- June 10-20, 2013
- July 9-19, 2013 (this one is run in the other direction, i.e. Budapest to Prague)
We start our cycling adventure exploring the beautiful region of Southern Bohemia and Moravia - full of forests, meadows, and golden farmland, charming and fairy-like preserved medieval towns, Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance cathedrals, churches, and monasteries, and dreamlike castles, chateaus, and palaces. In Moravia, the main wine region of the country, we cycle past romantic vineyards and orchards on a roads lined with fruit trees.
Crossing the border into Austria, we meander through fertile vineyards of the renowned Weinvertel wine region. We then head south on the Green ways of the Leiserberge towards the Danube River and visit beautiful Vienna. Turning eastward along the Danube we cross the Slovak border into Bratislava, another major city on our route with its overlooked but beautiful historical center. We follow the Danube River into Hungary where we spend two nights. The first is in the former royal seat of Esztergom and the second, a perfect ending to our adventure, in the celebrated capital Budapest, which became the main Hungarian city after Esztergom.
Day 1: Prague. After you check-in we will regroup at the reception just before noon and set out for our three-hour introductory walking tour of Prague with a professional guide. In the evening, we will meet for a welcome dinner and orientation meeting.
Day 2: Prague - Cervena Lhota - Nova Bystrice (47 km/30 miles). After a breakfast at our pension, we load our bikes and board a bus that will take us to beautiful southern Bohemia. We start our day with a visit to the romantic chateaus of Cervena Lhota with its magnificent park lands. We set out on the road, riding on small, curvy, gently rolling country roads until we reach Jindrichuv Hradec.
After visiting this lively historical town, we set out once again on small country roads, this time through the slightly hilly, pristine Czech countryside nicknamed "Czech Canada" for its beauty and sparse population. Cycling on the small roads, often lined with apple trees, birches, or cherry trees, we arrive in Nova Bystrice, a small, charming town where time has stood still and where we spend the night.
Day 3: Nova Bystrice - Slavonice - Dacice - Telc (55 km/35 miles). Today offers so much to see. There are some climbs on the way but the rewards are more than worth it. First of all, after a short ride from our hotel, we visit the Gothic Landstejn Castle built in the 12th century as a fort. The spectacular views of "Czech Canada" from the top of the castle's watchtower are worth the climb. If we are lucky, we may even be able to shoot some medieval crossbows on the castle ground. Next we ride to Slavonice, one of the best preserved historical towns in Europe and nicknamed the Renaissance Pearl.
We visit the town's main Renaissance square and enter a café whose building dates back to the 1500's. Another Renaissance town on the way is the town of Dacice, with its beautifully renovated chateaus in the Empire style. Today's route ends at the remarkable 13th century town of Telc. We have a guided tour of the splendid local Chateaus scheduled for the afternoon. In the evening, you can take a stroll around the magnificent main square and have a beer or glass of wine in one of the charming restaurants or cafes.
Day 4: Telc - Znojmo (83 km/52 miles). After breakfast, we cycle through the moderately hilly and picturesque Czech-Moravian Highlands, with many enchanting villages and small towns along the way. For those who like old architecture (from Gothic, through Renaissance, to Baroque) there is plenty to see on the way. Eventually we enter the major wine region of southern Moravia and arrive in its main town of Znojmo, a royal town, once again with beautiful Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture dating back to the 11th century. The oldest and most precious of the many cultural monuments of this town is the Rotunda of St. Catherine, decorated with remarkable mural paintings unique in the Czech Republic. We spend the rest of the afternoon walking through the city and exploring its treasures, then have a delectable meal at our 4-star hotel complete with pool and sauna.
Day 5: Znojmo - Vienna (108 km/67 miles). We leave Znojmo traveling southeast and into the Dyje River Valley skirting the Czech border. This part of the route is completely flat. At Hevlin, we cross the border to Laa a.d. Thaya, an Austrian spa town, and pedal for a while through the Weinviertel region famous for its vineyards, orchards, and fields. We then reach the Nature Park Leiser Berge, where we cycle some undulating landscapes along the bike path towards the town of Stockerau on the Danube. From Stockerau, it's only a short distance (about 16 km) along the famous Danube bike path into the alluring capital city of Austria.
Day 6: Day Off in Vienna. Today you enjoy sightseeing Vienna! Once the capital of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Vienna has the reputation of being a thoroughly cosmopolitan city offering a friendly, laid back atmosphere, ornate buildings, funky nightspots, wondrous Viennese coffeehouses and lots of history.
Day 7: Vienna - Bratislava (74 km/46 miles). We leave the "Emperor's City" and follow the Danube River along flat, riparian woodlands that alternate with peaceful meadows. We then come to the city of Hainburg, the most easterly town of Lower Austria. Then we cycle past the Devin Castle at the confluence of the Danube and March Rivers before setting off through the Hainburg Gate into Slovakia. Shortly after we arrive in the young nation's charming capital of Bratislava. Before dinner we enjoy a guided tour of the historical center of the city.
Day 8: Bratislava - Velky Meder (86 km/54 miles). Leaving Bratislava, we follow the Danube on the bike path. Several of the Danube's shoulders along the way provide "lakes" with crystal-clear water that serve as an ideal place for swimming. We enjoy the rich fauna and flora, if lucky we see rare bird species, such as the sea eagle, purple heron and little egret, as well as experience the countless quiet nooks that give the region a poetic magic. The paved part of the bike path ends in the village of Cicov. From there we join small roads cycling past enchanting Slovak farming villages until we reach the spa town of Velky Meder. We visit its thermal spa before dinner.
Day 9: Velky Meder - Esztergom (100 km/63 miles). We continue today following the Danube bends through the town of Komarno, one of the oldest settlements in the Carpathian Basin. Archaeological finds here place human settlement during the Bronze Age. Traveling eastward, we follow the Danube on its northern bank along quiet roads until we reach Sturovo. From here it's just a short ride across the border to Hungary and across the Maria Valeria bridge into the ancient royal town of Esztergom. Known as the pearl of the Danube bend for its extraordinary views of the river, Esztergom has a rich history dating back to 970 AD.
Day 10: Esztergom - Budapest. After a hearty breakfast, we transfer by bus into Budapest. We enjoy most of the day sightseeing on our own before meeting that evening at a sumptuous farewell dinner at our unique hotel lodging on the Danube River.
Day 11: Budapest. After breakfast, our trip is officially over.
Also see tour packages in:
Europe Czech Republic Hungary Austria Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Archeology/History
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