Photo courtesy of Österreich Werbung / Eisriesenwelt
Chill in the Ice Caves at Werfen
The largest known ice caves in the world lie just 30 miles south of Salzburg in the Eisriesenwelt at Werfen. Only a portion of the more than twenty miles of caves are open to the public, but what's here is impressive. Magnificent ice formations, frozen waterfalls, and a smooth, rink-like ice palace can be found in this frozen underground world. Visitors will also see Hymir castle, an enormous ice sculpture named for ice giant of the Edda, the oldest Germanic saga. Layers of time can be seen on the Mörk Glacier, much like rings on a tree, on this 75 minute guided tour.
By Zac Steger, AFAR Local Expert
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Eisriesenwelt Ice Caves
Considering Austria’s size, the country harbors an immense number of natural wonders. One of them is the largest ice cave in the world, the Eisriesenwelt. Upon entering this magnificent structure you will notice two things: first, it might not be as cold as you expected and second, everything about this place is magical. The sleek tunnels formed by the ice shimmer in iridescent blues and greens and flow into towering sculptures that look like shadowy giants in the distance. It is hard to believe that this strange wonderland was formed by nature. Your breath solidifies and briefly clouds your eyes before you arrive at the frozen waterfall, which forms a glowing curtain of icicles. Don’t miss a tour of this beauty, which is not too far from Salzburg.