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Wachau Valley

Krems an der Donau, Austria
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Exploring the Wachau World Heritage Trail Krems an der Donau  Austria

Exploring the Wachau World Heritage Trail

In the 12th century, Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned at Dürnstein Castle, and its ghostly ruins still stand sentinel above the Danube River in the Wachau Valley. Just an hour west of Vienna, this bucolic region has long been famous for wines—and now, increasingly, for it’s World Heritage Trail. Over several days, hikers can meander along 110 miles of hilly riverine terrain, in and out of vineyards, and past fruit orchards—leaving the pressures of 21st-century daily life far behind. Look out for timeless landmarks like Aggstein Castle and the great, gilded baroque abbey of Stift Melk. When you need to refuel, do as the locals do, and head to the nearest heuriger (wine tavern).