AUSTRIA: EISRIESENWELT CAVE
Eisriesenwelt Cave is located in Werfen, a small cosy town in Austria. This is the world’s largest ice cave that has over 40 km of ice corridors. Not all of them are open for tourists though. Visitors are allowed to walk a section of 1 km which takes them up and down numerous steps. The cave is situated on a steep cliff at 1641 m and electric lighting has not been installed there. This is the reason why the ice figures are illuminated with magnesium, and you will be given a hand-held Davy lamp to light up the path. Learn more about Eisriesenwelt Cave in Austria, one of the places I visited in German and Austrian Alps in summer.
How to get to Eisriesenwelt Cave located at 1641 m? There are two options. Hiking or a cable car ride. Let’s start from the latter, which is as thrilling as entering the cave. At 1000 m, there is a carpark where you can leave your car. Take a 20-minute walk to the cable car station (1080 m) and prepare for a ride. You will reach the level of 1575 m within a couple of minutes. Once you get off, walk for another 20 minutes to get to the cave entrance. At this point, you will already be amazed by the views. They are pretty stunning up there! If you choose the cable car ride, the entire visit in Eisriesenwelt Cave shouldn’t take you more than 3 hours.
If you love the outdoors, you can skip the cable car ride and reach the level of 1641 m by yourself. The trail to Eisriesenwelt Cave starts in Werfen, but you can also set out from the carpark at 1000 m. I chose the cable car ride, so I can’t really share with you my thoughts on this hike. Nevertheless, they say it’s quite difficult, and dedicated for experienced hikers only, so please keep that in mind. It takes 2 hours to get from Werfen to the carpark (1000 m) and another 2 hours to climb up from the carpark to Eisriesenwelt Cave (1641 m). Choosing this option will probably make you spend the entire day there.
NEED TO KNOW
Eisriesenwelt Cave operates from the beginning of May till the end of October. Make sure to check the current opening hours of the cave, ticket office and the current cable car timetable before arrival. They may vary depending on the month. The combined ticket for an adult for a cave tour and cable car ride (both ways) is 35€ at the ticket office or 32€ if you purchase it online. Alternatively, you can buy a ticket for a cave tour or cable car ride only. Longer waiting times can’t be avoided, especially in high season. The guided tour lasts around 1 hour. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take any photographs or videos inside the cave.
NEED TO TAKE
It’s an ice cave, so it must be cold inside, right? In fact, it’s never more than 0°C, even in summer. A warm jacket, gloves and a beanie are essential. I clearly remember the moment when the guide opened the cave gate. The cool air from the cave met the warm air outside, and this caused a very strong, freezing cold wind blow. I have never experienced something like that before! In addition to that, make sure to have sturdy shoes on. They are recommended as the path in the cave may be slippery and there are many steps to climb. A torch is not necessary. You will be given a hand-held Davy lamp to light up the path in the cave.
This is all you need to know about Eisriesenwelt Cave in Austria. Are you going to take a hike or a cable car ride to the cave? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
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