Bike tour along the Danube from Passau to Vienna.
Quality of experience: ******
Cycling along the southern bank of the Danube, is a pleasure for the whole family. Together with the river, the route leasds always slight downhill from Passau via Vienna to the border close to Hainburg. A tour with an unforgettable experience.
The different scenic attractions, historical sites, quaint and historic towns and villages are the incomparable mixture that particularly makes the Danube Bike Tour what it is. In Passau, the Danube reaches - and with it, of course, the cycle path - Austria. Here the Danube valley is surrounded by wooded hills. Engelhartzell with the only Trappist monastery in Austria and the Schlögener Schlinge – along which the Danube changes twice its direction - are the first highlights of the tour.
East of Aschach the valley changes its character, the banks become flat. The wheels
roll on the characteristic towpaths that were once used to draw ships with horses upstream. Passing the Wilhering you go into the upper - Austria's capital Linz (Capital of Culture 2009), which invites you with its exciting blend of tradition and modernity to a journey of discovery.
Enns, the oldest city in Austria, and the High Baroque monastery of St. Florian invite you to a rewarding detour before cyclists maneuver into the fertile plain of the Machland. Shortly before Grein, the Danube valley becomes narrow again, while the banks rise steeply. The Strudengau with its current and vortexes was once feared by sailors.
The trade and the services of the loadsmen made Grein into the picturesque "golden town" of today. In Ybbs / Donau the Nibelungengau and with it the Lower Austrian part of the Danube Bike Tour begins. Shortly after Ybbs, the pilgrimage church of Maria Taferl greets from a hill. Very soon now the majestic Melk Abbey and marks the gateway to the Wachau, look down from a hill along the Danube. The gentle vineyard terraces, idyllic places with big names such as Spitz and Dürnstein dominating the river banks 40 km downstream to Krems is known as the Wachau World Heritage Site and is an internationally renowned wine region.
Between the Roman city wall and Trai Klosterneuburg - also blessed with a beautiful pen – cyclists cross the Tulln Danube region. In the Wagram region near Krems excellent white wines thrive on fertile plains. And in Tulln itself, the Danube stage itself is home to culture itself - from folk music to cabaret to opera. Along the following route to the federal capital Vienna, the Danube Bike Tour passes through the Auland-Carnuntum. Here appear the cyclists in the world of the Baroque Age at the magnificent castles like Schloss Hof March Field and experience the time of the ancient Romans in the Archaeological Park Carnuntum. After the Roman city of Carnuntum is also a small, dynamic wine region south of the Danube. One of the last undeveloped, large floodplains of Europe extends here to the eastern border of Austria. It is protected by the National Park Donau-Auen.
Use of the crossings of the Danube power stations of VERBUND in Upper Austria
VERBUND, Austria’s leading energy provider and operator of the Danube power stations, has adopted a regulation for the use of the Danube power station crossings of Abwinden-Asten and Ottensheim-Wilhering, in association with the State of Upper Austria’s Department for Comprehensive Traffic Planning and Public Transport, Upper Austrian Tourism and the mayors of Ottensheim and Luftenberg. It is guaranteed that the crossings are open from 1 April to 31 October, from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM. If temperatures are sufficiently warm in November and March, the crossings are also open. From early December to late February, though, the crossings are closed to bikers and pedestrians for liability reasons.
The municipalities do not assume liability for the use of the crossings during the other months. Distributing gravel and salt along the crossings leads to damage to the buildings of the power station and the offices that are located below. It is therefore not possible to guarantee that the crossings are free of snow and ice. For this reason, the power station crossings are closed in December, January and February.
The State of Upper Austria’s Department for Comprehensive Traffic Planning and Public Transport gives users of the cross-regional network of bike paths advance notice regarding the opening times by means of signs along the bike paths. “Notice boards along the bike paths will inform bikers in due time of the opening times,” states Johann Froschauer, who is responsible for the network of bike paths in Upper Austria.
More flexible opening times in November and March
As it is possible for the weather to be warm for prolonged periods of time in November and March and therefore to use the crossings without the risk of snow and ice, VERBUND is willing in the interest of the public to open the power station crossings to bikers and pedestrians if the weather is warm in the future. For this reason, the regulations, in particular at weekends and round Easter, are less complicated. Nevertheless, it is VERBUND’s decision whether to open the crossings.
Guaranteed opening times:
Opening hours of the bridges at the Ottensheim–Wilhering and Abwinden–Asten power plants: 1 April – 31 October, daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m
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