Soon you will pass the densely wooded slopes of the Strudengau, a section of the Danube Valley whose name comes from the swirls in the river (“Struden”), which used to pose a problem for mariners.
Near St. Nikola the Werfenstein ruins rise over the Danube. Chains were thrown from here to Wörth Island to stop ships from going through in the past. Following romantic Donauleiten and after passing Sarmingstein and Hirschenau, you reach Persenbeug, home to what is probably one of the most famous Austrian Danube power stations. It is open for guided tours (advance reservations required).
Two more side trips will lure you away from the Danube. Near Marbach you can, if your bike and you are ready for some uphill riding, visit the pilgrimage church Maria Taferl. At this beautiful Baroque basilica you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the Danube Valley. Near Klein-Pöchlarn you can take a trip to nearby Artstetten. In the castle you can see a documentation of Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s life. The successor to the throne, who was killed in 1914 in Sarajevo, and his wife are buried in the crypt that is also located there. At the final destination of this stage, Emmersdorf, the Danube bridge allows a visit to the sights in Melk on the other side of the river.
We recommend: In Grein you take the ferry (or shortly before Grein the bridge) to the south bank and continue there on the Danube cycle path. At the Danube power plant Ybbs-Persenbeug you will be able to reach the northern shore again. The Danube-shore trail takes you from Grein to Sarmingstein.