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Overview

Exploring the beautiful Danube River valley between Krems au der Donau and Melk — either by bicycle or boat — is a fabulous way to explore the gorgeous Austrian countryside. The stretch of river running between these two ancient towns is the prettiest bit in Austria; the valley is graced with terraced vineyards, ruined castles and plenty of forgotten country towns where the medieval history is enviably accessible. Highlights of this area include riverside camping in Krems (otherwise the town is usually a jumping off point for trips around the valley) and scoping out Melk's imposing abbey fortress. The impressive Benedictine monastery was ...

Exploring the beautiful Danube River valley between Krems au der Donau and Melk — either by bicycle or boat — is a fabulous way to explore the gorgeous Austrian countryside. The stretch of river running between these two ancient towns is the prettiest bit in Austria; the valley is graced with terraced vineyards, ruined castles and plenty of forgotten country towns where the medieval history is enviably accessible. Highlights of this area include riverside camping in Krems (otherwise the town is usually a jumping off point for trips around the valley) and scoping out Melk's imposing abbey fortress. The impressive Benedictine monastery was featured in the epic German poem Nibelungenlied as well as in Umberto Eco's best-selling novel The Name of the Rose, and is one of the Wachau's most popular landmarks. While in the area, Durnstein, on the river's curve, is notable not only for its gorgeous architecture, but also its castle that once held the imprisoned English king, Richard the Lionheart, in 1192.

Aaron Anderson
About the Expert

Aaron Anderson is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Washington, D.C. City Guide, a contributor on western states to Lonely Planet USA, and he wrote the Austria chapters for Lonely Planet's Western Europe and Europe on a Shoestring.

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Aaron Anderson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: An Austrian valley with a landscape of high visibility formed by the Danube river. It is located between the towns of Melk and Krems.
  • Language: German
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May through September