Distance: 29km and 19km
Getting there: All is connected by train or buses between each other and from Vienna
Scenery: Trail with forest, vineyards, Danube river and many types of fruit trees
Just a few hours from fancy Vienna, there is a land where you can immerse in nature and enjoy magical culinary adventures. Wachau Valley gives you the experience of walking from the river shores to vineyards trail, and just a few steps further from the Austrian forest.
We did a 4-day hiking tour around this area, and I think is one of the most beautiful hiking we had ever done. We went at the beginning of September, so it was still summer and there was the beginning of fall festivals (When they collect all the grapes). Stay tuned to read more about it:
Day 1: Vienna to Melk
We took from a train from Wien Hauptbahnhof (train station) to Melk (Direction Salsburg), with a transfer in St.Pollen (it was around 32 euros one way). The journey was about one hour long, and it was amazing how comfortable were the trains in Austria. The economy class felt like a business one.
We arrived at Melk around 3 pm. Just in time to check-in in our accommodation, Pension Babenberger. Here we got a comfy room with included Austrian breakfast (boiled eggs, all types of bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, ham, and cheese). Enough for our first day of hiking.
This day we went to check out the beautiful little town and we saw the sunset reflected on the Stift Melk (Melk Abbey). Finally, we closed our day with a good burger and refreshing beer at Koloman.
Day 2: Melk to Spitz (29km)
Our first stop was Melk Abbey, we didn’t enter but we want to look around. Just the entrance was beautiful, and we decided to go back one day and stay for a long time inside. Then, we started walking throughout the fields. I think there chamomile and corn. Finally, we started our way up through the forest. All the trail had useful signs and places to rest.
Once we got to the top of the mountain, the scenery is surreal. We had lunch just before entering a field full of pine trees (the smell was amazing!). Then on our way down, we had this magical view of the valley.
Finally, we arrived at Spitz around noon. The views in the last kilometers were fields full of vineyards and nice houses. We stayed that night in a historical hotel called Mariandl. Apparently it was important due to an old movie filmed there, so the hotel includes a museum of the movie.
Spitz is a cute little town, full of picturesque tiny streets and great views of the river. We had dinner in a restaurant called Gasthaus Spitzerl. Obviously, we want some regional cuisine and this place did not disappoint at all. Our dish was a Spitzerl’s Herrengröstl, a combination of roast potatoes with roast pork, bacon, onions, fried eggs served with cabbage-salad paired of course with some local wine, Riesling Federspiel. The perfect way to recover from a long hike. Our dessert was a regional dish called Marmeladepalatschinken, and it is basically 2 crepes with Wachauer apricot jam and ice cream.
Day 3: Spitz to Krems (19km)
On the third day we were already a little bit tired, not only because of the hiking from the before, but also because before coming to Wachau we spent a full week in Vienna. so we decided that we were going to walk until we felt it was enough. For that, we had an enormous and delicious breakfast in the hotel. The best eggs we had in all our days in Austria, and a pretty good selection of different kinds of bread. The hotel has a small vineyard that you can visit, and from there you had a beautiful view of the river.
Our next stop was Weißenkirchen in der Wachau. For getting there we immersed again into the forest. But first, we reached a nice spot to view Spitz from a mountain. Once we got to our destination, we realized there was a festival called Erntedankfest (fall festival). It was so full of locals enjoying the good wine and some delicious pastries because well is Austria. We grab two homemade cakes, one with amaretto and the other one was a black forest, both were delish!
After spending some good time at the festival, we started our last part of the hike. We walked to Dürnstein, but this time we did not follow the trail. Instead, we walk along the river. We did this because we want to have that view and also because we were already a little bit tired. Dürnstein is a beautiful and touristy town. We had lunch just the moment we arrived, and then we walked around the city. It was crowded with tourist and actually we barely feel that people live there. From there we decided to grab a bus to Krems, where we were going to rest that day before going back to Vienna the day after.
Once we arrived at Krem by bus, we relaxed in the Hotel Klinglhuber. The room was very comfy and it was very near the train station, so was perfect for the next day. We went for dinner at a restaurant called Schreiberhaus. This place was very near our accommodation and it was one of the few places open on a Sunday (that is difficult to find in Austria). For dinner, we had local wine and baked fish with vegetables and potatoes: Amazing! Glenn had fried chicken and local beer. The plate portions of this place were huge, so we were fully satisfied.
Day 3: Krems to Vienna
The final day, we decided we want to checkout Krems downtown. It is very small but full of life. We were pleasantly surprised to see all the cafés and nice architecture. On our way back to Vienna, we saw fields full of local produce, like this pumpkin field.
That was our full hiking trip our the Wachau Valley. Our budget for this trip was:
Transport (from Vienna and bus in Wachau): 84 euros
Food: 130 euros
Accommodation: 283.3 euros
Total: 497 euros
Happy Hiking! 👩🏽