At the south-western entrance of the beautiful, UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley lie the charming town of Emmersdorf and the historic city of Melk – two of Lower Austria’s prettiest and most popular holiday destinations. Whether you choose to explore one or both of these small, yet attraction-packed settlements situated on opposite sides of the River Danube, you’re in for an enjoyable and rewarding experience here during your Danube River cruise.
The centre of Emmersdorf is within walking distance of your riverboat’s berth and is the perfect place to start a couple of hours of relaxing exploration ashore. Head into the town beyond the colourful waterfront buildings and you’ll uncover a few interesting sites, including the late-gothic parish church of St Nikolaus, a collection of 16th century wine houses, the Town Hall and a couple of fine restaurants such as Schloss Rothenhof. Look over towards Melk and the sight of the magnificent Melk Abbey will hint at the historic highlights awaiting you across the river.
Melk is a short journey across the Danube Bridge from Emmersdorf and no time here is complete without venturing over the river to visit the city’s iconic Benedictine abbey – considered one of the most famous, elaborate and important monasteries in Austria. While the abbey’s stunning architecture is a sight to behold, its hill-top position also provides spectacular views of Melk, the Danube and the surrounding countryside scenery which are not-to-be-missed. Elsewhere in the city – which is easily explored on foot – it’s worth taking in the 16th century Town Hall; Haus am Stein, Melk’s oldest building; and the striking towers and domes of the Stiftskirche.