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Hiking along the Danube in the Nibelungengau – Where legends come alive

© Robert Herbst

Hiking along the Danube in the Nibelungengau – Where legends come alive

Hiking Collection by Donau Niederösterreich

8

Tours

32:43 h

72.0 mi

7,625 ft

The mighty water of the Danube River is shrouded in legends, told in stories and songs. Before flowing through the Wachau Valley in Austria, the river crosses the Nibelungengau, the region where the hero Rüdiger von Bechelaren is said to have once been seated. Following the Nibelungengau long-distance hiking trail, you walk in the footsteps of Hagen von Tronje, a legendary warrior, and King Etzel as you hike through the wooded hilly landscape back to the Middle Ages.

The hiking trail leads you through the Nibelungengau in eight stages. Over 68 miles (110 km), you walk along the blue waters of the Danube, through quiet forests, historical villages, and traditional farms. On the way, you can visit the Maria Taferl pilgrimage basilica, Artstetten Castle, and the oldest Austrian power station on the Danube in Ybbs-Persenbeug.

The trail is well signposted and can be walked in both directions. In addition, the first stage connects the Nibelungengau with the Danube Trail in Upper Austria, and on the fifth stage you can join the World Heritage Trail Wachau in the city of Melk. If you would like to hike a loop through the Nibelungengau without having to walk individual stages twice, we recommend skipping stages 1 and 5. As you can see, there are countless possibilities to explore this beautiful region.

The Nibelungengau long-distance hiking trail is a mixture of relaxed and demanding hiking. The paths are easy to walk and as long as you have a reasonable fitness level, you don't need to be an experienced hiker. You can reach the starting point in Sarmingstein by bus from Amstetten train station. Along the trail, you will also find public transport connections. For example, there is a train station in Ybbs an der Donau and Pöchlarn.

Lush green hills and views over the Danube are waiting for you on the Nibelungengau Trail.

With support from the state and the European Union (LEADER): ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/key-policies/common-agricultural-policy/rural-development

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Weitwanderweg Nibelungengau

79.7 mi

8,875 ft

8,925 ft

Last updated: December 1, 2021

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    06:46
    14.2 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,150 ft
    2,200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Nibelungengau long-distance hiking trail starts in Sarmingstein and the first is the most demanding stage. It also connects the Donausteig in Upper Austria with the Nibelungengau long-distance hiking trail over 21 kilometers. From the Gasthaus Strudengauhof you hike uphill to Nöchling and always

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  • Intermediate
    04:47
    10.5 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The second stage starts in Persenbeug and leads you directly along the Danube downstream. You can look forward to impressive views of the Danube power plant Ybbs-Persenbeug and the city of Ybbs on the Danube. At Metzling you leave the river bank and hike up to the Naturfreundestein. There you have a

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  • Intermediate
    02:49
    5.53 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,425 ft
    675 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the third day you start in Marbach and initially you follow the Steinbachstraße to the Winklermühle. A wonderful section through untouched nature begins there: On shady forest trails you hike through the mystical Steinbachklamm. Accompanied by the splashing of the water, the route continues uphill

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  • Intermediate
    03:58
    8.75 mi
    2.2 mph
    750 ft
    1,325 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today's stage starts with a magnificent view over the Danube valley to the Alpine chain at the pilgrimage basilica Maria Taferl. With a view of the mighty Alpine peaks such as the Traunstein, you first hike along the golf course until the path branches off to the right towards Artstetten. From here you

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  • Intermediate
    03:15
    7.13 mi
    2.2 mph
    700 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    At the around 800-year-old Leiben Castle, which marks the transition from the rough Waldviertel to the picturesque Danube Valley, you can enjoy a fantastic view at the beginning of this stage. You walk through Weinzierl and over the "Henzing" down to Urfahr, where you cross the main road. Then you immerse

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  • Intermediate
    03:16
    7.46 mi
    2.3 mph
    525 ft
    700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    At the Danube power plant in Melk, the Nibelungengau long-distance hiking trail connects to the Wachau World Heritage Trail - an attractive and ambitious alternative for motivated hikers. The sixth stage starts at the mighty Europa Castle in Leiben. Through Weinzierl and over the Kaumberg you walk down

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  • Intermediate
    03:23
    8.02 mi
    2.4 mph
    350 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today's stage is the most relaxed of the entire Nibelungengau long-distance hiking trail with only 100 meters of altitude - so you can sleep a little longer. So you leave the picturesque Pöchlarn to the west and reach the banks of the Erlauf. The path runs along the bike path. With a view of the shimmering

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  • Intermediate
    04:29
    10.5 mi
    2.3 mph
    575 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The last stage of your hiking adventure starts in Krummnußbaum. At the beginning, the path climbs slightly and leads you up to an impressive viewpoint. You look back towards Pöchlarn and over to the pilgrimage church Maria Taferl. We continue along the Wallenbach through the forest and after a short

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    8
  • Distance
    72.0 mi
  • Duration
    32:43 h
  • Elevation
    7,625 ft

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Hiking along the Danube in the Nibelungengau – Where legends come alive

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