Danube Bike Trail 4
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Cycline Danube Bike Trail 4 - If you love bicycle touring and a special challenge, this book may be what you are looking for. It describes an exciting 1,600-kilometer ride from Budapest to the Black Sea. As you follow the Danube through the changing scenery of the Balkans, the great river's name also changes, from Duna in Hungary, to Dunea in Croatia and Serbia, to Dunrea in Romania. These are all derived from the Latin Danubius, the name of a Roman river god. The route crosses landscapes marked by thousands of years of European history and breath-taking natural spectacles. Arriving on the Black Sea at the Romanian city of Constana, you have the option of ending your tour or continuing through the Danube delta to Tulcea, where you can board a ferry to complete the final kilometers to Sulina where the Queen of Rivers enters the Black Sea.
This bicycle touring guide includes detailed maps of the countryside and of many cities and towns along the route, precise route descriptions, information about historic and cultural sites, as well as background information and a comprehensive list of overnight accommodations. The one thing this guide cannot provide is fine cycling weather, but we hope you encounter nothing but sunshine and gentle tailwinds.
The fourth part of our Danube Cycle Route series begins in Budapest and ends in Romania on the Black Sea.
With a total length of 2,845 kilometers, the Danube is Europe's second longest river (after the Volga with 3,534 kilometers), and the only one on which kilometers are counted in reverse direction, starting with kilometer zero at the mouth and ending upstream at the source.
About this Bicycle Tour
The adventure presented in this book takes you first through the Transdanubia region of Hungary, past the palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy in Ráckeve and then to Hungary's paprika capital, Kalocsa. The region is famous around the world not just for its red peppers but also for its excellent wines. Test them for yourself during a visit to Europe's largest wine-cellar village, where the wines are stored in barrels that are hundreds of years old and vintners are themselves guests and delighted to serve amazed visitors. Next the route passes through the city of Baja with its glorious central Holy Trinity Square on the Danube, and to Mohács. Mohács was the site of the famous battle in 1526, where Hungarian forces were defeated by the Ottoman Empire led by Suleiman the Magnificent. There is a memorial for the battle south of the town.
At this point we should note that this route can be recommended only for riders who are in good physical condition and prepared to deal with some strenuous conditions. The trip is long. In the cities you will be confronted with heavy traffic. There are some tough climbs and long stretches through sparsely populated countryside with few amenities. In the major cities we have given priority to describing routes that are easy to follow instead of routes that avoid the heaviest traffic. In Novi Sad and Belgrade you will be able to ride some short stretches on promenades or parks directly next to the river.
You should also be prepared to spend occasional nights in a tent. In Romania there is one stretch of more than 200 kilometers where, at the time the route was researched, there were no hotels or other tourist accommodations. You do, however, have the option of getting on a train for this section.
About the Route
The total length of Part 4 of the Danube Bicycle Route is about 1,600 kilometers. This does not include various side trips and alternative route possibilities.
Road quality and traffic
Most of the Danube bicycle route follows well-paved main roads and secondary roads. Only in Hungary do you have the option of riding on improved minor roads on top of the dikes that contain the river. The rest of the route through Croatia, Serbia and Romania takes public roads which the bicyclist must share with varying numbers of other vehicles. Especially the major cities - Budapest, Novi Sad, and Belgrade - have extremely heavy traffic. But between these urban centers you will encounter many long stretches on minor country roads with only little traffic.
Major climbs along the route include several in Croatia between Vukovar and Ilok, along the entire gorge where the Danube breaks through the mountains of eastern Serbia, and between Clrai and Constana in Romania.
With the exception of the section in Croatia, this route is not posted with signs. In Croatia, just after crossing the border from Hungary, you will see the first "Ruta Dunav" bicycle route signs. These can be followed all the way to the Serbian border.