The World’s Largest Ice Caves

Werfen Ice Caves

Following on from last week’s blog we now present another in our series Active Days Out – things which you can see and do yourself on your activity holiday in Austria.

Once you’ve been where Eagles dare the next thing of note on your day trip to Werfen are the astonishing Werfen Ice Caves, the largest in the world.  There are over 40km of  caves, owned by the National Austrian Forestry Commission, to whom a large proportion of the entrance fees are given each year. 

The Werfen caves were first brought to notice by Anton Posselt, a natural scientist, in 1879 and, although Posselt only ventured 200m into the caves he wrote a paper on them which lay relatively unnoticed until 1920 when Alexander von Mork, a cave explorer from the Salzburg area, noticed the importance of Posselt’s work.  Mork extended the research and attracted more visitors but access wasn’t really so easy – it took at least 90 minutes to get from the unmade road to the entrance – until 1955 when a cable car was installed to help visitors overcome the steepest part of the climb (1084m to 1586m).  From that time the caves have been more accessible to visitors.

The ice caves at Werfen have been formed by cracks in the  limestone mountain,  approximately 100 million years ago, followed by chemical reaction and water erosion.  The caves are dynamic, which means that they are still changing like many in the Alps, and the formation of the ice in the caves is caused by external changes in temperature warming or cooling the air in the caves themselves.  Science apart,  they are truly amazing and at times mesmerising – something you will always remember.

To take a tour here is truly to experience the wonder of nature. Guided tours last approximately 75 minutes and you’re advised to wear warm layers and sturdy shoes.  The caves are lit by torchlight and magnesium flares to keep the temperature as steady as possible so be prepared to walk in half-light at certain points. Once you come out of the caves you can enjoy the stunning scenery of the surrounding area.

Werfen Ice Caves can be found on the web at www.eisriesenwelt.at and are a wonderful active day out on your activity holiday in Austria.  To find out more about how to experience the joys of Austria and the wonder of nature in this part of the world please contact us at guests@activityholidaysaustria.com and we’ll do our very best to ensure your activity holiday with us is as easy and simple as it’s possible to be.  After all, that’s what we’re here for.

 
 

Comments

Leave a Reply