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Danube Valley itinerary advice

I'm not sure if one or two nights is best for our time in the Danube Wachau Valley, I'd love your input.

We'll be picking up our rental car in Vienna and I'm anticipating getting on the road about 10:00-10:30 am. First Stop is Krems (1 hr from Vienna) we'll explore the town and catch lunch. Next stop will be Dürnstein which I figure we'll spend about 1 1/2 hours visiting, however we'll take more time if we hike up to see the ruins where where Richard the Lionhearted was imprisoned (is that worth the time)?. I planned on us spending the night near Dürnstein (Bioweingut Schmidl) or Weissenkirchen(Hotel Donauhof)can't decide which place is best (I have bookings for 2 nights at both location, I"ll cancel one or the other depending on which location we think best suits our needs)
The next morning we'll continue on stopping in Spitz and Melk ( to see the abby and town) and maybe Willendorf. We'd like to do some wine tasting along the way and maybe vineyards, not sure if that's even possible. We'll return to our hotel from the night before from there we'll head to Salzburg.

Thoughts? Perhaps only one night is necessary to see the area continuing on from Melk to Salzburg arriving there in the late afternoon. (I usually prefer more than one night in a location but perhaps our time is better spent in Salzburg)

Posted by
1465 posts

It depends what you are interested in. E.g. Krems has a museum mile which deserves more time.

The ruins in Dürnstein are not that impressing, but if you make it going up to the very top of the rock you will have a wonderful view, given that the weather is good.

Posted by
158 posts

The trip is in the middle of Sept. Heading to Munich for Oktoberfest.

Posted by
613 posts

The star of Melk Abby is the Baroque church, the best production of Jakob Prandtauer. It is my favorite place in EU. Been there about 15 times, probably be going again in November. Consider adding this to your trip. Prandtauer's #2 work is the Pilgrimage Church Maria Tafrl, about 10 miles beyond Melk on the Krems side of the river. Go see Maria Tafrl first. It will dazzle. Then go to Melk and see how a great artist gets better with practice.

BTW: The blue church steeple in Durnstein is another Prandtauer structure.

Posted by
4645 posts

I would spend two nights. September is a lovely time and I hope you have nice weather.

On your arrival day, I would just head straight to your hotel and drop the bags. Have lunch in Duernstein at one of the hotel terraces. Climb to the castle ruins - lovely views. Explore Duernstein and head over to Krems for dinner. WMT1 is correct that Krems is a nice town, but not really the highlight of the area for me.

On the second day, I'd explore the Melk Abbey and Burgruine Aggstein (spectacular and only accessible by car) in the morning and spend the afternoon wine tasting. I know I have done other posts on this area and listed some wineries to try.

I think it can be noted that traveling this area by bike or bus is very easy.