Anytime I can check off the World’s best, highest, oldest anything I am interested. While living in Salzburg, I heard about the world’s largest ice cave and I couldn’t wait to check it out.
One crisp fall day my friends and I hopped on a train to the tiny town of Werfen- where they have the famous ice cave.
The largest ice cave in the world was not a disappointment. It was hard to grasp how big it really is because the part that you enter is tiny in comparison to the reality of the entire caves size. But what you do see it is very beautiful. Not only was the cave cool but the scenery around it as well. Even the bus trip to the cave was absolutely stunning and we passed the majestic Hohenwerfen fortress nesteled high up on a cliff between the trees.
To head up to the cave you have to first make the 15 minute trek to the visitor center. From here can either continuing to hike up the mountain or take a cable car. At first I wanted to do the hike – but after looking at the map and seeing how steep and long it was my mind was quickly changed. Instead, we took the cable car for about 20 Euros each. Even the cable car seemed like it was heading straight up the side of the mountain – my mother who has a fear of heights was less than thrilled.Judging by how steep the cable car ride up was, I was glad I hadn’t chosen to walk.
I was even more assured of my decision when I got off the cable car and realized that we still had to hike. I really enjoyed this part though because the view from the top was stunning – but, a little warning would have been nice.
When we finally made it to the ice cave we had to wait for a little while until we could go in. I didn’t wait too long but in peak season the wait can potentially be over an hour. You can’t complain though when you are staring at such a beautiful view.
When we entered the cave I put on some more layers. Even though is was a warm sunny fall day it was about to get a lot chillier once I stepped inside of an ice box – literally.
Once inside of the cave you will be guided for a little over an hour along a walkway through this labyrinth of limestone, ice and rock. All around and above you will be ice, with some of it reaching a height of 75 feet. Your guide will explain all sorts of interesting facts – as well as side notes like the story about the first person who ever enter the cave and the fact that the Superman movie was filmed here.
To protect the ice cave no pictures are allowed – but sometimes it’s nice to put the camera down and really focus on what is around you. There are a lot of stairs in the cave – which I didn’t notice at the time – but once I got out my legs were shaking.
Then we had to do our descent back down to the gondola. Before saying goodbye to this beautiful spot, however we took a moment to pause and take in this great day. We sat and enjoyed a fresh beer and a bowl of hot soup at the mountain restaurant – overlooking the view of the Austrian Alps. This was the perfect way to cheers to our amazing trip to the Eisriesenwelt cave.
How to Get Here:
From Salzburg you can take the train to Werfen station. From Werfen there will be a bus that can take you to the parking area or the visitors center.
The bus times from Werfen Station are:
8:18 a.m., 10:18 a.m., 12:18 p.m. and 2:18 p.m. Outside of these times, a transfer is offered from the bus departure point at Gries (about 5 minutes on foot from the railway station) directly at the access road to the Eisriesenwelt at intervals of about 25 minutes.
The return buses also leave at intervals of about 25 minutes with the lasts at bus at 5:32 p.m. (6:32 p.m. in July and August).
When to Go:
The cave is open from May 1st to October 26. It opens at 9 a.m. and the last tour is at 3:30 p.m (except July and August when it is 4:30 p.m.)