Leaving Vienna in the evening we headed to the north-east of Lower Austria, to a region called Waldviertel.
The first day, we made it to Mautern at the Danube and stayed there for the night.

Sunrise at the Danube near Mautern, city of Krems in the background

The next day, we visited Stein on the other side of the river and went for breakfast before we left the Wachau and drove up into the Waldviertel.

Soon we saw our first field of poppies.

The next stop was at Roggenreith, where we visited the first Austrian whisky producer J.H. “Roggen” means rye, which grows well in this area and that’s what they use for some of their whisky.
The visit was very interesting and of course we bought a bottle of whisky (and some Gin too ;-).

Austrian first Rye Whisky distillery at Roggenreith

Afterwards, we drove further north to the castle of Rappottenstein, which was closed on a Monday but we went for a walk and had some great views from outside.


It was very hot, so we headed to a lake or reservoir called Ottenstein. We found the perfect spot at the Deckerspitz near Mitterreith. We could stay there for the night at a meadow full of flowers and the shore was just 100 m from the parking. It was not very busy and at night it was very peaceful – a perfect spot!!! (48.615386, 15.266922) We enjoyed to swim in the lake and met some youngsters who had their fun there too.

Sunset at Ottenstein Stausee

The next day, we drove to Heidenreichstein, where we first went to the Heidenreichsteiner Moor National Park. We got a map and went for a walk. It was very hot but most of the route was through the forest. At the end, we arrived at a lake where we could go swimming. All the lakes in this area are muddy at the bottom and have brown water, but it is supposed to be very good for your skin and body. Not many lakes are good for swimming as most of them are used as carp farms.

“Heidenreichsteiner Moor” National Park
Mud, very good for skin & body

After a lunch at the restaurant there, we drove down into Heidenreichstein and went on a guided tour at the moated castle. We where very impressed by the state of conservation, it isn’t over restored and still has most of its historic furnitures. The tour was very interesting and the guide told as a lot about live in this castle.


We needed another lake for the night, so we drove to Litschau, close to the border to Czechia, where we went to the beautiful Herrensee. There is a parking in front of the lido, which was completely full on such a hot summer day. But we could park in a meadow and went to the beach. When most of the people had left, we changed to the big parking and quite late in the evening we walked around the lake. Such a beautiful spot. The night there was very pleasant, the temperature dropped during the night to 18°, but the next day it was 32° again.

Herrensee at Litschau

Back at Heidenreichstein we visited the Käsemacherwelt. “Die Käsemacher” is a very well known company producing very good sheep and goat cheese. We went on a guided tour where we learned a lot about the production of cheese. Afterwards we ended at their restaurant and shop, where we bought not only cheese, but also poppy seeds – blue and grey ones. My mother will hopefully bake us a cake with it.

the “Käsemacherwelt”
Demonstration of “how to make cheese”

On the way back to Vienna, we stopped near the river Kamp and went to the ruins of Scharnstein, a former castle on the hills 150 m above the river. The ruins are well maintained and we had a great view into the valley of the river. We hiked down to the river, getting attacked by many insects which where also hiding from the heat in the slightly cooler forest. We reached the river and found a nice spot, where we enjoyed the cool water before we had to climb up again.

View from Castle Scharnstein to the Kamp Valley
beautiful river Kamp

We now followed the river Kamp on the road, passing the famous castle of Rosenburg and the village of Gars, before we stopped at a Heurigen in Zöbing. After a late lunch at 5pm we headed back home to our caravan parking in Vienna.

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