Roman and I try to go on a bike tour at every destination we visit. It’s one of our favorite activities when traveling, and to be honest – the tour we booked in Vienna has outdone every bike tour we’ve been on thus far.
We booked through Pedal Power company and chose the Wachau vineyards tour. We chose this tour because we love wine tastings, the route is long (26 Km) and we wanted something challenging and because the Wachau valley photos looked really beautiful.
The bike tour
The tour started at the company offices at 8am. Grant, our guide, explained the route and had us sign a safety form for the trip. We were a group of five, plus Grant. From their offices, we took public transport to the train station where we had time for coffee and pastries. Then we boarded the train to Wachau. The ride was just over an hour.
The bike itself
Upon arriving at the destination, the town of Krems, we went to their office to get our bikes. Roman was pleased to know they had bikes for very tall people. The bikes are well maintained and were comfortable to ride. This is very important, especially when you need to pedal a lot.
The bike tour route
Grant showed us the route we were about to take on a map before we headed out. The scenery was beautiful from the start, but he told us to hang on with the photos – as the real beauty hasn’t started yet, and he turned out to be right.
Every 2.5 Km or so we stopped to take photos and listen to a short explanation about the area. We passed cartoonish little towns and vineyards and at one point stopped at Dürnstein and had a wine tasting there.
We tried white wines and one of them was truly excellent, so we bought it to take back home with us. Anyway, after the wine tastings we had the option of going up to a vantage point or walking around the town. Roman and I split ways.
He went up to the vantage point to take pictures from up high and I took photos of the lovely town itself.The Wachau region is known for it’s apricots, hence there are many shops selling apricot products and offering very good liquors.
After some free time, we sat down for lunch. We visited a local restaurant in town and everyone ordered a different dish. Roman ordered goulash with potatoes, the other guys ordered Schnitzel and I ordered a vegetarian dish of cooked vegetables with an egg, sunny side up.
The meal isn’t included in the tour’s price but is a reasonable 11 euros each. Those who’d rather skip the restaurant can buy a little something at the bakery – But I recommend eating something filling, as the tour is long and a bit intoxicating, so you’ll want to charge up your energies.
More wine tastings
After lunch, we continued riding and arrived at a lovely village. There, we held more wine tastings, this time in a small vineyard owned by a local family. We drank the wine on a balcony with a stunning view. We tried sweeter, white wines as well as some red. I must say the wine, along with the view, were a perfect experience. We enjoyed the view, talked a bit about the wine and Grant told us more about the region.
The way back
From there we got on a shuttle which transported us to the other side of the valley. The cool thing about the shuttle was that it wasn’t motor-operated. Rather, it was propelled by a jet of water and guided along a cable, to prevent going off course. Upon reaching the other side, we started making our way back to the train station. At some point we stopped to sit on a small beach and Grant let us try some apricot schnapps. It’s a highly intoxicating schnapps with a 40% alcohol content and it got to me straight away 🙂
Because of some delays during the trip, we ended up being late to the 5 o’clock train. However, this turned out to be for the best – as it allowed us more time at an area by the train, which has a good ice-cream shop as well as some other places to eat at.
We boarded the train at 10 minutes to 6pm. We returned to Vienna exhausted and very pleased. Grant was a charming guide, who was fun and patient. The combination of wine, beautiful landscapes and a laid-back ride on a bike trail were a winning combination as far as we’re concerned.
Several points regarding the bike tour
- Most of the ride is planar, but you still need to be fit enough to ride 26 Km.
- The tour is a good choice for families with teenagers as well. The vineyards offer non-alcoholic wine.
- It’s best to have breakfast before going on the trip or buying something to eat at the train station.
- You can also get water bottles at the train station, as well as cash from an ATM.
- The price of the tour includes the price of the train and public transport from the offices to the station, as well as the wine tastings. It does not include lunch.
- The tour is great for anyone who loves riding a bike, natural views and the outdoors and wine
- You need cash for lunch, as well as wines or other souvenirs should you wish to purchase them