|Destinasjoner :||Austria - Slovakia - Tsjekkia - Ungarn|
|Aktivitets nivå :||Fotturer - Kultur & Tema reiser (standard) - Sykkelturer|
The tour will start in Prague, the Czech Republic's capital, in the late afternoon. A short walking tour is included in the evening today as we head out for dinner in Prague. If you wish to explore this beautiful city in more detail we recommend booking an extra night pre-tour, or requesting an earlier arrival time. Your leader can also point out highlights on free maps from the hotel for those interested in visiting the city’s top attractions such as Charles Bridge, Prague Castle or Wenceslas Square. Prague is also the perfect place to just wander through the alleys of the pretty Old Town, sample world-renowned Czech beer or try hearty local cuisine. *Hotel Lunik (or similar)*
We transfer 150km to Ceske Budejovice to collect our bikes. Our first day is a relatively short one to warm us up, as we cycle to Cesky Krumlov on the Vltava River. A feature of the old town here is the narrow, crooked streets and the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. There may be time to visit Cesky Krumlov Castle, one of the largest in Central Europe, which overlooks the town from its strategic position on a horseshoe bend in the river. *Penzion Prelat (or similar)*
Leaving Cesky Krumlov behind us we head out into the hilly countryside. Our route flattens out as we enter the Trebon Basin, a lowland area of forests, meadows and lakes. Our destination is Trebon, a mediaeval town of Renaissance architecture, now also known as a spa town. There is also a neo-gothic tomb set in an English-style park plus a good number of cafés and restaurants in which to relax and enjoy a hearty meal. Many local dishes here make use of the famous Trebon Carp. Transfer (approx. 45 minutes) to our hotel in Jindrichuv Hradec. *Hotel Concertino (or similar)*
Today we pass a number of man-made lakes as we follow sections of the Greenways Trail, part of a network of hiking and cycling trails in the Czech Republic and Austria. Our ride finishes at the Renaissance town of Telc, registered on the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List in 1992. From here we transfer (approx. 60km/1hour) to Znojmo on the banks of the river Dyje, often seen as the gateway to the wine-making area of South Moravia. *Hotel Lahofer (or similar)*
Today's ride aims to discover the rich fertile flatland of the region of Moravia, home to an abundance of vineyards and wine cellars. We cycle until Mikulov, a real gem located directly on the border with Lower Austria. Worth visiting are the town's pretty castle, the town square and the surrounding architecture. In the evening we enjoy a wine tasting. Overnight in Mikulov. *Hotel Galant (or similar)*
Today we enter Austria through the UNESCO grounds of Lednice, known as the 'Versailles' of Southern Moravia; we continue to the wine-producing town of Poysdorf, from where we transfer the final 47km to Vienna. Once checked into our accommodation the centre of the city awaits, just a short metro ride away or approx. 20 minute walk. Austria's capital is a hive of architecture, history and culture with a lively café and bar scene and great range of restaurants. *Hotel Boltzmann (or similar)*
Today is free to explore the beautiful and former imperial city of Vienna. It's old centre is bursting with cultural, historic and architectural wonders as it was the former HQ of the Hapsburg Empire. The city is brimming with sights for all tastes including the majestic Schoenbrunn Palace (summer palace of the Hapsburgs),the popular Kunsthistoriches Museum and Hundertwasser Hause as well as countless breathtaking churches, cathedrals and concert halls! No visit to Vienna is complete without a visit to one of it's many famous cafés for coffee and cake or soaking up all the culture this city has to offer in one of Vienna's many parks or beer gardens. An optional guided bike ride around the city is available for those who prefer a more active morning. *Hotel Boltzmann (or similar)*
We join the Danube Cycle Path, following a quiet route out of the city and into the Donauauen National Park, past the red-tiled turrets of Castle Orth and the chateau at Eckartsau. We cross the border at the town of Hainburg and enter Slovakia, winding our way towards the capital Bratislava, strategically positioned along the Danube. *Hotel Falkensteiner (or similar)*
In the morning we have some time to explore Bratislava, wandering through the narrow cobbled streets of the charming old town of Slovakia's capital city. Due to it's strategic position on the Danube, it has previously been an important economic, cultural and political centre of Central Europe. Whilst the old town is quite compact, it is packed with beautiful 18th Century buildings and sights such as St Michael's Gate and the mediaeval city walls. We then continue our ride and cross the border into Hungary, cycling through peaceful rolling countryside before arriving in Hedervar, a small village of around 2000 inhabitants. From here we transfer to our hotel in the pretty town of Esztergom. *Panzio Bazilika (or similar)*
We depart Esztergom mid morning and begin the ride with a 4km section of a cycle path alongside the Danube before joining the road. Our route meanders over rolling countryside and through rural villages until we reach Vac, where our cycling ends. From here we transfer approximately 45 minutes to the Hungarian capital of Budapest, famous for being blessed with many hot springs and their delicious 'Magyar' cuisine. The remainder of the day is free to explore this grand city situated majestically along the Danube. Budapest is a history & architecture lover's dream to explore. It offers an eclectic mix of attractions such as the Szechenyi Baths (Europe's largest medicinal bath), Fisherman's Bastion for breathtaking views of the Danube and Parliament building, the House of Horrors museum where you can learn about the city's dark past during Communist times or simply enjoy a glass of one of Hungary's excellent wines in a local café and soak up the atmosphere of a truly unique European capital. *Lion's Garden Hotel (or similar)*
The trip ends this morning after breakfast. If you wish to explore this fascinating city in more detail we recommend booking an extra night post tour, please ask our sales team for details.
* 10 nights in comfortable 3 and 4-star hotels, all rooms en suite * 8 days cycling with full vehicle support * Group normally 5 to 15, plus local leader, assistant guide and support driver. Min age 16 yrs * Travel by private minibus
All breakfasts are included. The cuisines of Central European countries possess many similarities yet still retain their own strong gastronomic traditions and dishes. Hearty soups, noodles, dumplings made from wheat or potato, meat dishes consisting of pork, beef and game are all staples across the region. You will also find a large variety of sausages and vegetables such as mushrooms, potatoes and peppers featuring prominently in many dishes. Dairy products such as cheeses and creams are heavily used in the region too. Desserts are plentiful and varied with each country having their own unique sweets and cakes. And of course the Czech beer is world renowned for it's quality and taste. Many of the countries visited on the trip also offer good quality wines and local spirits that are worth tasting along the way! The breakfasts during the trip are usually continental with a choice of eggs. Each day we will stop en route for lunch. Lunches are the main meal of the day in Central Europe and we usually have a hot lunch at a restaurant or café. Vegetarians can be catered for, as are other dietary requirements although there may not be the same choice or variety as you have at home. Please advise us upon booking. The leader will accompany the group to a restaurant each evening, but will provide recommendations for those wishing to explore separately. Water is provided for each day cycling and can be topped up regularly throughout the day, so please ensure you take your own water bottle(s).
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