By definition a gorge is a particularly narrow gap in a mountain with a river or stream running through it. This is a very matter-of-fact definition for something that exudes so much energy and power. The sound of the water tearing down the rapids is deafeningly loud, it then comes crashing down into the plunging depths, rests for a moment before slowly making its move again. The air fills with fine spray and shortly and permeates your skin and hair, and your clothes cling to you. It’s a really unforgettable experience visiting any of these natural wonders in SalzburgerLand. Some of the most impressing gorges are the following seven ones.
Sigmund-Thun Gorge, Kaprun
The Kapruner Ache stream cuts its way along 320 metres down through the Sigmund Thun Gorge at depths of up to 32 metres. The distinctive smoothing, potholes and basins in the Gorge are well worth a visit for the whole family.
- Anyone wishing to experience the Sigmund Thun Gorge in a very special light should definitely not miss the ‘Gorge Lights‘. From July to September, the already impressive world of rock and water is immersed in mystic light every Friday and is even more magical than before. From the onset of dusk, it starts – and here, just as with any hike, good footwear is an absolute must.
July: Starts around 9:30 pm
August: Starts around 9:00 pm
September: Starts around 8:30 pm
- From July to September, the ‘Mystical Night of the Waters‘ takes place every Monday. This is a mystical torchlight hike through the gorge, followed by cosily sitting around a camp fire on the banks of the Gorge Lake. It starts all through the summer at 8 pm, at the entrance to the gorge.
- Please notice, that these two events are not included in the SalzburgerLand Card!
Seisenberg Gorge, Weissbach near Lofer
The entrance to Seisenberg gorge is located in the town of Weissbach bei Lofer in the Saalachtal region of SalzburgerLand, and the gorge has been open to visitors since 1831. The gorge is safe for children aged three years and over to explore, just as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
Tip: You can choose whether to walk through the gorge and return the same way, or hike along a number of different paths which loop back to the car park.
Vorderkaser Gorge, Saalachtal
Take the path down through Vorderkaser gorge, along 51 boardwalks, 35 stairways and 373 steps. The thunderous water has been powering its way through the rock for thousands of years, and the Voderkaser gorge still grows today at an average rate of 5-6mm per year. Visitors to the gorge from May to August will be rewarded by the sight of scores of native orchids growing along the orchid path.
Tip: After negotiating the gorge, you can have a wonderfully refreshing bathe in the Vorderkaser Swimming Lakes.
Hidden between the Strubklammsee Lake and the Wiestal-Stausee Lake, and protected from prying eyes, lies the impressive Strub Gorge. This canyon-like valley, caused by erosion, runs for several kilometres where the Almbach stream forces its way through the rugged cliffs and creates a unique natural spectacle. The road leads along the northern section of this bizarre valley canyon made of Dolomite rocks. On the southern side, where the formation of the landscape has developed somewhat gentler, runs the Metzgersteig (Butcher’s Stairs) which have been used since ancient times. This was always an important connection between Adnet and Faistenau and is often gladly used even today by guests and locals. But be careful – those who want to experience the Strub Gorge up-close can embark on a guided canyoning tour, as there is no hiking trail through the gorge.
The wild, untamed Salzachöfen Gorge is just a few paces away from Pass Lueg outside Golling. The imposing chasm in the Dachstein limestone dates from the end of the last ice age and is 80 metres deep. It moreover cuts through the Tennen and Hagen mountains. Numerous giant potholes, where powerful currents of water have eroded the stone, can be found on the rock walls. In the commanding section of the gorge known as “The Cathedral”, the tops of the high rock faces almost seem to close in on each other.
Tip: Take a trip to the Power of Elements adventure valley, where you can have family fun and adventures, all in the setting of captivating natural beauty.
Lammer Gorge, Scheffau
The ravine cut by the Lammer river is a breath-taking natural spectacle of light, thundering waters and shade. The Lammer Gorge in Scheffau has been accessible to visitors since 1884. Secured walkways along the rock walls guarantee a safe experience for the whole family.
Tip: A particularly remarkable must-see is the “Dark Gorge”.
Liechtenstein Gorge, St. Johann in Pongau
The Liechtenstein Gorge isn’t just one of the most beautiful, it is also one of the deepest and longest gorges in the Alpine arena. Over thousands of years the thunderous waterfalls have cut their way deeper and deeper into the mountains. The rock walls appear so high and close together, that the sky is barely recognizable as a narrow strip of light above. About 10 million people from around the globe have been drawn to the legendary Liechtensteinklamm gorge over the years.
Kitzlochklamm Gorge, Taxenbach
Over thousands of years, the combination of melting ice of the Ice Age, rainwater, sediment and rocks carried by the Rauriser Ache river have forged out a haphazard pathway through the rocks. Take a trip back into the past when you descend into the Kitzlochklamm gorge to discover the unique hermitage and arresting stalactite cave.
Tip: Take a nightly hike by torchlight during July or August.
Waterfalls belong to some of the natural spectacles that have always fascinated people. Watching tumbling water masses coming down from great heights, has a moving and meditative effect. You’ll often catch yourself staring into the distance, just listening to the falling water and being at one with yourself. SalzburgerLand is blessed with the most beautiful and imposing waterfalls in the Alps, and every single one of them is well worth the visit.
About three kilometres away from the town centre of Golling you will come across one of the most romantic natural attractions in SalzburgerLand. The roaring Golling Waterfalls have long been a favorite motif for many well-known painters and are also a particularly popular day trip destination for visitors to the Tennengau region. You’ll reach the Golling Waterfalls in around 20 minutes from the free car park.
Tip: The stepped paths to the waterfalls are accessible from the beginning of May until the end of October.
Krimml Waterfalls, Krimml
As the highest waterfalls in Central Europe, the Krimml Waterfalls were awarded the Council of Europe’s Diploma for Nature Conservation in 1967, then Austria’s only natural monument. The waterfall has some kind of a healing power and exists of three stages. The first stage – the Upper Falls – drops some 140 metres. Then comes a short flat segment, known as the “Schönangerl”, from which the second “Middle Achenfall” stage plunges down a further 100 metres. The third tier, the “Lower Achenfall”, is more than 140 metres in height.
Tip: The newly built Waterfall Centre provides an ideal starting point from which to visit the world-famous Krimml waterfalls.
Imposing and impressive, this is without a doubt the Plötz Waterfall on the Middle Rettenbach near Ebenau. Due to its proximity to the City of Salzburg, it is also a popular tourist destination for both young and old. Whether you opt for the short, approx. 15-minute walk from the road, past the old mills to the waterfall, or if you feel like tackling the approximately 1.5 hour Ebenauer Mill Hike – the impressions you absorb here in the thundering waters are an absolutely unforgettable experience.
Our Tip: The Gorges Route
Do you feel like taking a multi-day hike and experiencing the Gorges of SalzburgerLand? Then, it seems that The Gorges Route is made just for you! This hiking week leads to many impressive cultural and natural monuments in SalzburgerLand. Within a radius of just 2 kilometres, there are three extraordinary natural monuments in the Pinzgauer Saalach Valley. These are the “Saalach Valley Forces of Nature” and consist of the Vorderkaser and Seisenberg Gorges and the Lamprechtshöhle Caves.