Your tour begins with pick-up from your central Vienna hotel by private chauffeur-driven limousine or minivan (depending on the size of your group). Soak up the scenery on the short drive to Mayerling Lodge, during which your guide will tell you about the lodge’s infamous former residents – Austrian crown-prince Rudolf and baroness Mary Vetschera, who died in a murder-suicide back in 1889.
On arrival, jump out to explore the imperial hunting lodge (entrance fees included) and learn more about the Mayerling Affair and its dramatic impact on European history. Peek into the chapel of the Carmelite sisters, which now stands on the site of the tragedy, and explore the museum, where highlights include original furnishings from the lodge and the coffin in which Mary Vetsera was buried.
Continue into the heart of the Vienna Woods to reach the medieval abbey of Heiligenkreuz and use your skip-the-line tickets to head straight inside. Accompanied by your guide, enjoy a tour of the Cistercian abbey, including the Romanesque cloister and chapel, the fountain house, and the chapter house.
After a scenic drive through the Helenental Valley, and a short stop in the spa town of Baden, renowned for its Biedermeier-style architecture and historic baths, arrive at the final destination of the day – Gumpoldskirchen. Enjoy time to explore the pretty town, located at the center of the Mödling wine region, and perhaps stop by one of the local wineries to sample some of the region’s fine wines (own expense).
Finally, after a morning or afternoon in the countryside, head back to Vienna, where your tour ends with drop-off at your hotel.