Along the Danube

FAR too often, travellers zip through destinations as if they’re boxes on a customs form that needs to be ticked off. Slow right down and rent a bike to see the rustic smaller towns the large tourist buses don’t even know exist! A very popular bike track between Melk and Krems in Austria is only about 35km in length, but hugs the mighty Danube River and passes through lusciously scenic countryside and vibrant villages and towns.

Direction of travel:

While the cycle route is mostly flat, the journey from Melk to Krems is ‘downhill’ and thus easier on the legs. In addition, if you want to combine cycling with a return cruise on the Danube, the ‘uphill’ cruise back to Melk takes considerably longer – this means a better bang for your buck!

Route:

Rent or borrow a bike in Melk and set off on the marked bicycle lanes north towards Krems. It is best to remain on the Melk side of the Danube passing Schloss Schönbühel and the Aggstein Ruins. When you get to the boat terminal Oberarnsdorf/Wachau Rollfähre, jump on the ferry and cross over to Spitz. Continue along the river and pass through Wosendorf, Weissenkirchen, Durnstein and Stein before finishing in Krems.

Return:

You can catch a train for the return trip to Krems, if that is where you’re staying overnight, but a much better option is cruising down the Danube with Brandner. Sit back with a beer or something to snack on and watch the countryside slowly glide by as the sun dips behind the horizon.

What to see:

The Wachau is dotted with old ruins, such as Schönbühel, Aggstein and Hinterhaus, lovely churches such as St Michael and Stift Durnstein, picturesque wineries (selling delicious whites) and a myriad of bakeries and restaurants.

But judge for yourself…

Wachau St Michael church Austria
View from St Michael’s Church – click for larger image
Durnstein Wachau Austria Danube River
Approaching Durnstein – click for larger image
Durnstein Wachau Austria Danube River
Cruising the Danube River – click for larger image
Wachau Austria Danube River
Castles and Monasteries abound throughout the Wachau – click for larger image
Wachau Austria Danube River
The natural beauty of the Wachau – click for larger image

Want to know more about European destinations? Visit…

The Castle of Wagnerian Proportions
Unique Bavarian Air Painting
How to Put Flesh on a Skeleton
Is This the Most Scenic Village in the World


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