Get your wheels moving on a cycling adventure through the Central European countryside, all the way from picturesque Prague to classic Budapest. This fifteen-day active trip meanders its way past medieval villages perched on the hillside and hugs the mighty Danube River. With delicious regional food, great wine, and a knowledgeable leader to guide you along the way, you’ll be seeing the best of the region with the wind blowing through your hair.
Day 1 - Prague
Dobry den! Welcome to Prague. There is an important welcome meeting scheduled for 6 pm this evening, where you will meet your group leader and fellow travellers. With not much time spent in Prague, we recommend you spend at least a day or two to get to know this wonderful Bohemian city. With its Baroque buildings, cobblestoned streets and beer – oh so much beer – there’s something for every explorer. If you want to spend more time in Prague, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). After your important meeting, how about get a group of you together and head to one of the beer halls to get acquainted?
Ride distance: No included riding today
Day 2 - Ceske Budejovice
This morning take a leader-led orientation walk around Prague. You’ll learn about the history of the city, plus have time to take in the Old Town square, looking up at the surrounding spires – there are a lot of spires. In the early afternoon, head to Ceske Budejovice by local transport (either vehicle or train depending on group size), taking around 2.5 hours. Once arrived, have a bike fitting and take a short ride (approximately 30kms/19 miles) around Ceske and surrounds, getting ready for the real cycling journey to begin tomorrow. If you have time, there’s the option to head on a brewery tour, as Cesky Budejovice (or Budweis in German) is the home of Budweiser! Learn the beer’s history and have the perfectly drawn brew in the onsite bar. Otherwise, head into the city and visit the imposing Black Tower – one of the most dominating features of Ceske.
Ride distance: approx. 30kms/19 miles, mostly flat, approx. 200m/650ft of elevation gain.
Day 3 - Cesky Krumlov
Today is an early morning start, as you’ll ride through the South Bohemian countryside from Ceske to Cesky – that is, Cesky Krumlov! Through picture-perfect rolling hills and weaving in and out of forest, you’ll cover around 35 kilometres cycling, with some undulations at points. Once arrived, you’ve got the rest of the afternoon at your leisure in this small medieval town. Take your bike or head on a hike up to see Krizova Hora, visit the State Castle, or just simply explore the weaving laneways of the town, all perched on the side of the Vlata River. If you want to check out the river more, why not book in on a canoe trip? Seeing the Czech countryside from the water gives you stunning views of the surrounding valleys.
Ride distance: approx. 35kms/22 miles, mostly flat for the first 8kms then undulating, approx. 600m/1970ft of elevation gain.
Day 4 - Ardagger
Rise and shine, as it’s off for another day of cycling, leaving nice and early. Ride along the Vlata River from Cesky Krumlov through the countryside then over the plateau and down to the wooded shores of the beautiful Lipno Lake near the Czech-Austrian border. You’ll arrive at the small town of Lipno nad Vitavou on the southern banks of the lake.
After some time to look around, drive approximately 140 kilometres to Ardagger, right on the banks of the Danube. After two days in the saddle you deserve a relax at this small riverside town. Why not get your group together and organise somewhere for dinner – your group leader will know of a place to go.
Ride distance: approx. 42kms/32 miles, mostly flat for the first 15kms then one long (but gradual) climb for 10kms before flattening out alonside the lake, approx. 680m/2200ft of elevation gain.
Day 5 - Melk
Get back on your bike and cycle alongside the mighty Danube River on a mostly flat course from Ardagger to Melk (approximately 53 kilometres). You know you're getting close when you can see the towers and dome of the famed Melk Abbey high above the town. Once arrived, you could head on an optional tour of Melk Abbey, where you’ll discover the colourful Baroque structure perched on top of a rock overlooking the Danube, plus its parks and bastions.
Ride distance: approx. 53kms/33 miles, mostly flat, approx. 150m/500ft of elevation gain.
Day 6 - Krems an der Donau
From Melk, cycle along the northern banks of the Danube – mostly on dedicated cycle paths – past small riverside towns and villages (and the occasional sand beach), and to the UNESCO-listed terraces of the Wachau vineyards, where wine has been produced since the Middle Ages. Riding up the steep hillsides is definitely a challenge, but there’s some stunning scenery to see along the way. Your final destination for today is Krems an der Donau – just a few kilometres from Wachau, and best of all, it’s downhill to get there!
Ride distance: approx. 43kms/27 miles, mostly flat, approx. 220m/720ft of elevation gain.
Day 7 - Vienna
Travel for around 1 hour to charming Tulln and hop on your bike to ride along the Danube cycle path to Vienna, skirting the river’s southern banks. Today is again around 40 kilometres and is mostly slightly downhill. When you arrive in Vienna, be sure to relax and perhaps tuck into a well-earned coffee and sacher torte. Vienna is a classical hub of arts, culture and food, and a perfect place to hop off the bike and explore on foot. If you haven’t discussed it already, why not organise dinner in Vienna with your group tonight – it’s definitely cause for a half-way celebration.
Ride distance: approx. 40kms/25 miles, mostly flat/slightly downhill, approx. 100m/330ft of elevation gain.
Day 8 - Vienna
Today is a free day for you to explore vibrant Vienna at your lesuire. There is a welcome meeting scheduled for 6 pm this evening, where you will meet your group leader and possibly new travellers joining you for the ride from Vienna to Bupapest.
Ride distance: No included riding today
Day 9 - Vienna
After breakfast there will be a bike fitting for the new members of the group followed by a short test ride. Then take a tour of Vienna by bike (approximately 3 hours). Follow the path of the Habsburg and explore the rich artistic and cultural icons like the Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Hofburg Palace and all that the Ringstrasse has to offer.
Cycle distance: approx. 10kms/6 miles, mostly flat with approx. 180m/590ft of elevation gain.
Day 10 - Bratislava
Leave Vienna’s city centre and ride along the mighty Danube to the tiny hamlet of Hasslau an der Donau. From here, journey east along the riverbanks to one of Austria's most important archaeological sites, Carnuntum, and its eclectic mixture of Roman ruins and modern reconstructions. Spend some time wandering among the remains of Roman life on the Danube before climbing back onto your bike and slowly winding along the riverside bike paths to the Slovak border. In the afternoon arrive in the Slovak capital, the cosmopolitan Bratislava. See firsthand how bordering two independent countries has left its mark on Bratislava with an introductory walk.
Please note that the Bratislava Castle is closed on a Monday so we are unable to enter it.
Cycle distance: approx. 76kms/47 miles, flat for the first 40kms, then undulating, with approx. 400m/1310ft of elevation gain.
Day 11 - Hedervar/Lipot
Follow the Danube as it turns south and re-enters Hungary. Pass by picturesque villages, lowland forests and across lush farmland to the tiny village of Hedervar, home of the charming 13th century Renaissance and Baroque style Héderváry Castle. Afterwards it's only a short five kilometre ride to the tiny village of Lipot. While the village is certainly quiet, it has a laid-back atmosphere that makes for a perfect end to a day in the saddle.
Cycle distance: approx. 63kms/39 miles, slightly downhill with approx. 130m/430ft of elevation gain.
Day 12 - Komarom
Leaving the quiet ambience of Hedervar behind, cycle most of today on paths free of traffic. Stop to visit the Baroque city of Győr for a quick tour, including a visit to Káptalan Hill, Bécsi kapu tér square, and the picturesque Király Street. Afterwards, track back to the banks of the Danube and on to the city of Komarom, which straddles the borders of Hungary and Slovakia. While Komarom is known for its forts and strategic position on the Danube River, it is also a beautiful city housing many museums and historical sites. Take part in an introductory walk with a stroll across the Elizabeth Bridge, the pathway between two counties. To add some pampering at the end of a long day why not try an optional spa visit to soothe those leg muscles.
Cycle distance: approx. 80 kms/50 miles, flat with approx. 210m/690ft of elevation gain.
Day 13 - Esztergom
Today there is an early departure to ensure a timely arrival into Esztergom (approximately 55 kilometres). The former capital city of Hungary, Esztergom is the seat of the Hungarian Catholic Church and boasts an amazing array of architectural gems such as Royal Palace, the Víziváros, and Watertown, which is built on the banks of the Danube itself. The crowning glory of Esztergom is undoubtbly the Esztergom Basilica, a stunning example of Classicism and the third largest church in Europe. Reflected in the still waters of the Danube Bend, the Basilica is a sight to behold from outside and within. Take part on an introductory orientation walk of this beguiling city.
Cycle distance: approx. 54kms/33miles, flat with approx. 140m/460ft of elevation gain.
Day 14 - Budapest
Cycle the famous ‘Danube Bend’ beneath the wooded hills of Visegrád. Here the river turns south towards the Hungarian capital city of Budapest. Today is our longest day in the saddle but be sure to enjoy a stop half way for a picnic lunch on the river bank. To help end the day on a high, an afternoon visit to one of Budapest's famous spas is included. There is ample free time in the evening to explore at your leisure.
Cycle distance: approx. 93kms/58miles, mostly flat with approx. 590m/1935ft of elevation gain.
Day 15 - Budapest
The final day starts with an early morning city cycling tour in Budapest (approximately 3 hours) that takes in the best that this remarkable city has to offer, including a visit to the food market. Return to the hotel with ample time to shower and say goodbye to your newfound friends. If you want to spend some extra time in Budapest or require a later checkout, we strongly recommend booking extra accommodation at the time of booking.
Cycle distance: approx. 15 kms
As we spend the morning riding it is not recommended to book a flight out of Budapest before 5pm.