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Eisriesenwelt Werfen

The giant ice caves outside Werfen are generally held to be the most extensive in the world. An area of some 20,000 square kilometers is constantly covered in ice, while the cave system extends 42 kilometers into the mountain. Guided tours provide insights into the science and history of the caves, with a special focus on the various ice formations. Even from its very beginnings as a tourist attraction, there has been a constant focus on keeping the caves as natural as possible. Rather than electric lighting, visitors are issued with handheld carbide lamps. These are dynamic caves, constantly ventilated by a flow of air caused by the difference between outside and inside temperatures. In winter, when the inside air is warmer than outside, cold air flows into the mountain and cools the lower part of the cave down to below 0° C. In springtime, when water from the snowmelt filters down through fissures in the rock and reaches the coldest parts of the cave, it freezes and creates magnificent  ice formations in the mountain’s interior. A visit to the ice caves is a fantastic experience for the whole family!