Set at the confluence of the Krems and Danube rivers, at the eastern end of the picturesque Wachau Valley, is the intimate town Krem san der Donau. Often encountered on a narrated day of scenic cruising through the valley, the hamlet is most frequently passed while en route to other places of more significant interest. Still, a stop in Krems (as it is locally known) could very well be one of the highlights of any Euro river cruise for access to the vineyards here alone. If you’re sailing by, look for Schönbühel Castle on the south bank between Melk and Krems. It's hard to miss the imposing Aggstein Castle, too.
What We Love
Prost: Thanks to the ideal grape-growing climate, Krems is home to some of the country's best vineyards, and has a winemaking history that dates back more than 1000 years. Classic local varietals include crisp grüner veltliner and riesling.
Best Known For
Postcard Perfect: Krems is known as one of the prettiest towns in the Wachau Valley and lower Austria. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city’s center is a virtually untouched 18th-century Old Town. Cobblestoned streets wind among excellent intimate museums and classic architecture that includes one of Austria's oldest churches.
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Who It's Best For
Wine Lovers: In summer and fall, the town is abuzz with visitors in search of excellent food and wine in a storybook setting. Winzer Krems, a collective of nearly 1,000 wine makers, offers a look at the region's powerhouse production. Tours will give you a glimpse into the hand-run production.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Bends in the Road: If visiting Aggstein Castle, which is located high on top of a hill, don't be surprised if the oncoming traffic appears dangerously close. The road is narrow and best left to the local pros.
Chris Owen is a Florida-based travel writer and photographer.