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 cycling and wine tasting your way through one of Austria’s most beautiful winemaking regions: the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wachau Valley. ... Read more
Location: Vienna, Austria
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)