by Bert Schwarz

The Saltalpes trail from Prien am Chiemsee leads over 233 km through the Chiemgau and the Berchtesgadener Land to Obertraun at the Hallstätter See at the foot of the Dachstein mountains in Austria.

Obertraun is the special of Hallstatt and access to the caves of the Dachstein mountains.


Story, Camera, Editor : Bert Schwarz

© travel-magazine TV 2017

More reserved than Hallstatt, this place offers a great access to the caves of the Dachstein mountains. This is also the starting point for the hiking routes around the lake or more challenging routes to the caves behind the alpine meadows. Signs show the way from the railway station to the cable car and the ice caves. The footpath (no. 16) from the valley station provides a strenuous 2½ hour hike.

Inside the Dachstein caves one finds oneself in another world of ice and underground corridors, which in some places are said to be more than 80 km long. The two caves Dachstein Eishöhle and Mammuthöhle can be reached on foot in about 15 minutes from the cable car station Schönbergalm at 1,350 m. The caves are located at the foot of the mountain. The tour in the caves takes about one hour.

The ice of the Dachstein ice cave is not even 500 years old and forms an 8 m high "iceberg", which is twice as high as 1910, when this cave was first explored. The formations, which shine in coloured light, are eerie and surreal. This cave can only be visited with a guided tour.