Dachstein Krippenstein in Salzkammergut – Day trip from Salzburg

Everyone flocks to Hallstatt as a day trip from Salzburg, but few visit the other UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s close by: Dachstein Krippenstein! Packed with history, natural wonders, and spectacular views, it is the perfect destination in the Austrian Alps.

About Dachstein Krippenstein in Salzkammergut

Salzkammergut is a region of mountains and lakes in Upper Austria, characterized by the fairytale-like towns of Hallstatt and Salzburg, alpine landscapes, and underground salt mines. Salt, or ‘white gold’ in that era, was THE trade item for the Habsburg Monarchy. The name Salzkammergut translates to “Estate of the Salt Chamber”,  signifying its status within the kingdom.

Krippenstein is a limestone mountain in the Dachstein Mountain range. Because of its high altitude, Dachstein Krippenstein offers a vast variety of activities depending on the season. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a nature lover, family, or outdoor enthusiast.

READ MORE: Exploring the City of Mozart with the Salzburg Card

Getting to Dachstein Krippenstein from Salzburg

From Salzburg Hbf (main railway/bus terminal), take Bus 150 to Bad Ischl; journey time is around 2 hours. The earliest bus departs at around 6am. Make sure you check the bus schedule ahead of time!

Note: One-way bus fare is €10.55 per person (price in 2017). Pay the driver when you get on the bus.

From Bad Ischl, take the train to Obertraun Dachsteinhöhlen Bahnhof. This scenic train ride takes around 30 minutes.

Tip: You can buy tickets online in advance for €5.30 per person. If you’re returning from Hallstatt, make sure you buy your return ticket at Bad Ischl because there is only ONE machine at the Hallstatt train station.

Pro-Tip: Just get the OBB app if you have data on your phone! This allows flexibility in your itinerary; you can buy tickets as you go without having to worry about missing trains/buses or lining up for machines and ticketing counters.

Once at Obertraun Dachsteinhöhlen Bahnhoftake Postbus-line #542 to “cable cars, ice caves, 5fingers, etc”. One-way bus fare to Dachstein from Obertraun is €2.10 per person (price in 2017).

Read More: Stay connected with unlimited data in Europe

Kollecting Koordinates - Dachstein Krippenstein

Schönbergalm Nature Park

Things to do at Dachstein Krippenstein

Important Note: The first cable car takes you up to Schönbergalm Nature Park. You must register for the cave tours at the counter! You’ll be given a number and start time for your tour of the Ice Cave and Mammut Cave.

Caves: Ice Cave, Mammut Cave, Koppenbrüller Cave

You can explore not one, not two… but THREE caves! Koppenbrüller Cave is the youngest and most family-friendly of the three. It’s especially dramatic during snowmelt and heavy rainfalls.

With almost 70km of the underground labyrinth explored, Dachstein’s Mammut Cave is the 30th longest and 31st deepest cave in the world. Throw on some overalls, head torch, and a helmet for an adventure through humongous cave passages and rock cathedrals.

The most popular Ice Cave offers spectacular ice sculptures, light effects, and art installations. Musical Ice Concerts feature international musicians in the cave every August. Visitors have the opportunity to experience crystal-clear sounds in a unique concert hall!

Tip: It’s cold in the caves so dress warmly!

Tip: Get the “Audioguide App Hearonymus” on your phone since it can be hard to hear your guide in the caves; it’s available 7 languages.

READ MORE: Where to stay in Salzburg

Recreational Sports: Hiking, Paragliding, Freeride Snowboarding/Skiing

The family-friendly Heilbronner Circular Trail takes 3 hours to complete, due to its gentle incline. It offers incredible views of the Hallstatter Glacier, with plenty of information boards, fossils, and the Dachstein Shark along the way.

Geology lovers will enjoy the Nature Trail, a themed walk where you’ll discover rocks, plants and animals of the region. The altitude difference varies between 140-330m depending on which route you take. Up for an adrenaline rush? Challenge the new via ferrata, available in varying levels of difficulty from novice to pro.

Tip: Weather changes quickly in the alps. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, make sure your phone is fully charged, and bring protective gear against the sun, rain, and cold, snacks, and lots of liquids!

Wanna take panoramas to new heights? Try tandem paragliding! With an altitude of more than 1,500m from the takeoff and landing sites, Dachstein Krippenstein is among the most impressive flying areas in the Alps. It is also home to the world-famous safety training centre for paraglider pilots.

In the winter, Dachstein Krippenstein transforms into a hot spot for powdery freeride and off piste. Make sure you go with a guide unless you know the routes like the back of your hand!

Kollecting Koordinates - Dachstein Krippenstein 6

Viewpoints: 5fingers, WeltNATURerbeblick, Dachstein Shark

Imagine the views 2000m up in the Austrian Alps! WeltNATURerbeblick is wheelchair accessible, giving everybody a chance to enjoy Dachstein’s magnificent views.

Millions of years ago, the Dachstein massif was engulfed by the ocean. The Dachstein Shark pays homage to the pre-historic shark that once lived here. You’ll find this attraction 30 minutes into the Heilbronner Circular Trail.

The most thrilling 5fingers offers a sweeping panoramic view of Salzkammergut and Lake Hallstatt. Lean over one of five platforms that jets out to test your fear of heights. We even saw some dudes rappelling down the mountain from the platform!

What about food?

There are two restaurants on the mountain: Restaurant Schonbergalm after the first cable ride up, and Mountain Restaurant at the summit.

We’re always skeptical about restaurants up in the mountains (*cough ski resorts in BC*) because the food is meh and overpriced. That is not the case here, though! Taste and prices are on par with what you’d find in Salzburg. And oh, the ribs are fingerlickin’ good!

Kollecting Koordinates - Dachstein Krippenstein 7

How much are tickets to Dachstein Krippenstein?

Prices vary from €30 – €44.40, depending on the ticket combination. The Panorama ticket (€30) gives you access only to the viewpoints, whereas the All-Inclusive ticket (€44.40) allows you to explore ALL the attractions.  All tickets include the cable car ascent and descent.

Note: Check this page for current tickets and prices.

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Dachstein Krippenstein for hosting our visit. As always, our opinions are honest and our own- we wouldn’t recommend something if we didn’t love it ourselves!

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Don’t forget – MostarKollecting Koordinates - Mostar

We’ve never visited Eastern Europe before- Bosnia & Herzegovina was our first. I’ve fallen in love with it ever since- there’s something about the scenery, atmosphere, and architecture in Eastern Europe that tugs at my heart strings.

After swimming at Kravice Falls, we continued our drive to Mostar. Or Mo-crap (Мостар)- we’d giggle every time we passed by a sign. In all seriousness, the drive leading to Mostar was actually quite depressing. There was such a drastic change in scenery driving from Croatia to Bosnia & Herzegovina- you could still see the shell and bullet damage on building walls and roofs from the Bosnian War of 1992-1995.

Mostar came under siege twice in those years. Thousands of people were killed, and more lost their homes. The Old Bridge (Stari Most) connecting the two banks of Neretva River was destroyed in 1993. Today, there are stones all over the the town reminding its people and visitors of its sad history. Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

Another thing that made me very upset was the number of stray dogs in this country. On the drive to Mostar we saw an adult dog (mom?) limping in the bushes along the side of the road while two little pups followed at her heels. Leaving Mostar, we actually witnessed one getting hit by a car on the road! It was slowly making its way across the road when the car behind us hit it. I could hear its yelp from inside the car. AS said the driver pulled over but I wasn’t sure if he did or not… It was heartbreaking. We have a 4yr-old maltipoo who is pretty much our child. It’s extremely painful seeing other dogs get hurt.

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We checked in at our hotel and made our way towards the stony old town. After paying a small entrance fee for the mosque we climbed up 89 steps. The stairwell is extremely narrow and only one person can go up/down at time (or 2 really skinny, small people); not a good time if you’re claustrophobic. Once we reached the top of the minaret, we were rewarded with this gorgeous view of Stari Most sitting over Neretva River.

Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

If you aren’t able to make the climb, the view from the courtyard is equally beautiful. This bridge was once the widest man-arch in the world that stood for more than 400 years! The Stari Most we see today is a reconstruction.

Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

You can jump/dive off Stari Most into Neretva River if you’re brave enough! Red Bull hosted its Cliff Diving World series here a few weeks before our arrival.

Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

We grabbed dinner at a nearby restaurant and called it a night before heading back to our hotel. It was a long day- we began our drive at 5am. I’m forever grateful for AS driving us from Zadar, to Split, to Kravice Falls, and finally to Mostar, all in one day.

Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

Its sad history aside, Mostar is actually very romantic. We saw very few people when we were there (late August) and the town had a lovely charm to it with its cobblestone streets and walls. Because Mostar is fairly small, you only really need one day- but do stay the night. Just make sure you start your drive early the next day if you’re planning on crossing the Croatian/Bosnian border on the way to Dubrovnik. We left our hotel at around 9 or 10am, and we had to wait close to 2 hours at the border in the blistering sun! 

One last GoPro shot of Stari Most and Neretva River from on top of the minaret!

Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

tips

  • stay the night; we stayed at Villa Eden for around 70€ a night. The hotel is brand spankin’ new and the breakfast is delicious with a huge variety. It even has a pool for you to cool off (much needed in the summer)
  • The entrance fee is around 8 marks (Aug 2015 price) for both the Koskin-Mehmed Pasha’s Mosque and courtyard; you can also visit one of the two for half the price.
  • Be careful when you’re driving! Watch out for the strays 🙁
  • Wear comfortable shoes with good grip- the uneven stone paved pathways can be quite slippery.
  • Come in the spring or fall. The summer months can be too hot and humid. The humidity level was so high last August that it was slightly hard to breathe.

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Kollecting Koordinates - Mostar

 

Chasing waterfalls at Kravice FallsKravice Falls - Kollecting Koordinates

I’m a sucker for waterfalls. When I saw Kravice Falls in pictures I knew I had to go, but that was of course, easier said than done. Planning this road trip down Croatia was no easy feat. Well, it was, until I added Bosnia & Herzegovina to our itinerary.

Driving in Croatia - Kollecting Koordinates

Driving in Croatia was a piece of cake because 1) I wasn’t the driver (hehe) and 2) we bought a data sim and relied on good ol’ Google maps to take us everywhere. We lost data once we crossed the border, which was fine because Google maps are useless in Bosnia anyway. So we’ll just follow the signs, right?

Wrong. There aren’t many signs to Kravice Falls.

I had printed out a map in advance but that was useless because it didn”t show the smaller roads. Half an hour into the drive we were on a winding road on a hill that seemed to be a residential area in the middle of nowhere; it didn’t look like a place for waterfalls.

We were lost.

There were no street names to refer to and no other cars in sight. Panic mode was on full blast when we came to a few crossings where we had to decide which paths to take. There was a lot of ‘which way?!’, ‘this map is a piece of s***’, ‘WTF is going on’, ‘omg where the f*** are we going’, ‘why aren’t there f***ing street names or signs’, ‘*where the f*** are we?!’.

AS doesn’t have the best sense of direction but thankfully, I inherited my mom’s awesome spidey senses. I answered each of one of our outbursts with ‘I don’t know but let’s go this way’ and ‘I don’t know but I think it’s that way’. A few  ‘ I don’t know’s later, we miraculously emerged on a small road next to a highway. 5 minutes after driving down this flat road, we saw a sign that read ‘Kravica’. A few minutes later, we were at the parking lot. I don’t know how we managed to navigate there in the end, but we were ecstatic!

Kravice Falls - Kollecting Koordinates

Kravice Falls - Kollecting Koordinates

It was a hot, humid day and Mother Nature graced me with her monthly gift to make things even more unbearable. Luckily, I had popped a Midol before we began the drive. While my cramps weren’t monstrous like they usually are, the flow was matching the waterfalls theme. Excuse me for the TMI. Because of this, I couldn’t go into the water with AS.

Kravice Falls - Kollecting Koordinates

AS had a blast swimming and exploring all the hidden passages. I chilled in the shade and watched our belongings, along with all the other moms who were waiting for their kids.

Kravice Falls - Kollecting Koordinates

Freaking gorgeous! Plitvice Lakes were unreal, but Kravica was magical in a different way. AS said this was, by far, his favourite destination on our Balkans trip. It was ridiculously frustrating to get to, but was it worth it? Hell yea! 

Kravice Falls - Kollecting Koordinates

tips

  • If you plan on driving, make sure you get an International Driving Permit (if you’re not European) before leaving your country. The officers at the Croatian/Bosnian border asked for ours; good thing we had one.
  • If you don’t plan on driving, you can hire a car to take you down to Kravice Falls from Mostar. The rate ranges from 50-70€.
  • Bring some snacks and lots of water with you to save money. Even if you don’t, there are 2-3 food stands on site if you get hungry or thirsty.
  • Bring a change of clothes, flip flops/sandals, and a towel with you. The restroom is surprisingly clean!
  • The entrance fee is around 2€ (price as of Aug 2015)- you can also pay in Kuna or Mark if you have the currency on hand.
  • Hang onto the rail (or grab someone’s arm) on the way down; some parts on the path down can be quite slippery!

 

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Kollecting Koordinates - Kravice Falls