Located high above the deep blue waters of Hallstätter See in the Salzkammergut region of Austria lies the Dachstein Krippenstein, home to amazing hikes, spectacular alpine views and mysterious caves. This stunning area includes the fairytale world of the Dachstein Giant Ice Cave, the Mammut and Koppenbrüller caves, the spellbinding viewing platform at 5fingers and the extraordinary hike to the Heilbronner Cross where you can see panoramic views of the Austrian Alps, the historic town of Hallstatt and the Dachstein Glacier. There is also a nature park for children, a cave museum and many educational exhibits to keep young ones and old alike entertained.
You can spend an entire day or two exploring the Dachstein Krippenstein which is located not far from the charming town of Hallstatt, another must-see destination in the Salzkammergut region of Austria. For those adventure junkies, you could probably spend even more time by taking a whirl at paragliding, rock climbing or doing long distance hiking way up high atop the Alps. Whatever you desire to see or do, you will certainly find it at the Dachstein Krippenstein.
For us, since it was a rainy day and I have never been in an ice cave before, we opted to explore the Dachstein Giant Ice Cave and save the hiking for a nicer day. The only downfall is that we had to pay the rather pricey cable car fees twice since we couldn’t do it all in one day. But it would have been a tragedy to not come back on a nicer day and see the extraordinary views from high above. The benefit of having poor weather is that it kept the crowds away and it also meant beautiful views like this one below along the way to Obertraun.
We arrived at the Dachstein Krippenstein Cable Car station to find the parking lot empty. The rain had kept people away and we had a relatively short wait to catch the cable car up to the middle station Schönbergalm (section I). There are three different cable stations that bring you up the mountain and for the cave visit, we only visited the first. As we moved up the mountain, we suddenly busted through fog and clouds to reach the first stop at the mountain restaurant where we purchased our tickets for the Ice Cave tour and ate lunch. Unfortunately we didn’t have the incredible, panoramic views that day that really sells this eating venue and our meal was a little disappointing after all of the delightful dishes we have eaten so far on our trip. But on a gorgeous day, I bet it is a fantastic to sit and eat out on the terrace even if the food is not the best.