Eisriesenwelt is the world’s largest ice cave located in Werfen, a small cozy town in Austria. It has over 40 km of ice corridors that create a unique natural phenomenon. A path prepared for visitors has 1 km and it takes you up and down numerous steps. The ice figures are illuminated using magnesium. Yes, magnesium! The cave is located on a steep cliff at 1641 metres and electric lighting has not been installed there. Tourists are provided with hand-held Davy lamps to light up the path. The cave may only be entered with a guide and the guided tour takes around an hour.
How can you get at 1641 metres? There are to options. Hiking or a cable car ride. At 1000 metres, there is a carpark where you can leave your car safely. Take a 20-minute walk to the cable car station (1080 metres) and prepare for a thrilling ride. You will reach the level of 1575 metres within a couple of minutes. Once you get off, you will have to walk for another 20 minutes to get to the cave entrance. At that point, you will be amazed by the views. They are absolutely stunning! If you choose the cable car ride, the entire visit in Eisriesenwelt, including the cave tour shouldn’t be longer than 3 hours.
Outdoor enthusiasts can consider a hike to the level of 1641 metres. The trail to Eisriesenwelt Cave starts in Werfen, but you can also set off from the carpark at 1000 metres. I chose the cable car ride, so I can’t share with you my own hiking experience. However, the walking track is regarded as quite difficult, dedicated for experienced hikers only. According to the guidebook, it takes 2 hours to get from Werfen to the carpark (1000 metres) and another 2 hours to climb up from the carpark to Eisriesenwelt Cave (1641 metres). In such case, it’s very likely that this will be a day trip.
Temperature inside Eisriesenwelt Cave does not exceed 0°C, even in summer. A warm jacket, gloves and a beanie are essential. I remember very clearly when the guide opened the cave gate. The cold air from the cave met the warm air and it caused a freezing cold wind blow. A sturdy shoes are also recommended as the path in the cave may be slippery and there are many steps to climb.
Eisriesenwelt Cave operates from May to October. Make sure to check the current opening hours of the cave, ticket office and the cable car timetable before arrival. They may vary dependently on the month. The combined ticket for an adult for a cave tour and cable car ride (both ways) is €28,00. Alternatively, you can purchase a ticket for a cave tour or cable car ride only. No reservations are taken. Therefore, waiting times can’t be avoided at high season. In addition, it’s not allowed to take any photographs in the cave.
I remember my trip to Austria and Germany very well as I enjoyed it big time. Eisriesenwelt Cave was just a part of it. Make sure to check the other places worth a visit in German and Austrian Alps in summer. Don’t miss the blog posts about Mount Schafberg in Austria and outdoor activities in Bavaria either.
That’s all about Eisriesenwelt Cave in Austria. Did you decide to visit the world’s largest ice cave? Let me know by leaving a comment below!