The Alps, as seen from the entrance to the Eisreisenwelt Werfen.

ice cave system

The Eisriesenwelt in Werfen, Austria (near Salzburg) is the largest natural ice cave system in the world. To get there, you have to take a steep hike from the entrance and parking grounds, somewhere between 60 and 90 minutes walking, then use a cable car (optional, but highly recommended) for the next stretch, and then take another hike up to the cave entrance. If you are lucky, you’ll enjoy this scenic view, but the cave system is even more stunning. (Taking pictures inside the caves is not allowed, so you’ll have to check the photos on the official website to get a glimpse).

The tour in the caves stretches over 1400 or so steps, and 134 meters altitude difference. You really need to be somewhat agile, and the tour isn’t recommended for small children. The guide will show you through the caves, and will illuminate special places for you. During the tour, some of the visitors will carry old-fashioned magnesium lamps. It is truly amazing and a must-see, if you are in the area.

Season starts again on May 1st.