Our popular Self-Guided Salzburg-Vienna Tour will start in Salzburg and you’ll bike to Krems where you’ll return the bikes and continue by train to Vienna. You’ll stay in charming 3 and 4-star hotels and inns along the way. Daily breakfast is included; dinner is on your own! You’ll bike a total of 396 kilometers from Salzburg to Krems. Highlights include: visits to wonderful Vienna, the “world capital of classical music”, and to Salzburg, Mozart’s picturesque birth place, beautiful Baroque Scharding, historic Linz, Burghausen and Passau, the City of Three Rivers; visits to other charming medieval towns, castles and splendid abbeys and the incomparable Benedictine Monastery in Melk; delightful biking mostly on separate bike paths or on small rural roads through the forested Upper Danube Valley and the scenic vineyards of the Wachau Valley; visit to the unusual “Donauschlinge”, a textbook meander in the Donau River. Note also: Knowledge of the German language is recommended! The tour book is only available in German, however we provide an English supplement and the route is well signed.
Day 1: Salzburg
Arrive on your own in your comfortable hotel in Salzburg and use the afternoon to stroll around in the delightful “Sound of Music City”. We hope you arrive at least one day early to explore this wonderful walking city with its many little passageways and courtyards in the cozy medieval center. The most famous street in this part of Salzburg is, of course, the Getreidegasse, well known for its old-style hanging shop signs and Mozart’s birthplace at number 9. A few steps away is the “City of the Bishops’, a more grandiose Salzburg with the magnificent Cathedral and former residence of the Archbishop. The Mirabell Palace and Gardens are a delightful place of great beauty not to be missed. Also especially recommended is the Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg’s landmark and the largest citadel in Central Europe to have completely survived. The panoramic view over the city from here is spectacular.
Day 2: Salzburg – Burghausen – 34 miles (55 km)
You’ll leave the festival city of Salzburg and take the path along the bank of the Salzach to tranquil and quaint Oberndorf. It was here that the Christmas carol “Silent Night” was written in 1818 and you might visit the charming, little “Silent Night Chapel”. In the afternoon you’ll reach Burghausen, with the most expansive castle buildings in Europe. A visit to the impressive fortress will acquaint you with the history and development of the town and castle.
Day 3: Burghausen – Schärding – 42 miles (68 km)
Today you’ll cycle through the “Unterer Inn” Nature Preserve, the largest wooded region of the Inn District and stop at the Inn-Salzach View, where the Salzach flows into the Inn. You then pass through lively Braunau where you can stop for coffee and a walk around to admire the central square and clock tower. Then you’ll cycle on through beautiful open farmland to Obernberg, a thousand-year-old town with an extremely beautiful market square. From here it is another 18 km to the beautiful Baroque town of Schärding where you’ll stay for the night. After dinner we recommend a stroll around in this charming little town with the “most beautiful baroque town square in all of Austria”.
Day 4: Schärding – Passau – Schlögen – 36 miles (58 km)
You’ll pedal along the peaceful River Inn and cross for a short time into Germany to Passau, once a prestigious and wealthy center of Roman Catholicism. The Inn and the Ilz flow into the Danube at Passau which is why the city is also called the “Three Rivers Town”. On its impressive Market Square you’ll find St. Stephan Cathedral containing the largest church organ in Europe. Here you can attend the noon time organ concert (daily except on Sundays), quite an exciting experience. After lunch bike on to your comfortable hotel in Schlögen, close to the famous meander in the Danube River.
Day 5: Schlögen – Linz – 32 miles (51 km)
Today you continue over an easy path along the river and later on small country roads through lush countryside. You can stop for lunch in picturesque Ottensheim. In the early afternoon you’ll reach Linz, the capital of Upper Austria and Austria’s third largest city. It was here in 1783 that Mozart wrote one of his most beautiful symphonies, the Linz Symphony, which he dedicated to the city. Mozart resided in the house of Count Thun during his Linz engagements and ever since the Thun Mansion has been known as “Mozart Haus”. You can visit it today! Also Anton Bruckner, a great Austrian composer of church music, was closely associated with Linz. For 12 years he was the resident-organist at the magnificent baroque cathedral. Each September Linz holds its most important music festival, the Bruckner Festival dedicated to its namesake. You’ll have time for a delightful stroll in the handsome center of Linz before or after a tasty meal in one of its many fine restaurants. You should remember to try the delicious pastry – the Linzer Torte and check out a lively Austrian Beergarten in the evening!
Day 6: Linz – Grein/Ardagger – 40 miles (65 km)
Today you’ll bike from Linz along the Danube to Mauthausen, now a friendly village but once the site of a WWII concentration camp or Enns, the oldest town of Austria. Via Ardagger you’ll cycle on through the fertile Machland region to the old barge town Grein, where you’ll find a wonderful castle from the 15th century and the oldest (1791) theater in Austria, still in use today. You can visit the Grein Castle and the small theatre and marvel that Napoleon sat in one of the same seats long ago!
Day 7: Grein/Ardagger – Melk/Emmersdorf – 34 miles (54 km)
Today you’ll take a peaceful, romantic ride through the relaxing countryside along the Donau, passing though tiny Austrian villages. Shortly after Marbach you’ll pass by the Maria Taferl, for centuries a Christian pilgrimage destination, located on a rugged hilltop on the other side of the river. You’ll bike on to Pochlarn where you could stop at a nice café for lunch. Then on to ancient Melk on the Danube River, the beginning of the Wachau Valley. Here you can visit the incredible Benedictine Monastery, the Stift Melk, founded in 1089 high above the river. It was rebuilt between 1702 and 1726 in splendid high baroque style. Melk is the entrance to the most popular part of the Danube Region, the Wachau, well known for its delicious white wines.
Day 8: Melk/Emmersdorf – Krems – Vienna – 25 miles (40 km) + 2-hour train ride
Today cycle through the impressive Wachau region, a scenic stretch of winding river and vine-covered hillsides in lower Austria. Small winding village streets with flower-covered houses make this a photographer’s delight. The area is well known for its choice wines. The route takes you through Spits and Weissenkirchen and the best known town in the Wachau, Dürnstein. It has a ruined castle where Richard the Lionhearted was imprisoned in the 12th century. After reaching Krems, stroll through the renovated section, now a pedestrian zone, with its 17th century pastel houses. In Krems you’ll drop off your bicycle and travel for two hours to Vienna by train.
Day 9: The tour ends in Vienna after breakfast.
Fly into Salzburg, Vienna (three hours by train to Salzburg) or Munich (two hours by train to Salzburg). From the Salzburg train station take a cab to your first hotel.
Daily buffet breakfast is included
Check out “Austria Tours” in our GUIDED Tour Calendar
9 days/ 8 nights
- – Accommodations with private facilities in 3 and 4-star hotels or guest houses
- – Daily buffet breakfast
- – 21-speed hybrid bike with 2 side panniers, lock, and repair kit
- – Luggage transfer
- – Detailed route descriptions and maps
- – Emergency phone number access
21-speed hybrid bike with 2 side panniers, lock, repair kit is included in the tour price. A helmet is NOT included.
Note: It is not possible to change pedals or saddles on the bikes!
Easy to Moderate; you’ll encounter some moderately steep hills around Salzburg only.
– Lunches and dinners
– Transportation back to Salzburg
– Entrance fees to any museums or places of interest
Austria has a land climate. Average High and Low Temperatures in Salzburg: April: 58/39, May: 68/47, June: 72/53, July: 76 / 56, August 76 / 56, September: 68/50, October: 59/42. Average rainfall is about 8 days per month, with less rain in the spring, and more in the summer and early fall.