A wonderful world of ice:
Dachstein Ice cave.
The Castle of the Holy Grail, Parsifal Dome and King Arthur’s Dome: all of these fairytale names conceal fascinating scenes of ice and stone which you can enjoy at close range during a visit to the ice cave.
Accompanied by experienced cave guides, you can explore the magical underground world of Dachstein. The spectacular ice sculptures, gigantic ice curtains and impressive giant icicles never fail to captivate with their special magic! A magic which even the youngest guests can appreciate with the ‘Korah and the cave bear’ tours.
Mystical concerts in the ice
It’s not just nature lovers who will find what they are looking for in this Dachstein Ice cave – art lovers too can appreciate this eternal world of ice: every year in August, the Parsifal Dome is transformed into a unique concert hall. The musical ice concerts are a guaranteed treat for the ears – with goose bumps included!
An exciting tour awaits you in the Dachstein Ice cave:
Guided tour through Dachstein Ice cave:
The Dachstein Ice cave lies high above the Trauntal valley and is just a few minutes’ walk away from the Schönbergalm. The ice is formed by water which seeps from the Dachstein plateau down into the cave through small cracks and joins in the cliff. When outside temperatures lie above freezing but the caves still contain very cold air, the penetrating water freezes and forms magnificent ice shapes which define the magic of the giant Ice cave.
Even when the water which seeps into the cave is warm in Summer, leading to a slight melting of this ice, the overall balance is one of growth; the Winter-Spring growth exceeds the Summer-Autumn ice loss and thereby guarantees the survival of this magnificent natural showcase.
Permanent exhibition: Mars space suit Aouda.D - from mid-September on loan to the 'technisches museum wien'
In cooperation with the ÖWF (the Austrian Space Forum that conducted the Mars Fieldtest 2012 in the caves) the Aouda.D Mars space suit is exclusively presented in the Dachstein Ice Cave and accessible for interested visitors as part of the guided tours through the cave.
Note: The Mars space suit Aouda D. is transferred on loan to the 'technisches museum wien' (Vienna) from mid-September 2013, and can be visited again in the Ice Cave from June 2014.
Visitors can submerse themselves inside this world of natural wonder during 50 minute tours, experiencing the magic of this ice landscape at close hand. Experienced guides lead guests through ice-free passageways and a stalactite hall down to ‘St. Arthur’s Dome’. Here in this hall, dominated by powerful blocks of rock, the bones of cave bears have been found which bear signs of human processing.
Stairs through the narrow keyhole make it easier to access the higher level of the cave with its fantastic ice formations which form the highlight of a visit to the cave. From the ‘ice palace’, the route leads on to the ‘Parsifal Dome’ and to the ‘Big Ice Mountain’ – a ball of ice over 9 m tall. From here, it’s on to the powerful bell of the ‘Castle of the Holy Grail’ which shimmers in colours from white to dark blue, depending on the lighting.
A connecting passageway runs along the 25 m thick ice floor of the adjacent ‘Tristan Dome’ while the descent down to the ‘Big Ice Chapel’ based on the cave ice creates a lasting impression of underground beauty. Then walking past the ice abyss (overcoming this was the greatest obstacle to researching this cave), visitors reach the exit with beautiful views of the Krippenstein and Hallstättersee lake.
Useful tips for your visit to the Dachstein Ice cave:
When visiting the caves (only permissible with a trained guide), we recommend that you wear robust shoes and warm clothing. Temperatures in the Ice cave rarely exceed freezing point and in the other caves there is only an average temperature of 4 °C.
Thanks to the fantastic infrastructure, the caves are also ideal for excursions with children of any age.
Tip: themed trail – ‘Walk through the Alpine flora’
A rich world of plants flourishes from the Hallstättersee lake to the peak of the Dachstein, i.e. from 500 m to 3000 m above sea level, transforming the Alpine region into a magnificent floral splendour. Display panels explain the plants of the Dachstein region en route from the Schönbergalm cable car to the giant