Hello everyone, welcome to another Wild Workout Wednesday Linkup where Nicole from Fitful Focus, Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama and I bring you workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes to try. Join us each week by reading along, grabbing our button and linking up with a healthy living post of your own.
When planning our European itinerary, Tom and I were a little unsure about whether or not to include Austria. We heard it was quite expensive, particularly Vienna. We didn’t know a lot about the area but ultimately decided to check it out. Well, Vienna wasn’t really my cup of tea. It’s beautiful and all but to be honest by the time we got there I was getting a little tired of looking at similar European architecture. It’s beautiful but after a while, it all starts to look similar. Plus, while Vienna is a mecca for museums and art, that’s not my thing. I’m an outdoorsy person. So when I heard about the Wachau Valley that could be done as a daytrip from Vienna I was all over it!
The Wachau Valley is a gorgeous vineyard region filled with beautiful castles, churches, and quaint little towns. You can see the valley in a variety of ways via ferry along the river, walking along the path, cycling or renting a car and driving. We chose to cycle from Melk to Krems. There are tour companies that offer cycling routes that take you to the top sites and samplings at vineyards but you can easily do the tour yourself for less money and allow yourself the flexibility to stop whenever and for however long you like.
We started our journey by taking a train from Vienna to Melk. It took just over an hour and cost us around 30 Euros for two tickets. In Melk, we searched out bike rentals. Our hope was to find a Next Bike, a public bike rental company that you rent by the hour. There are docking stations for the bikes all along the Danube river and the app shows you where they are located and where you can park your bike when you are finished. To rent a full day with Next Bike costs about 10 Euros. We saw that there were only two bikes located in Melk and we hoped to get to them before someone else did but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
The second but more expensive option is renting from the bike rental company in Melk called Wachau Touristik, which is located right by the ferry station along the river. The bike rental is 10 Euro for half-day (until 3pm) or 13 Euro for full day. Plus there is a 3 Euro per bike transfer charge if you plan to bike one way to Krems. We learnt later that once you arrive in Krems you just lock up the bikes at a bike rack along the river or at the train station, there is no rental booth at that side. So I wouldn’t pay for the full day rate because they would never know what time you dropped it off at.
The bike ride from Melk to Krems is just short of 40km. It’s a very easy cycling route that’s almost all flat or downhill. Shortly outside of Melk there is one big hill. If you’re a regular cyclists, it’s probably nothing, but I’m more of a one gear cruiser, so it definitely had me out of breath. The bike paths are fantastic, they are well marked and designated for cycling. You can bike on either side of the river and cross over via bridge in Melk or Durnstein or via ferry in Spitz, Weissenkirchen, and Dürnstein. We started on the south side which is quieter from Melk and then crossed via ferry at Spitz where the vineyeard region begins because there is more to see on the north side. The ferry cost us 5 Euros for two people and our bikes.
Once you hit the vineyard region of the path, there are plenty of wineries or heuringer’s (wine taverns) where you can stop and taste the local wines. At wineries the tastings are complimentary. We stopped at Domane Wachau and Weignut Holzapfel.
Both gave us a generous tasting and great information on the region and the wines that they make. Tom and I are both usually red wine drinkers but it was a nice change to learn about white wines and sample something we ordinarily wouldn’t try. Luckily we had a basket on our bike to bring some with us too!
At the end of the day, we dropped off our bikes in Krems and then made our way to the train station to find the next train back to Vienna. It also cost us around 30 Euros for the two of us.
I couldn’t recommend this trip enough for someone visiting Vienna. The countryside is breathtaking and every few minutes you’re passing yet another amazing castle, church or historical monument. It’s the perfect getaway from the city and did I mention the wine??
Are you more of a country or city person? Do you look for opportunities to do tours on your own or stick to the prearranged ones?
Join the Wild Workout Wednesday linkup!