One river, ten countriesThe Danube cycle route is one of the most popular long-distance bike trails in Germany – and beyond. This well-maintained route covers a distance of 2,850 kilometres and passes through a total of ten countries: from the Danube’s source at Donaueschingen or Furtwangen – controversy still rages about the precise location to the present day – to Romania, where the river flows into the Black Sea. The German stretch covers some 600 kilometres, 430 of which pass through Bavaria.
Bavarian Swabia: Off we goIn the Free State, the Danube cycle route first passes through the region of the Allgäu/Bavarian Swabia. This is where the Schwäbisches Donaumoos conservation area and the Schwäbisches Donautal (the Swabian Danube Valley) stretch before you – a cultural landscape with a wide variety of floodplain forests and a unique landscape of lakes and moors. From the towns of Ulm/Neu-Ulm you pedal on in the direction of Donauwörth. Ulm Minster, with the tallest steeple in the world, and which you pass along the way, is definitely worth a visit. From Donauwörth you pass by Schloss Neuburg, in the Upper Bavarian fortress town of Ingolstadt with its historic city centre and numerous museums and churches.
On the Danube cycle route from Ingolstadt to RegensburgFollowing the river downstream, the Danube cycle route takes you to the picturesque city of Kelheim, which forms the geographical centre of Bavaria. In the district of the same name, you witness a unique natural spectacle: the Donaudurchbruch (Danube Gorge) at Weltenburg. Cliffs that soar upwards to heights of 100 metres and centuries-old rock formations litter this narrow stretch of the Danube valley. High above you, Weltenburg Abbey with the oldest monastery brewery in the world can be seen. In the beer garden in the monastery grounds, cyclists and hikers alike can recharge their batteries with typical Bavarian fare and a cool beer.
Armed with renewed energy and a full stomach, the pedal pushing becomes far easier. Which is just as well, because one of the most beautiful cities in eastern Bavaria is waiting for you: the UNESCO World Heritage site of Regensburg. As well as the stone bridges and the Gothic cathedral, the Walhalla in front of the gates to the city is indeed the most famous landmark of this metropolis on the Danube.
Passau: You have reached your destinationOn this last stretch of the Danube cycle route, you pass through the fertile plains of Gäuboden in a south-easterly direction. During this stretch you come to the old ducal town of Straubing as well as Deggendorf, which is known as the gateway to the Bavarian Forest.
Moving onwards you come to the “City of Three Rivers”, Passau. The old town is renowned for its Baroque buildings. Further up, the Veste Oberhaus, a fortress from the 13th century, towers majestically above the city. Your eventful cycle tour through Bavaria comes to an end in Passau. Because this is where the Danube, and thus also the Danube cycle route, crosses the border into Austria.
Further information on the Danube cycle route