I’ve driven past it many times and have also strolled around the town of Dürnstein – which sits below – but I had until the other day never walked up the hill to the ruins of Dürnstein Castle.
For those finding themselves in the picture postcard town of Dürnstein……
… and thinking of making the hike up the hill I say it’s worth it for the view along the river Danube and the surrounding villages of the Wachau region, but not for the ruins themselves.
There is little of historical interest in the site itself, which is disappointing for a castle that played host to Richard the Lionheart in his captivity.
While the steep path up is fine for those in ordinary shoes if you are comfortable traversing the mix of smooth stone and loose grave but even on a hot, dry day I’d recommend footwear with a decent grip – especially if you intend to climb around at the top.
If you don’t fancy the climb then you can simply join the many other tourists enjoying the chance to wander around the town before jumping back on their coach and rushing off to the next stop.
If you aren’t in a rush then I’d recommend spending a few days exploring the Wachau – which sits on either side of the Danube – with it lovely villages, terraced vineyards, and relaxing heurigen.
Personally, I love spending my time here eating and drinking, but cycling, walking and playing in the Danube are all available in an area only an hour or so from Vienna.