Details for: Wachau World Heritage Trail 11: Hofarnsdorf - Rossatz

Brief description

Wine villages and vineyards of the Wachau, Roman pathes and ruins, a nature preserve with untouched oak and hornbeam forests and great views from „Seekopf“ (lake head) and Hirschwand (deer wall) are part of the experiences on this 17 kilometer long stage from Hofarnsdorf to Rossatz.


Wachau World Heritage Trail: from Hofarnsdorf to Rossatz

From the castle of the founder time era in Hofarnsdorf you walk through the wine villages of Mitterarnsdorf and Bacharnsdorf (with the Roman watchtower). On the former „Römerweg“ (Roman trail) the way leads into „Kupfertal“ (copper valley) and into „Dunkelsteinerwald“ (dark stone wood). You will discover some relics of the Turkish war and experience great views from Seekopf and Hirschwand. Through the nature preserve named „Steinige Ries“ with its impressive and untouched oak and hornbeam forest and the vineyards the way leads down into idyllic wine village Rossatz.

Starting point of the tour

Hofarnsdorf, castle

Destination point of the tour

Rossatz, church square

Route description

The tour starts in front of castle and church in Hofarnsdorf. Downstream you  follow the way parallel to the Danube and you will be accompanied by great views seeing ruin Hinterhaus, vineyard Atzberg, Spitz and the defense church  of St. Michael. At Bacharnsdorf you turn right, passing the Roman watchtower „Burgus“ you reach main road B33. There you turn left an after about 150m you are at tavern of family Pammer including the stamp station for this tour. You follow the main path by turning right at the main road and after a few meters left. On the former Roman track (partly you can still recognize the driving grooves) the way leads now along Dürrenbach (creek) into copper valley. You pass the nicely located rest place with various stone sculptures (romantic rock formation). In the middle of the valley on the right hand side you can see Turks gate (partly reduced sight because of overgrowth). This fortification relict of the Arnsdorf villages „Dorfmauern“ (walls) are from the time of the Turkish wars. At Kreuzberg (with way side shrine) in 597m you reach the end of copper valley and turn left and encounter the Camino (Way of St. James). A forest road leads to Rührsdorfer See (lake) with rest place which you will pass by on the left or on the right depending on its current size.

After about 15 minutes you reach Seekopf (671m), where you enjoy a great view from the observation tower. Shortly after you get a wonderful view of the Hirschwand, which can only be reached via a climbing section with ladders (takes about 10 min extra one way). Afterwards you start walking down to Rossatz. At the nature preserve „Steinige Ries“ pathing through partly pure oak wood with bizarre rock formations the way leads steady downwards. Along the way you will be pleased with stunning views of the Wachau valley again and again. At the end of „Steinige Ries“ you walk over the longest dry stone wall path of the Wachau (several hundred meters long). Above the church of St. Lorzen you meet Rossatz panoramic trail and reach the diverson to the ferry station St. Lorenz-Weißenkirchen (about 15 min down to the ferry). Cross field through the vineyards the panoramic trail leads us all the way to church square of Rossatz the end of this stage, finally offering a special view from the lookout point „Smaragdeidechse“ (emerald lizard) directly above church square before ending the tour with a visit at a tavern.


Highway A1 until exit Melk, following B33 to Hofarnsdorf or Rossatz.


In Mitterarnsdorf at the fire brigade or in Rossatz at the public parking lots arround church square

The villages can be reached 7 days a week by public transportation. Its possible to get back to the start of the tour.

On the south shore (WL 2: from trainstation Krems via Mautern-Rossatz-Arnsdörfer-Aggsbach Dorf-Schönbühel-Melk trainstation) buses are departing every two hours. Rossatz and Hofarnsdorf are directly connected with the trainstations Krems and Melk. On the north shore (WL 1 from trainstation Krems via Dürnstein-Weißenkirchen-Spitz-Aggsbach Markt-Emmersdorf-Melk trainstation) hourly buses depart 7 days a week. Spitzer Graben (WL 5 connection between Spitz and Mühldorf) operates from Spitz departing every two hours. Info at

Stations for the bike rent system „nextbike“ (1€ per hour) are located in Hofarnsdorf and Rossatz.  

Timetable ferry St.Lorenz to Weißenkirchen: March 28th to November 1st: Monday to Friday 9a.m.-12a.m. and 1:30p.m.-6:30p.m. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 9:00a.m.-6.30p.m. The ferry is not operating during winter time.

Timetable ferry Arnsdorf to Spitz: March 16th to March 31st: Mo-Fr 6a.m.-6:30p.m., Sat. 7a.m.-6:30p.m., Sunday and public holidays 8a.m.-6:30p.m. April: Mo.-Fr. 6a.m.-7:30p.m., Sat. 7a.m.-7:30 p.m., Sunday and public holiday 8a.m.-7:30p.m. May 1st until Sept. 30th: Mo.-Fr. 6.a.m.-8:30p.m., Sat. 7a.m.-8:30 p.m., Sunday and public holidays 8a.m.-8:30 p.m. October: Mo.-Fr. 6.a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sat. 7.a.m.-6:30p.m., Sunday and public holidays 8a.m.-6:30p.m. November 1st  – March 15th: Mo.-Fr. 6a.m.-11:15a.m. and 3:45p.m.-6p.m. The ferry is not operating on weekends during winter time.                                           

Bike ferry Rossatz to Dürnstein: the ferry operates from April 1st to October 10th, daily from 9.30a.m. to 6p.m. In June, July and August on weekends from 9a.m. to 6:30p.m. In April and from October 1st to 10th only Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10a.m. to 5p.m.

More info/links

For restaurants and accommodation we recommend „Best of Wachau“ businesses: You find  „Best of Wachau“ members in Rossatz.

Further opportunities for restaurants, taverns and cafes and opening hours:

The stamp station is located at tavern family Pammer at the main road after the Roman watchtower (Burgus) on the left hand side in Bacharnsdorf.; 0043(0)664/4205369

In Hofarnsdorf/Mitterarnsdorf there is only one restaurant: „Zur Wachau“ family Zeller. In winter the restaurant ist closed from November 8th till March 20th. Otherwise open daily except Monday and Tuesday. ; 0043(0)2714/8217


In Rührsdorf house number 17 restaurant „Winzerstüberl“ run by family Essl is open from March till December from Wednesday to Friday. , 0043(0)2714/6384

Restaurant/Hotel Rossatz 8 open from Thursday to Sunday from 11:30a.m to 2p.m. (Monday & Tuesday closed, the hotel bar is open on Wednesday) in the evening the restaurant is only open with reservation. , 0043(0)2714/58337 or 0043(0)720/3166440

Poldis cafe (at church square in Rossatz) open year round (only closed on Wednesday) 0043(0)676/6407220.

More opportunities for accommodation are in Oberarnsdorf,Hofarnsdorf, Mitterarnsdorf and Bacharnsdorf, Rossatz and Rossatzbach.

Wine taverns are located in Hofarnsdorf, Bacharnsdorf, Mitterarnsdorf, Oberarnsdorf, Rossatz and Rossatzbach. Several taverns are open during winter time. Please see the current calendar for opening hours (Heurigenkalender) at

For easy and convenient organization of the tours its good to have the Wachau-Nibelungengau-Kremstal application. Just download for Android or iPhone


Hiking boots, raincoat, enough to eat and drink, a trail map and maybe a list of open taverns. You can find an equipmentlist on section service/tips.

Safety information

There are no restaurants along the way and also no water source to refill your water bottles. The access to „Hirschwand“ is secured with ropes and climbing systems and includes a short climbing passage. The track in the nature preserve „Steinige Ries“ between Seekopf and St. Lorenz requires safe steps and full attention.

In case of an emergency call the mountain rescue Wachau: 140

Author's tip

According to the habitats Danube and dry grasslands there is an extremelysuccessful conservation brochure: “"Natura Trail Rossatz/Wachau",   (section Natura Trails). The information folder is a good addition to the hiking tour.