Sunday, 11 September 2011

Werfen Ice Caves

when: May - Oct 2011 (annual)
where: Werfen Ice Caves
cost: €19 for cable car and cave tour; concessions €17; children €9.50; under 4s free
time: Daily 9am-3.30pm (until 4.30pm in Jul & Aug)
Tours last 75 mins. Allow 4 hours for whole visit.
The astonishing Werfen Ice Caves are the largest in the world. The cave network disappears 42 kilometres into the mountainside, but only the first kilometre, walls encrusted with ice, is open to the public.
Guided tours show visitors the ice palace, reached by cable car from the valley floor below. The whole tour involves climbing 134 metres - equivalent to climbing the stairs in a high block of flats.

In summer, the average temperature inside the cave is 0°C, so do wear a warm coat even if the weather outside is boiling! The ice-covered floor starts straight after the entrance, and the walls of the cave have ice cascades of all sizes.

After the Entrance Hall, visitors pass into the enormous Posselt Hall, measuring 30 metres wide and high. Later on, the impressive Mörk Glacier is an eight-metre-high wall of ice, polished smooth over the years by the wind, made up of blue and white layers interspersed with deposits of brown cave dust. An ice-free side passage leads the visitor down a few steps into the last large room, the Ice Palace. At this point, almost a kilometre inside the mountain and 400 metres under the surface, the tour is complete.

Venue Information: Werfen Ice Caves
Full Name: Werfen Ice Caves, Werfen, Austria
Address: Wimmstrasse 5450
Directions: Located 40km (30 miles) south of Salzburg off the A10 Tauern motorway.
By Train: Werfen - there is a shuttle between the train station and the parking area for the caves. Or you can walk the 5km to the caves, which takes 1.5 hours.
From the car park everyone must walk 20 minutes up to the cable car station which transports visitors from 1000m up to 1575m in 3 minutes. There is another 20-minute walk after the cable car to the mouth of the caves, which are at an altitude of 1641m.
Contact Details: Werfen Ice Caves
Phone: +43 (0) 662 8426 9014


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