Wachau Valley, Austria

Entering the Wachau Valley, Austria

Early the next morning, Kane announced through the ship’s speakers that we had just entered the Wachau Valley, a site not to be missed! We hurried up to the top deck, hastily taking our breakfast with us.

Vineyards, Wachau , Valley Austria

Magnificent Wine Country

And there it was… the Wachau Valley… THIS.IS.WINE.COUNTRY…, where world renowned wines are produced. This magnificent, fertile 20 mile stretch of valley is located northwest of Vienna further along the Danube River. It also has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its cultural landscape.

Mostly dry white wines are produced here; Reislings and Gruner Veltliners. These award-winning wines result from a magical mix of the region’s sunny, dry climate, fertile soil and wind patterns along with other ideal conditions.

Villages and Vineyards, Wachau Valley, Austria

Some of the Most Beautiful Country in the World

As we cruised along the river past lush, stone terraced vineyards lining the steep, rocky hillsides, centuries old villages and castle ruins, Kane gave running commentary, providing names, history and legends about the sites.

Castle, Wachau Valley, Austria

Castles Strewn About!!

Nestled among these vineyards are medieval castle ruins atop strategic, rock-strewn peaks on tree covered hillsides overlooking the river and the regions they controlled. Below these fortifications lay centuries old villages with flowery, bright window boxes overhanging narrow cobblestone streets. Church steeples and clock towers rise behind old homes, some still using thatched and ceramic tiled roofs. It’s the scene of fairytales.

Castles and Villages, Wachau Valley, Austria

Every town in medieval times had a clock tower, often located on the church steeple. People of that period could not afford timepieces, so a large clock was placed at a high elevation central to the village in order for all residents to be able to see it and keep time.

Durnstein Castle, Wachau Valley, Austria

Where Richard the Lionheart was Imprisoned

Of the many crumbled remnants of centuries old castles along the Wachau Valley, the most famous one was the ruins of Dürnstein Castle, originally built in the 12th century.  Richard the Lionheart was believed to have been imprisoned there between 1192 and 1193.

Up next: Melk, Austria

Start at the beginning of this Viking Grand European Cruise!

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  1. Another great photo log. How nice. You certainly enjoy your travels and make a statement with your photos. Bob

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