You see a lot of the Danube only at the start of the eighth stage. After that the bike path passes through the Danube Wetlands National Park, which is no less scenic. The destination on this leg is Austria’s eastern-most city Hainburg. This community on the Slovak border has many attractions, from an old castle to a modern Lutheran church.
Attention: A detour will be put in place on the Danube Cycle Path on the north bank between Schönau and Stopfenreuth from October 2017 till probably the end of 2020 to carry out needed construction work.
Please follow the signs for this alternative route.
For further information about the detour, please check under “Further information and links”.
Vienna has a wealth of sights and a kaleidoscope of impressions are probably still running through your mind: Schönbrunn Palace and zoo, the historical center of Vienna with St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Hofburg, the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi-Museum, the Treasury, the Spanish Riding School, Art History Museum and MuseumsQuartier and further afield, Belvedere Palace, the Prater with its Giant Ferris Wheel, Jugendstil, cafés and heurige wine taverns.
But now nature awaits you. Even before you actually leave the city, you find yourself in the Danube Wetlands National Park, which extends between the agglomerations Vienna and Bratislava like a green belt. It is a natural habitat to over 800 different species of highly developed plants, to 30 mammalian species, 100 species of breeding birds, and about 60 different species of fish.
For more details on the national park, stop off at Orth Castle, which is a ways away from the bike path. The schlossORTH National Park-Centre is housed in this Renaissance water castle with four towers. A castle island has an interactive wetlands exhibition complete with an underwater observation station. The castle also houses a local museum on regional culture. Orth Castle is among the “Marchfeld-Castles”- Soon you will get to know another one when you leave the Danube Bike Path at Eckartsau for a short side trip to Eckartsau hunting lodge. This residence of the last Austrian imperial couple Karl and Zita is now used for films, events, weddings and concerts. From April to October you can take guided tours through Eckartsau and the interactive national park exhibition “Wild Wechsel” (“Wild Change”) will whet your appetite for a hike through the wetlands.
Another side trip is advisable near Stopfenreuth. Leaving the riparian forests along the Danube, you proceed to “Au-Terrasse”, a plateau that affords great views of the river landscape (campground, unsupervised outdoor swimming area). The Danube bridge in Bad Deutsch-Altenburg is not far away now. It takes you to the south bank and shortly after to Hainburg.
Point of arrival
Take the B14 or the A22
Vienna- Schönau - Stopfenreuth - Hainburg
Right at the beginning of your tour you change sides and ride along the New Danube and the picturesque promenade. A stopover in a Vienna café is highly recommended.
At the central tank farm in Lobau, you turn left onto Lobgrundstrasse (road) where you ride along a long bend to the right. Then you go straight for a short while, still on the Lobgrundstrasse, until turning left at the second right bend.
You leave the nearby Danube bank and cycle through the picturesque Danube wetlands, one of the largest intact floodplain landscapes in Central Europe, until you see a bridge on your left. Cross over it. Shortly before Schönau a road branches off to the east. After about 26 km, just beyond the sleepy village of Stopfenreuth, you reach the main road, which you follow south. You cross the river over the Danube bridge by Hainburg. You leave the bridge to your right and continue on Hollitzer Allee towards Donaulände.
A short time later you arrive in Hainburg, which you can recognize from afar based on the two hills to the right and left of the city and the Hainburger Pforte (Hainburg Gate or Devin Gate). Hainburg has one of the oldest fortified castles in Europe and is definitely worth a visit.