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Pedal through time 

Along the Danube

Some choose the Danube Cruise (see our article on the topic), while others choose to go at their own pace in an equally cultural and sport-filled experience.

From Passau to the German-Austrian border in Bratislava, the Bavarian Venice and capital of Slovakia, via Vienna, Durnstein, Melk, Prague, Salzburg, for over 400 km two-wheelers can help you discover the traces of the ancient Romans, castles erected in the Middle Ages, mysterious ruins and graceful churches, as well as stunning landscapes.

The vehicles will follow the traces of the Habsburg reign, not only at Schönbrunn Palace, but also when going from vineyards to orchards that will certainly highlight a more contemporary way of life in Vienna, Prague and Salzburg.

Alternating from one bank of the famous river to the other, there is much to see and do..

Passau

Before beginning your journey, take time to visit this town with Italian-style houses and churches and even enjoy a concert in its famous St. Stephen's Cathedral, which has an organ consisting of 17,974 pipes and 233 registers and is the largest in the world. Also, see the Veste Oberhaus, which is a castle built in 1219 and is one of the best-preserved in Europe.

Engelhartszell

Why not linger for a picnic after buying the famous cheese from the Trappists living in a Cistercian Abbey built in the 13th century, the only one in Austria. The monks also make famous liqueurs, so why not have a little pick-me-up for the evening?

Wilhering

This is where the Cistercian monks settled in 1146. The abbey retains traces of the Romanesque and Gothic architecture of the time. For some, it is the most beautiful Rococo church in Austria.Gothique de l’époque. Pour certains il s’agit de la plus belle église Rococo de l’Autriche.

Linz

A city of arts, its history can be discovered through city walks in its old city around the main square. Do not miss its richly carved Trinity column. And be sure to taste the famous Linzer Torte (cake).

Here in Linz, you will have the choice to either branch off to Prague or to Salzburg, leaving the bike path behind you (see our article on Prague), or, continue along the Danube.

Enns

This is the oldest city in Austria. It is romantic, with its Celtic and Roman traces, a Baroque Basilica of Lorch and Middle Age castles. On its central square stands a 60-meter tower from the 16th century. Climb its 156 steps for a breathtaking view.

Mitterkirchen

Find yourself 2,700 years ago in history in a Celtic village consisting of twenty buildings where you can take a break from time in history.

Melk

You cannot miss the shining bright yellow Baroque abbey above the city of Melk. It’s a must, even though you will need to climb up in elevation.

Dürstein

From the distance you will notice the blue belfry of a small, lovely church in Dürstein. It is also worth seeing its charming town surrounded by vineyards. A little further up the hill you will find ruins of the ancient fortified city where King Leopold V imprisoned Richard the Lionheart.

It is an ideal stop for a short break or a picnic! You will easily find everything you need in the village, including excellent wine to accompany it all.

Göttweig

Here, you have to visit the Benedictine monastery perched on a hill. It is one of the treasures of the region, which has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2000.

Carnuntum

To experience life in the Roman era in this unique city rebuilt with its houses, why not offer a little relaxation to your muscles, which will be well-soothed in a real Roman thermal bath?

There is still Vienna to see before arriving safely in Bratislava. However, these two cities deserve separate articles. We will come back to this in future issues.

An essential tool  

Sailing on this great European river is certainly quite an experience, but to travel on its north or south banks to the rhythm of our pedals and according to our moods is an experience that allows us to travel through centuries and both Eastern and Western cultures to discover contrasting, inhabited and wild landscapes, lush farms and vineyards…

All the while, you will be on a well-marked trail with no significant hills or elevation, except of course if you go to survey the surrounding hills. It is easy to stop at any time for a picnic, a lunch, a more elaborate dinner or to spend the night.

A useful and practical guide detailing the path with its sites of interest and curiosities, restaurants and hotels, campgrounds, ferries and other services offered to cyclists is available in both paper and electronic format.

And for those who are energetic…

It is also possible to stretch the course in both directions, in Germany to Donaueschingen and in Hungary, to Budapest, to cover a total of 1,200 km. It’s a whole exercise regime for the calves, as long as you have the time and energy for it!


Christiane Théberge

Small village along the Danube

Rococo Wilhering Abbey

Trinity column, Linz

 Melk Abbey

Blue church in Dürstein

Baths in Carnuntum

 

   

 

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