The Danube Cycleway Volume 2
From Budapest to the Black Sea
By Mike Wells
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 Serbia and Bulgaria before ending at Constanta in Romania. The Danube Cycleway is also part of EuroVelo 6 (EV6).
Seasonscan be cycled at any time between April and October, but best in April-June and then September-October: July and August can be very hot
Centresthis is a long point-to-point route with no particular bases
Difficultyalthough the route is mostly level, with a few gentle gradients, it is a challenging ride due to the lack of tourist infrastructure, particularly in Romania. There are long distances between places offering accommodation and refreshments, almost no tourist offices or cycle repair shops, and very few rural Romanians speak west European languages. There are long stretches in Hungary and Serbia along unsurfaced flood dykes, although alternative routes are given to allow you to avoid these stages. Otherwise surfaces are mostly asphalt and in good condition, suitable for hybrid or touring cycles
Must SeeBudapest: 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
This is the second of two volumes describing the Danube Cycle route, a 1717km cycle route following the lower part of the Danube, Europe's second longest river. Volume 2 describes the route from the vibrant Hungarian capital of Budapest through Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Romania to the river's delta on the shores of the Black Sea. Cycling is generally level with a few gentle gradients, mostly on quiet country roads or riverside flood dykes. but it is still a challenging ride due to the lack of tourist infrastructure, particularly in Romania. The 32 stages vary from 30–100km, with some longer excursions, and surfaces are mostly asphalt and in good condition, suitable for hybrid or touring cycles.
Cycling infrastructure is generally good in Hungary, Croatia and Serbia. In Romania, where there is no waymarking and often long distances between places to sleep and eat, this guidebook gives a detailed route description and a listing of all places offering accommodation.
En route you will see spectacular gorges, medieval fortresses, poignant 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 the horse and cart. Off-route excursions enable short visits to be made to Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine and the Danube delta. This guidebook includes maps for each stage at a cycle-friendly a scale of approximately 1:150,000. It includes full details of alternative wet-weather routes, information on facilities, history, culture and sights encountered en route, and a comprehensive set of appendices giving further information to keep you cycling all the way along Europe's second longest river.
The Danube Cycleway
Getting there and back
Food and drink
Amenities and services
What to take
Safety and emergencies
About this guide
Stage 1 Budapest to Ráckeve
Stage 2 Ráckeve to Solt
Stage 3 Solt to Kalocsa
Stage 4 Kalocsa to Baja
Stage 5 Baja to Mohács
Stage 6 Mohács to Osijek
Stage 7 Osijek to Vukovar
Stage 8 Vukovar to Bačka Palanka
Stage 9 Bačka Palanka to Novi Sad
Stage 10 Novi Sad to Novi Slankamen
Stage 11 Novi Slankamen to Belgrade
Stage 12 Belgrade to Kovin
Stage 13 Kovin to Stara Palanka
Stage 14 Stara Palanka to Golubac
Stage 15 Golubac to Donji Milanovac
Stage 16 Donji Milanovac to Drobeta-Turnu Severin
Stage 17 Drobeta-Turnu Severin to Gruia
Stage 18 Gruia to Calafat
Stage 19 Calafat to Bechet
Stage 20 Bechet to Corabia
Stage 21 Corabia to Turnu Măgurele
Stage 22 Turnu Măgurele to Zimnicea
Stage 23 Zimnicea to Giurgiu
Stage 24 Giurgiu to Olteniţa
Stage 25 Olteniţa to Călăraşi
Stage 26 Călăraşi to Ion Corvin
Stage 27 Ion Corvin to Cernavodă
Stage 28 Cernavodă to Hârşova
Stage 29 Hârşova to Măcin
Stage 30 Măcin to Galaţi
Excursion 1 Galaţi to Giurgiuleşti (Moldova) and Reni (Ukraine)
Stage 31 Galaţi to Isaccea
Stage 32 Isaccea to Tulcea
Excursion 2 Tulcea to Sulina by boat through the Danube Delta
Variant for Stages 27–32 Ion Corvin to Tulcea via Constanţa and the Black Sea coast
Appendix A Stage summary table
Appendix B Facilities summary table
Appendix C Tourist information offices
Appendix D Accommodation
Appendix E Useful contacts
Appendix F Language glossary
Appendix G Serbian Cyrillic alphabet
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The phone number provided for The Map Shop in Upton upon Severn is printed incorrectly and should read 01684 593146
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: www.cicerone.co.uk/723/gpx
Mike Wells’ companion to [the cycleway] most definitely opens the door on an adventure... God bless Cicerone for another fine guide that will, hopefully, encourage folk like me to venture further east in Europe.
Seven Day Cyclist
These guides are fantastic and I have yet to find anything in English which does a better job.
A major timesaver and Iifesaver if you happen to be astride a fully-loaded touring bike on your way to the Black Sea. Wells prepares the traveller impressively for the journey that might be about to be undertaken, including a surprisingly comprehensive history of the region for such a modestly sized publication.
In truth, this tends to be a feature of the majority of Cicerone publications, and despite this being volume two, the author does not take for granted that every reader will be widely experienced in either the area or that of cycle-touring. There are short, yet concise sections concerning accommodation, the immediate environment, the Danube cycleway, pre-ride preparation, wildlife, food and drink and several other factors that you'd probably never consider until it was too late.
The note-like riding instructions are remarkably clear... don't leave home without it.
Brian Palmer, February 2016
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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.View Articles and Books by Mike Wells