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Spitz

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Spitz is a small town in the Wachau, on the river Danube. Together with the neighbouring villages of Gut am Steg, Schwallenbach, and Vießling it is a major wine-producing centre of the region.

Understand

Named after the Knights of Spitz, who maintained the castle looming over the town, evidence of human settlement here dates back 4000 years. From 812 to 1504 CE it was owned by the Niederaltaich Abbey, and was a Bavarian enclave within Austria. Today its primary economic activity is wine production and tourism.

  • 1 Tourismusverein Spitz (Spitz Tourist Information), Mittergasse 3a, ☏ +43 2713 2363, fax: +43 2713 2988, ✉ info@spitz-wachau.at. End of Apr - beginning of Oct: M-Sa 09:00-13:00 14:00-18:00; October: M-Sa 09:00-13:00 14:00-16:00; open on holidays. The staff can help arrange accommodation, and maintains an online heurigen calendar.

Get in

By car

Spitz is located midway between Melk and Dürnstein on the B3 regional highway, which follows the Danube River along its northern bank.

By train

A regional train passes through 1 Spitz Bahnhof connecting Krems with Emmersdorf (four times daily) and Spitz (three times daily). Use ÖBB's SCOTTY to look up train information online.

By boat

From mid-April through October Spitz can be reached by river boats which ply the route between Melk and Krems/Stein, also making stops in Emmersdorf and Dürnstein.

  • 2 DDSG Blue Danube Schiffahrt GmbH, Donaustrasse, ☏ +43 1 588 80, fax: +43 1 588 80 440, ✉ info@ddsg-blue-danube.at. Operates several times daily; timetables and fares (listed at the bottom of the page) can be found here. Tickets can be purchased at any of the docking points, in Vienna, or online. Bicycles (€2) and dogs (free) permitted on board.
  • 3 Brandner, Donaustrasse, ☏ +43 7433 2590 21, ✉ schiffahrt@brandner.at. Operates twice daily, also making a stop in Weißenkirchen. Timetables and fares can bee seen here. Tickets can be purchased online. Bicycles (€2) and dogs (free, muzzle and leash required) permitted on board.

Get around

Spitz proper is very compact, and the easiest way to get around is by foot. To go the neighbouring villages a bicycle or car can be useful.

  • Taxi Bernhardt, Laaben 1a, ☏ +43 664 2222 040, ✉ office@wachau-touristik.at. Daily 24 hrs. Offers taxi service around the region.

By bicycle

  • Nextbike, ☏ +43 2742 22 99 01 (hotline). After registration (online or by mobile), pick up a bicycle at any Nextbike location, and drop it off at the same or any other Nextbike spot. A map of pickup and drop-off points can be found here (click 'Wachau' for Spitz); a brochure for the Wachau region is available for download. €1/hr, €10/day.

See

  • 1 Ruine Hinterhaus (Hinterhaus Castle Ruins). The ruins are located on a rocky ridge of the Jauerling, the highest mountain in the Wachau, and near the well-known Tausendeimerberg vineyard. The castle was first established in the 12th century, and conquered by the Knights of Spitz, who modified and extended it in the 13th and 14th centuries. It is the setting for a number of legends, including one in which the ghost of the lady of the castle appears annually on the anniversary of her husband's death. Free.
  • 2 Schifffahrtsmuseum Spitz (Spitz Maritime Museum), Auf der Wehr 21, ☏ +43 2713 2246, ✉ schifffahrtsmuseum@gmx.at. 15 Apr - 31 Oct: M-Sa 10:00-12:00 14:00-16:00, Su and holidays 10:00-16:00. The museum is devoted to illustrating the history and development of maritime traffic on the Danube River. €6.50 (adults), €5.50 (seniors), €4.50 (children).
  • 3 Pfarrkirche Spitz (St. Maurice Parish Church). Originally dedicated to St. Gotthard, a chapel was first built here in the late 12th century. The current structures date predominantly from the early 14th century, with some modifications from the 15th and 16th centuries. Portions of the defensive wall surrounding the church still remain.

Do

Buy

Eat

Most inns and hotels in the area also have good onsite restaurants; see the 'Sleep' section below for individual listings.

  • 1 Strandcafé Spitz, Donaulände 7, ☏ +43 2713 2320, fax: +43 2713 2320 4, ✉ strandcafe.spitz@aon.at. Apr-Nov: Th-M 09:00-19:00. Operating since 1926, the café serves regional specialties. Visitors can dine indoors or outdoors on a very pleasant terrace overlooking the river. Has disabled access and a play area for children.
  • 2 Gasthaus Mariandl, Kirchenplatz 2, ☏ +43 2713 2376, ✉ info@gasthaus-mariandl.at. Late Mar - Sep: W-Su 11:00-23:00; Oct: W-F 11:00-14:00 17:30-20:00, Sa Su and holidays 11:00-20:00. Serves regional cuisine, with a focus on traditional produce that is in danger of being forgotten and dying out. Reservations can be made online.

Drink

Sleep

  • 1 Gasthaus Prankl, Altes Schiffmeisterhaus, Hinterhaus 16, ☏ +43 2713 2323, ✉ gasthaus.prankl@aon.at. Check-in: 14:00-18:00, check-out: 07:00-11:00. The hotel dates from 1680, and has a highly-regarded onsite restaurant, non-smoking rooms, and garden with sunbeds. A public swimming spot on the riverfront is located directly in front of the hotel. Free Wi-Fi, pets permitted on request, free private parking available. €95+.
  • 2 Residenz Zum Schwarzen Raben, Hinterhaus 2, ☏ +43 664 3539 390, ✉ info@zumschwarzenraben.eu. Check-in: 16:00-18:00, check-out: 09:00-10:30. The 400-year-old building has a number of holiday apartments. €90+.
  • 3 Burg Oberranna, Oberranna 1 (Mühldorf, 5km NW of Spitz), ☏ +43 2713 8221, fax: +43 2713 8366, ✉ reservierung@burg-oberranna.at. Located on the border between the Wachau and the Waldviertel, this 13th century castle has been completely restored and now has a few double rooms as well as holiday apartments, complete with antique furniture. There is also a castle tavern which serves traditional regional cuisine. The castle is open to guests from May to October. €68-120 (singles), €138-170 (doubles), €153-280 (apts); all rates include breakfast.

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