komoot
Discover

Hiking through the UNESCO Wachau Valley in Austria

Miroslav Petrasko (hdrshooter.com) (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Hiking through the UNESCO Wachau Valley in Austria

Hiking Collection by Vanessa Kopp

14

Tours

54:35 h

112 mi

18,400 ft

With romantic vineyards, regal castles, and picturesque towns, it comes as no surprise that the Wachau has been a designated UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000. This dreamlike valley in southern Austria stretches for almost 40 kilometres (25 miles) and shows you one of the most beautiful sides of the Danube River. Hiking the 180-kilometre (112 mile) Wachau World Heritage Trail, which connects the 14 World Heritage towns, is one of the best ways to explore this pretty region. Be enchanted by the magnificent landscapes, immerse yourself in the legends of knights and castles, and relax in the wine region’s Mediterranean atmosphere.

In this Collection, I’ve divided the long-distance trail into 14 stages. However, many of the Tours are short enough to have time to enjoy the sights or combine them together to make a longer hike. The trail starts and ends in the city of Krems on the Danube, about 70 kilometres (43.5 miles) west of Vienna. This city, which is the fifth-largest in Lower Austria, is an ideal starting point for your hike. You can hop on the train from Vienna, stock up on essentials before setting off, and take a stroll through the pretty old town to get you in the mood for what’s ahead.

The trail through the Wachau Valley is designed as a circular route. From Krems, you explore one side of the Danube to the town of Melk before returning on the other side of the river. On the way, you pass legendary castles, impressive churches, and varied nature – from typical wine terraces to dense, dark forests. It’s easy to imagine how knights would once have ridden on horseback through the trees, back to their damsels. You can expect fantastic views across the valley and over the Danube as you hike.

The stages are planned so that you visit most of the communities along the Wachau. You can find everything you need after a day of hiking in the respective villages where each of the stages ends. Afterwards, you can relax in the old town, try the regional cuisine and taste the excellent wines of the Wachau. If you only want to walk part of the trail, you can hop on a train en route. For more information, see: oebb.at.

Whether you want to walk the whole trail or just part of it, the Wachau is a wonderful region where you can forget your everyday stress and relax. Hiking helps you to experience the region and its beauty to the fullest.

On The Map

loading
loading

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Intermediate
    03:37
    7.80 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,025 ft
    1,000 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Krems an der Donau is the starting point for the 180-kilometer-long Wachau World Heritage Trail. The fifth largest city in Lower Austria is located a little west of Vienna, and you can travel by train in a relaxed manner. Since today's stage is only a good twelve kilometers long, you can still do a lap through the pretty old town …

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    05:44
    11.1 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,025 ft
    2,025 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The second stage on the Wachau World Heritage Trail combines history with wonderful views and a romantic landscape. Right at the beginning of the 17-kilometer stage, it goes steeply uphill, followed by the enjoyable part of the hike. The tour starts in Dürnstein on the banks of the Danube.The city is beautifully situated between the river bank and the …

    translated byView Original
  • Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  • Intermediate
    03:10
    6.60 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,100 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the third stage of the Wachau World Heritage Trail, the focus is on wine. High above the Danube you hike through the largest closed wine-growing area in the Wachau - including a fantastic view. So it comes in handy that the stage is barely eleven kilometers long. This leaves you more time to experience the dreamy landscape extensively and to enjoy a taste of the stage at Spitz.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    03:20
    7.03 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,200 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the fourth stage of the Wachau World Heritage Trail, you hike through the beautiful Wachau side valley Spitzer Graben. Then you walk on a high path to Mühldorf. Since the stage is only a good eleven kilometers long, you can start the day in a relaxed manner.The hike starts in Spitz. You leave the winegrowing village and climb …

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    04:40
    8.21 mi
    1.8 mph
    2,525 ft
    1,775 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On your fifth stage through the Wachau, a few meters in altitude await you - and also great views. Today you climb the Jauerling, with its 940 meters the highest mountain in the Wachau and the so-called sun roof. The Jauerling Nature Park, which you will get to know on your 13-kilometer hike, extends around the summit.The tour starts …

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    02:04
    4.45 mi
    2.2 mph
    150 ft
    1,400 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage 6 on the Wachau World Heritage Trail is short and leisurely. The seven-kilometer hike takes you over the Jauerlinger high plateau with its meadow landscape and then gently downhill to Aggsbach Markt. So you have enough time to first look at the pilgrimage church in Maria Laach and get some provisions at the farmers' market before you lace up your hiking boots.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    04:21
    9.44 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,725 ft
    1,700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Half time on the Wachau World Heritage Trail: the seventh stage of the long-distance hiking trail takes you over 15 kilometers from Aggsbach Markt to Emmersdorf. At the beginning of the hike you climb a few meters in altitude - perfect for getting your circulation going.

    You leave Aggsbach Markt and climb the first two kilometers uphill. On a varied …

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    02:31
    5.71 mi
    2.3 mph
    575 ft
    550 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On stage 8 of the Wachau World Heritage Trail, you change the banks of the Danube. The almost ten kilometer long tour to Melk starts in Emmersdorf. The view of the baroque Melk Abbey is your constant companion today.You leave Emmersdorf and first hike a little uphill to the village of Rantenberg. There you can take a short break …

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    05:08
    10.8 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,700 ft
    1,650 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage 9 on the Wachau World Heritage Trail leads you from Melk over the Hohenwarther Höhe to Aggsbach Dorf. On the 17 kilometer long stage you can look forward to wonderful views, impressive magnificent buildings, idyllic villages and a diverse nature.You leave Melk and walk past the monastery with its imposing park. The path up to the Jonaskreuz climbs …

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    05:08
    9.82 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,175 ft
    2,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Look forward to a lot of variety on the tenth stage of the Wachau World Heritage Trail. On the almost 16-kilometer tour from Aggsbach Dorf to Hofarnsdorf, a wonderfully situated castle ruin, fantastic views, dense forests and a few meters in altitude await you.

    You leave Aggsbach Dorf and hike up to the Aggstein ruins. The former fortress towers high …

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    05:28
    10.7 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,000 ft
    1,950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage 11 on the Wachau World Heritage Trail takes you from Hofarnsdorf to Rossatz. The landscape becomes gentler towards the end of the 17-kilometer tour, romantic vineyards accompany you at the end. Before that, however, you take a long swing in the Dunkelsteinerwald.At the beginning you walk a bit along the Danube, then turn right and start your ascent …

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    03:22
    7.21 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,100 ft
    650 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage 12 on the Wachau World Heritage Trail leads you from Rossatz on the banks of the Danube to the tranquil village of Oberbergern. On the nearly twelve-kilometer tour you hike through the romantic Rossatzer vineyards and on through the Dunkelsteinerwald to the Pemexel. At the beginning of the tour you have a fantastic view over the Danube to Dürnstein with its distinctive, blue church tower.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    04:55
    10.5 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,575 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Wine, pilgrimage and foresight - this is what awaits you on the 13th stage of the Wachau World Heritage Trail. The almost 17 kilometer long stage takes you in a beautiful up and down from Oberbergern to Mautern an der Donau. On the way, some great highlights are waiting for you along the way and enjoyment is not neglected either. …

    translated byView Original
  • Easy
    01:08
    2.74 mi
    2.4 mph
    50 ft
    75 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Final spurt on the Wachau World Heritage Trail! The 14th and last stage is really relaxed and especially worth seeing - a fitting end to your hiking adventure. From Mautern to Krems there are only a good four kilometers ahead of you. This gives you enough time to take a long break in Krems and then possibly start your return journey again.

    translated byView Original

Like this Collection?

Questions and Comments

    loading

Collection Stats

  • Tours
    14
  • Distance
    112 mi
  • Duration
    54:35 h
  • Elevation
    18,400 ft

You Might Also Like

From Vienna to Bad Reichenhall – hiking the Voralpenweg 04

Hiking Collection by

 Tamara

Legendary long walks along the Danube River in the Nibelungengau

Hiking Collection by

 Donau Niederösterreich

From hotel to trail - Bike holidays in South Tyrol

Mountain Biking Collection by

 Bikehotels Südtirol

13 days on the Weserberglandweg

Hiking Collection by

 komoot

Discover

Hiking through the UNESCO Wachau Valley in Austria

What We Offer

Discover
Terms of ServicePrivacy PolicyCommunity GuidelinesSecurity vulnerability reward programImprint