Discover the exquisite landscapes of Austria’s UNESCO World Heritage–listed Wachau Valley on this day trip from Vienna along the famed Danube River. Travel by coach through the gorgeous Austrian countryside dotted with imposing castles, abbeys, sloped forests and wine villages, and take a scenic boat ride down the Danube to the town of Melk to visit its impressive Benedictine abbey.
Board a coach in Vienna in the morning and relax on the drive out to the Austrian countryside. Travel through the Wachau Valley, a 24-mile (39-km) stretch of the Danube River carving a picturesque path between the towns of Krems and Melk. Characterized by vineyards, forested slopes, wine-producing villages, mysterious castles and imposing fortresses, Wachau’s harmonious blend of natural and cultural beauty won the area a UNESCO World Heritage title.
Learn about the history of this beautiful part of Austria from your guide on your way to the medieval castle ruins of Burgruine Dürnstein, where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned while waiting for his ransom to arrive from England.
In Spitz, transfer to a boat and cruise down the Danube through the heart of the valley, passing the old wine town of Krems before arriving in Melk. Here you’ll visit Melk Abbey, a magnificent Benedictine abbey on a rocky outcrop overlooking the river. First established in the 11th century and rebuilt in the 18th century, Melk Abbey has housed monks for 900 years, and today its architecture is a remarkable example of Austrian’s baroque style.
Have time for lunch in town (own expense) before relaxing on the drive back to Vienna, concluding at the Vienna State Opera in the evening.