komoot
  • Discover
  • Route planner
  • Features
Discover

Legendary long-distance hiking along the Danube River – Danube Trail

Manuela Mundigler

Legendary long-distance hiking along the Danube River – Danube Trail

Hiking Collection by Tamara

23

Tours

123:28 h

268 mi

30,475 ft

Many legends have unfurled around the waters of the Danube River. It flows through deep valleys and wild plains, where it has shaped the landscape, trade, and culture for thousands of years. The long-distance hike, the Danube Trail (Donausteig), showcases the Danube in all its diversity. From Passau, a Bavarian town in Germany, the route runs for 270 kilometres (167.7 miles) along the mighty river, passing through the Austrian city of Linz before arriving in Grein in Upper Austria. Along the way, you encounter unique cultural treasures, protected natural areas and large swathes of unspoilt nature.

In this Collection, I present the Danube Trail in 23 stages. You can choose between the northern or southern route which both start in Passau and end in Grein. The abbreviation at the beginning of the stage names indicates which route variant the stage belongs to: N (north), S (south) or G (both). If you would like to hike north of the Danube, then I recommend following the stages in this order: N01 to N05, G01, G02, N06 to N08, G03 to G08. For the southern route, you can walk: S01 to S04, G01, G02, S05 to S07, G03 to G08.

Every stage ends in a town where you can find restaurants and accommodation, as well as transport links such as trains, buses or boats. If you want to explore the Danube region in Bavaria and Upper Austria even more extensively, then you can join numerous paths which branch off from the route and lead into the hinterland. Your imagination can roam freely here.

Coming from Passau, the mighty river winds its way through the forested Danube Valley along the German-Austrian border. You hike up and down, often directly along the water’s edge, before re-ascending high into the valley. A definite highlight on this stretch is the Schlögener Schlinge, a magical viewpoint over a bend in the river. Next, you hike through the Eferdinger Basin, a fertile plain known as the vegetable garden of Upper Austria. Between the region of Mühlviertel and the Kürnberger forest, the Danube flows through the provincial capital Linz before reaching the floodplain forests around the mouths of the Enns and Traun rivers. You hike along flat paths through colourful landscapes in the Machland region before finally exploring the romantic area of Strudengau and arriving in the small town of Grein, the final destination of the Danube Trail.

You don’t need any special technical skills to walk this long-distance trail. However, some stages are quite long and include some climbing so you need stamina. Along the Danube Trail, you find a number of rest spots and viewing platforms with detailed information boards that are ideal for a break. Special highlights are the seven peaks of the Danube Trail, which afford wonderful views. If you are interested in the legends and myths of this region, you can read more about these on the 120 information boards dotted along the trail. So, if it wasn’t obvious already, the Danube Trail is a wonderful hike!

On The Map

loading
loading

Do it yourself

Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.

Donausteig Nordroute

173 mi

20,625 ft

20,875 ft

Last updated: November 12, 2021

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    08:01
    17.1 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,425 ft
    2,475 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The northern route of the Donausteig starts in the three-river city of Passau, right on the border between Germany and Austria. Starting from the train station, you walk through the picturesque old town and after crossing the Danube, the Ludwigsteig leads you up the steep flank to Veste Oberhaus. From

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Difficult
    07:20
    14.5 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,325 ft
    2,375 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After the first stage, which is more than 27 kilometers long, the second day continues with a demanding 23 kilometers: From Obernzell you follow the mighty Danube along the Donauuferstraße to the Kohlbachmühle. There you turn left and start the ascent up to a picturesque high plateau in the Bavarian

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  • Difficult
    06:02
    12.6 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,550 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The third Donausteig stage starts with a brisk ascent from Niederranna: through the forest, it goes back up to the high plateau above the Danube valley. Again and again the path offers wonderful views down to the legendary river, on which ships and boats cavort. The striking tower of Marsbach Castle

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Intermediate
    04:55
    9.38 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,150 ft
    1,350 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage 4 of the northern route starts in Obermühl. From the village center you initially hike up the slope of the steep Donauleiten on a forest path. Arrived on the high plateau of the Mühlviertel highlands, you will reach the observation tower at the Burgstall - the highest elevation that rises directly

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Intermediate
    03:38
    7.90 mi
    2.2 mph
    625 ft
    1,525 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Sankt Martin is the starting point for the fifth and just under 13 kilometers long stage of the Donausteig north route. You leave the place and walk relaxed past fields, meadows and courtyards to the banks of the small Pesenbach. There is a lot to discover along the picturesque path: the bizarre rock

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Intermediate
    04:43
    10.8 mi
    2.3 mph
    700 ft
    700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The starting point for this stage of the Donausteig main route (designated with the letter G) is Aschach, which lies at the transition from the steep Danube valley to the fertile plain of the Eferdinger basin. At the beginning you follow the Danube downstream to soon turn into the cultivated plain of

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Intermediate
    03:46
    9.18 mi
    2.4 mph
    150 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today you can expect a relaxed and flat route along the blue Danube. With a view of Starhemberg Castle you leave Eferding and after a good two kilometers cross a tributary of the Aschach. Through the alluvial forest it goes to the Aschach, which you follow a little further downstream. Then you stand

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Difficult
    05:24
    11.2 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,850 ft
    1,850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Starting from Ottensheim, you hike a piece on the Treppelweg along the Danube. At the bend in the Danube you leave the bank and start today's summit storm. It goes uphill through a rural cultural landscape and past mighty square courtyards. The field of vision expands again and again and you can enjoy

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Difficult
    05:53
    13.3 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,100 ft
    1,075 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Linz, European Capital of Culture 2009, is the starting point for this Donausteig stage. With a view of the Lentos and the Brucknerhaus, you follow the Danube downstream. At the bend in the Danube, you leave the stream and hike through the Au to Pleschinger See. From the popular bathing lake it goes

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Difficult
    05:56
    13.9 mi
    2.3 mph
    725 ft
    775 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage of the Donausteig north route starts in Steyregg, on the edge of the Linz basin. You hike back to Pulgarn, which you visited yesterday. At the train station you turn towards the Danube and march through a fascinating meadow landscape: small ponds, ancient trees and steep gravel pits await

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Intermediate
    03:29
    7.97 mi
    2.3 mph
    600 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    With just under 13 kilometers, this stage of the main route is a relaxed affair. From Mauthausen on the banks of the Danube you hike up a partly wooded ridge to the legendary Heinrichsbründl. Then it goes into the wide plain of the fertile Machland: small towns, wide fields and large courtyards characterize

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Intermediate
    03:22
    8.29 mi
    2.5 mph
    50 ft
    100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    13 flat kilometers await you on this stage of the Donausteig main route. After a night in the historic town of Perg, head to the banks of the Naarn. The river leaves the hilly Mühlviertel here and flows through the fertile plain of the Machland. At the old floodplain, now a settlement, you leave the

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Difficult
    06:14
    13.7 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,500 ft
    1,500 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This Donausteig stage starts in Mitterkirchen and today takes you a little away from the Danube to the impressive Clam Castle. At first you cross the Naarn and then hike through the fertile Machland plain to Baumgartenberg. There begins a constant up and down through the hilly Mühlviertel, which is characterized

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Difficult
    05:07
    10.3 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,925 ft
    1,875 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The sixth stage of the Donausteig main route starts in Grein, the gateway to the Strudengau. From the center it goes up to the vantage point on Kalvarienberg, from which you can enjoy a fantastic view of the city and the Danube. Then you leave the last settlements behind you and dive into the forest

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Intermediate
    03:00
    6.06 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,325 ft
    650 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The day starts with a brisk ascent from Sarmingstein: From the confluence of the Sarmingbach into the Danube, it goes through the forest up to the Predigtstuhl. On the Felskanzel high above the Danube you reach one of the seven Donausteig peaks with a magnificent view. After a well-deserved break on

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Difficult
    07:07
    15.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,725 ft
    2,450 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The starting point for this demanding Donausteig stage is Waldhausen. It starts at the market square. From there you walk to the former Waldhausen Abbey, a jewel worth seeing. The path then runs through a secluded landscape with small forest areas, babbling brooks and traditional farms. You hike up and

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Difficult
    06:25
    14.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,675 ft
    1,700 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The southern route of the Donausteig starts just like the northern route in the three-river city of Passau. From the train station it goes to the Inn, which you cross on the Fünferlsteg. A short time later, from the other bank, you can see the colorful facades and the Ortspitz, where the Inn, Ilz and

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Intermediate
    04:40
    9.07 mi
    1.9 mph
    1,950 ft
    1,975 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The starting point for the second Donausteig stage of the southern route is Kasten. From the small town in the breakthrough valley of the upper Danube on the Austrian side you hike up to Vichtenstein. Once at the top, you can look forward to an impressive view of the Danube and the Jochenstein power

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Difficult
    06:51
    14.7 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,975 ft
    1,925 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    More than 23 kilometers and 500 vertical meters await you on the third stage, so pack an extra sandwich in your backpack. From the village center you follow the course of the mighty Danube river and after a few steps you can visit the impressive monastery on the outskirts. Then it goes on the Treppelweg

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • Difficult
    06:01
    13.1 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,475 ft
    1,625 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After a night in Schlögen, the fourth stage starts with a fantastic view of the Schlögen loop. Right at the beginning, you can expect a steep ascent up to the “Schlögener Blick”, which will make you forget all the effort. This vantage point is the guiding view of the entire Donausteig. At the same height

    translated byView Original

    by Tamara

    View
  • More Tours & Highlights

Like this Collection?

Questions and Comments

    loading

Collection Stats

  • Tours
    23
  • Distance
    268 mi
  • Duration
    123:28 h
  • Elevation
    30,475 ft

You Might Also Like

NATOUR-GUIDE — experience living rivers

Hiking Collection by KYOCERA Document Solutions

Hike in the footsteps of the Bible smugglers in Austria – Way of the Book

Hiking Collection by Tamara

The most beautiful cycle route along Bavaria's regional railways

Bike Touring Collection by Bahn und Fahrrad

Get out into the fresh Nuremberg air – winter walks with VGN leisure tips

Hiking Collection by VERKEHRSVERBUND GROSSRAUM NÜRNBERG

Discover

Legendary long-distance hiking along the Danube River – Danube Trail

What We Offer

Discover
Terms of ServicePrivacy PolicyCommunity GuidelinesSecurity vulnerability reward programImprint