Wachau World Heritage Trail 01: Krems - Dürnstein

Trekking trail from Krems, Hoher Markt (High market) to Dürnstein, Altstadt („old part of town“)

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Elevation profile

12,47 km length

Tour dates
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Route: 12,47 km
  • Ascent: 365 egm
  • Descent: 370 egm
  • Duration: 4:30 h
  • Lowest point: 207 m
  • Highest point:307 m
  • Accessibility by train and bus

Details for: Wachau World Heritage Trail 01: Krems - Dürnstein

Brief description

From Krems to Dürnstein you are walking through the historic quarters of Krems and Stein, ensembles of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings along the way, through cellar alleys and into the Krems-Valley and Wachau wine terraces. At the end of the stage you reach medieval Dürnstein the pearl of the Wachau with its famous ruin and monastery.


Wachau World Heritage Trail: from Krems to Dürnstein

The tour starts at the high market (Hoher Markt) and the „Gozzoburg“ castle in Krems. Passing the Piarist church we come to „Kreuzbergstiege“ (stairs) and futher into the vineyards of Krems, where great views await you many times. Through the old part of Stein you reach the vineyards of Stein whith its ruin. Following the old winepaths you enter wine growing area Wachau via Pfaffenberg (hill). Along the impressive „Ried Loibenberg“ (vineyard) you reach the nature preserves „Höhereck and Kellerberg“. Below the ruin of Dürnstein you enter a fascinating rock and forest landscape. Finally you reach the Kuhberg (cowhill) where you get some nice views again and a couple of minutes later you arrive at Kremser Tor (gate) in Dürnstein.

Starting point of the tour

Krems, Hoher Markt (High market)

Destination point of the tour

Dürnstein, Altstadt („old part of town“)

Route description Wachau World Heritage Trail 01: Krems - Dürnstein

At „Hoher Markt“ high market in Krems with the Gozzoburg (castle) you walk north to the old Piarist convent (today University of Applied Sciences) and its church, where a gorgeous view over the old part of town awaits you. After the church you turn right and then down to the left. You are crossing the old ditch with the city wall and reach Alauntalstreet. Only a few steps later you find „Kreuzbergstiege“ (stairs) the most beautiful outdoor staircase of the World Heritage Trail. Passing old villas you walk up towards „Kreuzberg“(hill). At the end of the stairs you turn left and get into „ Ried Kögel“ and the vineyards of Krems. Again stunning views.

The way leads through the vineyards and down to University Campus of Krems. On the road you turn right,- the University on your left- cross the street and reach philosophers track. Below the vineyards of Stein you cross the rails of Wachautrain and arrive at the medieval gate „Wiedentor“ (access to the vineyards of Stein). A couple of meters further you enter the cellar alley of Stein with several „Heurigen“ taverns and attain a gate called „Steiner Rebentor“ and the „Frauenbergkirche“ (women hill church): a nice restplace and viewpoint. At the entrance gate of tavern family „Mayr-Resch“ you find the stamp station.

You follow the cellar alley until the train, walk down the stairs, cross the street and take the stairs up to the ruin Stein and the vineyard „Altenburg“. The way leads through the idyllic vineyards of Stein and the „Förthofgraben“ (trench). It bends right up to „Pfaffenberg“ (hill), which marks the beginning of the wine growing part of the Wachau. From now on you follow an old winetrack, passing the hamlet „Rothenhof“ and enter the wonderful wine scenery of „Loibenberg“ with its stone terraces. On the wine path „Loibenweg“ you walk through well known vineyards such as „Steinertal, Höhereck and Kellerberg“.

The summits of Höhereck and Kellerberg are biodiverse dry grasslands and former grazing lands, which are preserved areas. These dry habitats give shelter to seldom orchids, mantis and the famous stonefeathergras. On „Kellerberg“ you see the small baroque castle „Kellerschlößerl“ (former pleasure palace of cloister Dürnstein) and the big winery domain Wachau. Leaving the vineyards and entering a small, bizarre rock- and forest landscape walking on a narrow path you reach „Kuhberg“ (cowhill) above Dürnstein. Below that you turn stay left and after a few minutes you reach „Kremser Tor“ gate (or also known as „Steinertorturm“) and the old part of Dürnstein.


Highway A1 until intersection St.Pölten, following S33 to Krems or B3 until Dürnstein.


At the car park in the city center of Krems or at the parking lots a littel outside of Dürnstein all with parking fee! Please note the parking system in the zones of Krems and Stein downtown which are just for a certain time and parking fee. More information you find on Krems homepage www.krems.gv.at.

The villages can be reached 7 days a week by public transportation (bus or train). Its possible to get back to the start of the tour.

On the north shore (Bus WL 715 from trainstation Krems via Dürnstein-Weißenkirchen-Spitz-Aggsbach Markt-Emmersdorf-Melk trainstation) hourly buses depart 7 days a week, more information: www.vor.at

Wachautrain operates on weekends and public holidays (3 times a day). More information: www.noevog.at

Stations for the bike rent system „nextbike“ (1€ per hour) are located in Krems and Dürnstein. More information: www.nextbike.at

Bike ferry Dürnstein to Rossatz: the ferry operates from April to October. More information here.

More info/links

Best of Wachau: The most famous and recommendable restaurants and accommodations in the Wachau „UNESCO-World-Heritage“ you find here at www.bestof-wachau.at.

You can find more information about restaurants and accommodations at www.welterbesteig.at .

Taverns are in Krems, Stein, Förthof and Dürnstein. Several taverns are also open in winter. Please see the current calendar for opening hours (Heurigenkalender) at www.welterbesteig.at .

For easy and convenient organization of the tours its good to have the Wachau-Nibelungengau-Kremstal application. Just download for Android or iPhone.


Hiking boots, raincoat, enough to eat and drink, a trail map and maybe a list of open taverns. You can find an equipmentlist on www.welterbesteig.at section service/tips.

Safety information

On hot and sunny days make sure to always take enough drinking water with you. The stone terraces and the vineyards are located in a very exposed area so the sun is strong and according to that it can get very hot.

In case of an emergency call the mountain rescue Wachau: 140


Author's tip

The Gozzoburg (castle) at high market in Krems belongs to the most precious gothic city palaces north of the Alps. Info: www.museumkrems.at or phone: 0043 2732 801567.

Abbey Dürnstein is an exceptional example for Austiran Baroque. The blue tower is a landmark of Dürnstein and the Wachau. Info: www.stiftduernstein.at or phone: 0043 2711 227.

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