From Dresden to Vienna through Prague
This trip connects three countries, and the three rivers the Elbe, the Vltava, and the Danube. Dresden, Prague and Vienna are the highlights of this bicycle tour. These three towns have been the residency of the ruling families of Germany, the Czech Republic, and Austria for centuries. They still fulfill their role of administrative capitals today. These three cities represent what happened the past ages, in the form of stunning architecture, cultural development, and technological progression.
You will cycle on bicycle paths along the Elbe and Vltava river between Dresden and Prague. You start of by cycling through the beautiful Elbe Sandstone mountains, you have the chance to hike a stretch of “Malerweg” to see all the sights that were painted during the high period of romanticism in this region. You will reach the Czech Republic. You will be glad that you’re cycling past a river when you see all the forested hills on your side, then you will cycle into the agricultural heart of Bohemia where most of Czechia’s fruit and produce is cultivated. You will cycle through Terezin, a fortress town with a dark past before you reach Czech’s northernmost wine region in Melnik. Make sure to peek at the Czech holy mountain –an old basalt volcano- when you’ve reached the top of Melnik, also the church in Melnik hosts an unique bone chapel. Then cycle past the “castle lane” –The royalty built their outhouses close to Prague, so you will come across a lot of chateaus when you cycle to Prague- and into Prague. After Prague we will go into the Bohemian highlands which means that the terrain becomes more hilly and therefore offers great sights into the surroundings. We will go through the Hussite land and then end up in Telc, an unesco world heritage town because of the facades of the buildings in the market square. From Telc we go into the Dyji canyon which forms the natural border between Moravia and Austria, resulting in many castles build on the canyon walls. Finally we head into Austria and immediately enter the wine region with its many small wine cellars snuggled into the hills. Finally we head to the Donau river and its marsh forests and follow them until we reach Vienna.
The route takes you along asphalted rural roads with little to no traffic on them, and designated bicycle paths where cars are forbidden to drive on. The daily stretch is mostly flat or slightly hilly, and the towns in which you spend the night are distanced 30 – 45 miles apart. No halfboard in Hollabrunn and Vienna.Day-by-day schedule
You will arrive in Dresden where the bicycle tour starts. Spend the day discovering this amazing city. You can visit the recently renovated Frauenkirche. You can take a guided tour in the former residency chateau of the king of Saxony, and to top it all of: See a play in the Semper opera. You will receive your bikes in the hotel, if you rented them, together with all attributes belonging to the trip such as maps and a route description.
The route takes you directly along the Elbe river the whole time; you don´t climb any hills at all! You will cycle past the baroque chateau Pillnitz, the former summer residency of the Saxon king, with its vast parks. You continue your journey via Pirna, a city with a wonderful historical inner city. After visiting the inner city, you keep cycling along the Elbe. It has carved out its way in the sandstone rock, showing you the sandstone ridge at the top of the valley, whilst its slopes are filled with lush green forests.
Eventually you will reach the castle Königstein, from which you can enjoy the view into the Elbe valley. Finally you reach Bad Schandau, a spa town which gained fame by the aristocracy who always came here for treatments. You can follow a hiking route to one of the cold water springs, which cold water is said to help improve your blood circulation.
You will cycle past the hardly noticeable Czech – German border, and soon after you will arrive in Decin. This old town still has a large part of its old city wall intact, and the chateau is open for the public.
You will switch from riverside today, and cycle this stretch on the left river bank. You will cycle past castle Groß Priesen towards Usti nad Labem (Labe is the Czech name for the Elbe). Usti nad Labem is painting-like when viewed upon from a distance, wedged in between the hilly landscape of the Bohemian Middle mountain ranges. You have the opportunity to hike towards the old famous ruin of Burg Schreckenstein (Fortress Fearstone), from here you have a one of a kind view over the Elbe valley. From Usti nad Labem on, you will cycle towards the bishop’s city of Litomerice, one of the oldest cities in Bohemia. It is located on a fertile land tongue where the Eger river flows into the Elbe. Litomerice is mesmerizing with its harmonic square, surrounded by manors of various kinds of architecture.
This day has a rather sad start as you cycle past Terezin, a former concentration camp. The village was originally build as an impenetrable fortress to prevent others to exert control over the surrounding lands. Because it was so impenetrable the Nazi’s decided that this was the perfect place to keep the Jewish population imprisoned. Nowadays there is a museum dedicated to the former ghetto, and a monument honoring all those that lost their lives to the Nazi’s.
Halfway on today’s route you will reach Roudnice, in the South-East of this town the famous mountain Rip is located. The legend tells that the patriarch of the Czech people told his people from here to move into the surrounding lands.
The route continues to the point where the Vltava and Elbe flow together. You will cycle to the city of Melnik which is located majestically on the hill above this important landmark. From the promenade you can see how the two rivers seal their friendship. The hill has the most northern vineyard in the Czech Republic.
Today’s route takes you further upstream along the Vltava. Cycling up the valley hill is rewarded with a fast descent to the river. You switch riversides just before the Veltrusy chateau, and cycle along the chateau shortly before you enter Prague. Then you will cycle past the Troja castle, with its beautiful gardens. The imposing baroque building from the 17th century houses a significant collection of Czech paintings from the 19th century. You will reach the ‘Golden City’ after crossing the Vltava one last time.
No cycling today! This is your day to visit Prague.
Prague has many nicknames such as the City with a Hundred Towers, and is visited by many tourists from all over the world. There are many highlights in this city such as King Charles Bridge, with its famous statue’s and many artists. From here you can see the Fortress and the Cathedral look after the rest of the city. The Hradcin is the old fortress where the parliament is still seated today, it also contains a magnificent cathedral and beautiful botanical gardens You can visit the old Jewish Cemetery with old untouched graves, or visit St. Wenclas market square with the famous astronomical clock.
The Mala Strana is the quarter where many artists have their galleries and where ambassies and consulates are located.
Writer Franz Grillparzer had an explanation of why the town has a magical attraction: ‘’Prague embodies the existence of the old and ancient values next to the new and dynamic world in such a small area, a story told in the form of buildings.’’
The cycling of part two of the tour starts today. You will cycle away from hectic Prague trough many sleepy villages, where it look like that the time stands still. You will enjoy many panoramas on your way to Benesov. You can pay a visit to Konopiste castle. Where Ferdinand, the crown prince of the Habsburg Empire, lived before he was assassinated in Sarajevo, which initiated the Great War (First World War). The castle contains over 300 000 hunting trophies!
You will cycle trough the patchwork countryside from Benesov to Tabor. Tabor has a beautiful old inner city with many small alleys and many houses painted in different pastel colours. Tabor was founded in 1420 by the reformist Jan Hus.
You will reach Jindrichuv Hradec via many small roads. You will cycle trough valleys and along fields towards the Cervena Lhota castle. It is a fairytale like castle where a lot of movies where filmed. You will cycle trough forests and trough the Nezarka basin towards Jindrichuv Hradec. Jindrichuv Hradec (Neuhaus) is an old town build around a fortress, Czechs founded the city in the 10th century. It is located on the bank of a lake, which gives the town a romantic atmosphere.
You will pass along many small villages on your route today, such as Velka Lhota and Strmilov. Most villages have one restaurant in which you can still get authentic Bohemian or Moravian food. You will cycle trough an ever changing landscape until you reach Telc at the end of the day. You have plenty of time to explore this pittoresk town, located in the hilly Bohemian-Moravian border landscape. There are a lot of gothic, renaissance and baroque styled houses in the old city which are worth taking pictures of. The main arched market square is listed as Unesco world heritage due to its varying architecture and historical value.
Today you will cycle for a big part of the route along the Austrian border. You will cycle trough Slavonice, a pretty town with many intresting buildings such as the Maria church, and the main square. You are able to shorten the route by taking the train. You will spend the night in Vranov, a town with a long history. The first inhabitants settled here around 1050. Vranov is located 3 km/2 miles from the Austrian border.
You will cycle trough a beautiful piece of hilly landscape from Vranov to Hollabrunn. You will cycle past a great recreation area and a big reservoir. In the gorge below flows the Thaya river, which once formed the border between Austria and Moravia. You can clearly see this by all the castles on its banks. You will leave the Czech Republic and cycle along vineyards over small rural roads to the south. Hollabrunn was first mentioned in 1135, when count Diepold III donated three vineyards and some pastures to the local monastary.
Our hotel offers not on all weekdays halfboard, You will find some restaurant recommendations in the route description.
You will cycle to Stockerau first, which has a rich cultural history due to its location near the Danube. You will cycle on small roads through farmland, with the occasional hills.
Between Stockerau and the Danube is a large forest. Subsequently you will cross the famous river. Then you will follow the Danube bicycle path, which is very popular in the summer. You will have no trouble cycling trough this flat landscape and over the hills of Klosterneuburg to Vienna. You will cycle into Vienna along the Danube canal. If you are too tired for this last part of the journey, it is possible to take the train from Tulln to Vienna.
Our hotel offers no halfboard, You will find some restaurant recommendations in the route description.
Vienna is the capital of Austria. It has been the Austrian centre of power for centuries. First Austria was ruled for a long period by the Habsburgs, and nowadays by a democratically chosen parliament. It all started with a Roman camp being build where the old city centre is now. You can still recognize the roman street patterns today. Vienna has a lot to offer, ranging from opera’s to disco's, dozens of museums, many parks, various styles of architecture and a lot of cultural attractions.
After your breakfast your journey ends. You will get back to Prague by train. You can take your bike and luggage with you in the train, if you have rented a bike you can leave it at the hotel. For your convience it´s also possible to book a special transfer back to your starting point (hotel, airport etc.).
It is not a problem for us to extend your stay in Dresden, Vienna or Prague. In fact we recommend it, because these three cities have too much to offer to see in only one or two days!
Level: 2 of 5
Total length of the tour: 616 km / 385 miles
|13 nights in three or four star hotels / pensions||€ 1285|
|Double room, incl. breakfast||Included|
|Detailed maps and gps files (gpx / kml)||Included|
|24-Hour SOS service||Included|
|Trekking bike (21-27 gears)||€ 190|
|E-bike (8 gears)||€ 360|
|Single room||€ 1545|
|Surcharge solo traveller||€ 240|
|triple room / family room (4 beds)||€ 1210 / 1210|
|11 x Half board||€ 295|
|Extra night first hotel (single, double, triple, quad)||€ 95 / 110 / 160 / 210|
|Extra night last hotel (single, double, triple, quad)||€ 95 / 110 / 150 / 200|
|Special transfer back to first hotel (max. 4 Pers. / max. 8 Pers.)||€ 575 / 575|
|GPS device||€ 25|
Rented bikes are fully equipped: bags, lights, locks, map holder, incl. service