Discover much more than just great wines from steep-terraced vineyards. Jason Turner takes the short trip from Vienna to explore this stunning riverside region. Read his Wachau travel guide here.
Wachau: Where to stay, shop, eat and relax
Hotel Rathaus Wein & Design, Vienna
The place for wine lovers who want to stay in Vienna year round. Each of the hotel rooms is dedicated to a famous Austrian producer, including from the Wachau – ask to stay in the exclusive Hirtzberger or FX Pichler double rooms. hotel-rathaus-wien.at
Hotel-Restaurant Richard von Löwenherz, Dürnstein
This four-star hotel offers spacious rooms set within an old convent. An early-morning swim in the outdoor pool might be refreshing, but the breakfast spread is worth taking your time over.
Schloss Hotel Dürnstein
This five-star Relais & Châteaux property offers luxury for the most discerning traveller and has been in the Thiery family since 1937, welcoming many prominent guests over the years. The helicopter pad is just a short walk away. schloss.at
Lagler’s Buschenschank, Spitz
A Buschenschank may only serve cold food and beverages made by the household. Karl Lagler’s family uphold this Austrian tradition, under the watchful eye of Bono the border collie. Homemade cakes and black puddings come highly recommended.
Landhaus Bacher, Mautern
Lisl Wagner-Bacher is the grand dame of Austrian cuisine. Her son-in law Thomas Dorfer now reigns in the kitchen, but she is always nearby. A fine example of a perfect family-run restaurant.
Restaurant Kirchenwirt, Weissenkirchen
The Köck family have served hearty, down-to-earth food here since the 1980s. Weissenkirchen offers a wide selection of places to dine, but this should be on your list. Come hungry!
Vinothek Fohringer, Spitz
There is probably no other comprehensive supplier of Wachau wines worldwide. If a producer has run out of a particular wine, then the chance is high that they will send you here.
Wieser Café & Shop, Dürnstein
Markus Wieser is the apricot specialist, exporting his delicacies throughout the world. In Dürnstein, his modern cafés offer visitors the perfect opportunity to taste and buy everything from apricot marmalade, chocolate, bitters, liqueur and schnapps.
Vienna Explorer offers excellent, bespoke cycling, e-biking, Segway and private luxury van tours of the Wachau. There are also direct transfers from Vienna.
Walking the 44km or 12-hour Jakobsweg (St James’s Way) between Göttweig Monastery and Melk Abbey in the Wachau is good for self-reflection.
Wachau’s 100-year-old train line
was restored in 2012 and now offers visitors a unique journey through the vineyards that flank the Danube. There is also a travel pass available from April to October.
A riverboat tour offer visitors a great experience of the Wachau, either as part of a package tour or private boat hire. A round trip from Krems to Dürnstein gives ample time to finish a bottle of wine served on board.
www.ddsg-bluedanube.at and www.brandner.at