Hikers in vineyards

Crossing the Wachau on the Way of St. James

A pilgrimage is a journey to yourself

In 2005, the Austrian part of the Way of St. James, which leads from Göttweig Abbey to Melk Abbey, was opened in Melk Abbey. On the Way of St. James, Christians have been making pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela to the tomb of St. James since the Middle Ages. The starting point of the Austrian Way of St. James is the Hainburg Gate. From there, the trail follows the tracks of the Danube Limes Road built by the Romans up the Danube through Vienna, via Linz and Innsbruck to Feldkirch. From Vienna to Santiago de Compostela there are 3,200 km to cover. The route between Göttweig and Melk measures about 44 km and can be completed in about 12 hours.

Cultural sights along the Austrian Way of St. James

In addition to many splendid monasteries, churches and abbeys, this stage of the hiking trail also runs past the famous Benedictine monasteries Melk and Göttweig. Two easy day hikes lie between the two. The two Benedictine monasteries at the beginning and at the end of the Wachau – which has been a world cultural heritage since 2000 – belong to the most important stations of the Austrian Way of St. James. 

More stations along the way are the pilgrimage church Maria Langegg, the fortress ruin Aggstein as well as the hammer mill and the charterhouse in Aggsbach.

The Way of St. James in Austria

The revival of the Austrian part of the trail goes back to an initiative of the Waldzell institute. This initiative follows the trend to spiritual hiking which has been forming in the last years and has led to a revival of other pilgrim paths. Along the Austrian trail you can get more information on the whole Way of St. James at special stations.

“Even though a pilgrimage is defined by its destination, its purpose lies in the route.”

(Michael Köhlmeier)

Experience an incredibly beautiful region in Austria, the Wachau, in your hiking boots on the Way of St. James. You are welcome to dine and stay at the Pichler's holiday oases. Simply send us an enquiry to reserve your room.