Fri. Jun 21st, 2024
Ice ice baby! Can you brave the cold, are you adventurous and do you want to experience something unique? Then you have to visit the Eisriesenwelt, the world’s largest ice cave, located in Werfen, Salzburgerland. The ice cave was discovered at the end of the 19th century and is 42 kilometers long. Over the past millions of years, a total of 30,000 m² of ice surface has been formed. And with a guide you can explore the first kilometer of the cave!

 

Here’s what you need to know before visiting Eisriesenwelt

Tours & Tickets

You can visit the Eisriesenwelt from May to October. In the high season it is extra busy. Make sure you get to the cave in time to make sure you can join one of the many tours. You can book your tickets online so you don’t have to queue. Booking in advance is also cheaper. There are English and German spoken tours.

 

What do you need to wear?

It is important that you dress warmly during your visit to the ice cave. The temperature in the ice cave is freezing cold, even in the summer months. If it’s a warm day outside, bring extra clothes that you can put on before entering the cave. Also wear good shoes and thick socks. We were wearing sneakers and at one point our toes were almost frozen!

 

When is the best time to visit the cave?

We recommend visiting the ice cave in good weather conditions. Many think this is the perfect activity to do on a rainy day. But you will walk in the open air for about 40 minutes before reaching the ice cave. If you get soaked, it gets even colder when you enter the cave. Then you cannot fully enjoy this natural phenomenon. And that is too bad!

 

The road to Eisriesenwelt

We bought a combination ticket including a return ride with the cable car + a tour through the ice cave. From the information center it is a 20 minute walk to the funicular that takes you from 1000 meters to 1500 meters in just 3 minutes. From the cabin you have a beautiful view, but you should not be afraid of heights, like Abel ;-). Once at the top, you can enjoy the panoramic view over the valley and the mountain peaks. From here it is a 20 minute walk before you arrive at the entrance of the ice cave. The walk to the cave is already spectacular. You walk through the rugged mountain landscape via winding roads and along the steep abyss. Along the way you will spot many alpine crows. Be surprised by the changeable weather high in the mountains. One moment we had sun and blue skies, and a few minutes later the mountains had completely disappeared because of the fog.

 

After 20 minutes you will arrive at the huge opening of the cave. From here you have a beautiful view. Only a few people are allowed in the cave at a time. So wait for the moment when the guide will take you on an unforgettable tour through the Eisriesenwelt. There is no lighting in the cave so a number of people is responsible for shining an oil lamp which will be handed out at the start of the tour. As soon as the door to the cave opens, the flow of hot and cold air creates a strong gust of wind. So be prepared for this.

 

 

The trip through the ice cave

In about 1 hour you will discover the first kilometer of the cave. You will admire meters high ice formations, frozen lakes and impressive ice tunnels. Via 1400 steps and steep, narrow stairs you climb through the underground tunnel system of the cave. During the tour, the guide will tell you all about the history of the ice cave and explain how the ice was formed. At special sights the guide will shine extra light by using magnesium rods.

 

 

The ice formations still change every year. This is due to the temperature differences and the wind that enters through the entrance and draft holes. In the summer some ice sculptures melt away and the ice sheet becomes thinner and in the winter this meltwater freezes again, then the ice sheet grows back.

Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures in the cave. To give you an idea of ​​what to expect inside, we were allowed to use the photos from Eisriesenwelt. During the tour it is darker in the cave which makes it a bit mysterious.

 

By Lala