Klosterneuburg + Kahlenberg (4h)
One of the treasures to be found near Vienna is the Augustine monastery in Klosterneuburg, a treasure both spiritually and architecturally. Originally founded as a monastery by Leopold III. near his residence, it was later splendidly extended and lavishly decorated in quintessential baroque style under Karl VI. with a view of creating an “Austrian Escorial”. The monastery is also famous for its treasure trove of artworks such as the altar of Verdune which was created in 1181 or the Austrian Archduke’s hat. There are different themes that could provide the leitmotiv for our guided tour through the monastery. A particularly interesting one is the »sacral path« which includes the unfinished Sala Terrena, the medieval church with its cloister, the burial chapel Leopold’s III. as well as the unique altar of Verdune. The Treasure Chamber had been closed to the public until recently and now offers the opportunity to see the so called Austrian Archduke’s hat – which more accurately should be described as a crown. On our way back to Vienna we will stop at the viewing terrace at the Kahlenberg which offers breathtaking views over Vienna, the Danube and the hilly vineyards around.
Duration: approx. 4 hours
Price: € 160 (20 % VAT incl.), plus admission fees
Vienna Woods (4h) + Heiligenkreuz
This tour will show you the most important landmarks of the Southern Vienna Woods. We pass the former Imperial Spa town Baden – known since Roman times for the healing properties of her sulphuric waters. From there we pass through the romantic Helenental, a valley which is famous for its woodlands and idyllically meandering river, a landscape known to have inspired composers such as Schubert and Beethoven. Next we will visit the former hunting château Mayerling where the Austrian crown prince Rudolf died so tragically in 1889, together with his young mistress Mary Vetsera. Afterwards we will stop at one of the worlds’ oldest Cistercian Abbeys, Stift Heiligenkreuz, famous among other things for its mediaeval cloister which served the Babenbergs for their burials. A spectacular finish to this tour will be a visit to the Seegrotte Hinterbrühl (huge cave with a lake underneath a mountain), where you will take a boat ride on the largest subterranean lake in Europe. If the boat trip doesn’t appeal to you we could also drive along the picturesque roads through the vineyards to the village of Gumpoldskirchen (famous for its wines) instead, followed by a guided tour of Baden or maybe visit the Stalactite cave in Alland.
Duration: 4 h
Price: € 160 (20 % VAT incl.), plus admission charges
Danube valley Wachau + Melk (8 h)
This trip goes through the very picturesque landscape of the Wachau, past pretty little villages, medieval castles and vine covered hills. Then we visit the medieval town Krems and afterwards take a stroll through Dürnstein, where (according to a legend) the English king Richard I, known as Lionheart, had been kept prisoner. The Wachau area – famous not just for its romantic landscapes and castles but also for growing wine and apricots – has been declared a World Cultural Heritage in 2000. The highlight of this excursion is a visit to the Benedictine monastery Melk, one of the most significant baroque buildings in Austria. During the summer it is also possible to take a boat trip on the Danube to Melk (duration approx. 1 1/5 hours) instead of visiting Krems and Dürnstein. Another alternative is to visit the nearby Göttweig Monastery.
Duration 8 h
Price: € 320 (20 % VAT incl.), plus admission charges
Burgenland (8 h)
In this tour, we follow in the footsteps of Joseph Haydn and start by visiting the house in Rohrau where the composer was born. The next stop is the regional capital Eisenstadt where we will go for a walk through the historic town centre and visit the Bergkirche (mountain church) with its Haydn Mausoleum and the house Haydn lived in as well as the state rooms of Castle Esterhazy. From there on we will drive past St. Margareten, a former quarry that goes back to Roman times, on to the Puszta landscapes towards the Lake Neusiedl national park which has been declared a World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO in 2001. This area is famous for its wines, and one of the best known wine towns is Rust (also famous for its population of storks) where you have the opportunity to enjoy a typical lunch and of course the regional wine, accompanied by traditional gipsy music. From here it is not far to the Hungarian border and the town of Mörbisch, famous for its annual operetta festival by the lake. During the afternoon we will enjoy a boat trip on Lake Neusiedl which is the largest steppe lake in Europe. If you wish, also a visit to the nearby Castle Forchtenstein is possible.
Duration: 8 h
Price: € 320 (20 % VAT incl.), plus admission charges
Linz (10 h)
We are heading through the picturesque Wachau along the Danube to Linz which was European capital of Culture in 2009. During a short drive through the town you will find out more about the cultural and industrial history of this area as well as its natural beauty. We go past the newly built area around the station (Bahnhofsviertel) and the music theatre which was only finished in 2013 and to the largest church in all of Austria, the ‘Neuer Dom’ (New Dome). During a guided walk you will see the Landhaus, the Mozart house Linz, and the castle, a former residence of Emperor Friedrich III. and you will also have the opportunity to try a famous regional delicacy, the Linzer Torte (a type of cake). We then cross the baroque town square past the house of the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler towards the ‘Old Dome’, in which princes Maria Elisabeth (a daughter of Empress Maria Theresia) is buried. A trip up the nearby mountain Pöstlingberg with its pilgrimage church, the town’s landmark, is well worth it: a panoramic terrace offers wonderful views across Linz and the surrounding landscapes and there several excellent restaurants for your lunch. If you wish we can also schedule a ride with the famous Grottenbahn – a miniature train going through a fairy tale world – or a drive with the mountain train which is one of the steepest adhesion railways in the world.
Duration: 10 h
Price: € 420 (20 % VAT incl.), plus admission charges
Salzburg (13h) – The Sound of Music
This trip will take us through the spectacular Salzkammergut area, a landscape famous for its mountains and lakes, to Salzburg, birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1996. During a walk through the town we will pass several places which were used as a film setting for the famous musical film “the Sound of Music” and you will see the most famous landmarks of Salzburg such as Mirabell castle with its gardens, the Getreidegasse (a historic street), the house that Mozart’s was born in, the Dome and the archbishops’ residence. There is also the Festival Hall, the Franciscan church as well as the monastery St. Peter with its cemetery. In the afternoon you have enough time to try regional specialities such as Salzburger dumplings, Stiegl beer and Mozart chocolate balls or to explore the town a little more at leisure. There is also the option to visit the impressive fortress Hohensalzburg from where you can enjoy amazing views over the town and surrounding areas.