The Dachstein Giant Ice Cave

Useful Information

Dachstein Rieseneishöhle, Austria.
Dachstein Rieseneishöhle, Austria.
Dachstein Rieseneishöhle, Austria.
Location: Obertraun, Salzkammergut.
A1 (E55) exit 234 Gmunden, follow B145 through Gmunden, Bad Ischgl, and Bad Goisern. Behind Bad Goisern turn right onto 166 to Gosaumühle, turn left along Hallstatt lake through Hallstadt to Obertraun. Take Dachstein Cable Car. 15 min walk (700 m walk, 70 m uphill) from Schönberg Alp, 1st station.
(47.534995, 13.718754)
Open: First Cable Car daily 8:30.
19-MAY to 02-JUL daily -15:30.
03-JUL to 12-SEP daily -16:30.
13-SEP to 02-NOV daily -15:30.
Times of first and last tour at cave entrance, allow time for walk plus cable car.
Fee: Rieseneishöhle + cable car:
Adults EUR 38,60, Children (15-17) EUR 34,70, Children (6-14) EUR 21,10, Children (0-5) free, Senior (65+) EUR 36.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 36, Children (15-17) EUR 30,90 Children (6-14) EUR 19,30.
Rieseneishöhle + Mammuthöhle + cable car:
Adults EUR 45,20, Children (15-17) EUR 40,80, Children (6-14) EUR 24,90, Senior (65+) EUR 42,20.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 42,20, Children (15-17) EUR 36,40, Children (6-14) EUR 22,60.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave Speleologyice cave.
Light: LightLED Lighting
Dimension: L=2,700 m, VR=70 m, A=1,455 m asl, T=-1 °C.
Guided tours: L=700 m, VR=80 m, D=50 min, (English Deutsch - German Italiano - Italian Français - French Español - Spanish)
V=120,000/a [2000]
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Ing Hermann Bock et al. (1913): Höhlen im Dachstein und ihre Bedeutung für die Geologie, Karsthydrographie und die Theorien über die Entstehung des Eises, Dem Andenken weiland Prof Friedrich Simonys. 151 pp some fine sepia photos, illus, maps etc. HB
Address: Dachstein Tourismus AG, Customer Service Team, Winkl 34, 4831 Obertraun am Hallstättersee, Tel: +43-50-140. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


17-JUL-1910 discovered by Georg Lahner.
1912 start of development.
1928 declared a Naturdenkmal (Natural Monument).
1951 first section of the cabble car built, nuber of visitors increases dramatically.
2007 start of renovation of all three caves by the Kunstuniversität Linz, Institut für Raum- und Designstrategie.
MAY-2008 renovation completed.


Dachstein Rieseneishöhle, Austria.
Dachstein Rieseneishöhle, Austria.
Dachstein Rieseneishöhle, Austria.
Dachstein Rieseneishöhle, Austria.

The Dachstein-Rieseneishöhle (Dachstein Giant Ice Cave) is famous for large caverns filled with ice. The ice grew in the past 500 years, when the climate became colder after a warm period during the Middle Ages. If the ice still grew, the cave would very soon be completely filled with ice. But the ice grows in the winter and about the same amount melts during the year. This is a rather fragile balance and the next change in climate conditions may affect the cave.

The average temperature at this altitude is slightly below zero, so the temperature in the cave is also below zero. If you visit the cave in summer remember to take warm clothes with you!

The first chambers of the cave are devoid of ice but still very cold with no speleothems. The floor is covered with huge limestone blocks which have fallen from the roof, some as big as houses. Soon, one enters King Arthur's Dome a one of the largest chambers in the cave, 120 m long, 50 m wide and 20 m high.

Next the passage ascends into Parsifal's Dome with a massive ice stalagmite called Gralsburg or the Castle of the Holy Grail. After this the ice accompanies the visitor for the rest of the tour. The ice formations are really magnificent, and they are set in such vast surroundings. Huge pillars reach from floor to ceiling and the whole floor is one shining sheet of green ice. There are wonderful flower like crystals on the roof which occasionally fall with a softy tinkling sound onto the ice floor beneath. In Tristan's Dome the descent to the Large Ice Chapel represents the climax of the trip. The floors, ceiling and walls of this room are all covered in a dazzling display of sheets of ice which create an enchanting fairy tale scene.

From here it is only a short distance to the second entrance and the end of the trip.

Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.

A new addition to the tour is a sonic artwork by Hubert von Goisern. He is a famous local musician, who makes a combination of modern rock music with traditional Austrian folk music. He became very popular with a rather trashy remake of an old traditional.