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Bike from Melk to Krems and Mauthausen

We totally goofed on planning our day in Melk and I'm wondering if anyone can help us salvage our itinerary and maximize our stay in the area. Here is what we had planned:

Saturday: Wake up early in Bratislava, walk the town, see the highlights, drive to Melk, visit the Abbey.
Sunday: Bike from Melk to Krems, bus back to Melk, drive to Mauthausen, drive to Salzburg

I'm wondering if this might be better and more doable:

Saturday: Wake up early in Bratislava, walk the town, see the highlights, drive to Melk, rent bikes and bike to Krems, drop off the bikes in Krems, bus back pretty late in the evening.
Sunday: Visit the abbey, drive to Mauthausen, drive to Salzburg

I'm looking for suggestions from others who have done this trip. We are experienced travelers and are able to move fast. We have room reservations in Bratislava, Melk and Salzburg which would incur charges if we canceled. However, we really want to do the bike ride and would like to visit Mathausen. Does anyone see any options?

I know that we are being the typical Americans, trying to cram too much in, so please don't go down that road. I'm just wondering if there is a way to do this that we haven't thought of. Thanks!

Posted by
1294 posts

I think your revised option is a better plan. However, the day you bike to Krems will be pushing it. We did all this in 2008 (however, we were in Melk already, we did not do the Bratislava part) I got out my journal from that trip to see exactly how long things took. According to my journal, we left Melk at 10 (we probably left our B&B at 9, walked into town and rented bikes. That all does take up some time.) We biked to Krems arriving at 2:00. We did make a few stops to see some of the towns, but only one stop took longer than 15 minutes. That was a flat tire that we spent about an hour getting fixed. So I estimate the bike ride to be about 3 hours with stops. We took the boat back and it was a 3 hours trip. I would imagine a bus would be faster. My notes show that the ride from Spitz to Krems was the prettiest and most noteworthy. We had to return our bikes back at where we rented them but it was not a problem taking them on the boat. I would research where you can rent bikes, how long they stay open, and how late the bus runs back to Melk. It will be a very busy day and I don't think you will have much time in Bratislava. The second day we did exactly the way you have it. We were at the Abbey when it opened and I show we left Melk at 11;45. I don't show when we arrived at Mauthausen but we left there at 4:00. In my notes it says ""We were rushed at Mauthausen, we could have used more time". However, we did see a lot. (We were also visiting Dachau on that trip.) We were in Salzburg by around 5-5:30. We did not have a reservation, so we had to find a B&B. You won't have to worry about that, so you could maybe spend more time at Mauthausen.

I hope this helps. I think the second day will work out fine. I think you would have to be to Melk and on bikes to by early afternoon to make the first day work.

Have a great time. We did all this "unscheduled". We were suppose to do a hut to hut hike out of Salzburg, but got snowed out. With 4 nights and no reservations, we headed to Melk and had a great time. (we spent one full day in Vienna and rode the train from Melk to there) We had to be at the Munich airport at 8:30 am the day after our Salzburg night. (we were picking someone up) However, it was Octoberfest, so we did not even want to try and stay any closer. it all worked out...and so will your trip.