Prague to Budapest via Vienna and Bratislava (11 days)

Prague to Budapest via Vienna and Bratislava (11 days)

Date

  • May 20-30, 2017

Price

  • $2,390 USD or $3,150 AUD (single supplement $480 USD or $630 AUD)*

Level of difficulty

  • Moderate

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Overview

Join us for an odyssey on two wheels to experience four countries - the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary - and their capitals, the jewels of the former Austrian-Hungarian Empire - Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest.

We start our cycling adventure by 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, chateaux, and palaces. In Moravia, the main wine region of the country, we cycle past romantic vineyards and orchards on tree lined roads.

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Crossing the border into Austria, we meander through the fertile vineyards of the renowned Weinvertel wine region. We then head south on the Greenways 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.

We strongly recommend that you arrive in Prague a few days before the tour in order to explore this beautiful city. There is plenty of accommodation available in Prague but for those interested we can reserve a room for you at Pension Alpin, where we stay the first day of our tour. The pension is conveniently located and is within walking distance of the historical center of Prague, and the staff speak English and are very bike-friendly.

What's Included

  • 10 nights lodging in selected 3-star to 4-star hotels and pensions.
  • Hearty breakfasts every morning and 7 wonderful dinners.
  • Bilingual tour guide and ride leaders on route.
  • Van support with snack stops along the route; luggage transport.
  • Walking tours, including sightseeing in Prague and Bratislava.
  • Excursion fees to selected castles and chateaux, one night of wine tasting or folk music, thermal spa visit.
  • Option for extended stay in Prague and Budapest.

Itinerary**

Day One: Prague - Check-in and Sightseeing

After you check-in (for those who are just arriving), 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.

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Day Two: 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 chateau of Cervena Lhota with its magnificent parklands.

We set out on the road, riding on small, curvy, gently rolling country roads until we reach Jindrichuv Hradec, the beautifully preserved Renaissance cultural center of southern Bohemia complete with a Gothic castle and Renaissance chateau. We enjoy lunch and some sightseeing here.

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 birch or cherry trees, we arrive in Nova Bystrice, a small, charming town where time has stood still and where we spend the night.

Day Three: Nova Bystrice - Slavonice - 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 mediaeval 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 have a coffee in a café whose building dates back to the 1500's. Very famous pieces of local pottery can be seen (and purchased) in the café itself or in the gallery adjoining the café.

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Another Renaissance town on the way is the town of Dacice, with its beautifully renovated chateau in the Empire style. We suggest you take a lunch break here and enjoy a delicious meal in one of the restaurants on the town's lively square.

Today's route ends at the remarkable 13th century town of Telc. We have a guided tour of the splendid local Chateau 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 Four: 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 Five: 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.

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Day Six: Day Off in Vienna

Today you enjoy sightseeing Vienna! Once the capital of the Austro-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 Seven: 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 Eight: 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. Sauna and massages are also available (subject to availability).

Day Nine: Velky Meder - Esztergom (100 km / 63 miles)

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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. One can easily spend a whole day in Esztergom exploring its Castle Hill, Water Town and the Danube riverbank.

Day Ten: Esztergom - Budapest (transfer)

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 botel lodging on the Danube River.

Day Eleven: Budapest

After breakfast, our trip is officially over. Those desiring to spend more time sightseeing this beautiful capital city will stay a few more days.

Trip Difficulty

For full enjoyment of the trip, you should come prepared to complete the 60-85 km / 40-60 mile days comfortably on rolling to moderately hilly terrain. Most of the hilly terrain occurs in the first four days of the trip in the Bohemia countryside. The route then becomes gently rolling as we reach Austria and flatter into Slovakia as we ride on greenways and in proximity of the Danube River.

We try to design our route along small, quiet, and picturesque roads with as little car traffic as possible and/or bike paths that enhance our sightseeing of the local areas. For the most part road surfaces will be of very good or good quality.

Transportation

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Prague is serviced by Vaclav Havel Airport, located just west of the city center. There is both public transportation and reasonably priced shuttle service available from the airport to Prague.

Budapest is serviced by Ferihegy Airport located just southeast of the city center. There is ample, easy and fast public transportation as well as airport run shuttle services.

Your trip Welcome Letter will provide detailed directions to our lodging in Prague and instructions on how to use public transportation or secure a shuttle ride from the airport.

Bike Rental

If you wish to rent a bike from us, we have the following fully serviced, light, quality, road/fitness bikes available:

  • Fuji Absolute 2, 3, and 4, flat handlebars
  • Fuji Newest 1 and 2, drop handlebars
  • Fuji Roubaix 1.3, drop handlebars

Your rental bike comes with a rear luggage rack, bungie cord, extra tube and levers, water bottle cage, pump, lock, and odometer. The price for renting a bike for this tour is $200 for Fuji Absolute or $270 for Fuji Newest or Fuji Roubaix.

* Our expenses are mostly payable in Euros. Because of the constant fluctuations in currency rates, we reserve the right to increase the trip price. The trip price may increase depending on the currency exchange rate of the Euro to the USD and/or AUD at the moment of your final payment. The trip price shall increase if the USD/Euro exchange rate exceeds 1.20 and/or AUD/Euro exchange rate exceeds 1.60.

** We reserve the right to change the itinerary without notice especially, but not only, for safety reasons

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Czech Active Tours > Tours > Guided Tours > Prague to Budapest via Vienna and Bratislava (11 days)