The Wachau in Austria is a destination for connoisseurs
(Advertisement) In this article we present the Wachau Austria for connoisseurs. It is certainly one of the best-known travel regions in Lower Austria. The region is not only very popular because of the hit about the "Mariandl from the Wachauer Landl". The song isn't that popular anymore these days. At least that is the opinion of the tourism experts in the region. This is confirmed on an information board on the Danube in Krems. In this homeland film, a Wachau image was created "that has as much to do with the real Wachau as a cellar staircase has with a drop of fine Wachau." And they are right.
The Wachau in Weinviertel is a destination for connoisseurs. It is the part of the Danube between Krems and Melk. There it dug 36 meters deep into the truncated mountain landscape of the Bohemian Massif over a distance of 700 kilometers. The Wachau separates the Dunkelsteinerwald in the south from the Waldviertel in the north. We can recommend these excursion destinations for connoisseurs along the Danube:
Krems in the Wachau
At the landing stage of the Danube boat trip on the Danube road in Krems we drink a coffee with a view of the Danube. Meanwhile, we watch the passengers as they board the excursion boats. Some come with the whole family, others with two. Some have a picnic basket with them, the others a bicycle. On the way, you will always have the opportunity to get off at various points on the boat trip. They can take a closer look at the places that nestle in the narrow valley between the river and the steeply rising valley walls.
So you can make yourself comfortable on one of the park benches or meadows on the river bank and yours Lunch snack enjoy. Or they get off at a ship station along the way. Others cycle along the Danube Cycle Path and board the next ship at one station. Definitely a nice way to explore the Wachau Valley while cycling for pleasure. We treat ourselves to a chocolate and a latte macchiato in the café on the landing stage. We enjoy the warm summer sun and watch the hustle and bustle on and on the Danube before we set off to visit the city of Krems.
The best way to do this is on a city tour, because Krems is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a number of sights to offer that are otherwise easily overlooked. What we discovered in Krems, you can read here.
The Benedictine monastery of Göttweig in the Wachau region of Austria towers over the south bank of the Danube across from Krems. The monastery is not only worth a visit because of its magnificent view. The collegiate church, the Kaiserstiege and the Kaisertrakt are magnificent baroque buildings that take your breath away. The monks own large forest areas. Their game provides the meat for the game specialties that can be bought in the monastery shop. You should also not miss the apricot garden. There the apricots ripen, from which the monastery produces juices, liqueurs, brandies and jams. A treat not to be missed.
If you have enough time, you can even spend the night in the monastery. In the guest wing you can stay in simple but modern guest rooms. If you're lucky, the Benedict Suite might also be free. This is the apartment of a former abbot, which the monastery now rents out to guests. We stayed three nights at Göttweig Abbey and not only enjoyed the view. The monastery restaurant also contributes to the fact that the guests of the monastery feel comfortable.
Our Information about Göttweig Abbey can be found in this blog post.
Dürnstein with its castle and the blue church tower
It is only ten kilometers from Göttweig Abbey via the Austrian Romantic Road Dürnstein. One of the most beautiful places in the Wachau awaits the visitor there. The blue steeple of the Dürnstein collegiate church has become the symbol of the Wachau in Austria. It can be seen from afar from the river. However, since we are approaching on the road, Dürnstein Castle first appears in our field of vision. She also tells an interesting story. It was the place where the English King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned at the end of the 12th century.
The legend of Richard the Lionheart and his singer Blondel
According to legend, Richard the Lionheart was on a crusade to the Holy Land with other princes and kings when Emperor Frederick Barbarossa drowned in the Saleph River. The princes then quarreled over who should lead the crusade. Richard the Lionheart tore up the Austrian flag and replaced it with his own. This angered Duke Leopold V of Austria so much that he swore revenge on his opponent.
When Richard the Lionheart returned from his crusade in the Holy Land, he disguised himself as a pilgrim. He didn't want to be recognized by the Austrians. However, an old comrade in arms recognized him. Leopold then threw him in prison in Dürnstein Castle. Hadmar von Kuenring, the lord of the castle, took care of his guard.
Meanwhile, King Richard's brother John took control of England. Everyone thought Richard the Lionheart had perished returning from the Crusade. Only his singer Blondel didn't believe in it. According to legend, he set off to look for his king. He also came to Dürnstein. Sadly he sang there a song that only Richard knew. When he had sung the first verse, he suddenly heard someone singing the second. Then Blondel knew that King Richard was imprisoned in Dürnstein Castle. He returned to England and talked about it everywhere. Richard the Lionheart was finally released from his captivity in 1193 for a large ransom.
If you want to learn more about it, then it is worth climbing up to Dürnstein Castle via the theme trail. On the way there are beautiful views of the town and the Danube.
Dürnstein Abbey is also worth a visit. We will present it in a separate post soon.
Wine region around Spitz in the Wachau
We then continue our way along the Danube with always new views of the river and the small villages, which one can see their prosperity. Lovingly maintained inns, vineyards that stretch up the mountain, magnificent churches and medieval castle ruins make the trip through the Wachau a real feast for the eyes. We also can't get enough of the ever-changing views of the Danube that open up around every bend. We would like to postpone our journey home and stay here for a few more days.
Along the road we keep seeing fruit stands selling apricots as soon as they are ripe. Some signs refer to the Spicy apricot summer which takes place from July 1st to 24th, 2022.
Klosterhof restaurant and wine world
We stop for lunch in the Klosterhof, a restaurant where wine has always played a major role. The monastery courtyard once belonged together with the Göttweig Abbey to the bishopric of Passau. It was used as a reading courtyard. This means that the wines were prepared there for transport to the trading posts. Coopers made barrels for the wine trade at this location. The monastery courtyard has a barrel in the rock cellar that dates back to the year 996. It is even older than the monastery courtyard itself, which originally dates back to the 12th century. From the monastery courtyard it is not far to the Danube. This made it easy to bring the wine barrels to the merchant ships.
It's still a bit too cool to eat in the romantic inner courtyard. Instead, we enjoy the ambience in the wine press house over roast pork with potato dumplings. We are served specialties from the Wachau in front of a huge wine press.
A-3620 Spitz an der Donau
Phone + 43 (0) 2713 20144-0
Walk through the monastery garden of Melk Abbey in Wachau
Before we say goodbye to the Wachau, we make a detour to the abbey garden of Melk Abbey and to the Pen Melk, which towers high above the Danube on the other bank of the river. However, we content ourselves with a walk through the monastery garden, which has been restored to its baroque splendor in recent years. We walk past blooming rose beds to the pavilion on the side of the park facing the Danube.
Inside is a cafeteria, which is worth a visit not only for the cool drinks that are offered there. The frescoes on the walls and the ceiling of the pavilion are by Johann Wenzel Bergl and represent exotic animals and jungle plants that wind upwards. In between, Indians look down on us. We buy ice cream for dessert at the self-service counter and marvel at how the monks enjoyed their spare time during the Baroque period.
You need at least half a day to a whole day to visit Melk Abbey. The abbey is a masterpiece of architecture and a place of pleasure that you need your leisure for. Therefore, we will soon present the pen in a separate article.
Conclusion: a holiday in the Wachau is worth it
With these tips for excursion destinations in the Wachau, a Vacation an impressive experience in the Wachau. In addition, the Wachau is not only beautiful in spring and summer. Of the Autumn on the Danube has its own charm.
You need that for a hike in the Wachau
- Pack your backpack with our packing list for hikers. Then you are guaranteed to have everything you need on the go.
- Comfortable You need walking shoes for wide feetwhere you can walk well even on rough paths
- A backpack is definitely practical for everything you need on the go.
- The region offers beautiful photo opportunities. Therefore you should bring your camera .
- Are you looking for other equipment for hikers?
- You can find hiking stages on the World Heritage Trail through the Wachau here
Do you like to travel by motorhome?
- Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information here and booking options. Or would you prefer to stay overnight in a roof tent on the car? Also the overnight stay in camping tents is possible.
- Check with ours packing list for camperswhether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour. Then you are ready for your wine weekend in the Wachau.
- You want to know where to go with a motorhome stay in Europe can and are you looking for parking spaces and campsites? You can find information about this under this link.
– A campsite near Göttweig Abbey is Donau Camping Krems, Yachthafenstrasse 19, 3500 Krems an der Donau, Austria. Alternatively, you can stay at the Melk campsite, Kolomaniau 3, 3390 Melk, Austria. There you can after a day trip in a with a Dutch Oven or preparing your meal on the portable grill after a day trip . Dutch oven accessories can be found here.
- Why is a folding e-bike useful when camping?
Arriving by plane, public transport or car
Arrival by plane, bus or train* The nearest airport is Vienna Schwechat. From there you can travel by rental car or public transport. Railway stations are in Krems and in Melk.
The Wachaubahn also runs from April to October: Info about it
Cheap rental cars - book here! *
Book yours here Accommodation*
Stay overnight in one winery in the Wachau, where you can experience wine intensively
Do you already know:
Hotels in the region* you can book here. More slow travel Travel Tips There's this link. Discover others Wine Regions in Austria
Source Wachau Austria: own research on site as well as press trips with Klösterreich
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline