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The Vienna Wine Hiking day or Wien Wandertag, combines two of the most treasured things in Austria; wine and hiking. This Saturday was perfect weather (the last of the sunshine I fear) for meeting friends, trotting up a gentle hill and stopping along the way at the Heuringer’s that throw open their doors and serve guests straight from their vineyards.
It’s a glorious way to experience the best of Vienna – wine, outdoor exercise, and killer views.
The day began in golden-hued Grinzing, where the wine cellars and gardens were open for all from 11am onwards.
After the first tipple, it was on to our hiking path. We joined at the base of Kahlenberg, halfway through Route 1, taking you from Grinzing to Nussdorf. The choice would lead us strategically to my favourite winery with a view, Mayer am Nussberg (where long-time readers will know I celebrated my 30th last year!).
Only 15 minutes into our ‘hike’, we came upon some stunning views that demanded a short break.
We naturally celebrated our find with a toast to Vienna – the only capital city in Europe with vineyards in its city limits.
With wine stands every 500 metre’s or so to make sure your glass was never empty, this was one of the best versions of a hike I’d ever been on. (Note to self, wine encourages more hiking). Families, friends, cyclists and one or two over-committed runners were all happily trotting the paths that led to the heights of Kahlenberg.
I adore this sign – is it outlawing noise in Vienna? Or french horns? Who knows!
By mid-afternoon, groups had settled into their comfortable perches and were expertly sipping G’mischter satz and Grüner Veltliner white wine while the sun slowly meandered across the sky.
The view across to Mayer am Nussberg – a haven of beach chairs, umbrellas, and delicious food after your pilgrimage up the hill.
By ‘golden hour’ we were pleasantly relaxed – Austrian’s don’t tend to overindulge in wine, preferring to finish a bottle then walk off the effects on the hike home. Strolling from Mayer am Nussberg to Nussdorf we caught the sunset over the city skyline.
Proving once again that it might just be the simple things in life that bring the most joy – good friends, good wine, a day outdoors hiking and killer views.
Number #33 on #myviennalist well and truly conquered, I’ll be back next year for sure!
There are 3 main trails for the Wien Wine Wandertag;
- Route 1 takes you from Neustift to Nussdorf, beginning in Neustift am Walde and following a 10km trail to Nussdorf. The full trail will take you through Coblenzl, Sievering and Grinzing. We jumped on at Grinzing after taking the 38 tram from the city to get here. At the trails end in Nussberg the D tram will get you back to the city or connect at Heilingstadt Ubahn for the U4. It was quite an easy walk (even for someone like me who *hates* hiking) and the views are clearly spectacular.
- Route 2 goes from Strebersdorf to Stammersdorf, a famous wine area. This is also a 10km walk, with a farm atop Magdalenehof to entertain the kids. This is a good option on the other side of the Danube.
- Route 3 is from Ottakring to Neuwaldegg on my side of town (I can lay claim to the west of Vienna, right?). It starts at Wilhelminenburg Palace and loops out to the 17th district, and is a cute 5km walk. There’s not as large a selection of Heuringer’s but this will likely be my preferred loop next year as there are some fantastic wineries in this region! You can take the 46A or 46B bus to Schloss Wilhelminenburg to meet the hiking trail.
- Attending the wine hiking day is free! There are specific start and end point info stations where you can get a map and collect stamps for each stop you make along the path. Or, you can just stroll along trying wine with no plan at all!
- Once you get to one of the info point stations it is very easy to follow the crowds along the paths, we didn’t have a map and still found our way with no trouble.
- Some wine stations will require a ‘Pfandl’ or deposit on the glasses, others won’t. Generally, if you haven’t paid a deposit on the glass you are using, it’s good form to leave it at the heuringer. If you have paid a deposit on a glass and carry it with you, just beware that not all little wine stands will exchange it for the €2 deposit, they may only give out their own glasses.
P.S Want to find more activities in Vienna? Check out the rest of #myviennalist – 50 things to do in Vienna in 52 weekends!