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Danube - Advice please

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WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Danube - Advice please

We are a family of 5 from New Zealand, and, having just finished our very first cycle tour, we are looking to our next adventure on two wheels.
Our first tour was following the Rhein, going downstream, predominantly through Switzerland. This was 11 days long with 1 rest day, and just right for us. For our next trip, we would love to follow the Danube, and imagine we will probably start in Austria. We are just starting to plan and would love any advice Warm Showers community members can offer.

Currently thinking:
Tour to be about 2 weeks long, but up to three weeks maximum.
End in Serbia where we have friends. Keen to travel through Austria, Slovakia and Croatia. Flat to downhill route ideally (we have a 6 year old, so it needs to be achievable for her).
We need to get to a staring point - I'm guessing in Austria and we are currently based in Luzerne, Switzerland. How do we cheaply get to a starting point on the Danube and where do you recommend beginning the route?
Are there any areas/landmarks/activities that you feel are a 'must-see'?
How is it camping in these countries? Any experience travelling this route yourself?

Thanks community!
Nz Cycle Family

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WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Danube - Advice please

Hello Aria & family, only now spotted your message. If it is not too late, here the following info. I assume you are probably looking at some 50-70 km per day. Depending on how far in Serbia you want to get, I would recommend either Passau in Germany on the border to Austria or Vienna as the starting point. From Vienna to Belgrade you are looking at some 700 km, so 10+ days. For tickets was just looking at the German rail website bahn.de for family of your size Luzerne to Passau it would be incl. bicycle transport around 250 Euros. For route planning I would recommend Mapy.cz as they have all the cycling path clearly marked there plus you can see the altitude of the route for better planning. As to camping, here some links: https://www.camping.info/en, https://campspace.com/en/discover/tent-pitches. I know the routes personally in parts of Austria and Slovakia and you can contact me if you wish more info. Good luck and enjoy!

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Iron Gates

13 years ago my wife and I cycled from Finland to Greece and Turkey through Central Europe. At the time I knew it as Eastern Europe but the locals got really offended and told us Eastern Europe was only Belarus and Russia ;-) The bit of the Danube we cycled along for maybe 4 days was the famous Iron Gates section in Serbia with Romania on the other side of the river. Very beautiful section and what hills were there were nothing major in a river valley. Serbia was also easier on the pocket, I remember paying about € 4 for us to camp and between € 10 and 20 for a double room in hotel or even own fully equipped apt. The part I talk about is from Smederevo to Kladavo.

WS Member ユーザー WS Member の写真
Danube cycling tips

Cycling the Danube sounds like a fantastic plan! My wife and I did a bike tour from Passau to Vienna some years back which was our first introduction to the concept of "self-guided" touring in Europe. (We're retired Americans.) That section of the Danube was wonderful to bike along. The path mostly follows the old river towpath so it's flat with little to no motor traffic. The company that arranged our tour gave us the Bikeline Cycling Guide for the Danube which is a wonderful series of 3 guide books (a separate book each section of the river} which contain maps showing where the cycling paths are (left side, right side or both sides of the river), where bridges and ferries are, interesting places visit such as museums, monasteries and churches and so on.

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Inn River

Instead of riding the German portion of the Danube, consider starting at the headwaters of the Inn River in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The Inn is a tributary to the Danube, joining at Passau (at the German/Austrian border). I bicycled the first 150 km of this route in 2015. Very pretty, and not particularly hilly, given that it goes through the Alps. Easy camping.

It might be a bit much for a 6 year old, though. Even if it wouldn't work out this time, something to consider for the future.

(re-reading your original post you are planning to start in Austria anyway, so, probably not applicable. But, material for future plans. The Danube is known for being very long and flat. But the Inn, one of its major tributaries, flows through the Alps for 100s of kilometers, and has much more interesting landscape scenery.)