Donausteig Stage 1_N01 Passau - Obernzell „Through the Bavarian valley into the Danube Valley"

  • culturally interesting
  • Multi-day tour

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Path number: Etappe 1_N01
Starting place: 94032 Passau
Destination: 94130 Obernzell

duration: 9h 0m
length: 27,0 km
Altitude difference (uphill): 817m
Altitude difference (downhill): 827m

Lowest point: 290m
Highest point: 521m
difficulty: difficult
condition: very difficult
panoramic view: Great panorama

Paths covering:
Asphalt, Path / trail, Gravel

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Short description:
Donausteig-simply fabulous! This stage leads us from the tri-river city of Passau first across the high plateau of the Bavarian Forest, then through the original forest flank of the Donauleiten to Obernzell on the Danube. We discover Passau the Bavarian Venice, the mother church of the Eastern-danube, the Golden (salt) climb, the beauty of Bavaria, the natural jewel of the Donauleiten, the danube jewel Obernzell...

Technique: *

Quality of experience: ******

Recommended season:
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

  • Multi-stage route
  • Scenic
  • Refreshment stops available
  • Cultural/historical value
  • Geological highlights

Seal of approval:
  • Quality route according to "Österreichisches Wandergütesiegel"
This Donausteig-stage starts in Passau, the Bavarian Venice! The historic town lies at the confluence of the Inn, Danube and Ilz in the forested Durchbruchstal (valley) along the upper Danube. From the Donausteig-starting point, we walk through the picturesque old town between the Inn and Danube. Italian flair, magnificent architecture, rich facades, the magnificent St. Stephen's Cathedral, tell of prosperity and power - the residence of the "Eastern Danube"! After crossing the Danube, the Ludwigssteig (trail) leads up the steep forest flank of the Donauleiten. Atthe observation platform a magnificent view of Passau opens up with the city at our feet! Passed the imposing Veste Oberhaus (house) a curve downhill to the right leads to the Ilz River. Here in the Ilzstadt (city) we follow the once legendary Goldenesteig (salt trail) which led all the way to Bohemia. Continuing through the settlement uphill, then along a footpath, we reach the plateau of the atmospheric Ilz Erlau Highlands, an outlier of the Bavarian Forest. Now, undulating landscapes shape the scenery: lush meadows, fertile fields, extensive woodlands, scattered settlements,... simply bavaria! On rural roads, we soon come to the last settlement offshoots of Passau. From this point on the forest begins after a meadow path. Beautiful hiking trails now passed the Hauzenberger main street to a clearing of the Erdbrüst wetland. On quiet secondary roads  we reach the lonely forest settlement Ziegelreuth from where, on beautiful paths, a right curve brings us back to the Hauzenberger main street. We accompany the main street approximately 1.2 km uphill and then turn left into the forest. Following this, a secondary road goes down to the Graf mill, continues along the Hörreuter stream towards the danube, and finally on the opposite hillside it reaches the Buchsee farm hamlet on forest and dirt roads. There, the donausteig turns towards the Danube and quickly enters the atmospheric woodland of the steep Donauleiten. At the edge of the area, the Donausteig-resting point "Donaublick" allows an inspiring deep look in the Danube Valley - truly a place to stay! At first an idyllic forest road follows the edge of the area, then turns towards the back country, where we leave the forest near Wingersdorf (village). Now, the trail goes back through the evocative cultural landscape of the rural plateau. Immediately we are at the panoramic Hill of the König-Max-Höhe (height). Congratulations - this is the highest point of this Donausteig-stage! The views reach far into the Bavarian Forest, the Bohemian Forest, the Sau Forest... - simply fabulous! No wonder that this is one of the most famous views of the Danube. A promising farm road leads now comfortable downhill to the Schörgendorf farm hamlet. Following a dirt road, a forest road leads through the steep forest flank of the Donauleiten and brings us down to the Danube. Slightly downstream the Danube town of Erlau follows. After a brief rise we walk 4 km  through the original mixed forest of the Donauleiten - a meditative nature enjoyment! Here, at the shelter a nice view to the Danube valley lets become aware of the harmony surrounding us. By the edge of the forest we finally descend to Obernzell. Culture & nature - simply the Donausteig!


Discover the following features with the Donausteig-diary:

-Passau-the Bavarian Venice

-Donaustieg-starting point"Passau"

-Ludwig-Platz-the gateway to the city

-Of bovine animals and Crusaders

-Parish Church of St. Paul, the oldest parish church of Passau

-The Passau Tölpel, once a landmark!

-St. Stephen's Cathedral, the hand of the Eastern Danube!

-Residenzplatz (square)-in the Centre of power

- ...


Download: Donausteig-diary "Stage 1_N01 Passau Obernzell" - yet to follow!

From the Donausteig-starting "Passau", we follow the station road East to the Ludwig square, where the trail leads left in a wide right curve to the via the Ludwigstrasse (road), the Heuwinkel, the cattle market and the Steinweg (path) to the residence square. The main entrance to the Cathedral square allows a detour into the St. Stephen's Cathedral. A few meters further on from the square, the donausteig leads down left through the Schrottgasse(alley) to the banks of the Danube. There turn right and cross the danube on the Prince-Regent-Luitpold bridge. In straight extension, begins the steep Ludwigssteig (trail) which brings us up on the left hand side through the steep Donauleiten all way to the top. At the top, we reach to the right the Donausteig-resting point "Oberhaus", and the main entrance of the Veste Oberhaus (upper house). Along the road, we continue at the end of the sports complex in a right curve down to the Ilzbrücke (bridge). From the opposite bank of the River, the Löwenmühlstraße (street) and the Mittelstrasse (street) lead uphill to the right to the Säumertor (gate) (next to the Church of St. Bartolomäus). Here turn left and then right again. After a rising footpath we are at the rural plateau of the Ilz Erlau Highlands infront of the Ebner farm. Turn left onto the tarmac road. At the sports field left and then straight over the main street. Now, we leave the city of Passau. A meadow path takes us to the edge of the forest, followed by a beautiful hiking trail. In the clearing of the Erdbrüst wetland area turn on the tarmac road right and after 50 m turn left again into the forest. Soon after we reach the Hauzenberger main road, which we cross. Along the opposite road, we finally reach Ziegelreuth. There in front of the village Chapel turn right and continue up the settlement road. In its extension, a footpath follows first along the edge of the forest and then continues in a curve to the right through the forest. Arriving back at the Hauzenberger main street, we accompany the road uphill on a paved foot / cycleway. After 1.2 km, continue under the road and turn left down to the Grafmühle (mill) (Donausteig-resting point). The donausteig now follows the river down the Valley, and crosses on a bridge where it leads on forest and dirt roads up to the farm hamlet of Buchsee. Turn right here and follow down the dirt road towards the Danube. In a left arc the road plunges us into the forests of the Donauleiten and are mmediately at the edge of the terrain of the Donausetig-resting point "Donaublick". The trail leads further into the forest: first along the edge of the area, then onto the high plateau. At the edge of the forest, the path turns left in the direction of Wingersdorf. In the settlement at the junction turn left and then right again. We have now reached the König-Max-Höhe (height) (Donausteig-Resting point). At the next two crossings turn right, then at the East entrance of Wingersdorf on the street turn left downhill. In Schörgendorf the tarmac road leads intro dirt road. Later, the Donausteig turns right into the fields and leads on forest roads through the steep forest of the Donauleiten down to Erlau. After crossing the railway tracks we turn left to the mouth of the Erlau River. Left on the Haarer road continue uphill. We leave it at the first turn and walk on the idyllic Jägersteig (trail) approx. 4 km, passed the Donausteig-resting point „Schutzhütte am Jägersteig“ to the forest edge of the Donauleiten. Following the asphalt road to the right down and continue straight up to the cemetery Church of St. Margaretha. There turn right, continue down the cemetery stairs, and pass the market Church to reach the market square in Obernzell.


To facilitate the orientation, the Donausteig was provided with its own system of orientation - you will find the description  here  .

Passau is not only known for its architecture, but is also a key place to many Donausteig-experiences - take time to discover and admire!

Sturdy shoes

Additional information:
WGD Tourismus GmbH 
Lindengasse 9
4040 Linz, Austria
Tel. +43(0)732/7277-800
Fax. +43(0)732/7277-804


Passau Tourism e.V.
Bahnhofstraße 36
D-94032 Passau
Tel. +49(0)851/955980
Fax: +49(0)851/35107


Tourist-Information Obernzell
Marktplatz 42
94130 Obernzell
Tel. +49(0)8591/9116119
Fax: +49(0)8591/9116150

Starting point: Passau - the Donausteig-starting point "Passau" is located in the city centre directly in front of the main exit of the main train station.
Destination: Obernzell - the Donausteig "Obernzell" is located on the promenade at the same height of Castle Obernzell.

further information:
  • Multi-day tour
  • Board possible

Accessibility / arrival

Getting there
Passau's main train station is located approx. 350m to the west of the  Schanzbrücke (bridge)  (Navigation: D‑94032 Passau, Hauptbahnhof).

Public Transit
Passau can be reached by train and by bus. A transfer back from Obernzell is possible by bus. Information on time tables can be found at  .

The city center of Possau is mostly a short term parking zone. For extended parking times there are a number of pay garages and lots available. Information to the location and prices of these can be found hier  .

Travelling by public transport
Route planner for independent travellers
Most economical season
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn

Please get in touch for more information.

Donausteig Stage 1_N01 Passau - Obernzell „Through the Bavarian valley into the Danube Valley"
WGD Donau Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH
Lindengasse 9
4040 Linz

Phone +43 732 7277 - 800
Fax machine +43 732 7277 - 804

We speak the following languages


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a.Pedestrians have the right of way: We are accommodating and friendly to pedestrians and hikers. Upon encountering these fellow travellers, we alert them by using the bicycle bell and slowly overtake them. We avoid paths with heavy pedestrian traffic altogether. Take nature into account: We do not leave refuse behind.

b.The braking distance should be half of the total distance visible: We ride at a controlled pace, are ready to brake and maintain a braking distance half as long as the total distance visible, especially in curves, because we always have to count on obstacles on the path. Damage to the path, stones, branches, wood piles, grazing livestock, cattle grids, barriers, tractor-type forestry machines and authorised vehicles pose dangers that we need to be ready for.

c.Don’t drink and drive!: Do not drink alcohol when mountain biking. Take care at stop-off points (dealing with bike racks, dirty shoes or clothing).

It is obligatory to provide first aid!

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Blockades can often not be avoided and are in your own interest. Biking beyond the intended path and outside of opening times is punishable and turns us into illegal bikers.

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f.Avoid unnecessary noise. Out of consideration to the animals living in the wild, we only bike during full daylight. As a principle, we always wear our helmet (even when riding uphill)! Don’t forget emergency supplies: We always have a repair set and bandages along.

g.Don’t overestimate your skills: We should not overdo it when it comes to biking technique and physical fitness. Take the level of difficulty posed by the route into consideration and make a precise estimate of your experience and skills as a biker (braking, bell, lights)!

h.Close gates: We approach grazing livestock at a walking pace and close every gate behind us. We should avoid causing escape and panic reactions in the animals. Nothing stands in the way of the fun and athletic challenge in the mountains and forests!

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 Interactive elevation profile

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Path number: Etappe 1_N01
Starting place: 94032 Passau
Destination: 94130 Obernzell

duration: 9h 0m
length: 27,0 km
Altitude difference (uphill): 817m
Altitude difference (downhill): 827m

Lowest point: 290m
Highest point: 521m
difficulty: difficult
condition: very difficult
panoramic view: Great panorama

Paths covering:
Asphalt, Path / trail, Gravel

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