• Stift Göttweig mit Weingärten im Vordergrund
  • Römisches Stadtviertel, Römerstadt Carnuntum
  • Ruine Aggstein © Steve Haider

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Highlight Events in the Danube Region in Lower Austria

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A trip along the Danube in Lower Austria is a dream come true. Visitors can look forward to scenic countryside, the Wachau (a UNESCO World Heritage landscape), lush terraced vineyards, blossoming apricot trees, historical buildings and archeological parks. The Danube region attracts visitors with events featuring fine cuisine, traditions, culture and wanderlust.

Spring feelings and wine festivals
What a great opportunity to get a breath of fresh spring air and enjoy the countryside in the Wachau, a UNESCO World Heritage landscape! At the beginning of the season - in late March to early April - the Wachau is transformed into a fragrant sea of pinkish white blossoms. Every year, some 100,000 apricot trees bud, setting the UNESCO World Heritage landscape awash in delicate pastel hues.

Spring is also the time for the wachau GOURMETfestival. This series of culinary events is a must for all gourmets and bons vivants. It features big names, exciting newcomers, many an unusual venue and all this in the midst of the scenic Wachau Valley. This year's lineup is as unusual as it is first-rate and will take place from March 28 to April 11. Fixed events every year are the two-day wine fair at the Dominican Church in Krems, exclusive menus at the top restaurants in the region with international guest chefs and an array of superb vintages.

Wine enthusiasts can sample excellent wines from the Danube region at the events of Weinfrühling, a celebration of spring and wine held each year in late April and early May. Most winemakers open their cellars to the public at this time - this is the most diverse opportunity to sample wines all year long. At Wachau Weinfrühling from May 4 to 5, one hundred Vinea Wachau winemakers invite the public to taste their new vintage. The climax of Weinfrühling is the Steinfeder Night on Saturday, May 4, at the castle in Spitz. The association "Traditionsweingüter Österreich" (Traditional Austrian Winemakers) holds its Tour de Vin at the same time as Weinfrühling. Under the motto "sample - chat - buy", the association members invite the public to visit them in the four winemaking regions Wagram and the Krems, Kamp and Traisen valleys! Frühlingserwachen am Wagram (Spring Awakening on Wagram) also focuses fully on the new wine. The Wagram vintners warmly invite the public to taste their new wine from May 4 to 5. At the Three-Valley Weinfrühling on the weekend of April 27 and 28, you can sample wines from the Traisen, Krems and Kamp valleys.

In early summer when the temperatures rise, it is time for wine enjoyment to shift outdoors to wine festivals and cellar-lined road festivals. In Langenlois, all cellars on Sauberg open their doors from August 23 to 25. This hill affords a unique view of the major wine town of Langenlois and the LOISIUM World of Wine. The Wachau has a very special festival from August 9 to 11: The Rieslingfest in the lovely Renaissance Teisenhoferhof in Weissenkirchen features dance music, a traditional frühschoppen wine brunch and the awarding of the Riesling Order on Sunday afternoon. Regional delicacies and superb Wachau wines are on hand to delight the palate.

Solstice celebrations and apricots
The age-old tradition of the solstice celebration is cultivated in splendid and enjoyable ways in more than 20 communities in the Danube region comprising the Wachau, the Nibelungengau and the Krems Valley. Vineyards romantically bathed in the light of torches, impressive fireworks and dramatically illuminated buildings along the bands make the solstice celebrations in the Wachau and Nibelungengau truly memorable every year. This year's summer solstice festivities in the Wachau take place on June 22. The Nibelungengau, just west of the Wachau, celebrates a week earlier on June 15.

Homage is paid to the famous Wachau apricot every year at harvest time in July. At the traditional apricot festivals, you can sample deliciously light apricot dumplings or liquid apricots in a variety of forms. This special fruit is celebrated enthusiastically every year at the traditional Apricot Kirtag in Spitz from July 19 to 21 and at "Alles Marille" (Everything's Apricot) in Krems on July 12 and 14. A big highlight of the Apricot Kirtag is the traditional parade with King Marillus and Princess Apricosia and in Krems, the cutting of the delicious giant apricot cake in the historical center of the city.

Wine and cultural delights
In 2019 the Grafenegg Festival is celebrating its thirteenth anniversary. This classical music festival is held at the unique "Wolkenturm" open-air stage and directed by star pianist Rudolf Buchbinder. Today Grafenegg is one of the most renowned festival venues for international orchestras with its unique setting in the castle park of Grafenegg. The season showcases topflight performers and opens with a Summer Night Gala at the Wolkenturm on June 13 and 14.

The Grafenegg Festival will run from August 16 to September 8 and once again presents top global orchestras as well as major conductors that will appear at Grafenegg.

Autumn delights and wine bliss
Autumn is the season for harvest festivals. At these traditional festivals, people give thanks for the year's good harvest. Many wear special local costumes, and local clubs carry out traditional activities during the celebrations. At the thanksgiving celebration in Spitz/Danube in October , locals get decked out in traditional garb and have a procession with abundant harvest bounties to the church where a special mass is celebrated. Then the new wine and other harvest treats are served and there is dancing by a band in traditional costumes and a folk dancing group from Spitz. Wösendorf and Weissenkirchen also have thanksgiving festivals.

Time for Weinherbst
Weinherbst, Lower Austria's celebration of autumn and wine, features wine events throughout the Danube region in this province. It is the time for grape gathering and autumn wine festivals along the Danube. Spitz in the Wachau is especially diverse. This year, visitors to the Spitz Weinherbst in September or October can look forward to an extensive program, ranging from open houses at wine cellars and vineyard hikes to special Weinherbst menus. During "Kostbares Kamptal" (Sumptuous Kamp Valley) from August 30 to September 15, the Kamp Valley vintners open their doors and invite the public to sample their wares. The wine festival at Eichbühel in Krustetten is held in the middle of the vineyards. From August 9 to 11, the vintners offer their best wines along with traditional buffet elicacies. At Göttlesbrunner Leopoldigang on November 16 and 17, about 20 vintners from this famous wine town in Römerland Carnuntum open their cellars and invite the public to sample the new wine.

The first wine christenings of the new vintages go from mid-November on, starting as soon as the vintners pick their last grapes. Wine christenings can be found throughout the Danube region in Lower Austria, for instance at Göttweig Abbey or in Krems, Weissenkirchen and Bruck/Leitha.

Danube regions in Lower Austria in November and December
During the stillest time of the year, the Wachau offers a special cultural program in November. The Austrian actress Ursula Strauss is the curator of "Wachau in Echtzeit" (Wachau in Real Time), a line-up of cultural and musical events specially adapted for the performance venues in the Wachau.

Advent in the Danube region of Lower Austria promises to bring hours of quiet contemplation and moments of enchantment. The towns and villages along the Danube invite visitors every year to magical Advent markets or on romantic winter cruises. The Danube region has a broad program of events ranging from the traditional Christmas market at the Aggstein ruins and the traditional Advent markets at Grafenegg to Christmas magic at Göttweig Abbey and the Advent village at Schloss Hof plus an array of small and tranquil Advent markets.

In the Knights' Hall and throughout the premises of the Aggstein ruins, craftspeople offer their handmade wares for sale on three weekends. Medieval tradespeople bring alive the magic of days long past. The Grafenegg Advent Market from December 7 through 10 is one of the largest and most traditional Christmas markets with over 80 exhibitors at the craft market and in the castle workshops. A "Taste of Lower Austria" hut village offers culinary delights in the castle park, which is all aglow with Christmas lighting. The splendid grounds of Schloss Hof are likewise transformed into a Christmas village full of atmosphere on the five weekends prior to Christmas. At about 100 stands, visitors can get great ideas for Christmas gifts and delectable food.

Top dates for 2019

Mar 28 - Apr 11 wachau GOURMETfestival, www.wachau-gourmet-festival.at 
Apr 27 - 28 Weinfrühling in Kamp, Krems and Traisen valleys
Apr 26 - May 5 Donaufestival, www.donaufestival.at 
May 4 Steinfeder Night at castle in Spitz, www.vinea-wachau.at 
May 4 - 5 Frühlingserwachen am Wagram (Spring Awakening), www.regionwagram.at 
May 4 - 5 Tour de Vin, www.traditionsweingueter.at 
May 4 - 5 Weinfrühling in the Wachau: 100 Vinea Wachau vintners invite public to sample the 2018 vintage, www.vinea.wachau.at 
Jun 15 - 16 Roman Festival at Roman city of Carnuntum, www.carnuntum.at 
Jun 15 Summer solstice in the Nibelungengau, www.sonnenwende.at 
Jun 22 Summer solstice in the Wachau, www.sonnenwende.at 
Jun 22 - Aug 6 Summer concerts at the Wolkenturm, Grafenegg, www.grafenegg.com 
Jul 12- 28 Glatt&Verkehrt, a music festival at three venues: Spitz Castle, Dürnstein Abbey and Winzern Krems, www.glattundverkehrt.at
Jul 12 - 14 Alles Marille (Everything's Apricot) in Krems/Donau: Variety of events in homage of the Wachau apricot, www.alles-marille.at   
Jul 19 - 21 Apricot Kirtag in Spitz/Donau: Specialties featuring Wachau apricots such as apricot dumplings and apricot schnapps, www.spitz-wachau.com 
Aug 9 - 11 Riesling Festival in Weissenkirchen, www.weissenkircheninderwachau.at
Aug 16 - Sep 8 Grafenegg Festival, www.grafenegg.com
Aug 23 - 25 Cellar-lined road festival at Sauberg, Langenlois, www.donau.com
Aug 30 - Sep 15 Kostbares Kamptal (Sumptuous Kamp Valley), www.kamptal.at/kostbares-kamptal
Sep 20 - 21 Night of Stars from Wachau, www.starnacht.tv/de/starnacht-aus-der-wachau
Sep 29 International WACHAUmarathon, www.wachaumarathon.com
Sep 28 - Oct 13 Weinherbst in Spitz: Extensive program including vineyard hikes, Weinherbst menus and open houses at wine cellars, www.spitz-wachau.com
Oct 6 Harvest festival in Spitz/Donau, www.spitz-wachau.at
Nov Wachau in Echtzeit, a cultural program by Ursula Strauss, www.wachauinechtzeit.at
 Nov - Dec Advent along the Danube in Lower Austria

You can find further information about the Danube region in Lower Austria in English, Czech and Slovak at the website www.donau.com 

You can find photo material on the Danube region in Lower Austria in our online picture archive at the website www.donau.com/bildarchiv .

Vacation information: Donau-Niederösterreich Tourismus GmbH Schlossgasse 3, A-3620 Spitz/Donau, Austria (T) +43(0)2713/30060-60, (F) +43(0)2713/30060-30 (E) urlaub@donau.com, (U) www.wachau.at; www.donau.com;

Media inquiries Jutta Mucha-Zachar, Donau-Niederösterreich Tourismus GmbH Schlossgasse 3, A-3620 Spitz/Donau, Austria (T) +43(0)2713/30060-24 | (F) +43(0)2713/30060-30 (E) jutta.mucha-zachar@donau.com | (U) www.donau.com

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For further information and questions please contact:
Jutta Mucha-Zachar

+43 2713 30060-24 jutta.mucha-zachar@donau.com learn more