Monday, April 12, 2010

Apricot Trees Blooming in the Wachau Valley

The Wachau Valley, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is about an hour’s drive northwest of Vienna. Winding through this beautiful valley, especially on bicycle, is always delightful with vineyard-covered mountains on both sides, the Danube quietly but swiftly snaking through the center, medieval castles on the hilltops, charming old villages, and great heurigers—wineries—throughout. Oh yes, and the apricot trees! The entire valley is transformed every spring by the glorious white and light pink blossoms of the apricot—or marillen—trees. We went to the Wachau Valley last weekend to see the blossoms, a week early, perhaps, for the full blooms, but it was a breathtaking sight nevertheless with blooming apricot, cherry, plum and apple trees. chartreuse willows and bright forsythia.

Colorful Weissenkirchen overlooks vineyards and apricot orchards that slope towards the Danube.

Near here the famous Venus of Willendorf was found. You remember her from your art history classes, don't you? She now resides in the Natural History Museum in Vienna.

That's the Danube, actually looking a bit blue, in the background. Marillen blossoms have a lovely light scent.

White apricot blossoms against a chartreuse willow, a mauve flowering plum, yellow forsythia along the fence row and bright green grass drew our attention from hundreds of meters away.

Dürnstein Abbey peeks over the medieval stone walls of Dürnstein. While there are no apricot trees in the next few photos, the bright spring colors of other plants certainly add to the awesome beauty of the region.

It was in Dürnstein castle that English King Richard the Lionhearted was imprisoned. The ransom paid was a tremendous boost to the region's economy in those days.

A majestic willow stands on the bank of the Danube.

This cherry tree was full of bees about their morning business.


  1. Hi there Martha!

    I love your photos on the apricot trees and I am currently creating a website for our apricot business. I was wondering if it would be alright if I could use a few of your pictures to brighten up our webpage We are just beginning to develop the site and your stunning pictures would look great on our homepage! I look forward to hearing from you :)

    Kind Regards,

    1. Hello Kyle,
      I appreciate your honesty in asking for permission to use some photos. I'm not making any money off my site (and like it that way, for at least as long as I can afford it). You are welcome to use the photos; I just ask that you acknowledge that they came from martha's vienna and link those words to my site. Would you be so kind as to do that for me?

      Best of luck to you and I look forward to viewing your site when it's completed.

  2. Hi,

    I have just discovered your blog. Really nice photographs. I will be walking in the Wachau next week and in fact will stay overnight in Durstein. We will continue our walk over a few days and finish in Melk. Then back to Vienna.

    1. Have a great time, Bill. You can get some great apricot jam in Durnstein...and rose liqueur, if you like. Hope the weather stays good for your hike.