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.