Depart the U.S. for Vienna. 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
Meet your VBT Leaders at the Arcadia Hotel in Bratislava at
10:00 a.m. (Frantiskanska 3, Bratislava, phone number +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.
This morning, join your fellow travelers and VBT Trip
Leaders for a brief orientation followed by a short walk with your bicycles
through the historic pedestrian streets of Bratislava. The Danube bike path is
just a short walk from the 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 make a detour to ride along the wall of a dam for one of the Danube's
numerous locks. Located at the end of the dam and jutting into the Danube is
the unusual Danubiana Meulensteen Modern Art museum (closed on Mondays). Enjoy
lunch on your own at one of the restaurants located on the dam. Upon returning
to the Danube shores, you may notice one of Slovakia's Olympian rafters
practicing in the artificial rafting canal.
Continuing along small country roads, we will say good-bye
to Slovakia and the shores of the Danube and cross the border into our first
Hungarian town, Rajka. From Rajka, enjoy a quiet ride on the back roads through
the beautiful Hungarian countryside to the village of Hedervar, where our
hotel, Hedervary Castle, is located. The castle hotel has a courtyard with a
sycamore tree that is estimated to be over 700 years old!
In the evening, get to know your fellow travelers and Trip
Leaders at our welcome reception, followed by a hearty Hungarian dinner.
Day 4 - Mosonmagyarovar / Thermal Spas
After breakfast, we continue our bicycle tour to the town of
Mosonmagyarovar, located at the confluence of the rivers Mosoni-Danube and
Lajta. The Donauradweg, or Danube Bike Trail, leads us through the town, which
was a well-known watch-post in the Roman era. Take time to explore its charming
We continue on our ride into the town of Halaszi, with its
large Baroque church towers. Then pass through Puski and the little settlement
of Dunaremete, with its scenic, tree-lined road leading to the Danube. Enjoy a
picnic lunch prepared by your Trip Leaders in the countryside. After lunch, we
ride to Lipot, where you will have the opportunity to enjoy the thermal spa fed
by spring waters bubbling up from more than a mile below the surface of the
In the afternoon, enjoy time at leisure at Hedervary Castle.
If you prefer, take a bicycle loop to surrounding villages or to the beautiful
Danube nature preserve of Szigetkoz. Tonight, learn about pálinka — Hungary's
national fruit brandy — during a tasting presentation given by a local
distillery. Afterwards, enjoy dinner on your own.
Day 5 - Gyor / Esztergom
This morning, we bicycle to the city of Gyor, where you can
stroll along quaint medieval cobblestone streets and browse the town's
intriguing private art collections. 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
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 loop ride in the area, or explore
Esztergom at your leisure this evening from your ideally located accommodation.
Day 6 - Slovakian Countryside / Danube / Visegrad
Today, we return to Slovakia across the bridge linking
Esztergom to the Slovakian city of Sturovo. Spend the morning riding through
the bountiful farmlands of Slovakia 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.
Once again we cross the border into Hungary, this time 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 the base of
the castle mountain as we head toward our picnic spot to enjoy a typical
Hungarian feast that you'll help prepare 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 will embark on our bicycle
journey around the Danube Bend to the town of Vác. You'll have time to explore
this quaint town before taking a ferry to Szentendre Island, set in the middle
of the Danube. This island with its peaceful villages 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'll continue our cycle tour on Szentendre
Island before crossing back to the mainland and joining the bike path along the
Danube. Our accommodations for the last two nights of our vacation are located
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 town's 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
Day 9 - Budapest / VBT No-Air Package ends
After breakfast, we'll conclude our Danube odyssey with a
bicycle ride on the Danube Bike Trail, passing by the 3rd-century Roman ruins
of Aquincum. Continuing on 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 a.m., 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 p.m. 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 the sights of Budapest.
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.