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The Stiftskirche tower in Dürnstein.
 

Exploring the beautiful Wachau Valley

Last updated 13 March 2021

Like many places, the Wachau Valley is best explored slowly, staying at one or more of the charming Austrian villages. However, if you’re short on time or based in Vienna like we were, a day trip is a wonderful way to get a taste of this beautiful area.

The Wachau Valley is situated along the banks of the Danube River and is Austria’s most famous wine region. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s a wonderful place to explore, with a huge amount a history and culture. As well as tasting the wine, visit some of the remarkable towns and villages in the area, as well as the beautiful, old castles dotted through the region.

How to get there

The Wachau Valley is just an hour away from Vienna. If you enjoy wine, you probably don’t want to drive, so consider doing the next best thing – catching the train to Krems and cycling through the valley from there. You can hire a bike independently or join one of the many tours that meander through the valley, stopping at wineries along the way.

Otherwise, there are regular train connections from Vienna to both Krems and Melk, and buses run between the two, stopping at some of the smaller towns along the way. For maximum flexibility, hiring a car is definitely the way to go. Another popular option is cruising down the Danube and seeing the beautiful scenery from the river. There are also ferries along the river, if you want to travel that way for a part of your trip.

The wine region

Bike and wine taste along the UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley, stopping at wineries along your route to sample local blends, while admiring the valley's stunning scenery. Discover century-old terraced vineyards and visit family-run wineries to taste local Austrian wine and regional specialties.

Towns

The Wachau Valley is home to a number of beautiful towns and villages, many with nearby castles.

Dürnstein

Visit the picture-perfect town of Dürnstein, a UNESCO World Heritage Site Wine tastings in traditional and local family-owned taverns. See the former prison of King Richard the Lionheart

Spitz

Melk

Weißenkirchen in der Wachau

Emmersdorf an der Donau

Castles

Take advantage of your time in the region to visit the medieval castles dotted around the area. Here are some of our favourites:

Aggstein Castle

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