7 days

  Hike along undulating hills high above the Danube from Passau to Linz

 Walk through shady forests and discover ancient castle ruins

  Enjoy stunning views over iconic Danube landmarks such as the Schlögen river bend

  Discover cultural treasures such as Passau’s Altstadt and Engelzell Abbey

  Refresh yourself in charming and welcoming taverns along the way

The Donausteig: Self-guided walking holiday along the Danube

Hiking along the Donausteig (Danube River Trail), you will get to see the most beautiful sights of the Upper Austrian Danube region. Cyclists have long appreciated the beauty of this stretch of the Danube and now it is the hiker’s turn to explore this impressive landscape of rolling green hills, snaking river bends, romantic gorges, and enchanted forests. Since 2010, these landscapes have been connected by the well-marked Donausteig hiking trail. Highlights include the distinctive narrow valley between Passau and Aschach, the Schlögener Schlinge natural wonder, as well as many nature reserves within the Danube’s distinctive broad lateral valleys (e.g., Rannatal or Koeßlbachtal).

You will also learn about the myths of the Danube as you walk. 120 different legends about the Danube are now illustrated and mounted on info boards along the route. These stories will enrich your journey and give you even more appreciation for this unique region.

7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS €799 per person sharing*

*A supplement charge will apply to solo walkers.

ACCOMMODATION You will stay two nights in ****hotels and 4 nights in ***hotels/inns. Most of the chosen inns and hotels are official Donausteig Trail Accommodations. This means that they are mostly family-run business situated near the Donausteig Trail routes which offer services for hikers and which meet the quality criteria of “Donausteig-Wirte”.

All nights are on a bed & breakfast basis and all rooms have en-suite facilities.

Please note that twin-bedded rooms in Austria are normally one large base with two mattresses/duvets. These are also known as ‘Austrian Twins’ and are regarded as two beds. Separate twin beds are rare and cannot be guaranteed as available.

AVAILABILITY You can start your trip on any day of the week (subject to availability) from May to September.
7 nights in selected hotels with en suite facilities
7 x Breakfasts
Day 2: boat trip from Passau to Kasten
Day 2: taxi transfer from Engelhartszell to Schlögen
Day 3: ferry from Schlögen to Au
Day 6: bus from Aschach to Ottensheim
Day 7: train from Linz back to Passau
Luggage transfers between hotels
Welcome video with info for your trip
Donausteig Trail hiking book (1 per room)
Set of maps and info material (1 per room)
GPS tracks
Service hotline daily from 8.00 – 18.00 (also on weekends)
Flights & travel insurance
Lunches & dinners
Drinks and snacks
Transport to and from Passau at start and end of trip
Anything else not mentioned in the “included” section
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
 Half board supplement (€230 pp.)
Single Room Supplement(s)

Day 1: Arrival in Passau

Known as the “City of three rivers”, Passau is renowned as one of the most beautiful cities in Germany and has much to offer. The charming laneways and archways of the Baroque old town have remained largely unchanged throughout the centuries.

Overnight: Passau


Day 2: Ferry to Kasten and walk to Engelhartszell and transfer to Schlögen

Distance: 15 km | Ascent: 450 m | Descent: 630 m | Walking time: 5 hrs approx.

Start the day with a short ferry ride from Passau to Kasten/Vichtenstein. From there you hike along beautiful forest paths on the southern bank of the Danube to the historic market village of Engelhartszell. For the adventurous hiker, there is the option of climbing up to the Haugstein summit – the highest point on the Donausteig at 842 m. We can highly recommend a visit to Engelszell Abbey (Austria’s only Trappist monastery), which is known for its home-made liqueurs, beers and chocolates. At the end of your hike, you will be picked up and taken by taxi to your accommodation for the night at the Schlögener Schlinge.

Overnight: Riverresort Donauschlinge


Day 3: Schlögen to Obermühl

Distance: 9 km | Ascent: 286 m | Descent: 286 m | Walking time: 3 hrs approx.

Or longer option with Ciconia nature path

Distance: 19.5 km | Ascent: 463 m | Descent: 452 m | Walking time: 6 hrs approx.

Before you start your hike to Obermühl along the Danube’s northern bank, we recommend taking the 10.5 km loop walk on the Ciconia nature path to the Schlögener Blick. This vantage platform is where you have the famous view of the iconic Schlögener Schlinge river loop. Along the way, you pass numerous info boards and art sculptures describing the unique landscape. You then take the short ferry trip across the river to Au, from where you follow the riverside nature trail Donauschlingenweg to the little riverside village of Obermühl.

Overnight: Obermühl


Day 4: Obermühl to Untermühl

Distance: 9 km | Ascent: 454 m | Descent: 458 m | Walking time: 3½ hrs approx.

You begin today with an ascent from Obermühl in the wooded Danube Gorge up to the Burgstall summit peak (608 m). Remains of stone walls, crucifixes and a stone arch bridge testify to the historic significance of this path. Enjoy the spectacular views from the Burgstallblick lookout tower before descending to the farming village of Kirchberg. You continue downhill through undulating meadows and fields before a final steep descent through woodlands to the village of Untermühl on the Danube.

Overnight: Untermühl


Day 5: Untermühl to Aschach

Distance: 18 km | Ascent: 684 m | Descent: 712 m | Walking time: 6 hrs approx.

Today’s hike is another up and down route. You first ascend from Untermühl to the idyllic village of St. Martin on the rural plateau of the Mühlviertler Highlands. You then descend through the wild and romantic Pesenbachtal gorge, passing the distinctive Kerzenstein rock spire and cascading waterfalls along the Pesenbach stream. You reach the banks of the mighty Danube once again at Oberlandshaag, where you cross a bridge over the river to Aschach. We recommend taking some time to explore the lovely town of Aschach. Its medieval townhouses feature gothic, baroque and renaissance era facades and courtyards.

Overnight: Aschach


Day 6: Aschach to Linz

Distance: 16 km | Ascent: 693 m | Descent: 692 m | Walking time: 5 hrs approx.

From Aschach you first take the local bus to Ottensheim (13km, hourly intervals). Ottensheim is a historically important Danube crossing and the town’s beautiful marketplace tells of a long tradition as a trading hub. On this panoramic stage, you hike from Ottensheim over the summits of the Donaublick and Pöstlingberg to the vibrant and historic city of Linz.

After a short section of forest, you ascend past meadows, fields and orchards to the Dürnberg Mountain and the summit cross of the Donaublick (688 m). You will enjoy wonderful views over the fertile Eferding basin and the narrow gorge of the Danube River. Your next challenge is the Pöstlingberg, a 539-metre-high hill above the city of Linz. Here you will find the Pöstlingberg pilgrimage church, as well as a viewing platform over the city. A way of the cross then leads you down through meadows and woodland before you finally cross the Danube bridge to the magnificent main square of Linz.

Overnight: Linz


Day 7: Train from Linz to Passau and departure

Your hiking trip on the Danube comes to an end this morning. Train tickets are included to take you back to Passau for onward travel.

Arrival and departure from Passau

  Passau is located in Germany, close to the Austrian border. It doesn’t have an airport but it easily accessible by rail from nearby cities such as Munich, Linz, Salzburg, and Vienna.
Passau has direct train connections to Linz (1h30), Salzburg (2h45), Munich (2h30) and Vienna (3h), which are the most convenient airports. Please visit the DB Bahn website to check the times.
Information for arrivals by car: Parking places are not always available next to the accommodation, so you may need to use a public car park. (Possibly costs have to be paid on spot)
Passau "City of Three Rivers"
Hiking on the Donausteig © WGD Tourismus GmbH, Hochhauser kl
Viewing point over the Danube ©WGD Donau Oberosterreich Tourismus GmbH, Hochhauser
Engelszell Abbey (c) Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH, Bohnacker
A still morning on the Danube at Schlögen
The impressive Schlögener Schlinge ©WGD Donau Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH, Weissenbrunner
Hiking at the Schlögener Schlinge (c) Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH, Stefan Mayerhofer
Donausteig © WGD Tourismus GmbH
Kirchberg-View from the Burgstallblick near Kirchberg ©WGD Donau Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH, Weissenbrunner
Pesenbachtal (c) Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH, Martin Fickert
The distinctive Kerzenstein rock spire in the Pesenbachtal ©Tourismusverband, Feldkirchen
Aschach Castle
Ottensheim © WGD Donau Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH, Weissenbrunner
Pöstlingberg hill above the city of Linz ©Tourismusverband Linz, Eckerstorfer
Linz on the Danube (c) Linz Tourismus, Johann Steininger
Enjoying a well earned coffee and cake in Linz (c) Linz Tourismus

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