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Cycling along the Danube

Cycling the Danube: Budapest to the Black Sea

The 2772km-long Danube is Europe’s second longest river (behind the Volga). Rising in the German Black Forest, it runs through 10 countries on its way to the Black Sea. In this post we cover all the key facts you need to know about the more adventurous second part of the Danube, which makes for a superb journey through central and eastern Europe from Budapest to the Black Sea.

The Danube Cycleway Volume 2 - Overview Map
What?The Danube Cycleway
Where?Between Budapest and the Black Sea
Is that the entire cycleway?Only the second part – the first part runs from its source in the Black Sea to Budapest.
How long?1712km
How many stages?This guide breaks the route into 32 stages, averaging 53.5km per stage (although there is a wide variation in stage lengths from 30km to 96km).
How many countires does this part include?Four (The river route starts in Hungary and continues into Croatia and Serbia before ending at Tulcea in Romania.)
Is the route well signposted?The route follows part of EuroVelo route 6 (EV6), a trans-continental cycle route running from the Atlantic coast of France to the Black Sea. This is well waymarked in Hungary and Serbia, partly so in Croatia but unmarked in Romania.
How long to complete?In theory a fit cyclist covering 90km per day should be able to complete the trip in 19 days. However, this is difficult to achieve because of unequal distances between overnight accommodation, and so, unless you are camping, it is advisable to plan on taking between three and four weeks.
Is the route level?As the Danube has dropped to an altitude of only 100m above sea level by the time it reaches Budapest, the cycleway following the river is mostly level.
When to go?The route is generally cycleable from April to October. The best times are probably late spring (May–June) and early autumn (September–October) as it can be very hot during July and August when 40ºC is not uncommon on the Hungarian plain and in southern Romania.
How to travel there and back?If you reached Budapest by cycling the Danube Cycleway from Vienna or the river’s source in the German Black Forest, you will have reached Szechenyi chain bridge in central Budapest, the start point for Stage 1 of this guide. If you are starting from Budapest, you can reach the city by rail, air, road or river. Since covid restrictions made getting your bike from the UK to Budapest by train very difficult so the current best recommendation is to go by plane.
What accommodation is available?For most of this route places to sleep are more limited with sometimes long distances between them. This becomes more acute the further east you progress. Until recently it was impossible to complete this route without using a tent to provide accommodation in remote areas. However, the number of places offering accommodation has increased as new premises have opened and it is now possible by using google search
What kind of bike do I need?The most suitable type of cycle is either a touring cycle or a hybrid (a lightweight but strong cross between a touring cycle and a mountain bike with at least 21 gears). There is no advantage in using a mountain bike.
What maps do I need?By far the best mapping is provided by the definitive maps of EV6 published by Huber Kartographie.
Route highlights?This route has spectacular gorges, medieval fortresses, memorials to the recent Yugoslav civil war, vineyard clad hillsides, and rural areas where crops are still planted and harvested by hand and the main means of transport is horse and cart. Other highlights include: Budapest: Fishermen's bastion, St Mathias church, Europe's largest synagogue, Liberty monument; Kopački Rit nature reserve; Osijek: Tvrđa fortress; Vukovar: civil war memorials; Novi Sad: Petrovaradin fortress; Belgrade: Kalemegdan fortress, St Sava cathedral; Golubac castle; Iron Gates gorges: Golubacki klisura, Gospodin vir, Veliki Kazan, Mali Kazan; rural Romania; Dervent monastery; Tulcea; Danube Delta.
StageStartFinishDistance
1Budapest, chain bridgeRáckeve, Árpád bridge47km
2Ráckeve, Árpád bridgeSolt, Béke tér square50.5km
3Solt, Béke tér squareFoktő40.5km
4FoktőBaja, Szentháromság square44.5km
5Baja, Szentháromság squareMohács, ferry ramp34km
6Mohács, ferry rampOsijek, Pješački bridge81km; alternative route 84.5km
7Osijek, Pješački bridgeVukovar, Vuka bridge44.5km
8Vukovar, Vuka bridgeBačka Palanka, St John the Baptist church40.5km
9Bačka Palanka, St John the Baptist churchNovi Sad, Varadinski bridge43.5km
10Novi Sad, Varadinski bridgeNovi Slankamen, crossroads41km
11Novi Slankamen, crossroadsBelgrade, St Alexander Nevsky church53km
12Belgrade, St Alexander Nevsky churchKovin, marina67km; alternative route 56.5km
13Kovin, marinaStara Palanka, ferry ramp39.5km; alternative route 40km
14Stara Palanka, ferry rampGolubac, main square38km
15Golubac, main squareDonji Milanovac, tourist office57km
16Donji Milanovac, tourist officeDrobeta-Turnu Severin, Tudor park67km
17Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Tudor parkGruia, church71.5km
18Gruia, churchCalafat, town hall62.5km
19Calafat, town hallBechet, Dn55 junction96km
20Bechet, Dn55 junctionCorabia, post office45.5km
21Corabia, post officeTurnu Măgurele, central park30.5km
22Turnu Măgurele, central parkZimnicea, town hall57km
23Zimnicea, town hallGiurgiu, Turkish watchtower60km
24Giurgiu, Turkish watchtowerOlteniţa, central park76km
25Olteniţa, central parkCălăraşi, Volna church70km
26Călăraşi, Volna churchIon Corvin, Dj223 junction65km
27Ion Corvin, Dj223 junctionCernavodă, roundabout40.5km
28Cernavodă, roundaboutHârşova, Dn22a junction53km
29Hârşova, Dn22a junctionMăcin, Dn22 junction88km
30Măcin, Dn22 junctionGalaţi, ferry ramp30.5km
31Galaţi, ferry rampIsaccea, mosque42km
32Isaccea, mosqueTulcea, Oraş station36km
Total km--1712km
The Danube Cycleway Volume 2 - Front Cover

The Danube Cycleway Volume 2

From Budapest to the Black Sea

£17.95

Cycling guidebook to the Danube Cycleway exploring the route from Budapest to the Black Sea, the more adventurous second part of the Danube, suitable for most abilities and bike types. The river route starts in Hungary and continues into Croatia and Serbia before ending at Tulcea in Romania. The Danube Cycleway is also part of EuroVelo 6 (EV6).

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