Ice Caves in Werfen
The world’s biggest ice cave is the site of fascinating ice sculptures and is one of the most popular sightseeing attractions in Salzburg!
Werfen’s “World of Ice Giants” is actually the world’s biggest ice cave: The cave system extends more than 42 km deep into the mountain. The first section, about a kilometer in length, features imposing ice formations and is open to the public. Since it is a protected natural monument, development of the cave has been painstakingly cautious in order to preserve its unique natural beauty and ecosystem.
Fascinating World of Ice
Stepping through the imposing cave entrance, 20 meters wide and 18 high, you enter a mysterious world of ice. Aside from its enormous dimensions, the cave impresses with its ice palaces of crystalline beauty. Monumental formations glisten to amazing effect in the light of the traditional mine lamps which are issued to visitors. Winding passageways and galleries with evocative names such “Diamond Kingdom” lead you deeper and deeper into the mountain.
The “World of Ice Giants” can only be visited as part of guided tours offered from May to October. These 75-minute tours include scientific information and historical facts about the cave. Especially on hot summer days, you will find yourself immerged in what is essentially a parallel world of ice. Incidentally, on clear days you will be able stand at the cave entrance and look out at a magnificent mountain panorama in front of you.
Ride up on Austria’s steepest gondola lift
You can in fact hike from the visitor center in the valley all the way up to the ice caves in the Tennengebirge mountains. Or, cut out the steep section altogether and let the steepest gondola lift in Austria carry you up to the cave entrance. Even in summer, the temperatures in the ice cave are around 0° C. Appropriate clothing and shoes are a must - and you need to be in fairly good physical condition: In the cave itself, you will have to cope with a total vertical gain of around 234 meters, which includes a countless number of stairs. That said, the silent beauty of the ice caves rewards every single ounce of effort!