Biketours did an excellent job putting this together. To begin they were exceptionally accommodating when, three days prior to our arrival, my wife had a small accident in which she strained her groin and they were able to meet a last minute request to upgrade to an e-cycle with no issues.
The pre trip check in was informative. The maps were exceptionally detailed which made navigating the route very easy. They also gave detailed written information of the sites you would see along the way and at your destination. I would recommend reading up on the route the night before and planning one or two site seeing adventures to supplement your day of cycling. These are especially cool as they are self planned and you are not limited to the tours that your tour or cruise company sets out thus you can get off the beaten track a bit more and feel a little less like a tourist. Perhaps our favourite stops was the Hinterhaus ruin in Spitz. It required a 1km backtrack from a really neat ferry, asking for directions and a walk up a trail but when we arrived we were the only people there - a thousand year old castle in the middle of wine country in Austria all to ourselves - spectacular.
The biking was what we expected. As we were heading with the river it was slightly downhill however this was pretty much imperceptible. We were provided with odometers that made navigating with the well marked maps very easy. We found with our various detours and occasional trek past a required turn that we were putting in about 50-60 km per day - about the right amount of distance and interesting scenery so that it didn’t not seem like a slog while still feeling like we got a good day of exercise in. The bikes were serviceable road bikes, not spectacular but new and well tuned. If you own a hybrid mountain road bike like I do expect these to be a bit heavier and have thicker tires. You were given enough bags to take your day to day stuff including a front bag with a clear top to allow the map to be front and centre when you rode and a pannier for the more heavy items.
Accommodations were amazing. The hotels ranged from upscale basic to positively spectacular. I suspect that the hotels vary slightly from tour to tour, however, if you find you are staying at the Schloss Dürnstein you are in for a treat - our favourite hotel by far. The breakfasts at every hotel were simply over the top, I would try to list the spread but it would take too much effort. We were able to eat enough at breakfast that snacks and water were all we needed during our day of cycling. We then would eat an early-ish dinner and make out just fine. Our luggage was always there when we arrived, we were even early on a couple of occasions (we hadn’t figured out how to read the tour guide prior to leaving at that point) and it preceded us and the hotel was accommodating enough to let us check in early.
Finally at the end of the tour, Biketours was able to also help us out by booking an extra night in Vienna. Which, due to my own flight booking error, I discovered I had to cancel. No real questions, they cancelled and gave us a refund - again Biketours made it easy for us.
go with the flow
This was a trip I had been looking forward to for a few years. It was planned with my "biking buddy" and we had two other people who had agreed to go along for the ride. Unfortunately, both my bike buddy and myself broke our wrists in biking accidents in Passau the day before the trip was to start.
It was such a huge disappointment to us and our two non-riders did complete the ride without us. They thoroughly enjoyed it and were able to compete it without too much effort on their e-bikes.
First off, I want to say that both my friend and I (who both broke our wrists) are fairly experienced e-bike riders. I will say that switching fro our 26" wheels in the USA to 29" wheels on European e-bikes was difficult -- especially for those under 5'4". That being said, the bikes are truly nice, it just takes a bit to get used to them.
I can't say enough good things about the tour company who arranged for us to ride each day with the person delivering luggage from hotel to hotel. Without the effort on the part of the bike tour company, we would have incurred a significant expense, on top of the bike tour we couldn't actually ride to complete.
Our hope is to go back next year and try again -- primarily because of the service of the bike tour company.
We chose the 8-day upscale tour and were happy we did The hotels were all very nice and worth the extra amount.
A great vacation
This was a great way to experience Austria. Along the bike path are vineyards, castles, restaurants, monasteries and a concentration camp. We were able to start late morning (to accommodate the teenager sleeping schedules and work commitments) and go at our own family pace throughout the day. We selected the upscale accommodation version and enjoyed something unique at each place. The ride along the path was level, as promised. This is a very popular path and there were many other other cyclist to connect with along the way. We had a great time as a family of four riding, site seeing and reconnecting. I would highly recommend this trip to any active person / family
Bike Tours Direct delivered on everything that they promised!
We were extremely pleased with Bike Tours Direct on our recent trip down the Danube. Everything that they promised, happened. Their representatives were extremely reliable, and helpful, Our luggage always was waiting at our hotel when we arrived, and their equipment was top notch. The route was well laid out. My wife and I were extremely complimentary of Bike Tour Direct
My daughter and I loved the 7 day biking experience. The days were not too long. A great way to spend a week together exploring the Danube on a bike. Lots of opportunities to take in tourist destinations as well.
Such an incredible experience!
I heard about the tour on Travelling Jackie’s Instagram and was intrigued. I love to travel and thought this was such a unique way to see country. The accommodations were fantastic and the path was mostly easy to follow. The bikes were great and the local company that met with us to go over the details was very helpful. BikeTours.com was also very responsive to my emails and calls. I hadn’t been on a bike in two years (though I am physically fit) so I was a little nervous, but the tour along the Danube was no problem! All of the resources on biketour.com were very helpful and the experience was pretty much as described. I have recommended this experience on all of the travel groups I am part of on FB. Would do again in a heartbeat!
Great for Solo Females!
I am a 33 year old female from the US, I did this tour by myself in April 2018 and I LOVED it.
I opted for the regular bike instead of the e-bike, and I was happy I did, as the route is mostly flat and the regular bike is much lighter than the e-bike. My bike seat was padded, and with padded bike shorts as well I was never uncomfortable. The bags I was provided had plenty of space for changes of clothes, hat, water, cameras, everything (bring lots of sunscreen!).
My luggage was always at the hotel ahead of me, even when I thought I was early to arrive. The days did get long towards the end of the trip, it's a long way! But I got stronger as I went, and ended up with some calves of steel. Everyone I met along the way was super nice, most people wanted to chat with me and were very friendly.
I never felt unsafe. The local bike tour company was always just a text or phone call away. They checked in with me throughout the week, I had zero issues whatsoever! There were plenty of people on the path, even in the shoulder season. In fact, I recommend going in the shoulder season because it is less crowded, I imagine it gets super busy in summer.
Definitely stop by the monastery in Engelhartzell where the monks brew their own beer, do the hike above the river bend at the Donauschlinge hotel in Schlögen (it's short and worth it), get to Melk early so you can enjoy the beautiful village, and make lots of stops of food and drinks! On that note - I opted not to get the dinner package, and I usually ended up having dinner at the hotel anyway because it was convenient, but I enjoyed the freedom of getting to choose.
I am new to cycling, but it is a fantastic way to travel and see a new place. These self-guided tours are perfect opportunities for solo cyclists (especially solo females) to get into bike touring. This is definitely just the beginning for me.
P.S. German Lesson 1: "Donauradweg" means Danube bike path, just follow the green signs :)
A Great Austrian Cycling Adventure
The trip met or exceeded our expectations. We travelled in the shoulder season but still expected the bike trail to be packed. It wasn't, except for perhaps the last day of our ride into Vienna, which was a Sunday so there was a lot of locals enjoying the beautiful trail and scenery. That would likely be mitigated by planning one's arrival in Vienna for a weekday.
Generally the accommodations lived up to the "upscale" designation, but there were two exceptions that were for us, just mediocre at best. That could simply be that there wasn't anything nicer in those locations.
The local tour company was great, and very responsive to our needs. The bikes were fine--clearly built for wear and tear. The luggage service was perfect, and our bags were always waiting for us when we arrived.
The Danube bike trail lived up to our expectations in beauty and condition. We'd recommend this ride to anyone who enjoys bicycle travel.
Perfect Danube Bike Tour
Very enjoyable tour of a lifetime without crowds, with beautiful scenery, and with great lodging. My wife, whose last biking adventures were in her middle and high school days, proved a super biker, enjoying the exercise, scenery and challenge of biking the scenic Danube bike path. The bikes, delivered at our start hotel along with the tour package, were in excellent condition and functioned perfectly. A knowledgeable in-country guide met us at the start hotel to explain the tour information, the route instructions, bikes and equipment. The provided materials allowed us to effortlessly self navigate. After hours each day on the bike the upscale lodging met or exceeded our expectations and was greatly enjoyed. The weather mostly cooperated, spring beauty abounded, and the temperatures were perfect. We are planning our next biking adventure on the Mosel and Rhine and plan to again use BikeTours.com.