Hidden Austria: Gmunden & Steyr

While engaging in one of my favorite pastimes – perusing future river cruise itineraries – I came across an interesting diversion being offered in Linz, Austria by Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. And there’s good reason why you’ll want to partake in it.

Linz is a common jumping-off point for excursions going to Salzburg, Austria, but Uniworld have also added an excursion to two places you may not have heard of: Gmunden and Steyr.

Steyr, Austria boasts an untouched, storybook feel to it. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia / Creative Commons.

While the weather will determine whether you visit Gmunden or Steyr, each offers the charm of a small Austrian village, devoid of the crowds that regularly descend upon Salzburg. For river cruisers who have already done Linz and Salzburg, it represents an excellent new dimension to one of Europe’s most popular runs – Uniworld’s eight-day Passau to Budapest Enchanting Danube itinerary, sailing aboard River Beatrice.

In Gmunden, a small town nestled in Upper Austria, is home to just over 13,000 people. It is also home to Schloss Ort, a fairytale-like castle situated on the Traunsee Lake.  Surrounded by mountain ranges, it’s easy to fall in love with this beautiful locale.

The quaint Scloss Ort, located near Gmunden, Austria. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia / Creative Commons.

Steyr boasts one of the best-preserved town centres in Austria, housing the famed “Bummerlhaus”, or “Plump Little Dog” – one of the finest examples of Gothic residential architecture in Central Europe. Situated along the confluence of the rivers Steyr and Enns, the town exists under the shadow of the imposing Lamberg Castle and the Church of St. Michael.

Steyr’s Bummerlhaus is one of he best examples of Gothic architecture in Central Europe. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia / Creative Commons.

So if you’re looking for something different to do on your next Uniworld cruise through Linz, take part in this interesting and unique excursion and experience a piece of Austria that is still relatively unknown to many river cruisers.