In order to reach the more remote Lower Austria Card (LAC) destinations north of Vienna, we have decided to hang around a long weekend and try the public transport in the wine region. From Vienna to Retz you need just an hour by train . It took us another 20 minutes by bus to reach Hardegg and the Thaya Valley National Park – Podyji. Hardegg is Austria‘s smallest city and has a beautiful castle to discover.
Since my kids love the JUFA guesthouses because of the play options, we stayed at JUFA Weinviertel in a former mill. It had a large indoor and outdoor play area including a sports hall and a public swimming pool could be used by JUFA guests free of charge. But most beautiful of all was our picnic outing. We got JUFA e-bikes and a picnic basket with local delicacies including wine and drove up the vineyards, where we enjoyed our picnic lunch whilst admiring the views.
On a rainy day we visited the thermal spa Therme Laa (Top 18). It has a nice indoor and outdoor area with lap pool, massage jets, pool gymnastics and bubble loungers and a children’s area with a long slide. The swimming area is quite fine, but can not be measured with the baths in Burgenland. The sauna area, however, is more exceptional.
Before we took the train in Retz, we‘ve looked at the city a little closer and Retz with Austria’s second largest Main Square surprised me. I had not expected any Mediterranean architecture. We visited the Retz Adventure Cellar and the Museum Retz (LAC 94). It is one of the oldest museums in Lower Austria and was founded in 1833. It includes the city and the South Moravian Gallery collection and focuses on the city’s history.