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the Trento Bike Pages
Cycling along the Danube in Germany: from the source to Passau
Contributed by Franco e Paola Comai (Amici della
Bicicletta) - Via Solteri,35 38100 Trento (Italy). Translated
into English by Andreas Caranti. You may also access the original Versione Italiana.
We used the booklet published by Esterbauer und Weinfurter :
"Radwanderfaehrer, Donauradweg - Teil 1: Donaueschingen - Passau"
(first part of the cycling path along the Danube), to be found in
Germany or Austria at bookstores, Tourist Offices, or bike shops.
Includes maps on a 1 : 100 000 scale with the main path, and
alternative itineraries. Includes also useful hotel information, and
acts as a small guidebook. It's written in German, though.
Touring Club Italiano guide:
"Germania - Repubblica Federale" (It's in Italian, though.)
Franco e Paola Comai - Via Solteri,35 - 38100 Trento A.d.B. TRENTO
We drove to the sources of the danube, and left the car at the parking
lot of Hotel Ochsen. This is a relatively cheap, very comfortable
hotel, with a great breakfast. Once in Passau, we took the train back
to Donaueschingen. This takes a whole day, and involves changing
About 700 km
The path is very clearly marked. It runs on secondary roads, mostly
paved, or with good road-bed, and with very little traffic.
When to go there
Late spring or early autumn. No height difference being involved, you
can do it in summer too, if you don't mind the heat!
We chose to stop at pensions (Gasthaus) or bed and breakfast (Zimmer).
We spent from 25DM to 55DM per person, including a substantial
breakfast. In bigger towns (Uml, regensburg), prices are higher, and
bed and breakfast are not available. We left in the morning after
breakfast, at around 9:00, and started looking for accommodation at
around 16:00. Later you may have trouble getting a sensibly priced
accommodation. Keep in mind that Tourist Offices close around 17:00.
We took some time off during the day for stopovers, snacks, taking
photos, sightseeing, etc. Fueled by powerful breakfasts, we had only
light snack during the day, such as yogurt, fruit, and sweets (just
pick your own at the local Baeckerei or Konditorei!). A good evening
meal can be had from 25DM up.
Managing a bit of German is useful, especially when going for bed and
breakfast, but English is also widely spoken.
Please note that distances shown in the various stages include
diversions, and riding around looking for accommodation. From the
sources to Ulm, and barring diversions, the path has modest ups and
downs. Later it is flat and not terribly varied.
First stage: from Donaueschingen to Maehlheim: 55 km
Don't miss a visit to the Donauquelle. The cycling path starts from
the park surrounding the sources, and runs in the countryside. Near
Tuttlingen the river disappears underground (Donauversickerung),
resurfacing a few kms later. In Maehlheim it's advisable to look for
accommodation in the old part of the town (Oberdorf), if you don't
mind a slight ascent. The small town is really beautiful.
Second stage: from Maehlheim to Inzigkofen: 46 km
This is probably the most varied stage. It's all along the river,
through thick woods, with white calcareous rocks, and on more open
terrain. There are some manageable off-road parts. Inzigkofen is very
nicely located, but doesn't offer too much as far as accommodation is
Third stage: from Inzigkofen to Reichenstein: 63 km
Still some ups and downs. Be careful when crossing a *very* narrow
bridge along the railway, especially if you have bif panniers!
Reichenstein did not seem to us worth its fame. Only two pensions in
Fourth stage: from Reichenstein to Ulm: 66 km
You cross several nice towns to get to Ulm, a magnificent city which
well derves a visit. Have a look at the Cathedral, the palaces and the
beautiful street corners. Don't miss the fishermen's village
(Fischerviertel): spend some time walking its small lanes.
Fifth stage: from Ulm to Dillingen: 71 km
One runs through the countryside, woods and nice towns. Stop in
Gaenzburg, see high street, Marktplatz and the small lanes. After
Donauwoerth, the train station of Rennertshofen offers the chance of a
ride on a steam engine train (bikes allowed!).
Sixth stage: from Dillingen to Neuburg an der Donau: 75 km
One is forced to follow a main, trafficked road, before getting back
to the path proper. Neuburg is surrounded by '300 walls. Try and stay
at the bed and breakfast of Ms Luise Reissner - Maehlenweg 25 1/ 2 -
tel 08431/44067. A nice house, great hospitality, and a lavish
Seventh stage: from Neuburg to Neustadt: 70 km
After a souvenir photo with Frau Reissner, we resume riding along the
Danube, going through woods. After the not-so-enjoyable crossing of
Ingolstadt, we got to Vohburg and Neustadt.
Eighth stage: from Neustadt to Regensburg: 70 km
We took one of the many options to cross the Danube, going from the
Weltenburg Abbey to Stausacker, on a wooden boat help by a rope, which
exploits just the energy of the current. From the Abbey, one may take
a short trip on the Danube on one of sightseeing boats, which land
here if the water level is high enough. We chose a diversion that
requires some climbing to get to the Befreiungshalle, with a very nice
view of the valley. We rode down to Kelheim and Regensburg, which
deserves a visit. There's a beautiful Bike Shop (Stadler -
Kirchmeierstrasse, 20 - Regensburg - tel. 0941/37880) that stores
about everything related to bicycles.
Ninth stage: from Regensburg to Straubing: 58 km
We chose another diversion to the Hill of Walhalla, a slightly
controversial XIX century mythological temple. Nice view, though. Back
down to the river, until Straubing.
Tenth stage: from Straubing to Deggendorf: 50 km
Starubing is surrounded by a beautiful countryside. The pretty town
has a very lively main square. Visit the church of St. Peter, with its
cemetery, and have a look at the frescoes inside. We did have a nice
stop at the Metten Abbey. We crossed the river again to get to
Eleventh stage: from Deggendorf to Passau: 63 km
Only the small town of Vilshofen offers some interest here. Passau,
the end of or trip, lies on the Austrian border; at the confluence of
Inn and Ilz into the Danube. Sort of a crowded tourist place. Plenty
of options for navigating along the Danube.