Baden – Freistadt – Schärding – Hallein
438 km approx. 7 hours
This route takes you not only through three provinces – Lower Austria, Upper Austria and Salzburg – but also through cultivated lands renowned far beyond Austria’s borders. Starting point is Baden near Vienna, the former summer residence of the imperial court (1803 to 1834). Its gardens, in particular the Rosarium, are an absolute must-see for garden lovers. Past the romantic vineyards of the Wachau Region the route, turning northwards, continues over gently rolling hills into the Mühlviertel Region and to the small town of Freistadt, a picturesque medieval old town and the Mühlviertel’s beer brewing centre. For the Freistadt citizens, beer is more than a mere drink, it is a veritable attitude towards life and it is therefore not surprising that Freistadt is Europe’s last remaining brewery commune. After enjoying a glass of beer, the route then takes you to the baroque town of Schärding, which also boasts a long and highly venerated beer brewing tradition including Europe’s first brewery ship. Its vibrant town centre with its impressive colourful baroque houses is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll or relaxing break. Turning southwards, the route continues on to Hallein, a small Celtic town at the foot of the Dürrnberg Mountain and the last leg of this wonderful journey. Formerly salt, its mining and trade, dominated the life of the town for centuries, today it is the centre of a vibrant art and cultural scene.