austria), 1 night; bike to Linz, 2 nights; bike to Grein, 1 night; bike to Melk, 1 night; bike to Krems, 1 night; bike to Tulln, coach to Vienna, 2 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Munich (Germany)
Coach to Deggendorf
2 nights

Begin your journey in the heavily forested Deggendorf region, where you are quickly exposed to the unique culture and landscapes of Bavaria. Following bicycle orientation and safety presentations, ride to the Baroque village of Plattling.



Bike to Passau
2 nights
Bike to Schlogen (Austria)
1 night

The first lengthy ride brings you to the medieval town of Passau, where you learn about the Holy Roman Empire’s influence on this region. Learn about the history and current state of the European Union. Cross the border into Austria during a scenic ride along the river and through forests.



Bike to Linz
2 nights

Visit the beautiful old village of Aschach and discover Wilhering Abbey, a spectacular Rococo monastery. Take a field trip to the Mauthausen concentration camp. Explore the Hauptplatz, Austria’s largest medieval town square.



Bike to Grein
1 night
Bike to Melk
1 night
Bike to Krems
1 night

Bike around the river bend toward the picturesque village of Grein and then onward to Melk, famed for its 900-year-old Benedictine Abbey. Along the way local historians illuminate the folklore, music and economic importance of the Danube. Plus enjoy opportunities to sample wines grown along the Danube.



Bike to Tulln
Coach to Vienna
2 nights
Departure

Enjoy a final day of biking on flat, relaxing, lovely terrain. An expert-led walk and time for independent exploration allow you to experience cosmopolitan Vienna.




Accommodations
Deggendorf: Hotel outside town. Passau: Hotel in historic district. Schlogen: Riverside hotel. Linz: Downtown hotel. Grein: Hotel on main square. Melk: Hotel in historic district. Krems: Hotel near town center. Vienna: Historic hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Burgwirt
  Deggendorf, Germany 2 nights
   Hotel Weisser Hase
  Passau, Germany 2 nights
   Hotel Donauschlinge
  Schlogen, Austria 1 night
   Hotel Kolping
  Linz, Austria 2 nights
   Hotel-Restaurant Goldenes Kreuz
  Grein, Austria 1 night
   Hotel-Restaurant Wachauerhof
  Melk, Austria 1 night
   Parkhotel Krems
  Krems, Austria 1 night
   Hotel Erzherzog Rainer
  Vienna, Austria 2 nights
 Hotel Burgwirt
Type: Hotel
  Description: Situated in quiet village in the outskirts of Deggendorf.
  Contact info: Deggendorfer Straße 7
Natternberg/Deggendorf,  94469 Germany
phone: +49 991 30045
web: http://www.hotel-burgwirt.de/
  Room amenities: En suite facilities, telephone, television, hairdryer
  Facility amenities: Sauna, Solarium, Restaurant, Bar, Garden
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Based on availability If participants wish to book the night before the program begins, they should contact the hotel directly.

 Hotel Weisser Hase
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the pedestrian zone of the historic district of Passau
  Contact info: Heiliggeistrasse 1
Passau,  94032 Germany
phone: +49 851 92110
web: http://www.weisser-hase.de/
  Room amenities: Clock Radio, Telephone, Internet Access, Flat Screen TV, Safe, Hairdryer
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar, Sauna, Solarium, Parking Garage
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Donauschlinge
Type: Hotel
  Description: Located at the curve of the Donau River in a beautiful country setting.
  Contact info: Schlögen 2
Haibach,  4083 Austria
phone: +43 7279 8212
web: http://www.donauschlinge.at/
  Room amenities: Cable TV, Radio, Telephone, Hairdryer
  Facility amenities: Swimming Pool, Sauna, Solarium, Massage, Aromatherapy, Restaurant, Bar, Terrace
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Kolping
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Situated in the heart of Linz on a quiet side street.
  Contact info: Gesellenhausstraße 7
Linz,  4020 Austria
phone: +43 732 661690
web: http://www.hotel-kolping.at/
  Room amenities: Internet Access, TV, Telephone, Air-Conditioning, Hairdryer, Radio
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel-Restaurant Goldenes Kreuz
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Central location in the old town of Grein.
  Contact info: Stadtplatz 8
Grein an der Donau,  4360 Austria
phone: +43 7268 3160
web: http://www.hotel-in-grein.at/
  Room amenities: Telephone, Television, Safe, WiFi
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Patio/Terrace, Bar, Lounge
  Smoking allowed: No

 Hotel-Restaurant Wachauerhof
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the pedestrian area of the historic town of Melk.
  Contact info: Wiener Straße 30
Melk,  3390 Austria
phone: +43 2752 52235
web: http://www.wachauerhof.eu/
  Room amenities: Television, Telephone, Hairdryer, WiFi
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar, Sauna
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Parkhotel Krems
Type: Hotel
  Description: Centrally located hotel within 10-minute walk to old town.
  Contact info: Edmund-Hofbauer-Straße 19
Krems an der Donau,  3500 Austria
phone: +43 2732 875650
web: http://www.parkhotel-krems.at/
  Room amenities: Television, Safe, Internet Access
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Garden, Bar, Solarium, Sauna
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Erzherzog Rainer
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Close to center of historic Vienna and subway station for transport.
  Contact info: Wiedner Hauptstrasse 27-29
Wien,  1040 Austria
phone: +43 1 22 111
web: http://www.schick-hotels.com/hotel-wien-erzherzog-rainer.de.htm
  Room amenities: Minibar, Telephone, Television, Hairdryer, Safe, Internet Access
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar, Lounge
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Contact IBT for rates. Please refer to the OPTIONAL EXTENSIONS section of your preparatory materials for rates.


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
10:30 AM - group meets at Munich Airport. You will be staying at Hotel Burgwirt that night.
  End of Program:
Early morning group transfer to Vienna International Airport based on flight departure times. You will be staying at Hotel Erzherzog Rainer the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. International Bicycle Tours, Inc., the entity that will provide the bicycling activity during this program requires signed liability release waivers from all customers. Participants will be required to sign IBT's liability release waiver to participate in the program's bicycling activity. That waiver will be included in the preparatory material participants will receive after enrolling in the program and must be returned prior to the program's commencement.
  Parking availability:
Parking is not available.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Taxi, bus and train available. Refer to the Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB) websites for specifics and to review schedules and fares: http://www.deutschebahn.com/ and http://www.oebb.at/.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Deggendorf
  Nearest city or town:  Deggendorf
  Nearest airport:  Munich
  Transportation to site: Directions to Hotel Burgwurt: take a bus from the lower level of the airport to the railway station in Freising. Take a train from Freising to Plattling; approximate travel time is 75 minutes. Train fare will cost about €20. Upon arrival in Plattling, take a taxi to the hotel in Natternberg. Taxi fare will cost about €30. Review schedules and fares online: http://www.deutschebahn.com/. If you are departing the U.S. prior to the group departure and plan to connect with the group at the airport on the day the program commences, be sure to be at the meeting point at the time indicated. If you plan to meet the group at the Hotel Burgwurt in Deggendorf, please notify our office prior to your departure: (860) 767-7005 or info@internationalbicycletours.com.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Vienna
  Nearest airport:  Vienna
  Transportation from site: Take a taxi from the hotel in Vienna to Vienna International Airport; approximate travel time is 25 minutes. Taxi will cost about €50.
Equipment Requirements: Participants must bring and wear their own bicycle helmet.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departure
(Thursday, June 19)
   
 Evening: Board overnight flight.

Day 2: Arrival Munich/Bike Fitting/Welcome Dinner
(Friday, June 20)
   
 Morning: Arrival Munich Airport. By coach to Deggendorf.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: We’ll fit your bicycle to you to assure a safe, comfortable program.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Burgwirt
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Plattling/St. Jacob's Church/Group Introductions
(Saturday, June 21)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture on safety, rules of the road and the IBT corner system. We are now ready to take off on a short ride to Plattling, a typical Bavarian town with pastel-colored houses where we will give you time for lunch and exploration.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: A lecture at St. Jacob’s church, one of the few remaining Roman churches in Bavaria, is planned. Following the lecture, we’ll return to our hotel along a quiet bike path where we will have our first glimpse of the Danube (or as the locals call it, die Donau).
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
 Evening: After dinner, we’ll have group introductions.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Burgwirt
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Bicycle to Passau/Hofkirchen/Stroll Passau
(Sunday, June 22)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Today’s the real thing; our destination is Passau, a city at the German-Austrian border. We’ll see immediately why the Donau is so popular with bicyclists- for most of the program we bicycle on paths not accessible to cars.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: We’ll continue along the Danube to our hotel in the center of Passau.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
 Evening: After dinner, we take a short walk through Passau to acquaint you with the city.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Weisser Hase
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Passau/Bavarian Architecture/St.Stephens Concert/Explore Passau
(Monday, June 23)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We start the day by attending a lecture on the various architectural styles prominent in the towns and villages along our way. We then have a walking lecture and field trip of Passau to learn all about the history of this wonderful city. Afterwards, we visit St. Stephen’s Dom (except on holidays), which has the largest church organ in the world, where we’ll attend an organ concert.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: The rest of the day is free for exploring Passau or just wandering along the banks of the rivers.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Weisser Hase
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: European Union/Bicycle to Austria
(Tuesday, June 24)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Before leaving Passau, we meet for a lecture on the European Union. Then we mount our bicycles and head for Obernzell, where we see the castle that was built by the Bishop of Passau in 1426 as his summer residence.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: We cross the border into Austria on a bicycle path along the Danube. The route to Schlögen is one of the most scenic rides you could wish for, along the river and through a forest. A ferry takes us across the river and to our hotel. Be sure to hike the trail behind the hotel that leads to one of the most magnificent views of the Danube you will see during the program!
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Donauschlinge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Aschach/Badesee/Rococo Wilhering
(Wednesday, June 25)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We head for Aschach on the Danube, a beautiful old village featuring homes painted during the Baroque era.
 Lunch: Weather-permitting, we'll eat our picnic lunch at a lake, popular with the locals in the summer.
 Afternoon: We’ll enjoy an excursion to Wilhering where we see one of the most impressive Rococo churches in Austria. Linz is our home for the next two nights.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Kolping
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Austrian Economy/Concentration Camp Mauthausen/Linz Exploration
(Thursday, June 26)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: After breakfast, we attend a lecture on the Austrian economy. Next, we take a bus for an excursion to Mauthausen, formerly a notorious World War II concentration camp built by the Nazis. You’ll see the granite quarries from which the stones were cut to pave many of the streets in Vienna. Many of the camp prisoners died working in these quarries. Today, the camp is a memorial with monuments dedicated to the people from many nationalities that died here.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: On our return to Linz, the balance of the day is free: explore Linz, capital of the province of Upper Austria. Don’t miss the Hauptplatz, the former market square, with Baroque buildings and the Rathaus. It was from the balcony of this town hall, on March 12, 1938, that Adolf Hitler announced his 1000-year Empire. For a wonderful view of the city, board the Postlingberg Railway, the steepest mountain railway in the world. The old-fashioned cars have been making the 16-minute climb of 255 meters to the top of the mountain since 1898. The town abounds with cathedrals, museums and most importantly, Konditoreien. Be sure to find one of these local bakeries and sample the famous Linzer Torte. You might even want to take one with you!
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Kolping
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Customs & Traditions of Austria/Bicycle to Grein
(Friday, June 27)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: After breakfast, we’ll have a lecture on Austrian traditions. We leave Linz on the north shore of the Danube and enter the province of Lower Austria towards our destination, Grein.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Keep your camera handy as we round the bend in the river; the approach to Grein is truly picturesque. You will love this charming village with its old town hall and wonderful ambiance.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel-Restaurant Goldenes Kreuz
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: The Danube River/Shipping Museum/Bicycle to Melk
(Saturday, June 28)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Before leaving Grein, we attend a lecture on the history of the Danube followed by a field trip to the Schiffahrtsmuseum (shipping museum) and castle which affords a spectacular view of the Danube. Another great day of biking lies ahead.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: We pass by the village of St. Nikola, named after the guardian angel of the sailors, and the ruins of castle Freyenstein, perched high above the Danube. Years ago, the castle was given the nickname “Wines." According to legend, the knights of the castle stopped many of the barges loaded with wine, as they headed for Upper Austria and Bavaria. After paying a considerable ransom in wine, the barges continued their journey. The picturesque town of Melk awaits our arrival.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel-Restaurant Wachauerhof
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Abbey of Melk/The Wachau/Durnstein/Krems Walk
(Sunday, June 29)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: First stop is the famous 900-year-old Benedictine Abbey of Melk where we attend a lecture. From the balcony of the Abbey one has a splendid view of the Danube. Today’s ride will take us through a wine-growing region called the Wachau. Although we don’t encourage drinking wine during the day, you may want to try the local wine at night. We’ll visit the village of Willendorf where many years ago a chalk statue was found in the fields. The statue, the Venus of Willendorf, is believed to be over 25,000 years old. Today, a replica stands at the site.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: We continue to Durnstein, the oldest town in Lower Austria. High above the town sits the ruins of the castle where Richard the Lion-Hearted was held prisoner until he was rescued by Blondel, his faithful minnesinger. From Durnstein it is only a short ride to our hotel in Krems.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
 Evening: A walk after dinner will acquaint us with this charming city.
   
Accommodations: Parkhotel Krems
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Bicycle to Tulln/Coach to Vienna
(Monday, June 30)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Our last day on the bicycle. We have a ride planned along the Blue Danube (which is, incidentally, not blue at all) to Tulln. The terrain is perfectly flat and the biking is most relaxing.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: We will say farewell to the bicycles (complete with tears and picture taking) before boarding a bus for Vienna (or Wien, as the Austrians call it). You will have time to explore this magnificent city before we meet for dinner.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Erzherzog Rainer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Introduction to Vienna/Explore Vienna
(Tuesday, July 1)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: After breakfast, we’ll have a walking lecture and field trip where you will learn about Vienna. To describe the capital of Austria would take a lot of pages. We suggest you obtain a copy of Fodor’s Austria, or a similar guide, and read about Vienna before getting there. It is a city perfectly suitable for walking around. Indeed, you may want to consider spending a few extra days to see everything.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Vienna. Do not leave without visiting Hotel Sacher, near the Opera, to indulge in the REAL Sacher Torte, worth dying for…. Order the Einspanner (black coffee with whipped cream) and you will truly experience happiness.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Erzherzog Rainer
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: Departure
(Wednesday, July 2)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to Vienna Airport for return flight. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you return on more rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


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Between the Woods and the Water


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Danube


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Just Ride, A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike


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Mozart, A Life


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The Danube


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Description: Thorpe travels against the current on a year-long journey from the Black Sea to the Black Forest, mixing accounts of his daily morning swims with environmental research, archaeological observations and, especially, tales of the ferrymen and fisherman, shopkeepers, activists and others he meets along the way. Central Europe correspondent for the BBC, the British journalist and writer has lived in Budapest since 1986.



The Danube, A Cultural History


Author: Andrew Beattie


Description: Beattie gives a comprehensive overview of the Danube’s role as a vital shipping artery and a uniting thread through the region’s turbulent history.



The Radetzky March


Author: Joseph Roth, Joachim Neugroschel (Translator)


Description: Magnificently set against the backdrop of the twilight of the Habsburg empire, Roth's family saga takes in the sweep of history and empire in Central Europe. The richly textured novel opens at the battle of Solferino, when young Lieutenant Trotta saves the life of the Emperor.



The Third Man and the Fallen Idol


Author: Graham Greene


Description: A haunting tale and penetrating portrait of Vienna after World War II, "The Third Man" is the result of Greene's collaboration with Carol Reed on the classic movie. "The Fallen Idol" is a separate tale of intrigue set in Britain.





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