Austria : The Danube

Walking the Wachau Heritage Trail

Trip code: W07WV

Self-guided walking

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2
Moderate

11.0Kg CO2e

Navigation App

SUMMARY

  • Walk through vineyards to panoramic viewpoints and indulge in a wine-tasting experience featuring exquisite local wines
  • Witness the outstanding natural beauty of the Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage landscape
  • Explore historic towns and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage
  • Enjoy a leisurely river cruise along the Danube, enjoying scenic views and the serene ambiance of your surroundings

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Navigation app
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Danube boat trip from Melk to Krems (only possible from mid-April - bus ride is the alternative)
  • One wine tasting (either in Durnstein or Spitz)

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Discover the magical beauty of the Wachau region as you trace the gentle curves of the River Danube. This world heritage landscape paints a picturesque scene, where vineyards flourish on steep hillsides. Enjoy glorious views of one of Austria's oldest cultural landscapes where small hamlets dot the landscape

Explore the majestic Melk Abbey, a UNESCO-listed Baroque gem. Wander through Krems' historic streets and hear the tale of Richard the Lionheart, who was famously captured in the ruins of Durnstein castle after his return from the Crusades. Amidst quaint wine taverns, this legend comes alive, creating an enchanting atmosphere in the village. Richard the Lionheart's defiant act of tearing down the Austrian flag sparked a historic feud with Leopold V, Duke of Austria, adding depth to this remarkable story.

Indulge in the region's culinary delights, from renowned wines to delectable apricot dishes. Wachau is a haven for food enthusiasts, with locals skillfully crafting apricot marmalades, schnapps, and chutneys from the region's bounty. Don't miss the Marillenknoedel, apricot dumplings wrapped in a special dough, a culinary delight that captures the essence of Wachau's flavours.

Your adventure culminates with a relaxing river cruise back to Krems, allowing you to savour the memories of your Danube journey. Along the way, you'll stay in carefully selected 3 and 4-star hotels, some nestled amid sun-kissed vineyards, boasting their own wine cellars, and inviting spas. This walking holiday is tailor-made for those who cherish exquisite food, fine wines, the wonders of nature, rich art and history, and the serenity of lake and river routes. Experience the simple pleasures of life in the heart of this enchanting region.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Krems

If you arrive early, you will have an opportunity to explore this wonderful town with its old medieval centre.

You stay at Unter den Linden.

hotel details

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Unter den Linden, Krems

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Nestled in the heart of Krems, between the iconic Steiner Tor and the State Gallery of Lower Austria, the three-star Under Den Linden hotel offers the perfect blend of convenience and charm. With all attractions just steps away, the 40 spacious rooms are individually decorated with meticulous attention to detail and modern amenities. Enjoy daily room service, fast Wi-Fi, and complimentary parking, including secure bicycle storage. Managed by the fifth generation of the Grech family, this hotel promises a warm and welcoming stay.

Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used.

Day 2: Krems to Durnstein (12km/7.5mi)

Begin your walk from the centre of Krems, making your way through vineyards and forest roads to an observation tower with views over the city of Krems and the Danube. Continue over the hilltops to Fesslhutte and the ruins of Durnstein as you follow this scenic trail to the banks of the blue Danube.

Visit Domane Wachau winery in the afternoon for wine tasting (one wine tasting is included, either in Durnstein or in Spitz).

elevation

You stay at Hotel Sanger Blondel.

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Hotel Sanger Blondel, Durnstein

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In the centre of Dürnstein, a mere stone's throw from the Danube, discover a three-star Sanger Blondel, a charming family-run hotel offering personalised hospitality. Start your day with a delightful breakfast buffet in the blooming garden or cosy dining room, featuring views of Dürnstein Abbey and the castle ruins. The individually furnished rooms provide scenic views of the flower garden, the old town, and the Danube. The hotel is named after Blondel, the minstrel, embodying timeless devotion to King Richard the Lionheart and adding a touch of history to your stay.

Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used.

Day 3: Durnstein to Weissenkirchen (16km/9.9mi)

Take the ferry to the other side of the Danube to Rossatz (paid locally) where you walk through vineyards. Alternatively, you can follow the route through the largest apricot growing area of Austria before ascending to the Seekopf observation tower. There you will have a wonderful view of the Danube valley before walking down a zig-zag trail to St Lorenz. Cross the Danube again to the town of Weissenkirchen (paid locally).

elevation

You stay at Hotel Kirchenwirt.

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Hotel Kirchenwirt, Weissenkirchen

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Immerse yourself in the exquisite charm of Hotel Kirchenwirt, a distinguished 4-star haven nestled in Weissenkirchen. Indulge in the essence of Lower Austrian cuisine as their restaurant focuses on regional delicacies inspired by three generations. With a selection ranging from innovative reinterpretations to timeless classics, accompanied by award-winning red wines from renowned local winemakers, your culinary journey here is unmatched. Surrounded by sun-kissed vineyards and the scenic Danube, the hotel stands at the heart of the Austrian Wachau World Heritage Site. Featuring 40 meticulously designed rooms blending tradition with modernity, and an indulgent spa sanctuary, Kirchenwirt ensures your well-being is meticulously cared for.

Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used.

Day 4: Weissenkirchen Circular (4km/2.5mi)

Enjoy a rest day in Weissenkirchen, the biggest wine growing area in the Wachau and surrounded by vineyards. If you'd like a short walk, there's a trail leading through the local vineyards with the opportunity to sample the produce back in the town. There are also museums to visit in the wonderful historic old town.

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Day 5: Weissenkirchen to Spitz (12km/7.5mi)

Today is a gentle start through the vineyards from Weissenkirchen to Joching. There you head through the upper vineyards to the forest and to an observation tower with views towards Gschwendt in the northwest and of the Danube. There is a gentle descent before a final small climb to the 'Red Gate', one of the old seven defence gates of Spitz. It gets its name because of the blood shed when the Swedes took it in the Thirty Years War; here you have a beautiful view of Spitz below.

Enjoy wine tasting at Klosterhof in Spitz after completing your walk (one wine tasting is included, either in Spitz or in Durnstein).

elevation

You stay at Goldenes Schiff.

hotel details

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Goldenes Schiff, Spitz

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Discover the heartwarming hospitality of Goldenes Schiff, a cherished 3-star hotel with 34 recently renovated rooms, some featuring balconies and captivating Danube views. Indulge in the hotel's sauna or steam bath after exploring the scenic Wachau Valley. The hotel's restaurant, guided by the owner herself, offers a delectable journey featuring locally sourced ingredients transformed into both regional and international delights. Traditional dishes shine, prepared with care and passion. Guests in Danube-facing rooms enjoy panoramic views of the river, charming Arns villages (Ober-, Hof-, and Mitterarnsdorf), and the serene Dunkelsteiner Forest, creating a truly memorable stay.

Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used.

Day 6: Spitz to Melk (15km/9.3mi)

Begin by taking the ferry across the Danube to Arnsdorf (paid locally). A longer walk today, with some quite steep climbs through woodland, culminating in a visit to the pilgrim church of Maria Langegg located in a small village in the hills. The church is a hidden beauty, off the beaten track, built originally about 1600. It is on Austria's pilgrim Route of St James so you could follow it all the way to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, but we only go as far as Aggstein, a ruined castle, and then onward to Aggsbach Dorf, where there is a former Carthusian monastery. From Aggsbach Dorf you take the bus to Melk (paid locally).

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You stay at Hotel Zur Post.

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Hotel Zur Post, Melk

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Offering captivating views of Melk Abbey, the four-star Hotel Zur Post stands proudly in the center of Melk. This charming hotel provides a sauna, complimentary Wi-Fi, and free bike rentals for guests to explore the scenic surroundings. Delight your taste buds with seasonal Austrian dishes made from local produce at the hotel's restaurant, where traditional flavours are given a modern twist, showcasing the essence of the Wachau region. The hotel also features a wine cellar with an impressive collection and an ice cream parlour. With a focus on individual needs and a warm family atmosphere. Free parking adds to the convenience of your stay, making it a perfect base for your adventures in Melk.

Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used.

Day 7: Melk to Krems

In the morning, we highly recommend a visit the imposing Melk Abbey, which dominates the city. As well as visiting the abbey, there are extensive gardens to stroll around; the city of Melk is also worth a visit. In the afternoon you take a river cruise (included) back down the Danube past the towns where you have stayed during your walking week - Spitz, Weissenkirchen and Durnstein, before finishing at Krems for your final night.

Day 8: Depart Krems

Leave Krems.

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$2120
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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $303.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from $303.

TRAVEL DETAILS

Call now to speak to our specialist team at 0044 1606 720199 or email us at sales@headwater.com for enquiries or to book your trip.

REVIEWS

Luke worked really hard to get us the holiday we had dreamed about.

Bernard Nolan, 21 May 2024

Luke worked really hard to get us the holiday we had dreamed about.

Bernard Nolan, 21 May 2024

Excellent first class experience dealing with Headwater. They respond quickly to queries and are super helpful and efficient

Peter Bryant, 2 Nov 2023

Understood what I wanted to book, remembered me from previous bookings, came back to me within hours so that I could proceed and pay my deposit. Informed what information they are waiting for.

Margaret Macmillan, 28 Aug 2023


Self-guided walking

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2
Moderate

11.0Kg CO2e

Navigation App

7 nights from $1940

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: +44 1606 720199

 

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