If you haven’t had a chance to read my last blog, I am currently revisiting some of the places I have travelled to in Austria. I wrote about Fuschl am See, with its magical lake and the remarkable views from the top of Schober mountain. My next stop on the Austrian love train is Almbach Gorge. The gorge is actually in Germany but it is on the border of Austria and is close to Salzburg where I was based for work. I guess this is an Austrian, German love train. All aboard!
The Almbach gorge (Almbachklamm) formed after glaciers melted. This resulted in the separation of the contiguous land surface of Ettenberg and Maria Gern. The outcome of this event is the beautiful Almbach gorges streams and many waterfalls. A human-made trail has been running through the gorge since 1894 and includes a tunnel, 29 bridges and 320 steps. One of the entrances into the gorge is at Hammerstiel. There is a little booth that fits one soul who takes your money and allows you entrance. The entry fee is around 6 euros but is cheaper for children. During the winter it is closed because of the possibility of avalanches, ice and snow. The trail has been repaired a few times due to the weather which is why I really don’t mind paying for such a beautiful places upkeep if it means others and myself can continue to enjoy the trail. We drove there but if you don’t have access to a car, you can hop on the 840 bus from Salzburg. The bus leaves you about a 5-minute walk from the car-park and the entrance.
Which trail is the trail for you
There are different routes you can take. One is at the end of the Almbachklamm to the Theresienklause (what they used to transport logs, see it in the video at the end of the post) and then on to Ettenberg. This trail takes about two and a half hours. Another trail you can take is from the end of Almbachklamm to Maria Gern and back which takes about 3 hours. We took the route from Almbachklamm to Ettenberg, but instead of walking back the same way we continued on around the gorge through the forest path until we came back onto the trail and doubled back from there.
Throughout the entire gorge, you are surrounded by rock. The raw sound of the rushing river water echoes off the rock and blocks everything else out. You are completely taken out of city life and left inside this wild place. The landscape itself is a natural art sculpture created by the movement of the earth. The colour of the water is a wonderful turquoise making it utterly tantalising. The walk along the trail isn’t difficult but some of the steps and paths are wet and can be slippy so I would suggest wearing shoes with good grip. In some parts of the trail, the water is deep enough to swim in. Anyone brave enough for a quick dip? That’s one way to build up an appetite! hmmm now that we are talking about food, if you feel a bit peckish there is a restaurant on one of the trails you can stop off at Gasthof Dürrlehen is a lovely little place where you can take a break and have a bier before heading back or continuing on the trail. The restaurant is situated at the beginning of a beautiful open valley.
Some sections of the gorge are dryer and perfect picnic spots or just nice points for a quick break.
Think you are brave enough to jump from where we are sitting into the water? Well, I wasn’t… I guess I won’t be applying to enter any cliff diving competitions any time soon. It’s no doubt a big NO to jump into the water here anyways so probably not a good idea.
There are so many of these small waterfalls along the way. You can get close up and personal, that’s if you can handle the cold!
In the below image it looks as though the entire right side of the gorge has slid down to great the other side. Don’t worry! You can’t really see it but the path veers around to the left so the boulder doesn’t block your path.
I said we weren’t brave enough to jump in but we were bold enough to walk in… Probably not the best idea to do it in your clothes though… Oh well ! next time I’ll pack a towel.
I am literally a walking advertisement for Red Bull in these photos…
Want to see more of this wonderful gorge? Check out the video below and take a stroll with my friends and me along the Almbach Gorge trails.