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 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
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.
Just for kids: Korah and the cave bear
How is the development of Korah (offspring of a prehistoric group of humans) linked in with that of a small cave bear? And how did the fate of the two come to a dramatic head? The giant Ice cave reveals all this and much more as younger visitors listen to the solitary call of the cave bear and set out on a search for this furry friend with Korah.
Kids’ tours only available in Summer!
At the start of the tour, a cloud of luminous 6-pointed crystal stars floats through the gloom. In the ice area, you can see how the cave begins to breathe and finally a video projection shows a climber clambering along the cave wall seemingly without effort at the time of the discovery of the Dachstein caves.
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
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.