Tête-à-tête of culture and nature
On this seventh stage of the Danube Bike Path, long-distance cyclists pedal along the lovely Danube bank promenade in Vienna. Then the path runs along the north bank through the idyllic Danube Wetlands National Park. At Haslau, you cross the Danube and the route takes you to the south bank to Petronell.
Quality of experience: ***
Make sure to take time for a tour of Klosterneuburg Abbey, which was founded in the 12th c. At least take a look at its treasury, which holds the altar of Verdun from 1181 and is definitely worth seeing, or visit the four-story cellars of the abbey, which is Austria’s oldest winemaker. Vienna is only a stone’s throw away from the abbey.
If you choose not to circumvent Vienna via the Nordbrücke (bridge), you soon reach the so-called “Danube Canal” on the south bank, which takes you straight into the center of the city. After freshening up in a bicycle-friendly hotel of your choice (q.v. www.wien.info), you are free to explore this grand city.
You can visit a vast variety of attractions such as Schönbrunn with its palace, zoo, palace grounds and Gloriette, Vienna’s historical center with St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Hofburg (the imperial apartments, Sisi museum, treasury, Spanish Riding School), the Art History Museum, the graphic collection Albertina and the MuseumsQuartier. Other great sights awaiting you are Belvedere Palace, the Prater with its Giant Ferris Wheel, Jugendstil, cafés and heurige…
If you leave the city along the north bank, you reach Lobau – a part of the Danube Wetlands National Park. These wetlands form a unique natural habitat for beavers, kingfishers and even gray sea eagles and extend to the Austrian-Slovak border. It is one of the biggest intact areas of wetlands in Central Europe. You can find out details at Orth Castle, which is just beyond Schönau. The schlossORTH National Park-Centre is housed in this pretty castle (field trips, boat tours, local museum). The castle island has an interactive wetlands exhibition complete with underwater observation station.
After a ferry ride over the Danube you arrive in Petronell-Carnuntum. Before reaching this town, you pass Austria’s largest Roman landmark, the “Heidentor” (“Heathen’s Gate”), the ruin of a 4th c triumphal monument. The Roman city of Carnuntum is well worth a visit with its authentic reconstruction of part of a Roman city.
You start this stage in Klosterneuburg and follow the Donaustrasse (street) to the Nordbrücke (bridge). Here, you change to the other bank and enjoy the beautiful Vienna promenade. In between, you dine at one of the cozy Viennese cafés and enjoy a mélange and a piece of Sacher Torte.
At the central tank farm in Lobau, you turn left onto Lobgrundstrasse (road) where you ride along a long bend to the right. Then you go straight for a short while, still on the Lobgrundstrasse, until turning left at the second right bend. Then you leave the nearby Danube River bank and pass through the untouched Danube wetlands until you see a bridge to your left, which you cross.
Shortly before Schönau the road branches off to the east. After about 7 km, you reach a small industrial park. From there, you continue south. Alternatively, you can turn left and visit picturesque Orth Castle. It is open nearly year round and offers guided walks through the Danube wetlands. You take the ferry over the Danube, then leave the river bank and pass through Haslau.
After a short time, you encounter the B9. There is a bike path along its south side, which you follow for about 4 km. This leads you south to Scharndorf and from there further to the east. You pass through the remains of the Heidentor (a Roman gate) and finally reach Petronell-Carnuntum. The second part of the town’s name (Carnuntum) refers to Ancient Roman fortifications which are in the immediate vicinity and whose ruins can be visited (open-air museum).
Get off the B22 in Vienna at the Klosterneuburg exit and continue on the B14.
Take the bus or the train from Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof (train station) in Vienna to Klosterneuburg.
Park & Ride parking lot Klosterneuburg
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