An absolutely perfect hiking day in the Wachau Valley.
One of the many perks of river cruising in Europe - and reasons I love it so much - is the ability to slip in and out of towns that most tourists never see, or even hear of. Such is the case with the quaint village of Spitz, Austria, where I recently had the pleasure of taking a hike, followed by a delightful wine tasting.
Located in the heart of Austria’s Wachau Valley - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - this wine-country town has been nicknamed “the town of a thousand buckets.” There is a rounded hill at the center of Spitz and it has been said that due to the region’s prolific harvest, one could fill the hole with a thousand buckets’ worth of grapes. Whether or not that myth is true, it’s no matter - I was here to taste the fruits of the harvest, in a wine glass.
The views while hiking are incredible.
But first, a hike. We walked right into town from the ship, which in our case, was docked there alone, providing us with the most spectacular and unobstructed views. We walked through the Old Town and then up into the hillside vineyards (some other guests chose to bike through town and the rolling Wachau Valley). The town appears as if from the pages of a storybook, with everything impeccably cared for and clean.
The AmaMagna is double the width of a standard rivership. When it's docked in Spitz no
other ship can dock at the same time, which made my day/evening extra special.
Finally, it was time for our much-anticipated wine tasting at the Klosterhof Spitz. Greeted by musicians in traditional garb playing the accordion, we learned about the history of winegrowing and winemaking in Spitz. After an event of tasting a range of vintages local to the Wachau Valley, there was time left to tour the cellars on our own, which was a lovely experience.
We visited the wine cellars at our own pace, which meant I could wander completely alone.
The Wachau Valley is known for its Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners, both of which we sampled. Among the most notable wineries near Spitz are Hutter-Silberbichlerhof, whose winemaking can be traced back to 1748, and Sighardt Donabaum on Zornberg, one of the oldest parts of Spitz.
Should you have the chance to spend a day in Spitz, I cannot recommend a vineyard hike and wine tasting experience enough. Are you considering a cruise on the Danube? Schedule a consult by clicking the button below and we'll get started.
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