The unique region of Wachau, which is one of Europe’s oldest cultural areas, only surrounds 22 miles of the 1,750-mile-long Danube river. But its history stretches back an unbelievable 25,000 years. According to archaeologists, this is the age of the world-famous Venus of Willendorf statuette, which was discovered in the region.

So it’s no wonder that in December of 2000, Wachau was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The free-flowing Danube, the various stone terraces used for wine-growing, and the important cultural monuments in the region all create an ensemble unlike any around the world and is worth a visit during the summer and winter alike.