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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Gourmet Travel Delights in the Wachau Valley: Best Of Wine & Apricots

Apricots, Apricots, Apricots! Tasting the longest apricot cake in the world (yes, it is well over 30 metres long!). Eating apricot dumplings, joining an apricot festival, being “apricot bloggers”, almost: Our gourmet trip along the Danube in Lower Austria shapes up to let us appreciate & enjoy every aspect of this sweet little orange fruit whose harvest is taking place right now in the middle of July. Tasting a b’soffene Marille (“boozy apricot” according to Sarah Lee of LiveShareTravel) at 10 in the morning? No problem, if like Sarah Lee or Nienke Krook you have just come from England or Holland in order to soak up the local atmosphere. “We love Austria!” is what Sarah & her husband Terry keep saying: Together with our colleagues Janett Schindler (Teilzeitreisender) from Germany, Anita Brechbühl (Travelita) from Switzerland and Nienke Krook (The Travel Tester) from Holland, we have come to enjoy a unique gourmet weekend in one of the most spectacular river landscapes of Austria: The World Heritage Wachau at the Danube in Lower Austria.

 

“Flower Power” & “Wine Lovers”: The Wachau represents pure essence of good living.

“We will get you fresh flowers from our garden!” Mrs Saahs, welcoming us at the oldest Austrian Wine Estate Nikolaihof in Mautern, retreats from our dinner table with a smile. However, only a little later, she is back with a whole basket of flowers and encouraging us to … eat them !!! Quite incredulous, we later really enjoy munching one or two of them: Flowers are delightful, either at the table, in your salad or as a snack in between. Lovely. Lots of flowers also brighten up our gourmet lunch at the famous restaurant Holzapfel Prandtauerhof, who thanks to their magnificent inner courtyard wrap us up in a real southern summer atmosphere. The food & wines are just excellent here. Be sure not to miss the following gourmet travel tips on your next foodie trip in Wachau

Mittagessen im Holzapfel Prandtauerhof in Joching: Der Vorspeisenteller alleine mutet dank Farbspiel & Geschmackskreationen einfach nur köstlich an.

Lunch at Holzapfel Prandtauerhof in Joching: This is only the starters. We love the beauty of this colourful (and tasty!) creation.

Besonders berühmt sind hier die sogenannten "Marillenknödel" ... einfach zum Anbeißen!

The “Marillenknödel” (apricot dumplings) are especially famous here … to die for! Seriously. 😀

Sämtliche Kalorien wird man gleich ums Eck in der Weinstadt Spitz an der Donau durch eine charmante "Wachauer.Hiata" Wanderung wieder los!

Travel Tip: Burn off all calories during a walk with a local “Wachau.Hiata”, a local hiking guide taking you on intricate paths through the local vineyards where we learned all there is to know about growing wine in the Wachau valley.

Hier lernen wir mehr über den faszinierenden Aufbau der Trockensteinterrassen, welche die Wachau seit Jahrtausenden als einzigartige Kulturlandschaft prägen.

Walking, feeling, living: Here, we learn a lot about the complex construction and maintenance of the wine growing district’s famous stone terraces that have characterized the area since the times of the Romans 2.000 years ago.

Nach so viel Anstrengung findet man sich am besten im ... Weingarten vor dem Abendessen wieder :D

After all this excitement, a good place to unwind is to … pose in front of one of the lovely local vineyards! From right to left: Nienke Krook, Sarah & Terry Lee, Anita Brechbühl, Birgit Fischer, Janett Schindler and myself.

Ich liebe den frischen Blütensalat sowie das ausgezeichnete biodynamische Heurigenbuffet der Familie Saahs am Weingut Nikolaihof. Hier muss man einfach gespeist haben!

I love the fresh flower salad at the wine estate & gourmet restaurant of the Saahs family, who produce everything according to biodynamic Demeter guidelines. Beautiful: Do not miss!

Frau Saahs, eine der besten Köchinnen des Landes, ist den ganzen Abend lang um uns bemüht und serviert uns zum Essen eine bunte Auswahl an Geschichten bzw. Essig & Ölen!

Mrs Saahs, who besides being our host for the evening is one of the best chefs of Austria, looking after us all evening and serving us a great selection of vinegar and oils for our salads here.

 

Gourmet Travel at the Danube in Lower Austria: “Geniesserzimmer” local accommodation, apricot festival & more!

Well, I have to tell you this: Even living here, you always discover new things. The city of Krems is local to me, however I have never tried the longest apricot cake in the world that is being served here each year. Delightful! Thanks to the appreciation of my friends, things taken for granted always manage to turn into something special: Janett and I have therefore chosen to stay in the same Genießerzimmer Ried Kollmitzberg, a special type of local gourmet accommodation welcomed by the family Prankl in Spitz at the Danube. Their rooms perfectly express the history of the traditional inn. “From here, it is literally just two steps till you reach our Danube beach for a swim”, Martin Prankl, our host at Gasthaus Prankl lets us in into his secret. I wonder if we have the time, though? SegwayWachaubahn historic train rideapricot festival & more: We are getting busy here with so many things to see and do! Definitely, there is always time for a toast with a good glass of Riesling or Grüner Veltliner here at the Danube in Lower Austria …

Das Frühstück wird im Genießerzimmer Gasthaus Prankl direkt auf der Sonnenterrasse mit Blick auf die Donau serviert. Ein zauberhafter Start in den Tag!

Breakfast at our accommodation Gasthaus Prankl in the Wachau valley … What can I say. Just beautiful out on this quiet sunny terrace with a view over the Danube river.

Wenig später schon nehmen wir "den ersten Schluck": B'soffene Marille (betrunkene Aprikose ;) ) als zweite Mahlzeit des Tages :D

A little later, we are in for a “treat”: The first “boozy apricot” of the day is our “second meal” at the apricot festival in Krems. Enjoy, Nienke & Sarah!

Der längste Marillenkuchen der Welt: 30 Meter lang, erstreckt er sich durch einen guten Teil der Altstadt von Krems.

The longest apricot cake in the world stretches well into the old city of Krems: 30 metres long, it draws hundreds of hungry spectators each and every year.

Krems ist ein wunderschönes Fleckchen Erde, und ich freue mich in dieser Stadt welche unter Einwohnern wie Besuchern gleichermaßen beliebt ist, zu leben sowie dieses Mal zu reisen!

Krems is a wonderful city, and I am proud to live here now! It is delightful to travel in your own city though, constantly discovering new things and angles, such as this beautiful view taken in the inner city.

So sehen aufgeregte & glückliche Reiseberichterstatter aus: Vor kurzem noch skeptisch, sind wir spätestens nach einer Stunde auf unseren Segways restlos von der Fahrt durch die Spitzer Weinberge entlang der Donau begeistert!

This is what happy travel writers look like: A little skeptical about our Segway skills at first, we enjoy taking this ride through the vineyards around the Spitz!

Nach einer kurzen Einschulung aller Teilnehmer direkt an der schönen, flachen Donaulände ...

After a short introduction by wonderful local host Thorsten Busch, we are allowed to “segway away” on our new mighty wheels … loving the experience !!

... geht es wenig später auch schon munter dahin: Janett beim Düsen durch die Weinrieden rund um Spitz! Tatsächlich lieben wir unsere zwei Räder unter den Beinen und fahren damit über Stock & Stein, es ist die reinste Freude !!

There goes Janett, having managed to “climb” steep rocky surfaces and vineyards hillsides: Well done for a Segway beginner! It really is that easy to learn, and we had so much fun during our trip in the vineyards around Spitz.

Prost Ihr Lieben! Ein Hoch auf die Donau in Niederösterreich sowie die Wachau als einzigartige Kulturlandschaft & Weinheimat.

A toast to the Wachau and its unique cultural landscape that has been shaped by wine & agriculture for the past two millennia.

Wein lässt uns niemals allein ... Diese charmanten Damen begrüßen uns zum Auftakt unserer Fahrt mit der Wachaubahn mit einem Gläschen Sekt aus der Region.

These lovely ladies welcome us to our historic train ride through the Wachau valley with a glass of … sparkling WINE. What else!

Beim Zwischenstopp in Dürnstein erleben wir gar die vollendete Veredlung des Wachauer Safran in dieser köstlichen Schokolade ... Wow!

Stopping during our train trip, we arrive in the famous little town of Dürnstein where true “Wachau Saffron” is grown: Beautiful on its own or wrapped up inside this tasty chocolate bar.

Die Zugfahrt im historischen Zugabteil aus den 1930er Jahren ist ein entspanntes Erlebnis mit vielen weinsamen & kulinarischen Stops unterwegs ...

This train ride with carriages whose furniture dates back to the 1930s is a unique experience of our trip. We love it !

Zu guter Letzt mussten die Partyhasen unter uns natürlich auf das Kremser Marillenfest gehen ... Eine letzte Runde Marillenknödel geht immer ;)

In the evening, we of course had to come and see the local apricot festival in the city of Krems … treating ourselves to a final round of wine & apricot dumplings. You only live once … hehe.

 

Cycling at the Danube? A river cruise between the vineyards? Or continuing to eat famous apricot dumplings … ?

Life is hard. Really. If an area, despite being “small” (it is only 35 kilometres from Krems to Melk along the famous Wachau Danube river valley) offers us all these possibilities, how can you possibly choose from them? Rent a bike? Dare cruising on the river? Continue eating (apricot dumplings and else)? Or go see … a real apricot farmer?

The answer is: Try everything. 😉 We did anyway! A river cruise from Krems to Spitz on the Danube is truly relaxing – wonderful views and a state-of-the-art Wachau ship offer good comfort and rest. When cycling alongside the famous Danube cycling trail during our 20 kilometer stretch from Spitz to Krems, we really enjoyed the countless photo opportunities, hotels & “Heurigen” local wine bars as well as the beautiful landscape on the way. And what about the apricots … ? We simply love them. Turned into brandy, liqueur or hidden inside a lovely little Austrian dumpling: Wachau, Wine & Apricots are the most beautiful travel experience around here.

Immer wieder eine Reise wert: Der wohl berühmteste und pittoreske Ort Österreichs - Dürnstein in der Wachau.

Always worth the trip: Dürnstein, one of the most famous places in the whole of Austria, becomes a popular place for visitors during the summer months.

Die Firma Brandner Schifffahrt bietet zahlreiche verschiedene Touren an, zu denen auch eine mehrsprachige ca. zweistündige Donauschifffahrt von Krems nach Spitz zählt, wie wir sie unternehmen.

The local company Brandner Schifffahrt offers a lot of cruises such as a our two-hour trip from Krems to Spitz, commentary is given in several languages catering to international guests from all over the world.

Kurze Zeit später verwöhnen wir uns direkt an der Donau mit saftigen Marillenknödel & der wunderschönen Aussicht vom Strandcafé Spitz der Familie Busch, welche uns auch die genialen Segways verliehen haben!

Just a little later, we are in for our Sunday lunch right by the river and back where we rented our Segways one day earlier: A familiar welcome at the Strandcafé Spitz.

In order to burn off all calories and to enjoy the landscape, we recommend renting a bike along the Danube bicycle trail.

In order to burn off all calories and to enjoy the landscape, we recommend renting a bike along the Danube bicycle trail.

Cycling delights: Countless photo opportunities beckon us to linger and stop on the way, taking in the beautiful surrounding local landscapes.

Cycling delights: Countless photo opportunities beckon us to linger and stop on the way, taking in the beautiful surrounding local landscapes.

Was für eine Reise: Danke liebes Team & Freunde für die Unterstützung an der Donau in Niederösterreich!

What a trip: Thank you, dear team & friends at the Danube in Lower Austria for joining us for some great gourmet delights during this weekend.

 

Disclaimer: We have been invited by the Danube Lower Austria & the Geniesserzimmer Niederösterreich in order to travel in the Wachau valley featuring wine & apricots. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
My World Heritage Trip in Germany: "History Full Of Life"
Wine & Spa Resort LOISIUM Hotel in Langenlois, Lower Austria: Wine.Wellness.WANT!

4 Comments

  1. Nienke - The Travel Tester

    What a beautiful pictures! I still think about this trip a lot, we had so much fun! Hope to visit Austria again someday, maybe to visit the cider area too…

    Reply
  2. Elena

    Thank you, dear Nienke! I look forward to meeting you again @TBEX Blogger Exchange in Dublin soon! And yes of course, you will get to travel to Austria again: Can’t wait to see you and your travel enthusiasm back here 🙂

    Reply
  3. Timor

    I’m wondering what is this “historic train ride through the Wachau valley”
    Couldn’t find any info about it.
    Can you please share?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Elena

      Dear Timor,

      You can use this link: http://www.noevog.at/en/default.asp?tt=NOEVOG_E_R12, to navigate around the pages of the Lower Austrian Railway company called “NÖVOG”: They should be able to provide you with even more information about organising your next trip aboard a historic train through the Wachau valley !

      Note that these trains only run during the season, i.e. April to October, roughly. I’d advice you to check all local travel times and departure days before you arrive. Have a safe trip, and enjoy the Wachau valley – my home in Lower Austria 😀

      Reply

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