Eisriesenwelt ice cave

Eisriesenwelt is the largest world ice cave, located just a few km away from Werfen town (Austria). From the ticket office and car park, you can choose to reach the ice cave through the rocky mountain walking path or by a new lift. But, even if you go for the second option, the last stretch requires some walking.

Do not rush, instead, enjoy the stunning panorama while walking towards the cave mouth.

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This place is a real frozen kingdom and it is open to public from May to October. The best period to visit is certainly Summer, but be aware of the sharpen climate change. As a matter of fact, while outside the temperature can reach even 30°C, inside it is 0° or less. This means that, once you reach the top of the mountain and the cave mouth, it is highly recommended to seat and rest for 20/30 minutes. Moreover, do not forget to wear warm coat and socks.

A guided tour starts every 30 minutes and it lasts approximately 75 minutes. Before entering the cave, you will be provided with a lamp, which is all the light you’ll have access to. Photos and any kind of lightning are strictly forbidden (that’s why I have selected some pictures from the Eisriesenwelt website).

This is not just a cave made of ice and ice sculptures (which transform through the years thanks to the wind). It is a deep experience into nature and magic. But there’s no time for more spoilers… plan your trip to Eisriesenwelt and see yourself why this place is worth a visit at least once in your life.

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Once upon a time in Europe

Did you know that many Disney castles took inspiration from real European ones?

Walt, during a trip to Europe, fell in love with one in particular: the Neuschwanstein Castle.

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It is located in southwest Bavaria (Germany) and it is pretty clear why Walt Disney fell in love with it. The castle itself and the surrounding landscape make you feel part of a fairy tail… It’s a kind of magic! You can have a walk into the wood and around the area, or book (in advance) a tour of the castle. Do not forget to reach the bridge which stands just in front of it, the view is definitely breathtaking.

Another landmark which is really worth a visit is the medieval Hochosterwitz Castle, located in Sankt Georgen am Längsee (Austria). It was strategically built on a summit and nowadays you can reach it by an elevator or through the old rocky footpath, which counts 14 gates. Up there, you could enjoy the stunning panorama, taste some local food at the restaurant and visit the fortress along with its museum, courtyard and chapel.

Rumours has it that this place inspired the Sleeping Beauty castle by Disney.

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Last but not least, a third MUST-VISIT castle: the Grafenegg Castle, located in Grafenegg (Austria). It is the most important example of historicism in the country and its Gargoyles  will remind you of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It stands in the middle of a huge park featuring rare plants from all over the world, a pavilion, modern artworks and the Wolkenturm (an open air stage hosting concerts).

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HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Castle in Germany: Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Castles in Austria: Hochosterwitz and Grafenegg Castles

 

A pearl of the Danube – Austria

Krems an der Donau is a picturesque little Austrian village along the Danube River. Although considered as a whole, it is actually a “conglomerate” of 3 villages: Krems, Stein and Und.

When the sun shines and the sky is blue, all the colourful buildings light up the village. Not to mention its narrow streets, cobblestones and fascinating glimpses… You will feel part of a fairy tale!

 

Schureplatz and Rathausplatz areas are really worth a visit. But the best thing you could do is disorienting yourself while walking up and down the old town.

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At sunset, do not miss the chance to reach the Danube and have a walk along the river. While, at dinner, walk back to the city centre and be inspired by the delicious menus displayed outside the restaurants doors.

Personally, I really appreciated the Zum Kaiser Von Osterreich restaurant where you can taste the real seasonal and fresh products of this rural region. And, nonetheless, the waitress speaks English! Which is not so common in Austria, especially in little villages and towns.

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Restaurant: Zum Kaiser Von Osterreich