Wachau hiking in every season

Trekking is always possible - no matter whether the calendar says April, August, October or December.

One and the same region, and yet it is always different. You could almost believe Vivaldi wrote his "Four Seasons" for the Wachau.

In spring, the apricot trees blossom as if they had been waiting for it all year. In summer, the small fruits are harvested, refined and, above all, eaten. In autumn, the Wachau revolves around wine. And in winter, you can see particularly far from above. The Wachau can be - and wants to be - something! - The Wachau can - and wants to - be walked, hiked, strolled along and sauntered through at any time of year.  We have collected hikes - from short circular walks to up-and-down panoramic hikes on the World Heritage Trail.

#Spring: Always follow the apricot blossom!

The apricot blossom in the Wachau is a spectacle. Thousands of trees blossom between mid-March and mid-April, depending on the weather. You can almost listen to the buds burst open, one after the other, revealing their delicate pink-white blossoms. Almost kitschy! The apricot blossom - not to be confused with the harvest, by the way, which is about four months later - lasts ten to fifteen days and is best experienced on foot. The trees blossom earliest in Krems, and then the blossom "wanders", always following the sun, through the Wachau to Aggsbach Markt and the Spitzer Graben, where the trees are the last to put on their spring outfit. A Fête Blanche of a different kind, so to speak, which you can also see via webcam.

To experience this spectacle live, we have three hiking tips.

  • The Marillen-Erlebnisweg (apricot experience trail) is a 5.3-km-long, leisurely circular trail in Krems-Angern through old apricot gardens. A detour to the farm shop at Weinhof Aufreiter is well worth it!
  • The apricot mile is a beautiful network of hiking trails around Austria's largest apricot-growing community of Rossatz-Arnsdorf. How convenient! Provisions are already on site - in the form of apricot filling stations.
  • Stage 11 of the Wachau World Heritage Trail is a challenging 17 km route from Hofarnsdorf to Rossatz with magnificent views.

Speaking of white: if you like enjoying a glass of wine, you should come back on the first weekend in May - that's when the Wine Spring takes place, where the winegrowers take their young, fresh bottles out of the cellar.

#Summer: Eating by the water; it almost doesn't get any better than this!

When the apricots become juicy and so beautifully orange-coral in colour, it's time to pick them off the trees. In mid-July, the harvest of the sweet fruits with the fine aroma begins in the Wachau, thanks in part to the unique climate. This is when the Genuss-Touren in the Wachau come into their own, leading - on foot or by Zille, the traditional wooden boat on the Danube - to selected "Best of Wachau" restaurants. Many of them are located on the Danube, which plays as the backdrop when biting into a steaming apricot dumpling or a juicy apricot cake.

Two hiking tips by the water for the summer:

  • The Achleiten-Weißenkirchen panorama trail is a leisurely hike of 4.3 km. The circular trail leads to the most beautiful vineyards of Weißenkirchen and along the Danube. At the end of the tour, there is a cool reward - the refreshing water at the Weißenkirchen outdoor pool.
  • As an alternative, we recommend stage 8 of the Wachau World Heritage Trail, which leads 10 km from Emmersdorf to Melk with the best views, also along the Danube. The best place to take a rest? Definitely Luberegg. There, you can relax on the longest natural sandy beach on the Danube before heading to the other side of the Danube.

#Autumn: Pass the wine!

Autumn in the Wachau is a colourful spectacle. When the morning mist above the Danube slowly lifts in the course of the morning, the vineyards shine in their best colours. And since wine and hiking go so well with autumn, this time of year in the Wachau is all about going walking and enjoying yourself. Very much for your wellbeing! On the one hand, there are glasses clinking - how else could it be at the Heurigen? And on the other hand, there are all the festivals, concerts and cultural events organised to celebrate the fine wines. It’s no coincidence that Wine Autumn is considered the fifth season in the Danube region.

Our hiking tips for the Wine autumn.

  • The 4.3 km Spitz Wine Hiking Trail, a circular route with so many lodges, leads through the famous Spitz vineyards with magnificent views into the distance.
  • Equally leisurely is the 4.8-km-long Loiben Wine Tour - a circular trail starting from the Dürnstein Danube and passing through the landscape of the wine-growing village of Loiben, which is characterised by viticulture.

#Winter: Enjoy the far-reaching silence!

In recent years, trudging through the crunching snow has become a popular leisure activity. Your cheeks turn red, your breath turns white, your happy hormones kick in - such a winter hike is a crash cure for body & soul. If Frau Holle is particularly hard-working, the Wachau will shine in white once again in winter, and not only on the branches of the apricot trees. Snow-covered wine terraces and forests appear transformed and silent - a magical atmosphere. And afterwards, if it’s the pre-Christmas season, off to the Advent market in the historic ambience of Dürnstein Castle, Göttweig Abbey, Aggstein Castle ruins or to the town centre of Melk, right next to the famous baroque abbey. The quiet season is indeed still quiet here in the Wachau.

Our winter hiking tips.

  • The summit round on the Jauerling, the highest mountain in the Wachau, is a 3.3 km tour with a view - and one of many routes in the Jauerling-Wachau Nature Park, which transforms into a fairytale landscape of white frost or snow in the winter months.
  • If you are interested in culture, we recommend the Dürnstein Classic Tour - a 2.9 km circular tour that leads through the historic centre of Dürnstein. And then there are the wonderful events of "Wachau in Real time", initiated by the actress Ursula Strauß.