For adventurers seeking an active holiday, steeped in local history with exquisite environments, the Danube Cycle Route offers incredible variety in a spectacular location.
SouthWest Germany includes the pristine mountains and the luscious green of its national parks, with hoppy aromas of local ale and decadent cakes and pastries offering sustenance along the way. The Danube Cycle Route is one of Europe’s most popular cycle routes, excellent for casual cyclists or families with children.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
What is the Danube Cycle Route?
Starting out in SouthWest Germany, the River Danube flows for over 1800 miles, straight through the heart of Europe before finishing in Romania and spilling out into the Black Sea. The Danube Cycle Path follows Europe’s second longest waterway for much of its length, passing through 10 countries in total, including Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.
There is plenty to see along the way, from beautiful landscapes to culturally significant landmarks and world heritage sites. The quiet country roads, dedicated paths and mostly flat terrain make it perfect for cyclists of all abilities.
Where in Germany is it?
From the Danube’s source in Donaueschingen, in the Black Forest, it broadens and begins to meander through the spectacular woods and farmland of Baden-Württemberg, before cutting through Bavaria and into Austria. In total, 600km of the Danube runs through Germany, but the highlights of the cycle route are predominantly at the beginning of the cycle route in Baden-Württemberg.
Why head to Baden-Württemberg?
SouthWest Germany is the cradle of the bike. It was invented in 1817 in Mannheim, so is celebrating its 200 year anniversary this year — what better reason to pay tribute to its birthplace?
Given the sheer length of the route, the vast majority of cyclists choose to take on a specific section, rather than the entire route. The location of Baden-Württemberg includes a spectacular range of scenery, with luscious woodland and the Black Forest, and mountains close to the borders with France and Switzerland. As well as natural beauty, the area includes beautiful Baroque architecture, Bronze Age villages and some of the best breweries that Europe has to offer.
Hit the slopes on time
The beginning (or the end, depending on where you start) of the Danube Cycle Route sits near Furtwangen, a city located in the Black Forest. Genuine, traditional Black Forest heritage is provided through the German Clock Museum and the world’s largest cuckoo clock in the town of Schonach. It stands 15 feet across, weighs six tons, and features a cuckoo, which appears on the half-hour, weighing in at 330 pounds.
The mountainous area of Donaubergland is brilliant for hikers and climbers. If the time in the saddle isn’t providing enough of a challenge, then any of the eight hiking trails in the area offer an active alternative. Everything is clearly signposted and the paths are well graded so that you can handpick the routes that suit. Further down the cycle route, there are other hiking opportunities — as well as a treat for history buffs — near Herbertingen, where you can hike, cycle and paddle around one of Europe’s most important archaeological sites; a citadel from the 7th-5th century BC that was the seat for a Celtic royal family.
Both the Black Forest Highlands and the Upper Danube Nature Park offer brilliant options for hiking, with the latter including rugged cliffs and 500km of trails, while the river is ideal for canoeists and kayakers.
Coffee and cake
Or, as it’s known locally, Kaffee und Kuchen. This part of the country boasts the traditional cake, Donauwellen, which translates directly as “Danube wave”. The vanilla and chocolate cake is flavoured with sour cherries, buttercream and cocoa, and along with a cup of coffee offers the perfect post-cycle treat, especially while sitting in one of the local medieval town squares in the area.
Unsurprisingly, the standard of local beer in SouthWest Germany is excellent. Part of the cycle route takes riders through the city of Ehingen, which boasts four historic breweries alone, offering 43 different beers as well as seasonal offerings. Choose as much or as little as you like, have a swift sup or get involved in any of the museums, tours and brewing workshops available, and if you’re looking for some extra guidance download the Ehingen app for a Beer Culture Hiking Trail or even stay in the world’s first BeerCulture Hotel.
Step back in time
In Tuttlingen, head to the romantic ruins of the 15th century Honberg Castle and the protestant parish church, as well as the oldest Art Nouveau church in south west Germany.
Schloss Sigmaringen is Germany’s second largest castle within a city and still belongs to the Hohenzollern family. Fans of art can take a look around the grand galleries, full of antiques, paintings and porcelain. Those of a more abrasive inclination can view the huge collection of weapons, from medieval era to present day. Along the cycle route, the sign featuring the yellow cherub on a green background highlights the area’s Baroque heritage, full of romantic castles, abbeys and ceiling frescos.
Pass through the town of Blaubeuren and riders can go back as far as the Palaeolithic era. The Urgeschichtliche Museum features the oldest example of figurative prehistoric art in the world, Venus vom Hohlefels. Cycle on a little further to the Ulm Museum and you’ll get to see the 40,000-year-old “Lion Man”, one of the world’s earliest figurative sculptures.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.