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Europe > Central Europe > Austria > Lower Austria > Wachau


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The Wachau is located in Lower Austria on the river banks of the Danube river. The area is approximately 30 kilometers long.



Wine terraces in the region

The Wachau is very famous for its vineyards and the beautiful scenery. The climate is a bit milder than in the other parts of Lower Austria, because of the pannonian climate influence. This is why there are lots of vineyards, apricot trees and even almond trees. The winemakers of this region offer their homemade wine at the so-called Heurigen, which are wine-taverns where cold food and local wine is offered. To sign that their Heurigen is open the wine-makers put a small wheel made of straw in front of their house. Tourism is very popular in the Wachau and a trip by boat on the Danube River is an experience you won't forget.

The cultural landscape of the Danube Valley between Melk and Krems is recognized as a part of world cultural heritage.

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

  • Melk to Krems Wachau Valley bike ride. Pedaling along the most beautiful stretch of the Danube downstream 40 km with the slope in your favor (about 3 hours). Check with the Melk Tourist Office for the best route. The north bank bike trail is paved all the way, winds through picturesque villages, and runs near the river. The south bank bike trail merges with the actual road about half the time, but it has better river views.
  • Melk to Krems Danube River boat cruise. The downstream Melk to Krems cruise (~1.6 hr) is faster than the upstream Krems to Melk cruise (~3.3 hr). In the summer many tourist boats operate at the Wachau. The biggest and most visible boat companies are DDSG and Brandner. Both charge the same (€18 one-way, €23 round-trip), allow stopovers, and take bikes for free, but they are not necessarily the cheapest. MS Stadt Wien is a popular alternative among locals (weekends only). You can return to Melk on the Postbus line WL1 or WL2. In Krems, walk out the main gate of the ferry dock by the gift shop and you will come to a roundabout. Just beyond that is a second roundabout. Cross through that, and on your left look for the bus stop (the sign has a green "H" on a yellow disk). The bus runs every hour or so and has Melk on its destination sign. The fare is less than €3.
  • Melk to Krems bus services. VOR operate two bus services along the length of the Wachau, the hourly WL1 along the more popular north bank of the river and the less frequent WL2 along the south bank. The Wachauticket day pass costs €10 for adults or €5 for children and allows you to stop off along the valley.






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