Many people consider Austria one of the most beautiful countries in the world because of its diverse and interesting landscapes. People also enjoy visiting this country to experience the history, culture, and cuisine. There are many ways to explore the best areas of the country and interesting way is to combine cruising and cycling. Tauck, a Connecticut-based tour operator, is offering such an experience that involves cruising down the famous Danube River with cycling side trips.
Travelers board ‘Joy’, the 130-passenger cruiser, in Vilshofen, Germany, to embark on a seven-day journey to Budapest along the Danube River. At various points along the way, passengers can disembark the boat to enjoy cycling trips in the surrounding area. Although the trip covers three countries, it is Austria that is the main focus of this busy vacation.
The first chance the passengers have to explore the area is the 18-mile trip starting at the quiet port of Engelhatszell in Austria. The cycle route covers hilly terrain, so it is challenging enough to keep things interesting. The first trip ends in a tiny town called Aschach where the cyclists can take a well-deserved break after a grueling day on two wheels.
Next on the cycling agenda is a route through the Krems district of Austria. This is a historic area with cobblestone streets. It is also home to the gateway to Wachau Valley where some of Austria’s finest wines are produced. At just eight miles, this ride is shorter than the first and is less challenging as it covers predominantly flat terrain. Nevertheless, the chance to sample some of the local vineyards produce at the end of the day is a welcome chance for refreshment and relaxation. Wine enthusiasts consider this the best area of Austria to visit if you plan to include wine tasting in your vacation schedule.
Fourth on the itinerary is a nine-mile trip around the Prater, which is a famous park in Vienna. This leg of the journey stops at the Hofburg Palace and this is one of the most spectacular buildings in Austria. For those interested in European history, this is potentially the highlight of the excursion.
The cycle trips take you through a combination of historic city destinations and stunning countryside and the terrain covered is varies. Therefore, it is a cycling experience that differs from all others. However, there is so much more to this trip than spending time in the outdoors on a bicycle as the trip offers you an all-round experience of Austria and Austrian culture.
One of the main features of the trip is the opportunity to visit and admire the landmarks and historical structures of Austria. These include the castle in Durnstein which offers spectacular views across the city of Vienna and the surrounding area due to its location at the top of a hill. The historic city streets are home to an eclectic mix of buildings, many of which are now home to bars and restaurants. Spending time at the end of the day in these venues is one of the greatest pleasures of the trip.
Many of the restaurants along the way serve traditional Austrian cuisine made from local ingredients, so you will have the opportunity to sample some delicious Austrian dishes. The style of the restaurants and the food they serve varies greatly, so you can sample both homely cooking in comfortable surroundings and fine dining cuisine in high-end establishments. Regardless of the type of restaurants you visit, you should try to sample at least one Weiner schnitzel during your trip as this is one of the most authentic
Drinking in the local bars is a chance to unwind at the end of the day and to soak up the night-time atmosphere in your settings. Many bars offer evening entertainment, so the fun doesn’t stop when you pack your bicycle away for the day.
Overall, this trip from Tauck offers a unique way to view Austria by combining boat travel with cycling. The famous Danube River is central to the trip, but some of the most beautiful cities in Austria also feature highly on this trip’s itinerary. Travelers will also have the chance to visit historic buildings and to sample some of the best food and drink the country has to offer.
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Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker