the Danube has become the number one destination in Europe for cycle tourists

“The Danube is a place that attracts people. The Romans came here. It is a lifeline of Austria. Earlier I had passengers who came from Australia. Why Australians come to Austria? It’s another country, of course, smaller, but with water, trees, nature… If you open your eyes, it’s beautiful everywhere.”says the pilot of a ferry on the river to the Magazine “We, the Europeans” (replay). Most of its passengers are cyclists. They are nearly 200 per day in high season.

The Danube has become in forty years the first destination in Europe for cycle tourists: “He goes with his bike towards Passau. It’s the most beautiful track. It runs along the Danube all the time: it’s flat and in the sun”, specifies Ernst Gugler who has been offering walkers the chance to go from one bank to the other on his boat for twelve years. Nearly 500,000 cyclists each year travel from Passau, on the German border, to Vienna, the Austrian capital, ie nearly 350 kilometers in the heart of Europe.

The tour operator takes care of the luggage

That morning, in Linz, Austria’s second city, Daniel Francino and his daughter Mireille are getting ready for the day’s stage: “We put on the cream and the saddlebags, we look at the roadbook and activate the GPS… It’s all about being well organised.” And it is their tour operator who takes care of their luggage. “We leave them in the morning. Someone picks them up and we find them in the evening. Comfort option”welcomes the cyclist.

The father and daughter, originally from Savoy, left Germany three days earlier and are due to reach Vienna for a journey of a week in total: “My mother doesn’t like to travel, so she does it with us by proxy”, said Mireille, taking a selfie with her father by the river before getting on her bicycle. In 2022, a quarter of French people plan to spend holidays in nomadic mode…

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