Off-Season Week in Bohemia, Part 5 — Wachau Valley, Austria

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Domäne Wachau vineyards in Austria’s Wachau Valley

This is the fifth and final installment in a five-part series following JohnnyJet.com writer Cynthia Cunniff through her experience of touring Bohemia with Insight Vacations. Check out Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4—and thanks for reading!

On the road from Cesky Krumlov to Vienna, we made our way through the rolling greens of the Austrian Wachau Valley to one of Insight Vacations‘ newest stops—Domäne Wachau winery and its Baroque Cellar Palace, which dates back to 1719. The small palace has an energy that resonates with good times and a love of wine, for which it was built. The elegant, but warm palace nests above a treasure trove of Austrian wine in the dark and musty wine cellar and its tunnels below. The vintners are so in tune with the historic setting that they not only turn out large quantities of wines for the world’s enjoyment, but are also experimenting by using replicated Roman amphoras to create a completely natural wine (the Romans once ruled the area). Thus far, only the Rieslings seem to be a success.

Antique wine barrel at Domäne Wachau

Antique wine barrel at Domäne Wachau

 

Balanced on the cliffs above the Danube and not too far from the winery is the perfectly preserved town of Dürnstein, where we strolled the sunny river path up through an archway passage and into the flower-pot-dotted narrow cobblestone streets of beautifully kept medieval homes. We joined locals for a traditional sausage lunch and had the village to ourselves to nose around a bit after. The town is most notably known as the place where Richard the Lionhearted was imprisonned. Not a bad spot to be held captive.

On the hills of Durnstein, Austria

On the hills of Durnstein, Austria

Tip: Many local cafes have tables reserved for their regulars. Don’t be offended if you’re moved to another table, or if you’re ushered away from a prime table. It’s the proprietor’s act of appreciation for his neighbors (think of Norm and Klif on their barstools at Cheers).

Dürnstein, Austria

Dürnstein, Austria

This is the fifth and final installment in a five-part series following JohnnyJet.com writer Cynthia Cunniff through her experience of touring Bohemia with Insight Vacations. Check out Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 4—and thanks for reading!

 

About Cynthia Cunniff

Cynthia Cunniff’s writing background spans magazine editorial, travel blogging, marketing and PR. She’s a graduate of the creative writing program at CSU Long Beach and went on to UCLA to further her writing skills. Growing up as a military dependent, she lived in several foreign countries and areas of the US. Post college she returned to international living and resided in London for close to a decade, where she took advantage of proximity to the rest of Europe and traveled extensively. She currently lives in the beautiful South Bay of Los Angeles, and can be found on Twitter and Instagram @localpathworld.

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