23058
Austria/Slovakia/Hungary
A Cycling Journey: Vienna to Budapest along the Danube River
Pedal along the Danube River to experience Austria, Slovakia and Hungary’s magnificent countryside, while plunging into their deep-rooted culture and exploring significant landmarks.
Not yet reviewed
Program No. 23058RJ
Length
12 days
Starts at
3,199
Flights start at
900
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12 days
11 nights
20 meals
10 B 0 L 10 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Vienna, Transfer to Hainburg, Bicycle Fitting
Hainburg an der Donau
D
Hotel Altes Kloster

Activity note: There will be no biking today which provides an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate after your international flight. Motorcoach time approximately 30 minutes (20 miles / 33 kilometers). Walking distance is approximately 0.5 miles (0.75 kilometers).

Afternoon: We proceed by motorcoach to Hainburg an der Donau, a medieval walled city in eastern Austria, that lies at the confluence of the Danube and March Rivers. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. A support vehicle will accompany the group while biking each day in the event of emergency situations. Thereafter, the driver and vehicle will depart for the hotel to place the luggage in the rooms. Upon arrival in Hainburg an der Donau, bicycles will be fitted to the participant and testing will take place to insure participants are able to safely start, stop, and control their bicycle. Periods in the daily schedule designated as "Free time" and "At leisure" offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room, enjoy a three-course set menu plus water; other beverages are available for purchase. Dinner each night will follow this description.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Day Trip to Vienna, Guided Walk, Free Time
Hainburg an der Donau
B,D
Hotel Altes Kloster

Activity note: There will be no biking today to allow for our visit of Vienna. Walking approximately 1 mile (1.5 kilometers), standing for up to 2 hours on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones. Transfer time is approximately 2 hours (60 miles / 97 miles).

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet’s choices will feature various meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurt, cereals, breads, juices, and hot beverages. Breakfast each morning will follow this description.

Morning: After a hearty breakfast, join your group leader in the hotel conference room for a presentation on safety, rules of the road, and the IBT Corner System, the way in which we navigate throughout the course of this program. Hop aboard a motorcoach to transfer to Vienna where you will join a local historian for an expert-led walking field trip to learn about this fascinating city.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Vienna.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Vienna. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Do not leave without visiting Hotel Sacher, near the Opera, to indulge in the REAL Sacher Torte. Order the Einspanner (black coffee with whipped cream) and you will truly experience happiness. Before dinner, we board our motorcoach to return to our hotel in Hainburg an der Donau.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
4
Bike to Bratislava, UFO Tower, Guided Historic Walk
Bratislava
B,D
Hotel Devin

Activity note: Biking distance is 12 miles (19 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on paved bicycle paths. Walking approximately 1 mile (1.5 kilometers), standing for up to 2 hours on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We’re ready to bicycle and our destination is Bratislava, the impressive capital of Slovakia. As we cross the Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising into the city, we'll stop midway at the renown 95-meter UFO Tower and ride an elevator to the observation deck for a panoramic vista of Bratislava. A short jaunt in the saddle brings us to our hotel for the next two nights along the banks of the mighty Danube. Check into your room and freshen up prior to setting out on foot for lunch.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Bratislava. Why not visit one of the many cozy coffee houses which have a long tradition in the city? Savor a sandwich, homemade cake and an Arabica espresso at Štúr Café, named after the 19th-century scholar Ludovit Štúr.

Afternoon: Meet a local historian at the Old Slovak National Theater for an expert-led walking field trip of the Old Town to view some of its landmarks, while stepping back in time to learn about its tumultuous past. Return at your leisure to the hotel to relax or enjoy a dip in the indoor swimming pool prior to joining your fellow travelers for dinner.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure to independently stroll the historic town center where you can enjoy one of the local Slovak wines.

DAY
5
Socioeconomic Demographics of Slovakia, Free Time Bratislava
Bratislava
B,D
Hotel Devin

Activity note: There will be no biking today to allow for our visit of Bratislava. Walking approximately 1 mile (1.5 kilometers), standing for up to 2 hours on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Start the day by attending a lecture at the hotel presented by a local university staff member on the social and economic demographics of Slovakia. Following the lecture, join a local historian for a field trip and informative overview of the Bratislava Palace which was rebuilt in the 18th century as a summer residence for Queen Maria Theresa.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Bratislava. Try the Slovak specialty "bryndzové halušky," gnocchi-like dumplings made of potato served with a traditional, strong-tasting Slovak sheep's cheese, which is served in restaurants that offer local cuisine.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Bratislava. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
6
Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, Bike to Mosonmagyaróvár
Mosonmagyarovar
B,D
Thermal Hotel

Activity note: Biking distance is 25 miles (40 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on paved bicycle paths. Walking approximately 1 mile (1.5 kilometers), standing for up to 2 hours on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We leave Bratislava behind and hop on our bikes to pedal downstream on a popular cycling path along the Danube River. En route we will likely pass many other recreation-seekers who also opt to travel by two wheels. We're headed for the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum which is located on an artificial island in the middle of the Danube on the borders of three neighbouring countries - Slovakia, Austria and Hungary. Founded by the Dutch collector and art patron Gerard Meulensteen and the Slovak gallerist Dr. Vincent Polakovic, the museum houses changing modern art exhibitions and a unique sculpture park. Participants will independently explore the galleries and sculpture park before continuing to the village of Cunovo.

Lunch: On your own at a typical Hungarian restaurant in Cunovo to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: We cross the border into Hungary without fanfare cycling through the scenic countryside dotted with small villages. Tonight's destination is Mosonmagyaróvár, where dentistry appears to be the largest business in town, with approximately 350 practicing dentists.This is due to the large demand for low-cost dentistry by Austrians, who have been crossing the border to Hungary for decades. On arrival at the hotel, you may want to partake of the benefits of the hotel's thermal waters before dinner.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
7
Szigetkoz Excursion, Bike to Gyor, Guided Historical Walk
Gyor
B,D
Hotel Capitulum

Activity note: Biking distance is 25 miles (40 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on paved bicycle paths. Walking approximately 1 mile (1.5 kilometers), standing for up to 2 hours on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Our bicycle route leads us on an excursion through an area known as the Szigetkoz (the gift of the Danube), a large island built by the alluvial deposits of the surrounding Danube and Mosoni-Danube rivers. The area is rich in flora, fauna, and holds great hope for hunters seeking game and the promise of a fine catch for fishermen. En route, we pass through the village of Hedervar, home to a magnificent Renaissance palace that stands in the middle of a park. According to local legend, the massive oak tree in the park in front of the Gothic Chapel is at least 1,000 years old. On arrival, check into the hotel and seek lunch at a restaurant in one of the nearby squares.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Gyor.

Afternoon: Gather at the hotel to accompany a local guide on an expert-led walk of the historical enclaves of Gyor while admiring the omnipresent Baroque architecture. Often referred to as the "city of waters" due to its location at the junction of the Danube, Rába and Rábca rivers, Gyor became an important economic center. Following the walk, take the opportunity to independently explore Gyor prior to dinner,

Dinner: In a local restaurant on Széchenyi Square, enjoy a three-course plated set menu with water; other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
8
Hungary Trends, Bábolna Stud Farm, Bike to Komarrno
Komarno
B,D
Hotel Peklo

Activity note: Biking distance is 33 miles (53 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on secondary roads. Walking approximately 1 mile (1.5 kilometers), standing for up to 1 hour on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Before departing Gyor, attend an informative lecture in the hotel conference room on the current social and economic trends in Hungary conducted by a university professional. Following the lecture, we mount our bicycles and set our sights for Bábolna, home to a world-famous stud farm founded in 1789, whose mission is to maintain the heritage of horse breeding in Hungary.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like at a restaurant in a former officer's casino at the Bábolna National Stud Farm.

Afternoon: Accompany a docent of the Bábolna National Stud Farm to gain insight into why only purebred Arabian stallions are used for breeding purposes at the farm, and to visit the stallion and mare stables, as well as the equestrian and coach museums. Having satisfied our curiosity, we continue pedaling to Komarno, a city that lies both on the Hungarian and Slovak banks of the Danube.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
9
Komárno, Europe Square, Esztergom: the "Rome of Hungary"
Esztergom
B,D
Portobello Wellness & Yacht Hotel

Activity note: Biking distance is 36 miles (58 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on paved bicycle paths. Walking approximately 1 mile (1.5 kilometers), standing for up to 1 hour on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Our first stop this morning is to admire the colorful and unique Europe Square, a complex of 45 buildings representing the individual nations of Europe constructed in 1999 under the direction of the architects Litomericzky and Varga. Continue bicycling in Slovakia by the thermal lakes of Patience to Moca, where we will pause for lunch.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own at a local csarda in Moca.

Afternoon: The Danube will always be nearby as we make our way to Esztergom, the "Rome of Hungary," where the massive basilica on top of the hill overlooking the city can be seen from a great distance. On arrival, check into the hotel and perhaps test the thermal waters of the resort before dinner.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
10
Basilica, Danube Ferry, Bicycle to Vác, Transfer to Budapest
Budapest
B,D
Mercure Budapest City Center

Activity note: Biking distance is 26 miles (42 kilometers) on flat terrain, primarily on paved bicycle paths. Walking approximately 1 mile (1.5 kilometers), standing for up to 1 hour on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones. Transfer time is approximately 1 hour (26 miles / 40 kilometers).

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We start the day with a shuttle ride up the hill to a monumental work of architecture, the Basilica, dedicated to St. Adalbert. Various wars heavily damaged the church but renovation has brought it back to be the largest church in Hungary. A basilica docent will enlighten us on the history of this important ecclesiastical monument. On our return to the hotel, we once again embark on our cycling journey. Leaving Esztergom behind, we are drawn to our bicycle path along the mighty Danube. A short ferry ride takes us across the river to Szob, where we follow the river to reach the Danube Bend, where it makes an abrupt turn toward the south. The river winds its way through the Visegrad Mountains, where castles dot the hillside and strangely-formed rocks provide a romantic landscape.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Nagymaros.

Afternoon: Our cycling concludes in Vác, a former residence town for local nobility, known for its Baroque architecture and works of art. A motorcoach awaits to transport us to our hotel in Budapest, our home for the next two nights.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Budapest, Free Time
Budapest
B,D
Mercure Budapest City Center

Activity note: There will be no biking today to allow for our visit of Budapest. Walking approximately 1 mile (1.5 kilometers), standing for up to 2 hours on uneven terrain, stairs, and cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Join a local historian for an expert-led walking excursion through Budapest.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Budapest.

Afternoon: Free Time: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Bratislava. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends at a typical Hungarian restaurant in the town center. Enjoy a delicious three-course plated farewell dinner with water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
12
Program Concludes, Departures
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out time is 12:00 Noon. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. Transfer from the hotel to the airport is approximately 40 minutes (15 miles / 22 kilometers).

Breakfast: Hotel dining room. This concludes our program.

Morning: Morning transfer to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport for departures. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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