© Photo: Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH./Robert Maybach: Enjoy the view in Upper Austria
Enjoy the view in Upper Austria

Donausteig Stage 4_G06 Grein - Sarmingstein: „Through the wild Strudengau“

  • Suitable for families
  • culturally interesting
  • Multi-day tour

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Starting place: 4360 Grein
Destination: 4382 St. Nikola an der Donau

duration: 6h 30m
length: 17,2 km
Altitude difference (uphill): 738m
Altitude difference (downhill): 725m

Lowest point: 228m
Highest point: 508m
difficulty: difficult
condition: very difficult
panoramic view: Dreamtour

Paths covering:
Asphalt, Path / trail, Gravel, Street, Hiking trail, Other

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Short description:
The Donausteig-simply fabulous! This stage takes us through the beautiful Donaukerbtal (valley) of the Strudengau. Once feared by sailors due to its treacherous whirlpool, we today enjoy hiking through this exciting piece of Danube history - from Grein past St. Nikola to Sarmingstein. On this stage we discover Grein as the gateway to the Strudengau, the fabled Stillensteinklamm (Gorge), the most dangerous whirlpools of the entire Danube River run, Castle Säbnich as a bastion in the East...

Technique: **

Quality of experience: *****

Recommended season:

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October


  • Multi-stage route
  • Scenic
  • Refreshment stops available
  • Family friendly
  • Cultural/historical value
  • Geological highlights

Grein, the gateway to the Strudengau, is the starting point for this beautiful Donausteig-stage. The historic town was once the last safe docking site efore the dangerous water swirls of the Strudengaus! ... Magnificent facades, elegant Bay Windows, testify to wealth through Danube boat trade. We walk on the Danube promenade up to the Halterkreuz (cross) which today still warns of the once first Strudengau obstacle. From there, the Donausteig leads uphill comfortably through a settlement. A short detour to the Kalvarienberg opens up at a Donausteig-view point wonderful views of Grein and shows us an unusual granite gallery. Hereafter, the urban settlement rapidly changes into rural landscapes and into the typical woodland of the Donaukerbtal (valley). On forest paths in the forest, we hike uphill to the view point of Castle Werfenstein. Then forest trails lead us back down to the Danube to the Gießenbach­mühle (mill). Here, one of the most dangerous sections of today starts along the Strudengau!


We leave the Danube though straight away and hike through the wild and romantic Gorge of Stillensteinklamm uphill. The quiet creek soon turns into water Cascades and disappears under the stones for about 300 m - a highlight! There, we leave the gorge on the steep Jägersteig. A short time later we walk high above the Danube enjoyably through attractive mixed forests along the Danube valley. Occasional views of the Danube can still only hint of the former dangers. In a forest clearing the Donausteig-resting "Donaublick" invites us to linger and allows a look back onto the Gobelwarte, one of the seven Danube climbing peaks! Historic trails lead us down to a settlement above Struden. The most powerful whirlpool of the entire Danube were once in Struden! From here, we go through scattered settlements further down the Danube and reach past the old Danube road after a short uphill stretch St. Nikola, the Church of the patron saint of seafarers. Here the dangers of today were once survived. From the Donausteig-resting point just below the Church, we have a wonderful look back onto the former danger!


The last section of the trail is a walking highlight! First the ancient Church way through magnificent forests leads us up the side of the Valley. Then we walk alone through attractive mixed forests along the Danube valley past meadows to the Moststation Kleinleitner (cyder inn). Here, a grand view far beyond the end of the wild Strudengau, - up to the Ötscher! After a magnificent descent, we reach past the historic castle Säbnich, the historic danube settlement of Sarmingstein, the end of the Strudengau. Simply fabulous!


Discover the following features with the Donausteig-diary:

-Grein - the gateway to the Strudengau

-Donausteig-starting point "Grein"

-The castle of Greinburg-the oldest Castle North of the Alps?

-Halterkreuz- votive and warning

-Kalvarienberg-Gallery of granite

-Donausteig-viewing point "Grein"

-castle Werfenstein- toll or chain

-Island Wörth-Rapids and boulders

- ...

Download: Donausteig-diary "Stage 4_G06 Grein Norwich" - yet to follow!

From the Donausteig-starting point in Grein we go the Donaulände (park) downstream up to the large junction at the end (on the right side is the Halterkreuz stands on a small rock). There left and right again on a footpath continue uphill between houses. The footpath joins the Jubiläumsstraße (road), which we follow. At the railway underpass a short detour is recommended to the right to the Donausteig-viewing point; to the gallery of granite at the Kalvarienberg. After the railway underpass we follow at the next junction the Wiener path through a housing development - first straight on uphill, later in an arc to the left downhill. At the asphalt road out of the Danube valley, we turn right downhill in the direction of the Danube. Shortly thereafter, the "access road Ramersböck" branches off to the left. On this we bear left uphill. At the farmhouse of Ramersböck the Donausteig makes a switchback and now follows a dirt road uphill. On forest roads, we continue and reach after a longer walking time we reach three granite rocks with petroglyphs and a view of castle Werfenstein. Turn Right through the forest down to the Gießenbachmühle (mill) on the river Danube. From the Donausteig-starting point "St. Nikola/Gießenbachmühle" we walk first through forests, then through idyllic hiking paths uphill to the romantic Stillensteinklamm (gorge). Immediately after the stones, characterized as a distinctive roof, we leave the Stillensteinklamm (gorge) to the right on secured steps. At a farm, a short stretch begins an asphalt road, which we leave in a left turn. We walk past the Donausteig-resting point "Donaublick" to a settlement above Struden (Tree sign with a connection to the Castle Wefenstein) along a comfortable forest road. Here we follow the first left on an asphalt road uphill and after 250 m at the next crossing we turn right downhill - St. Nikola is in sight. After a right turn, the Donausteig turn sharply to the left across from an old factory building. By means of a bridge we cross the Danube River Railway, and continue on a footpath through a row of houses down to the Danube. Now under the railway bridge, the Dimbach and the old paved road lead uphill to the Danube-courtyard in St. Nikola. A short detour takes us from here to the Church of St. Nicholas and the underlying Donausteig-resting point "Kirchenplatz“. Hereafter, we circle the Danube courtyard on the north side. At the next intersection turn first left and then right again. We follow the paved road uphill in the direction of the "Sattl Moststation"until the next turn. There the Donausteig turns left and follows a wonderful forest - first quickly uphill, then enjoyably along the side of the Danube valley - Cyder inn Kleinleitner. The following short asphalt stretch is left already after a bend on to the left across a meadow. An atmospheric forest takes us down to Sarmingstein. Arrived at the train tracks, we follow a footpath to the left and walk passed the round tower of the Castle Säbnich to the houses at the Sarmingbach. Right here, we reach the Donausteig-starting point "Sarmingstein"at the inn Strudengauhof.


To facilitate the orientation, the Donausteig was provided with its own system of orientation - you will find the description here  .

The  „Oberösterreichische Schifffahrtsmuseum“  (ferry museum) is a must for every Donausteig-hiker! The museum presents the history of the danube boat trips and the usage of the Danube river.

Hiking equipment, drinking bottle. Take into consideration that this is a longer and more tiring stage!

Additional information:
WGD Tourismus GmbH 
Lindengasse 9
4040 Linz, Austria
Tel. +43(0)732/7277-800
Fax. +43(0)732/7277-804 


Tourism agency Grein/Donau
Stadtplatz 7
4360 Grein
Tel./Fax: +43(0)7268/7055


Tourism agency St. Nikola
4381 St. Nikola/Donau
Tel.: 0043(0)69913030422

Starting point: Grein – the Donausteig-starting point"Grein" is at the Donaulände (park) in a green area between the main road and the parking lots in the direction of the city (Opposite to the Cafe Schinagl with the ferry dock of the opposite tourism Oberösterreich Touristik- the only House directly on the Donaulände!)
Destination: Sarmingstein-the Donausteig-starting point "Sarmingstein" lies directly on the Danube main road at the parking lot south of the inn Strudengauhof (across from the ferry dock).

further information:
  • Multi-day tour
  • Board possible

Accessibility / arrival

Getting there
The Donausteig-starting point "Grein" is located directly on the  Donaulände (park) (Navigation: A-4360 Grein, Donaulände)

Public Transit
Grein can be reach by bus and train. The train stop "Grein stadt" lies the closest to the Donuasteig-starting point. A transfer back from Sarmingstein to Grein is possible by bus and train. Timetables online at http://www.ooevv.at  .

The parking lot at the  Donaulände  (park) are only short duration parking zones as are the ones in the city center. Two free of charge parking lots are located approx. 10 walking minutes away (Parking lot at the train station  "stadt Grein"; parking lot across from the camping site at the south entrance to the city)

Travelling by public transport
Route planner for independent travellers
  • Suitable for kids (all ages)
Most economical season
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn

Please get in touch for more information.

Donausteig Stage 4_G06 Grein - Sarmingstein: „Through the wild Strudengau“
WGD Donau Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH
Lindengasse 9
4040 Linz

Phone +43 732 7277 - 800
Fax machine +43 732 7277 - 804

We speak the following languages


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Starting place: 4360 Grein
Destination: 4382 St. Nikola an der Donau

duration: 6h 30m
length: 17,2 km
Altitude difference (uphill): 738m
Altitude difference (downhill): 725m

Lowest point: 228m
Highest point: 508m
difficulty: difficult
condition: very difficult
panoramic view: Dreamtour

Paths covering:
Asphalt, Path / trail, Gravel, Street, Hiking trail, Other

powered by TOURDATA