Pay attention when visiting the ice cave
You can visit the Eisriesenwelt from May till October. When you go during the high season, it will be extra busy. Make sure you arrive at the cave on time to make sure you can join one of the many tours. You can book your tickets online, so you don’t have to queue. Booking in advance is also cheaper. The tours are given in German and English.
Clothing is very important during your visit to the Eisriesenwelt. Dress yourself warmly! The temperature in the ice cave is, even in the summer months, freezing cold. Therefore, put on warm clothes. Or at least bring enough clothes with you so you can put it on before entering the cave. Also wear good shoes. We were walking on sneakers, but our toes were (almost) frozen at one point.
We reccomend to visit the ice cave in good weather conditions. Many people think that the ice cave is a perfect trip in bad weather, but you will hike in the open air for about 40 minutes before reaching the ice cave. If you get drenched, it will even get colder when you enter the cave. Then you can’t fully enjoy this natural phenomenon. And that is a pitty!
The road to the Eisriesenwelt
We got a combi ticket for 2 times with the cable car and a guided tour through the ice cave. For current prices and opening times, check their website. From the information center it is a 20-minute walk to the cable car. It takes you from 1000 meters to 1500 meters in just 3 minutes. You have a beautiful view from the cable car, and don’t have to be afraid of heights, just like Abel ;-). Once at the top you can enjoy the panoramic view over the valley and the mountain peaks. After this, you walk for another 20 minutes until you arrive at the ice cave. The walk to the cave is already spectacular; You walk through the rugged mountain landscape via winding roads and along steep precipices. On the way you will see many alpine choughs flying. These are black songbirds with a bright yellow beak. Be surprised by the changeable weather high in the mountains. One moment we had sun and blue sky, and a few minutes later it was completely covered by the fog.
At some point you will arrive at the huge cave opening. From here you have a very cool view. Only a number of people are allowed in at a time. So wait for the moment when the guide takes you for the unforgettable trip through the Eisriesenwelt. There is no lighting in the cave, so a number of people are given an oil lamp. As soon as the door to the cave opens, the flow of warm and cold air creates a strong gust of wind. So be prepared for this.
The trip through the ice cave
The tour lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. The guide will lead you past meter-high ice sculptures, frozen lakes and impressive tunnels. Via 1400 steps of steep, narrow stairs you climb through the underground tunnel system of the cave. During the tour you will see huge ice formations. The guide shines extra light by using magnesium rods. The guide will tell you about the history of the ice cave and how the ice formed.
The ice formations still change every year. This is due to the temperature differences and the wind that enters through the entrance and draft holes. In the summer, some ice sculptures melt away and the ice layer becomes thinner and in winter, this meltwater freezes again and the ice layer grows back.
Unfortunately, in the cave we were not allowed to take pictures. To give you a glimpse of what to expect from the inside, we were allowed to use the photos of Eisriesenwelt. In real life it’s darker in the cave, what makes it a little bit mysterious.