From Linz, head an hour west along the Danube and you’ll find the incomparable Wachau Valley. With its authentic villages, gently rolling hills and lush vineyards, the Wachau Valley is one of the most striking UNESCO world cultural heritage sites to be found. In spring, the riverbanks explode with blooming apricot trees, while fall lights the vineyards in gorgeous reds and yellows. Stop at a wine tavern or wine-tasting room to sample the local signature grapes, Grüner Veltliner and Riesling.
The villages of Melk, Duernstein and Krems are without parallel, and a visit to any and all is highly recommended.
One of the most magnificent abbeys in Austria, Melk Abbey perches above the quaint village of the same name and looks out onto the Danube. The building, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, embodies all the grandeur and splendor of the Baroque age. Explore the library, museum, church and gardens, then amble through the village below for striking views of the building and its surroundings.
Wine lovers wanting to explore further will be grateful for Langenois, a wine-growing village in the neighboring Kamptal. Here, the LOISIUM world of wine includes a vinotheque selling local wines at wholesale prices, an architecturally stunning wine visitor center and tasting room, and a museum focusing on the winemaking process and the region’s 2,000-year-old viticultural history.
Linz: Stop at the Konditorei Jindrak for a slice of Linzer torte, said to be the oldest known cake recipe in the world.
Mautern: The Landhaus Bacher is a pilgrimage site for gourmets from nearby Vienna. The popular tasting menu includes wine pairings from one of Austria’s most celebrated kitchens.
Unterloiben: Enjoy simple, authentic and delicious dishes in the romantic garden of the Restaurant Loibnerhof, part of the Knoll family winery.
Hotel Schloss Duernstein, Wachau
This itinerary is compliments of the Austrian Tourist Office.