As the other day I already had spa treatments in Sheraton hotel when staying in Bratislava, I also needed to find the right adventure to fit the other half of my Adventure and Spa project also in our capital. And I did.
I knew straight away that canoeing from Hainburg to Bratislava was the best and one of the funniest adventure options in the area.
On a hot Thursday we rushed from Zlate piesky looking for the Botanicka street and the so called Lodenica to meet with the rest of the group. Everyone else was waiting for us there, our friends included, but me and Maros were stuck in traffic and then not being able to find a parking lot.
It was pissing me off that me, the organizer, was late more than 20 minutes as I hate letting people waiting for me. Running to the meeting point with tears of sweat running from my forehead and hardly catching up breath was not fun. But Jaro, the owner of the Jairo outdoor company doing the canoeing with us didn’t seem to care and with his jokes he lightened up the situation.
A minibus took us from there to Hainburg, a small town in Austria. I left all my stuff in the car and took only a bottle of water and a waterproof camera with me. Not that I am so clumsy (well, I am!) but it’s the best to do so even for less clumsy people as no matter how much you try, everything gets wet in the canoe.
preparing the canoe catamarans
getting ready to canoe and kayak
We decided to have fun in a group and instead of more difficult kayaks for one person took bigger canoes and stuck them together into catamarans. I was in the front left on one canoe with other 5 friends competing with the second canoe with just 4 friends.
Well, it was not really competing as we were always the first even when not paddling at all
paddling like crazy
Wearing life vests and always staying on the side of the Danube to let the boats/ships cross in the middle were the most important things to remember.
I had no idea the Danube was going to be so safe and calm, and so not dangerous. The only little waves that appeared every now and then were made by the tourist boards going between Bratislava and Vienna.
The rest of the trip we could properly enjoy the birds above our heads, green forests on both sides, little wooden huts on the Austrian side and bigger buildings on the Slovak side. Even a huge white lighthouse!
The canoeing itself takes approx. 1 and a half hour as the water current makes you flow at around 10 km per hour and when paddling, maybe around 12 so the 14 km distance from Hainburg to Bratislava is easy to do without any muscle pain the following day.
Late afternoon air was finally cooling down the mid-day 38 Celsius degrees but it was still way too hot not to try the refreshing Danube. As far as I remember it was my first time swimming in the Danube ever!
There’s a bunch of beautiful pebble beaches along the river and during the trip you have a chance to pull over at some and enjoy the rest for a bit. We first stopped on the left bank on a little island trying to swim against the waves done by a tourist ship, and then later on spent a few minutes on another beach with little stones on the right bank of the river overlooking the Devin castle from 864 AD lit by the starting sunset.
pulled over at the first pebble beach on the Danube
my first swimming in the Danube
guys are too cold to swim?
canoeing towards the Devin castle ruins
the view of the castle
taking a break to enjoy the Devin castle
the Devin castle close-up
on the way to our second beach stop
happy with the Devin castle view
Here Jaro distributed horalky, Slovak biscuits I used to love in my childhood and haven’t eaten ever since. I cheated my vegan days with a bite, almost killed myself trying a yoga position scratching my foot on the stones in the water, and jumped in the canoe again ready for the last part of the trip.
The last kilometres of the canoe trip were even more chilled out when the guys pretended to be gondoliers and tried to paddle when standing up. The only difference was they couldn’t touch the ground. And we were not in Venice. And there were mosquitoes the last minutes of the trip!
Adam playing a gondolier
I was cursing myself for not bringing a repellent so don’t make the same mistake if you are also one of those unfortunate people who all the mosquitoes from the area could eat alive. And I was also wishing to have my DSLR camera with me at that very moment to snap a shot of the orange sunset behind us.
wish I had my DSLR camera with me
sunset above the Danube
”Keep the sunset image in your heart” said my friend and as if using any magic I really did. I can feel right now what I felt exactly when seeing that sunset sitting in a canoe with my friends.
Each time I visit Bratislava I walk along the Danube. This time I saw Bratislava from the Danube itself. It doesn’t have to be noisy and busy as the capitals always tend to be. If you want to be a part of the nature and listen to the birds, you can do so even when staying in Bratislava.
And if after the canoeing Hainburg to Bratislava you get starving, Jaro distributes 1 euro discount to use in the dock restaurant which offers Pastrami sandwiches.
- bring repellent
- swim suit
- shoes that can get wet, or flip flops – I wore flip flops but left them in the canoe and was barefoot all the time
- clothes you don’t mind to get wet – because you will
- leave your other belongings in the car and you will give them back once you return to the dock
- waterproof camera
- if you want more adventure, choose the sea kayak
- if you don’t want to paddle much or get under the water surface, choose the canoe catamaran
- if you use Lyoness, you’ll get 10% discount (if you don’t have the card, let me know)
Canoeing Hainburg to Bratislava was a press trip organized by Jairo outdoor. Check out their website to find out more details about different adventure activities they offer in Bratislava and surroundings.
*** It took me 3 hours to write this post.