Dachstein Caves & Ramsau in the Salzkammergut
The Dachstein is one of the highest mountains in the Salzkammergut (some 2995 metres high) and a very spectacular sight - especially if viewed from the Lake Vorderer Gosausee. It is also one of the most popular destinations for day-trips, mostly for the sake of hiking and the two famous caves of the mountain: The Mammuthöhle ("mammoth cave") and the "Rieseneishöhle" ("giant ice cave", not an exaggeration).
Impressions from Mount Dachstein and some of the nearby Salzkammergut Lakes.
The villages of Ramsau-Kulm and Ramsau-Ort will be your starting points if you approach the Dachstein from the Styrian direction. They are pleasant communities worth a stop to have a look around. Three kilometres from Ramsau-Ort towards the mountain, the Dachstein cable car station starts extending towards the 2700 metre high Hunerkogel, from where you can enjoy one of Austria′s finest vista: The mountain ranges of the Alps, the lakes of the Salzkammergut plus the Dachstein glacier.
Among Austria's most Scenic Mountains
If you approach the Dachstein from the Upper-Austrian side, you can go straight to Obertraun to get to the caves. The two caves come with a combination ticket and I recommend to start with the Mammuthöhle (the Rieseneishöhle is the more spectacular one). The caves are supplemented with a small museum, most creatively named "Höhlenmuseum" ("Cave Museum"). The caves can be visited by guided tours only. To me, they rank among the most impressive sights of Austria.
Approaching the Dachstein from the Upper Austrian side, you will also find cable-cars. If you don′t want to hike up to the cave entrances from Obertraun, you will go by the Dachsteinbahn. Both cable-car and hiking can be pleasant experiences, both offer great vistas on the surroundings of the mountain. There are plenty of hiking opportunities around the Dachstein. The cable car of the Schönbergalm up Mount Krippenstein are a good entrance point to a dense network of hiking paths.
Other attractions nearby include Schladming, Gosau and the Gosausee Lakes, Hallstatt and the cities of the Ausseerland: Bad Aussee, Altaussee and the Lake Grundlsee. Getting around in this area can be a bit tricky - the best option is a car. Some maniacs enjoy cycling in this area.