Danube Bike Path: the Upper Austrian section
It is a classic amongst Upper Austria's bike paths, the Danube Bike Path. Bikers using a tow path – they used to serve for pulling ships upstream using horses – was the beginning of sectioned bike paths. Between the Schlögener Schlinge, Grein and the Strudengau, the Danube still has its magical effect on bikers.
The Danube is a river with symbolic power, since it connects Europe from the west to the east. The Danube Bike Path mostly runs near the Danube and a slight decline is noticeable on the way downstream. East of Passau, the bikes roll into Upper Austria. In the Upper Danube Valley, a stop at Engelszell Monastery, the only Trappist monastery in Upper Austria, is recommendable.
A grand natural spectacle is offered by the Schlögener Schlinge, where the massive bedrock forces the river to take two turns. Located directly on the Danube, the towns of Aschach and Ottensheim and the Wilhering Monastery are inviting for taking a break. Upper Austria’s capital of Linz, the European Capital of Culture in 2009, receives the Danube bikers with nature and culture; The Ars Electronica Center and the Lentos Art Museum are located directly on the river, just like the Donaupark, the venue for the famous “Klangwolken” of Linz, and the Bruckner House, the focus of the Bruckner Festival in the autumn.
Former trading posts line the Danube east of Linz: Mauthausen or Grein, further downstream. Here, the ships used to have to take pilots on board to navigate the dangers section of the river in the Strudengau. The old city theatre and the Greinburg are two of the highlights of the city.
A tip: The Danube Bike Path can be ideally combined with the hiking path network of the Donausteig. Parallel to the Danube Bike Path, it runs for about 450 kilometres from Passau via Linz to Grein. Especially recommendable for a day of rest: The Danube tours, which take you inland before returning you to the starting point.