Wachau Protected Landscape Area
Location: Wachau region, Austria | Size: 21,329 | Established: 1955

Wachau Protected Landscape Area

The Wachau is a stretch of the Danube Valley between Melk and Krems. The Wachau region is famous for its picturesque landscapes, excellent wines, and flowering apricot trees. 

In one of the last free-flowing Danube sections on the Upper Danube, conservation actions are focused on river dynamics and restoration. 

The Wachau has become part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2000. It preserves in an intact and visible form many traces - in terms of architecture (monasteries, castles, ruins), urban design (towns and villages), and agricultural use.

The clearing of the natural forest by local peoples began in the Neolithic period. Although radical changes in the landscape did not take place until around 800 AD, when the Bavarian and Salzburg monasteries began to cultivate the slopes of the Wachau, creating the present-day landscape pattern of vine terraces.