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Biking Vacation Hungary & Slovakia: The Best of the Danube​

Activity Level: Easy  |  Daily Mileage: 15 – 35 mi  |  Daily Biking: 2 – 4 hr
Air package plus
10 days from only
$2745
Price includes roundtrip airfare.
Land only
7 days from only
$2045
Pre-trip Extension:
Bratislava · 2 nights $245

Post-trip Extension:
Budapest · 2 nights $295
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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart U.S. / Fly overnight to Vienna

Depart the U.S. for Austria. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed in your flight itinerary.

Day 2 - Arrive Vienna / Transfer to Bratislava, Slovakia

VBT Air Package guests: Upon arrival at Vienna International Airport, proceed through immigration, claim your luggage, and clear customs. If your luggage is delayed, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area—VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. (Please note: Also make certain that your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you.) After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall and look for your VBT representative, who will be holding a VBT sign. They will transfer you by van to your Bratislava hotel. (Transfer time is approximately 60 minutes depending on traffic.)

VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do in Bratislava during your stay.

Day 3 - Bratislava, Slovakia / Warm-up ride along the Danube / Pálinka tasting & welcome dinner

VBT No-Air Package guests: Meet your VBT Trip Leaders at the Arcadia Hotel in Bratislava at 10:00 am. (Frantiskanska 3, Bratislava; tel: +421 2 5949 0500). Please contact the hotel to advise of any travel delays or changes so the staff can pass the message on to your VBT Trip Leaders.

VBT Air Package and Pre-Trip Extension guests: Meet your VBT Trip Leaders at 10:00 am. They will be wearing VBT staff garments. Please have your bags out for collection before 9:00 am, so they may be picked up for transfer to our next hotel. This morning, join your fellow travelers and VBT Trip Leaders for a brief orientation and a short walk with your bicycles through Bratislava's historic pedestrian streets. The Danube bike path is just a short walk from our hotel. We begin our tour by cycling across the Danube under Bratislava's Novy Most (New Bridge), which is famous for its striking UFO Café offering panoramic views from the top of the bridge.

We continue on the bicycle path along the Slovakian (south) shore of the Danube. After a short ride, we arrive in the town of Cunovo, where we find a Danube lock and dam whose wall is perfect for a leisurely ride. At the end of the dam, the unusual Danubiana Meulensteen Modern Art museum (closed on Mondays) juts into the Danube. Enjoy lunch on your own at one of the restaurants on the dam. Upon returning to the Danube shores, you may notice one of Slovakia's Olympian rafters practicing in the artificial rafting canal.

We leave Slovakia and the shores of the Danube via small country roads and pedal across the border into our first Hungarian town, Rajka. From Rajka, enjoy a quiet ride on back roads through the beautiful Hungarian countryside before arriving to the town of Dunakiliti-Tejfalusziget. Here we will learn about and sample pálinka—Hungary's national fruit brandy—during a presentation given by a local distillery. Afterwards, we shuttle to the village of Röjtökmuzsaj and our accommodations in a Hungarian manor house.

In the evening, get to know your fellow travelers and Trip Leaders at our welcome reception, followed by a hearty Hungarian dinner.

Day 4 - Pan-European Memorial Park / Fertod Lake UNESCO World Heritage Site / Sopron

After breakfast, we cycle to the thermal city of Balf where we pass the UNESCO protected linden tree alley of the Nagycenk Szechenyi castle—once home to the noblest family in Hungary's history. We head further into the Fertod lake region with a scenic ride in this UNESCO World Heritage Site before arriving to the Pan-European Memorial Park and our picnic lunch. This historical park along the former Iron Curtain is a memory of the dramatic year of 1989, when most of the communist regimes collapsed in Europe. Hungary played a major role in this, since they opened up the borders for the Eastern German tourists who did not wish to return to their homeland after their summer holiday in Hungary. On this very spot there was a significant breakthrough for the East Germans to the freedom of the West on August 19, 1989. After our lunch, we continue our ride to Hungary's westernmost town of Sopron with its unique history dating back to the Roman times. Sopron unites Roman memories with medieval buildings, splendid Baroque architecture and 20th century history. After our independent visit of Sopron you may either shuttle back to our hotel or continue with additional riding in the afternoon.

Tonight, enjoy dinner on your own.

Day 5 - Esterházy / Esztergom

This morning we ride to the spectacular 18th century Esterházy palace—often referred to as "Hungary's Versailles". We will tour the castle and learn more about the famous composer Josef Haydn who worked in the palace as a court musician for the royal family.
 
Next, we transfer to the small village of Neszmely, where we're invited into the home of our lunch hostess. She will share her secrets for making the perfect strudel during a Hungarian cooking demonstration.

Later in the afternoon, you'll be amazed as the colossal basilica towering over Esztergom comes into view—from miles away! Esztergom was Hungary's capital for over two centuries, and you'll have time for a short ride in the area. Explore Esztergom at your leisure this evening from your ideally located accommodation. Dinner is on your own this evening.

Day 6 - Slovakian countryside / Danube / Visegrad

Today, we cross the bridge over the Danube from Esztergom to the Slovakian city of Sturovo. Spend the morning reeling through bountiful farmlands before descending back to the shores of the Danube. As we continue along the International Danube Bike Path, enjoy some of the most spectacular vistas of the Danube.

We re-enter Hungary at the town of Nagymaros. Here, we board a ferry for the short ride across the Danube to the historic village of Visegrad. As you view Visegrad Citadel towering above us, you'll understand how the city got its name—Visegrad is Slavic for “High-Castle.” We'll bicycle through the lush forests at its base toward our picnic spot and a special lunch. We'll help our host and chef prepare a typical Hungarian feast over an open fire. While our lunch is cooking, you might stroll along one of the forest paths to view the beautiful streams and waterfalls.

After lunch, we set off on our return ride to Esztergom. Tonight, we dine in a local restaurant.

Day 7 - Danube cruise / Vac / Szentendre Island

Cross back into Slovakia this morning for a relaxing boat ride on the river Danube. Arriving in Nagymaros, we cycle around the Danube Bend to the town of Vác. There'll be time to explore this quaint town before taking a ferry to Szentendre Island, set in the middle of the Danube. With peaceful villages and a pastoral setting, this island is a cyclist's heaven. We'll stop at a wonderful horse farm to enjoy lunch and watch a show performed by skilled riders in traditional Hungarian costumes.

After lunch, we wheel around Szentendre Island before crossing back to the mainland and our bike path. Our accommodations for our final two nights are directly on the bike path, overlooking the Danube's shores. Enjoy a wonderful swim in the hotel's pool before dining on your own, either on the hotel's terrace overlooking the Danube or in the town of Szentendre.

Day 8 - Skanzen / Szentendre

This morning's spin along the Danube Bike Trail leads to the Skanzen open-air museum. Here, recreated villages reveal the typical architecture and lifestyle of each of the seven regions of Hungary. Enjoy time to explore the museum, then cycle back to the town of Szentendre. Here, you'll meet one of the local artists and have time to explore the many stores and art galleries, with lunch on your own.

Return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure. This evening, gather with your fellow passengers for an unforgettable evening and a farewell dinner.

Day 9 - Budapest / VBT No-Air Package ends

After breakfast, we'll conclude our Danube odyssey with a ride on the Danube Bike Trail, passing the third-century Roman ruins of Aquincum. Continuing toward central Budapest, we'll cycle through Margaret Island, one of the finest parks of Europe, enjoying views of its beautiful rose and Japanese gardens. We arrive at our hotel in Budapest—the Andrassy Mamaison—at about 11:00 am, and our tour comes to an end.

VBT No-Air Package guests: Our tour concludes at the hotel after this morning's bicycle ride. The hotel will help you book a taxi at your own expense to the airport. Important: Train or air departures from Budapest prior to 1:00 pm are not recommended. If you depart earlier, you are responsible for your own transfer arrangements from the last hotel.

VBT Air Package: Spend tonight at the Mamaison Andrassy Hotel, one of the Leading Small Hotels of the World. VBT provides you with City Information in your Final Travel Booklet containing recommendations on what to do during your stay in Budapest. Your included day pass for Budapest's renowned public transportation system makes it easy to explore.

Day 10 - Depart for U.S.

After breakfast*, transfer to the Budapest airport (approximately 30 minutes) for your departing flight**. Please note: Ensure that you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time. VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your “Transfer Reminder” or with the hotel's reception desk the night before your flight.

Please note*: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

Please note**: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.



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