Dürnstein Abbey perches right on the edge of the Danube, its stately blue Baroque tower is a local landmark. Although first mentioned as a nunnery in 1289, by the 16th century it had become an Augustine monastery and 200 years after that it was given its present Baroque facelift.
The ruins of Kuenringer Castle (also known as Burgruine Dürnstein), in which English King Richard the Lionheart was famously imprisoned on his way back from the Crusades in 1192, stand on a jagged promontory overlooking the town. According to legend, Richard’s minstrel Jean Blondel rescued him from captivity and it is Blondel’s name you will seen on several of Dürnstein’s bars and hotels. It’s a breathless 30-minute scramble up to the castle but rewarding for some of the best views along the Wachau Valley.
There are over 20 vineyards within stamping distance of Durnstein so the little town makes the perfect starting point for a day’s trip through the vines or to an estate to tour the cellars; you can also get to sample some of the Wachau’s crisp dry whites at the rustic little heurigen (wine bars) scattered around the region, although they are not open all year around.
Tours & Tickets
Spend a day in the Austrian countryside on this bike tour from Vienna! Enjoy wine tasting, easy biking through breathtaking scenery, swimming in the Danube and ... Read more
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
Spend a day away from Vienna to discover the picturesque Wachau Valley in the Austrian countryside on this small-group, fully guided tour. Satisfy your ... Read more
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)
Explore Wachau Valley, Austria’s premier winemaking region, on a full-day tour with a private guide! After leaving Vienna, travel into the heart of the ... Read more
Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes (approx.)