The best pilgrimage routes in Lower Austria

For wandering feet and minds Hiking routes for pilgrims – from the Via Sacra and the Vienna Pilgrimage Trail, to the Way of St James (Jakobsweg) in the Weinviertel.

Slow down, let go and re-orientate yourself. Go alone or with a group of kindred spirits, and walk for days along quiet pilgrimage routes to Krems and Mariazell. Lower Austria’s spiritual routes offer many kilometres of relaxing hiking.

On holy roads: The Via Sacra from Hinterbrühl to Mariazell

On the Via Sacra, the oldest pilgrimage route in Austria, pilgrims will be amazed by culturally-important monuments such as Lilienfeld AbbeyHeiligenkreuz Abbey and the Mariazell Basilica, while hiking along the road to self-discovery. Numerous places to stop for refreshments and overnight stays divide the 125 km long route from Vienna to Mariazell into longer and shorter stages, depending on the conditions of the day. If you don’t want to go alone, you are welcome to join one of the regular guided pilgrimages and meet like-minded walkers.

The Vienna Pilgrimage Route (Wiener Wallfahrerweg)

The Vienna Pilgrimage Route (Wiener Wallfahrerweg) is approx. 110 km long, and is a more active hike along the Roman road from Via Sacra to Mariazell. The route – which should take pilgrims four to five days to complete – starts in Perchtoldsdorf, and branches off towards the southern Alps in Kaumberg. In quiet forest and meadow areas, you will quickly discover the small (often overlooked) wonders of nature, and find new inner strength.

It’s not where you go, but how you get there: The Way of St James (Jakobsweg) in the Weinviertel

Pilgrims experience delightful serenity on the 153 km long, well-signposted pilgrimage route, which leads from Drasenhofen to Krems an der Donau. The vastness of the landscape, picturesque vineyards and idyllic Kellergassen (wine cellar lanes) will help you to leave everyday life behind. History, customs and religion can be experienced in a typical and authentic way on the Way of St James (Jakobsweg) in the wine quarter. Tip: End the day with a glass of wine in one of the taverns in the wine quarter.

A pilgrimage route in the southern wine quarter: The Way of St Francis (Franziskusweg) in the wine quarter

Pilgrims can also relax on the 138 km circular route, which leads through the diverse landscape to the south of the wine quarter. The route is divided into 7 sections. There are “exit and entry opportunities” in 26 locations. You can have your pilgrim pass stamped in the churches along the route.

The Way of St James from Vienna, through Lower Austria

Since the Middle Ages, The Way of St James has led pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela and to the tomb of St James. From Hainburg, the route heads from east to west, following the Roman-built road through Lower Austria. Over 200 kilometres, nature and historic monuments such as Göttweig AbbeyMelk Abbey, the Maria Taferl Basilica and the Ardagger Collegiate Church are stopping points where pilgrims can find themselves.