Sunday, 12 January 2014

Vienna, Austria III: Wachau Valley

The Wachau, a stretch of the Danube valley between Melk and Krems, is an outstanding example of a riverine landscape bordered by mountains in which material evidence of its long historical evolution has survived to a remarkable degree. The architecture, the human settlements, and the agricultural use of the land in the Wachau vividly illustrate a basically medieval landscape which has evolved organically and harmoniously over time. The Wachau is a landscape of high visual quality which preserves in an intact and visible form many traces - in the form of architecture (monasteries, castles, ruins) urban design (towns and villages) and agricultural use, principally for the cultivation of vines - of its evolution since prehistory. (via unesco.org)

I took forever to drag myself to the train station to hop on a train to Wachau Valley. It was a double decker train and was a nicer/newer than the train I took to Budapest. After an hour, I reached Krems station which is one of the main stations that can take you to Wachau Valley. Before I could ask for directions or check properly, I saw a bus that looked like the one I'm supposed to take to the town centre so in a haste, I hopped on. But alas, this bus took me to the residential area so I got off and walked back. Somehow instead of going back to the train station, I miraculously arrived at the town centre. Yay for my in-built GPS? The valley is lined with small towns on both sides and each town has its own places of interest (some more visited than others). The towns are pretty small and there's a bus that can take you from town to town but it comes every hour. There's also a cruise down the Danube you can take, it's a really scenic ride but it doesn't stop at all the towns. I think renting a bicycle would be the best way to get around and make the best out of the day trip. I spent quite a bit of time in Krems because I was looking for the Information centre to get a map. The detailed map only shows Krems so when I got to the other town, I had to get another map.












Then I bought the unlimited bus pass for 10 euros, each trip is 2.80 euros. The next time I went to was D├╝rnstein where there were a lot more tourists. You can see the ruins of Durnstein castle atop the hill and there's a place where you can overlook the valley! It's really gorgeous with sparkling waters, hills with castles sitting on top, it's absolutely romantic.



















No time to visit any other towns because of the lack of time before the last bus/train. So I headed to Melk, another main town. The main attraction here is the Benedictine abbey but it was already closed for the day when I reached :( So I could only walk around the free courtyard. There's a charged garden beside the abbey as well in case you're interested.















If you're in Vienna, you should definitely spend a day in Wachau Valley. Just get there early!

How to get there? 
Take a train from Vienna to either Krems or Melk station.

2 comments:

  1. Really like all your photos and your travel log~
    You went alone? how many days you spent there and how much ?

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    1. Thank you! :) yup I went there alone for 5 weeks. Spent about 4k? I'll do a post on the cost later on. ^^

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