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1 day: Dachstein Ice Caves, Hallstatt & Salt Mines?

We are traveling from San Francisco this summer with our 7 & 9 year old boys. We are planning to be in Salzburg for 2 nights. We'd like to rent a car one day and see the Dachstein Ice Caves, Hallstatt and tour the Salt Mines. Is it possible to do this all in one day if you rent a car? Any advice is appreciated.

Best Regards,

Posted by
898 posts

This would be tough to do in one day unless you got up very early and got to Hallstatt early and maybe took the first Salt Mine tour then explored Hallstatt and had lunch and drove over to the Ice Caves (a little ways from the town) and toured them in the afternoon. It would depend on how long it took to travel from Salzburg to Hallstatt and how early you were willing to head out, I am one of those people that would have no problem getting up and leaving at 6:00 am to go see something but some folks struggle to get on the road by 10:00 am, remember that where you park in Hallstatt is a significant walk to the town center.

Posted by
18241 posts

Where you park in "Hallstatt" (Lahn) is near the base of the funicular to the salt mines and a 1 km walk into the center of Hallstatt.

From Lahn it's a ten minute drive around the south end of Hallstätter See or 6 minutes by bus and 20 minutes walking to the Dachsteinhöhlen cable car valley terminal.

Still, I agree, it's a lot to do in one day, unless you give one or two venues short shrift.

Posted by
781 posts

I would also visit Five Fingers when you go to the ice caves,great views from there.You will have a very long day.

Posted by
43 posts

My husband and I were in Vienna, Salzburg, and Hallstatt this past September. We went up to the Ice Cave and loved it, but you need to factor in the time waiting to go up on the cable car and the time for your tour to start. We got right on the very first cable car of the morning, but we were in the second tour group so we had to wait at the entrance to the ice cave. Plus, there's quite a steep hike from the cable car to the first set of caves. There's also a fun playground and a couple of small museums (before or after the hike) and some other caves higher up that kids might like. We were there for the better part of a day and would have stayed longer but the weather turned cold and foggy so the views were obscured and the path got slippery.

We also toured the salt mine and loved it. Again, you need to factor in the time waiting for the funicular, hiking from the funicular to the mine entrance, waiting for your assigned tour group, and then walking back to the funicular. There's a fun viewing platform that looks down on Hallstatt, and we spent some time there and in the little museums along the hike from the mine. We spent at least 5 hours for the salt mine and its environs.

Hallstatt itself is absolutely gorgeous and we enjoyed just sitting by the lake, watching the swans, and appreciating the scenery. We took a very interesting town walk that Rick mentions in his guidebook. We were the only people on the tour, but it was still a good hour of walking.

For me, this is way too much for one day, although technically it is possible. I live at altitude and I hike a lot in the mountains, but I saw people all around me who needed to stop to rest. If you can, omit one activity or do it all by spending the night in or near Hallstatt.

Posted by
52 posts

Thanks Everyone! This is super helpful information. We are trying to figure out a way to spend the night in Hallstatt. We were actually planning 3 nights in Salzburg not 2 ( I had the wrong in my post) so it should work out well. Much gratitude! Best, Suzanne