Hiking the most scenic trails through the Danube Valley and Wachau wine country
Stroll along rolling hills dotted with charming hamlets
Discover ancient castles and imposing fortresses at nearly every bend
Walk in the fragrant apricot gardens and vineyards of the Wachau
Taste some of the region’s best wines in the charming wine taverns
The Wachau World Heritage Trail: Hiking in the Danube Valley
Walk the UNESCO World Heritage landscape of the Wachau and discover the most beautiful stretch of the mighty Danube. The trails on this week-long walking holiday will take you to fortresses, ancient ruins and castles, many of them perched high on the ridges above the river and offering breathtaking views of the Danube Valley and its hillside vineyards.
The Wachau World Heritage Trail follows the most scenic paths through the Wachau wine country, along the rolling hills of the river valley, through charming hamlets, fragrant orchards, apricot gardens and, of course, vineyards. The most important grape variety of the region is the Grüner Veltliner, which found its perfect niche on the 300-year-old, steep, dry stone terraces. You will have ample opportunity to taste the wine and delicacies of the region as you go. This trip is a perfect blend of nature, culture and culinary delight!
|8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS||From €870 per person sharing*
*A high season supplement of €25 pp. will apply during July and August.
|ACCOMMODATION||In charming in ***/****inns/hotels on a bed & breakfast basis. The location of the accommodation is mainly close to the trails and all rooms are en-suite.
Please note that twin-bedded rooms in Austria are normally one large base with two mattresses/duvets. These are also known as ‘Austrian Twins’ and are regarded as two beds. Separate twin beds are rare and cannot be guaranteed as available.
|AVAILABILITY||You can start your trip on any day of the week (subject to availability) from May to October.|
|DIFFICULTY||Daily stages are graded easy to moderate and are suitable for beginners. Walking is mostly on good trails and some paved vineyard paths. The peaks in the Wachau region are not high, but steep in places. A reasonable fitness level and basic hiking equipment like good hiking shoes, rain and sun protection, functional clothing and also a warmer jacket or pullover are advised for this trip.|
Day 1: Arrival in Krems
The 1000-year-old city Krems charms visitors with its historical sights, cultural highlights and culinary delights. One of the prettiest towns along the Danube, Krems was declared to be a World Heritage site in 2000. Strolling its medieval streets is the perfect introduction to your week in the Wachau.
Day 2: Krems – Dürnstein
Distance: 12 km | Ascent: 385 m | Descent: 391 m | 4½ hrs approx.
The trail leads you through the historic quarters of Krems into the Krems-Valley and Wachau wine terrace where great views await you. Through the old part of Stein, you reach the vineyard of Stein with its ruin. Following the old winepaths, you enter the wine growing area Wachau via Pfaffenberg. Continuing through the impressive Ried Loibenberg (vineyard) you eventually reach medieval Dürnstein, with its famous ruin and monastery. From here, you take the local bus back to Krems for your overnight stay.
Day 3: Krems – Weissenkirchen – Spitz
Distance: 11 km | Ascent: 506 m | Descent: 494 m | 3½ hrs approx.
After a boat ride on the Danube you reach the charming town Weissenkirchen. From Weissenkirchen to Spitz, your path leads through unique vineyards in the heart of the Wachau. High above the Danube you will find the largest cohesive wine growing area of the region. You will walk through romantic dry grasslands, forests and miraculous rock formations to the red gate where you enter the historic wine village of Spitz. Spitz has a picturesque old town centre, where many taverns and restaurants await you.
Overnight: Spitz an der Donau
Day 4: Spitzer Graeben – Mühldorf
Distance: 11 km | Ascent: 487 m | Descent: 345 m | 4 hrs approx.
Through the imposing side valley of the Wachau (called Spitzer Graeben), a panoramic trail leads you to the famous vineyards in the hills of Tausendeimerberg and Setzberg. Via Niederranner, you continue to the romantic castle of Oberranna. From here, you follow the Rannabach creek downwards to Kalvarienberg and finally to Mühldorf. Via the Florianistiege (stairs) you reach market square with the mill wheel. Return by bus to Spitz.
Overnight: Spitz an der Donau
Day 5: Spitz – Aggsbach Markt – Emmersdorf
Distance: 15 km | Ascent: 611 m | Descent: 607 m | 5 hrs approx.
Begin the day with a short bus transfer to Aggsbach Markt. Along pitcturesque trails, you walk via Edelberg (hill) to a plateau named Bärenreut, where you will enjoy great views of the surrounding area. Via Zintring and Felbring you reach the distinctive Gossam castle church and afterwards you follow the historic postman’s track to Mödelsdorf. The path leads you along an old trade route into the picturesque Renaissance village of Emmersdorf an der Donau.
Day 6: Emmersdorf – Weiten
Distance: 18 km | Ascent: 632 m | Descent: 509 m | 6 hrs approx.
Today you follow the hiking trail Jauerling-Runde. The stage starts in Emmersdorf and leads you to the castle Rothenhof and to St. Georgen. You follow the trail upwards to Poemling and then downwards to Eitental. Above the Lohsdorfer Hoehe and the Koegelfeld you reach the highest point of the stage, the Spielerkreuz. An old trade route then leads you to Weiten.
Return by bus to Emmersdorf an der Donau.
Day 7: Emmersdorf – Melk
Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 236 m | Descent: 231 m | 3 hrs approx.
imperial castle Luberegg
The first part of the stage leads you up to the village Rantenberg, where you have great panoramic views. Descending from here, you pass the imperial castle Luberegg, whose inviting tavern makes a good stop for refreshment! From here, you follow the Danube with views to the famous Benedictine monastery of Melk across the river. You will soon come to a hydroelectric power station, where you cross the Danube onto Löweninsel (lion island) and then into the historic old town of Melk.
Day 8: Departure
Your arrangement comes to an end after breakfast this morning, unless you have booked additional nights.