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The Krimml Waterfalls: An enchanting natural spectacle

By: Simon la Lau at 15 May 2024
Header De Krimmler Watervallen EN
Austria is brimming with wonders, but one literally towers above the rest: the Krimml Waterfalls, situated in the heart of the Hohe Tauern National Park. Standing at a towering height of 380 meters, the waterfall even holds the title of Europe's highest! Discover everything about this enchanting natural spectacle in this blog.

Origin

To begin with, the waterfall formed as a result of a lengthy process. It starts with the glaciers of the Hohe Tauern collecting meltwater and transporting this water to lower elevations via the Krimmler Ache, a mountain stream flowing through a steep valley. As the Krimmler Ache moves downstream, the water gradually carves its way through the rock, eroding the soft stone and creating a deep valley. This allows the water to cascade rapidly, resulting in a spectacular waterfall.
De Krimmler Watervallen Foto River Ache
The Krimmler Ache

Three Phases

The waterfall consists of three parts: the upper phase has a drop of 140 meters, the middle section 100 meters, and the final phase, like the upper, has a drop of 140 meters. Along the waterfall, numerous viewpoints stretch over a length of 4 kilometers, including the popular "Wasserfallblick" parking area, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the stunning water spectacle.

Hiking Trails for Adventurers

For those who want to experience the waterfall up close, the surrounding area offers a network of hiking trails. These routes range from leisurely walks to challenging hikes through mountainous terrain. In short, there's something for everyone.

Here are some popular routes:

Wasserfallweg: This is the most popular route and runs alongside the waterfalls themselves. It offers various viewpoints and observation platforms where you can view the waterfalls up close. The trail starts at the parking lot at the entrance of the Hohe Tauern National Park. The hike is suitable for all ages.

Krimmler Achentalweg: This route leads through the beautiful Achental valley, passing by beautiful green meadows and wooded areas. It offers magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and can be combined with a visit to the waterfalls. The starting point of the route is at the end of the Krimmler Achentalstraße in Krimml. The path is clearly marked with signs along the route.

Bergerlebnisweg Krimml: This route is perfect for families with children as it offers interactive elements and educational activities along the way. It's a fun way to discover the natural beauty of the area.

Cycling along the waterfall is also possible:

Tauernradweg: This is a long-distance cycling route of approximately 270 kilometers that runs along the Krimmler Waterfalls. Although it's primarily intended for cyclists, you can explore parts of it on foot and enjoy the view of the waterfalls.

The waterfalls and often the starting points of the hiking trails are easily accessible by car. There are various parking options available. The parking lot near the waterfalls is paid, but you can also find free parking spots further away. If you're staying in one of the surrounding villages, you can also walk or cycle.
De Krimmler Watervallen Foto 1
The Krimmler Waterfalls

Resting

At the middle and top of the waterfalls, there is a mountain restaurant where you can relax after the climb with a typical Austrian snack or drink. The hiking trail is open from mid-April to late October, and an entrance fee is required. Are you going on holiday between 1st May and 31st October? With the 'Nationalpark Sommercard', you may get a discount on the entrance fee!

WasserWunderWelt

There are plenty of fun activities near the waterfalls. The WasserWunderWelt is an educational attraction that appeals to both young and old. It offers an interactive experience focusing on water and its role in nature. Visitors to the WasserWunderWelt gain insight into the geology of the waterfall, the importance of water for the ecosystem, and the history of the area.

Health

By the way, the waterfall is not only a spectacular attraction but also a kind of medicine for people with respiratory problems. Research has shown that the water from the mountain stream Krimmler Ache has healing properties! The mist from the waterfall creates an abundance of 'negative air ions', which have a positive impact on improving respiratory and lung function. Quite remarkable, isn't it?

Another interesting fact: The water that cascades down so impressively eventually ends up in the Black Sea, which borders Bulgaria, Turkey, and Georgia, among others. This is because the Krimmler Ache flows into the Salzach River, which then flows into the Danube and ultimately reaches the Black Sea. So, the water travels from the Austrian Alps through countries like Hungary, Serbia, and Romania before finally reaching the Black Sea.

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