You will find a quick travel tip where to go in Austria for a day trip. Only 30 minutes from Vienna and hour and half from Bratislava we will drive by car to Krems an der Donau (in Slovak Kremža). Place where famous Krems mustard comes from. Krems an der Donau lies in Wachau region. Read more in today’s blog.
Where to go in Austria?
Wachau region, Austria
It’s last July’s Sunday and we didn’t know where to go for a trip. We wanted to go somewhere where are quality pavements for longboarding. At the same time there must be nice nature and it will not be far from water. We are going to Lower Austrian Wachau region. Wachau is a valley through which river Danube flows. The whole Wachau region is from year 2000 registered in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site UNESCO World Heritage Site. Therefore this region is very popular among tourist. Every year more than 1,5 million tourists come here.
On both slopes by the river Danube people grow vine. Terraced vineyards strongly remind us our visit to rice terraces in the village of Tegalalang in Bali island 🙂
This region is famous not only for vine but also apricots are cultivated here. Apricot trees are almost everywhere in this region. On a small market with home made production we cannot resist and buy bottle of apricot nectar and jar of apricot jam. Apricot brandy (marillen schnapps) is another famous product from this region. Krems an der Donau is the biggest producer of apricot brandy in whole Austria. Of course we bought cute little bottles of apricot brandy. Just for taste 🙂
How to get here
Either from Vienna or from Bratislava you can get here on highway. There is also bike route along the river Danube which runs as far as Bratislava. So you can also get here by bike.
Where to go: Krems an der Donau, Austria
Our first stop was town of Krems an der Donau. Pleasantly quiet town with only 23.000 inhabitants. We park our car near the oldtown centre. There is pub with live music in front of the main gate to the oldtown called Steiner tor. For a while we listen to the classical Austrian folk songs. Then we continue through the Steiner tor (built in year 1480) to the oldtown. Facades of old houses are nicely painted. Some houses even have in their windows red geraniums so typical for Austria.
It is usual that all shops are closed during Sundays in Austria. However we found one souvenir shop that opened. You can get here nice bracelets for reasonable price. People were sitting in two cafés on the main street sipping their morning coffee.
Along the main street we continue to the city hall. From distance we can hear church bells – Piaristenkirche. We climb covered staircase to the church. It’s on the hill. The morning mass has just started and last people are coming to the church. From this place we have beautiful view on the city and its surroundings. Slowly we continue towards Piaristengarten and then return back to the main street.
Next stop: Dürnstein.
Dürnstein castle – captivity of King of England
Only few kilometres away from Krems an der Donau small village of Dürnstein lies. Above this village you can find only ruins of once famous Dürnstein castle. From distance we can see tourists walking the ruins. Temperature rose to 30 degrees Celsius and we did not even consider to climb to the ruins 🙂
Prominent English prisoner in the castle
Behind those old castle walls famous King of England Richard I the Lionheart was imprisoned by the Duke of Austria Leopold V the Virtuous in the year 1192.
Leopold V the Virtuous settled accounts with Richard I the Lionheart. During the crusade they together conquered the city of Acre. On the order of Richard I the Lionheart Leopold’s standard was casted downto the moat. Offended Duke of Austria left the crusade. On the way back home Richard I the Lionheart travelled through territory of Leopold V. The rumor has it that Richard I the Lionheart travelled in disguise to conceal his identity. During one stop at the restaurant his identity was revealed. Seal ring and royal behavior betrayed him.
Enourmous ransom at amount of 150.000 silver marks was paid for Richard I the Lionheart. It was three times more than English treasure at that time raised from taxes per year. Pope Celestine III for imprisonment of crusade warrior excommunicated Leopold V the Virtuous from the Church.
Swedish army during Thirty Year war destroyed Dürnstein castle in the 17th century.
We park our car on paid parking lot. Planning to spend here 1 and half hour we are paying 1,5 Euro in the parking machine. It is not far from the parking to the village. The journey through underpass takes less than 5 minutes. In our left side we can see vineyards and river Danube behind those vineyards.
At first sight it is clear that there are more tourists in Dürnstein than in Krems an der Donau. We are entering the old village through historical gate that was once the part of medieval fortification. There are several shops opened here. People sell here local vine and apricot brandy, various combinations of apricot jams, magnets, T-shirts, etc. Dürnstein is really small village with only approx. 900 inhabitnats. You can find here few Austrian restaurants. Cobblestoned street take us to the monastery. From there it is only one street to the Danube river bank. Tourists are riding rented bikes here. We take rest on the bench and enjoy peaceful atmosphere and summer breeze from the river.
Long boarding on the river bank
After visiting Krems an der Donau and Dürnstein we continue through a bridge to the right bank of river Danube. We stop near Krems an der Donau. People are resting under trees here on neat lawn. Kiosk with refreshment and public toilets are available. NO charge for parking or entrance fee. Just beside the natural “beach” pathway with high quality asphalt is at our disposal. It is so smooth that longboard rides without any resistance.
We enjoyed the ride. The question where to go in Austria was solved excellently this time and we’ve had such a beautiful day-trip 🙂