High above the village of Werfen, amid the magnificent mountain world of the Tennengebirge, we find the entrance to the world’s biggest explored labyrinth of ice caves with a length of almost 30 miles. There are various ways in which cave ice can form.
The World of Ice Giants, discovered in 1879, is a dynamic cave, meaning that the corridors and the crevices connect lower lying entrances to higher openings, hence making it possible for draughts of air to circulate – similar to the effect in a chimney. During spring, melt water seeps through the cracks in the rock and when it reaches the still cold and frozen lower areas of the caves it freezes and turns slowly into the wonderful ice formations visible inside the caves.
Before you head into the caves for your 1 ¼ hour tour, lamps are handed out to the visitors. The first stop is the Poselt Hall, with the magnificent Posselt Tower stalagmite. Marvel at the greatest area of ice growth, the Great Ice Embankment, a massive formation rising up to over 75 feet. Stalactites in Hymir’s Castle created the so called ice organ. For an even more stunning effect, the ice formations are sometimes highlighted with magnesium lighting.
The caves are open May to October and you will need to be dressed for the cold, even during summer months.