Austria, Europe, General, Locations

Exploring Eisriesenwelt Ice Caves, Austria – The largest ice cave system in the world

Not long after we first met, my boyfriend moved to Austria for a year to study as part of his degree. While of course I didn’t like being so far apart, making frequent trips to Austria meant getting to explore this lovely country. One of the best things we did during that year was to visit the Eisriesenwelt Ice caves, the largest ice cave system in the world. Very cool, huh? (10 points if you got the really terrible pun, there)

 

The Eisriesenwelt Ice caves are up in the mountains above a small town called Werfen, which has it’s own train station which is probably the easiest way to get there if you aren’t renting a car.

Werfen, Austria

 

From the train station you can catch a bus part way up the mountain, directly to the Eisriesenwelt Visitor centre. From here there is a cable car which takes you further up the mountain. When you get on, your surroundings will be green alpine forests, but as you hit a certain altitude the snow begins and by time you get off, expect a full-blown winter wonderland. The views were breathtaking.

Winter wonderland

 

It’s then a 20 minute or so walk up a slightly icy path, where you can continue to be wowed by the amazing views down the mountain, or, like I did; use icicles to become an ICE WIZARD.

So wizard

 

When you get up to the giant cave entrance, you can’t help but get excited. Once you’re inside, everybody is given their own oil lamp for light, which was so cute. Our guide was a lovely Austrian guy, and as we ended up at the front of the group, I was designated to help lead the group while our guide occasionally went to the back to make sure everyone was keeping up. With my oil lamp and new found power, it’s safe to say I was loving it!

Cave entrance

 

Inside was amazing. The tour lasts around 1.5 hours and you get to see and learn so much! There were some absolutely massive caverns which got lit up by our guide burning magnesium from a reel he carried with him. The whole thing felt so magical without any electricity whatsoever, which I think would have spoiled the atmosphere. I couldn’t take any pictures of the beautiful sights inside, but here is one from the Eisriesenwelt website. To see more, you’ll just have to visit!!

Inside the caves (image taken from the Eisriesenwelt cave website)

 

By the time we got out of the ice caves, we were thoroughly frozen to the bone. Luckily, we found the perfect way to warm up – Austrian macaroni cheese. Like the regular stuff, but with the addition of fried onions, this is exactly the hot carby goodness you need before braving the outside world again. You can get it in the Oedl House, outside the cable car station, summit side.

We like finding interesting caves wherever we go. Next cave related post: Budapest.

Have you found some cool caves on your travels? Comment and tell me about them – I want to go there!

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