The Danube Cycleway Volume 1

From the source in the Black Forest to Budapest

By Mike Wells

The first in a two-volume set, this guidebook describes cycling the first 1269km of the Danube river from its source in the Black Forest to Budapest, passing through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Suitable for all levels of cyclist, the route visits the great cities of Vienna and Bratislava before arriving in the Hungarian capital.



Apart from the upper part of Stage 1 in the Black Forest, where snow may lie until April, the route can be cycled at any time of year, but is best between April and October.


A point-to-point route with no particular bases.


A straightforward cycle ride, mostly off-road on well-surfaced (mainly asphalt) cycle tracks with virtually no gradients, except for a steady 500m ascent to reach the start. Suitable for all levels of cyclist, on all types of cycle, though racing cyclists may wish to use alternative routes to avoid a few short sections of gravel surface.
Must See

Must See

Black Forest, Danube sinkholes, Blue lagoon, Ulm cathedral spire (world's highest), Donaudurchbruch gorge, Regensburg medieval altstadt, King Ludwig's Walhalla, Passau, Melk and Klosterneuburg abbeys, Wachau vineyards, Wien (Hofburg, Schönbrunn and Belvedere Palaces, cathedral, Spanish Riding School), Prater Ferris wheel, Bratislava, Esztergom basilica, Danube bend, Budapest (Fishermen's bastion, St Mathias church, Europe's largest synagogue)
28 Jan 2015
22 Feb 2019
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.5cm
  • Overview

    This guidebook covers cycling the first 1270km of a long-distance cycle route that follows the entire course of the Danube, Europe's second longest river. The route starts at the Danube's source in Donauschingen in Germany's Black Forest, leading to the vibrant city of Budapest in Hungary. This guide is the first in a two-volume set exploring the entire length of the Danube.

    The Danube Cycle Way has become the most popular holiday cycle touring route in mainland Europe. Leading through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, the route visits spectacular gorges, hilltop castles, vineyard-clad hillsides and medieval towns. The route's highlights are in the three great imperial cities of Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest, where majestic royal palaces, soaring cathedrals and world-famous museums and galleries await.

    Suitable for all levels of cyclist; from the experienced to families who are new to this type of journey, the route is on a gentle downhill gradient, is mostly off-road and uses well-surfaced and dedicated cycle tracks or quiet country roads. The guidebook includes maps, guidance on the plentiful accommodation and places to stop for food and drink en route, as well as details on the sights to see along the way, making it the perfect companion to the Danube Cycle Way.

    • The route is divided into 23 seperate stages, with scope for tailoring different length stages according to each cyclist's needs
    • Includes helpful and clear mapping for every stage
    • combination of practical information, evocative route descriptions and backgound details enhance this world-famous cycle route
  • Contents

    Natural environment
    The route
    Getting there and back
    Food and drink
    Amenities and services
    What to take
    Safety and emergencies
    About this guide
    The route
    Stage 1 Martinskapelle to Donaueschingen
    Stage 2 Donaueschingen to Tuttlingen
    Stage 3 Tuttlingen to Sigmaringen
    Stage 4 Sigmaringen to Riedlingen
    Stage 5 Riedlingen to Ehingen
    Stage 6 Ehingen to Ulm
    Stage 7 Ulm to Lauingen
    Stage 8 Lauingen to Donauwörth
    Stage 9 Donauwörth to Ingolstadt
    Stage 10 Ingolstadt to Kelheim
    Stage 11 Kelheim to Regensburg
    Stage 12 Regensburg to Straubing
    Stage 13 Straubing to Deggendorf
    Stage 14 Deggendorf to Passau
    Stage 15 Passau to Aschach
    Stage 16 Aschach to Linz
    Stage 17 Linz to Mauthausen
    Stage 18 Mauthausen to Grein
    Stage 19 Grein to Melk
    Stage 20 Melk to Krems
    Stage 21 Krems to Tulln
    Stage 22 Tulln to Vienna
    Stage 23 Vienna to Bratislava (Slovakia)
    Stage 24 Bratislava to Mosonmagyaróvár
    Stage 25 Mosonmagyaróvár to Győr
    Stage 26 Győr to Komárom
    Stage 27 Komárom to Esztergom
    Stage 28 Esztergom to Szentendre
    Stage 29 Szentendre to Budapest

    Appendix A Stage summary table
    Appendix B Facilities summary table
    Appendix C Language glossary
    Appendix D Useful contacts
    Appendix E Tourist information offices
    Appendix F Youth hostels

  • Updates
    Receive updates by email
    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction

    June 2016

    p116 end of line 12; Follow road winding through village then turn L at T-junction (Am Krautgarten) should be ......turn R at T-junction......

    p233 last line; to run between main road R and river L should be .....main road L and river R......

    The phone number provided for The Map Shop in Upton upon Severn is printed incorrectly and should read 01684 593146

    May 2016

    A full set of GPX files for the route described in this guide is now available free to download to owners of the book.

    You can download them by following this link:

    March 2106

    The length of the Danube is given in the Introduction as 2888km. This was based on an earlier measurement of the river before 20th-century shortenings were taken into account and that the author now believes that 2772km (as stated in Vol 2) to be a better estimate of the Danube's length.

  • Reviews

    February 2015

    "mike wells, in keeping with his companion cicerone guides, provides not only exemplary pedal by pedal instructions on how you too might enjoy the danube cycleway, but impeccable advice on how to prepare prior to commencing your journey...

    the detailing and directions accompanying each stage of riding, along with remarkably informative maps do not make for a book that you'd read in the bath, but this may be an intrinsic part of its strategy. these guides  are for those who actively participate, rather than the armchair cyclo-tourist, and is all the better for it.

    cicerone appear to have modernised the appearance of their excellent guidebooks, the covers now looking less like forgotten items from the late 19th century and now sporting a more impressive contemporary look."

    Read more on thewashingmachinepost.

    "These guides are fantastic and I have yet to find anything in English which does a better job. eBook versions are also available (which may be a more practical solution when you are riding the route, have a bike mount for your phone and don’t have three hands…)."

    Read the full review on the Cycling Europe website.

    "The usual Cicerone format is followed beginning with an introduction to the route and advice on how and when to ride it... Food, accommodation, equipment and other maps and – very generously – guides are all covered. The development of on-line mapping is reflected in the link to an Open Street Maps version of Eurovelo Route 6. Detailed route description with snippets of information and more detailed panels on the main towns, cities and places of interest, form the main part of the book. Summary charts of possible stages, accommodation, refreshments opportunities and useful sources of information follow.

    Of course, when describing a route of this length, it will never be possible to cover much, other than directions, in significant detail. Cyclists will all find some excursions of their own, in any case. So, it is the task of the guide to introduce the reader to the Danube and sow the seeds of exploration and anticipation. This guide does this admirably."

    See the full review here:

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Mike Wells

Mike Wells is an author of both walking and cycling guides. He has been walking long-distance footpaths for 25 years, after a holiday in New Zealand gave him the long-distance walking bug. Mike has also been a keen cyclist for over 20 years. After completing various UK Sustrans routes, such as Lon Las Cymru in Wales and the C2C route across northern England, he then moved on to cycling long-distance routes in continental Europe and beyond. These include cycling both the Camino and Ruta de la Plata to Santiago de la Compostela, a traverse of Cuba from end to end, a circumnavigation of Iceland and a trip across Lapland to the North Cape. He has written a series of cycling guides for Cicerone following the great rivers of Europe.

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