The city of Emmersdorf is frequently called the "cycle village" of the Wachau Valley.
Centuries ago, narrow terraces were hewn into the slopes alongside the Danube. That narrow valley between Melk and Krems is known as the Wachau region and its unique climate and geological conditions combine to provide ideal conditions for grape varietals which have been cultivated here over the centuries. The scenic background of the vertical vineyards and wide, unencumbered bike trails on fairly flat terrain made for a pleasant bike tour -- even for us "older folks".
Some hotels have bikes that guests can borrow without cost, but if yours does not, you can rent one by the day or by the hour from Tourismus, located at3644 Emmersdorf. The cost ranges from about $6.50-$14 a day. An organized excursion of about 20 KM is also available, but if you are feeling adventurous, or if you just want to travel at your own pace, you can get a cycle tour map from the information center and set out on your own -- as we did.
My husband Dutch and I made our first stop at a convenient grocery shop in Melk. We bought fresh fruits and juices to carry with us. (We also grabbed a few bars of German chocolate bars, just in case of "energy deprivation"). Adequately fortified, we started out on our venture. We decided to ride the East Side of the river because we wanted to visit the town of Durnstein where King Richard the Lionhearted is said to have been a prisoner. His release was only granted upon payment of an enormous ransom.
We really enjoyed walking the streets and visiting the shops in the little town of Wiesenkirchen. It is a delightful wine village with a lovely river promenade, an old fortified church and an interesting museum. The scenery is lovely throughout the area and you will discover beautiful 16th century houses and inns where you can taste the Heuriger or current year‘s wines. If time and energy permit, a stop at the Vinothek Winery may be the highlight of your ride. Josef Pichler has used brick to create a cool and pleasing wine chamber where you can sample the best wines of the Wachau Valley as well as several imported wines.
by Barb B
Napa, CA and Hereford, AZ , Arizona
July 7, 2001
From journal Got Melk??