With its towering Benedictine Abbey set high above the valley, Melk offers visitors soaring first impressions. Its cobbled streets are lined with restaurants, cafes, museums and shops which make it a popular destination year-round. The old town still retains many of its original historic buildings, including an ambient abbey tavern dating back to 1736.
Offering a picturesque backdrop, the town is located at the point where the River Danube flows into the Wachau Valley. A pretty stretch of woodland separates the town from the river, which gives Melk a secluded, almost magical feel. Couple this with the magnificent baroque architecture of the Abbey and Melk is nothing short of an Austrian fairy-tale town.
Melk is an easy day trip from Vienna, with both the drive and the train journey taking just over an hour. For those with a little more time, Melk is just 6-kilometres from the Renaissance-era Schloss Schallaburg castle. Strolling through Melk is the best way to soak up its ambience, though renting a bicycle is also a popular way to explore this chocolate-box town.
As an ancient settlement, Melk’s history dates back to the year 831. Its name is derived from the Slavic word for "border", which is likely a reference to its peripheral position on both the River Danube and the Wachau Valley.