The Krimmler falls are the highest waterfalls in Europe and absolutely worth a visit. I can even advise to take a detour especially for this visit !
The Krimmler falls exist out of 3 consecutive waterfalls. Getting a view at the 3 of them together is only possible when you get up the mountains in front of them or when you drive over the Gerlosstrasse. Also from WasserWunderWelt you have a view of the 3 parts of the falls.
In 1967 the Krimmler falls have been awarded by the Council of Europe with the "diploma for nature protection".
The parking lots at the falls will all charge something for parking your car there. Mostly they offer you a voucher for a free piece/discounted of cake & coffee in on of the hotels & restaurants at the main road.
The only parking lot that is free of charge is the one the closest to the WasserWunderWelt, but on busy days it will be full very early. On the above link, it's marked as P4. To use this parking, drive a passed the entrance of WWW when coming from Krimml, you'll find the entrance to the parking on your right right behind WWW. When coming over the Gerlosstrasse, it's the first parking to the left, just above of WWW. Update: as of 2013 this parking lot became paying too. You get a ticket upon entering, which has to be paid for at a ticketing machine when leaving, amount depending on the time spent.
From there the walk to the starting point of the Wasserfallweg scenic route takes about 10 minutes.
The water from the Krimmler Ache takes a dive of about 380 metres in 3 falls. This makes it the 5th highest waterfall in the world. The only falls worldwide that are higher than Krimml are: Angel falls (Venezuela 1.100 m), Yosemite falls (USA 740 m), Sutherland falls (New Zealand 580 m) and Mardalfossen (Norway 505 m).
The lower (= unterer) waterfall tumbles in 2 steps a total of 140 metres in the Krimmler bassin.
You can easily reach the lower fall. From the entrance to the scenic path (Wasserfallweg), you can walk at an almost flat asphalted road to the lower fall.
Just keep in mind that you have a lot of waterdust here that can make you thoroughly wet in a short time. So also keep in mind that taking pictures or making videos can sometimes be quite difficult, depending on the wind. Make sure you have some kind of rainprotection for yourself and your electronics (a plastic bag with a small hole for the lense can do wonders for your camera!).
You can get quite close to the plateau at the lower falls (see pic. 4) by taking the path you can see in picture 5. It looks more difficult than it is. Just keep in mind that there is a lot (and I really mean a lót) of waterdust spraying there (see my video on the Krimml page). This means that the rocks can be slippery and you will get wet ... not "can get wet" but "will definately get wet" :-).
The next tips contain more information about the middle and the upper falls.
The entrance fee for the scenic path Wasserfallweg is 2,50 € (2012).
While walking up the path on a sunny day, you'll most likely see an abundance of rainbows along the way ... (see my video).
The park WasserWunderWelt is an good combination of education and fun.
In the House of water (main picture - left building + pic. 2) you can perform some experiments with/about water.
In a 3D-presentation you can follow the route that the water has travelled from the high peaks of the Hohe Tauern to all the way don forming the Krimmler falls. These falls are - of course - documented into every detail.
Other 'waterly' phenomenons are explained.
Both adults and children will find the exhibition interesting, as it is a combination of education and 'do it yourself' experiments.
There's a Swarovski telescope available to look at the Krimmler falls.
In the multivision cinema (main picture - right building) you can sit down and relax while viewing a multimedia film focussing on the great importance of water for our blue planet Earth.
In the aqua park you can also try out attractions that have to do with water.
There are stepping-stones which trigger jets of water, you can make the bubble of the fountain grow and shrink (pic. 3), let flowers dance around(pic. 4), make a ball jump up and down in a tube, create a vortex or walk in the Kneipp facility.
But there's also AquaMax ... you can bring this plastic man to life but pressing a button and thus pump water throughout him ... be careful he doesn't 'attack' you on your stroll through the park.
AquaHipHop is also nice: it's some kind of swing. You sit on one end with a big box (pic. 5) at the other end. By pressing or pulling an handle you pump water in or out the box, which makes you go up or down.
Of course there's a souvenirshop and lavatory available. And you get a great view of the entire falls from here.
We've been to this park several times. Of course it's nicer when it's a warm and sunny day, because then it doesn't really matter if you get wet. But also on a not so very good day it still makes for a nice visit.
the park is open from 1 may to 31 October
daily from 9.30h to 17.00h
Due to reconstruction works the park was closed as off October 1st 2012 until the end of June 2013. The park reopened on june 29 2013
adults: 8,50 €
kids 6-15 y.: 4,20 €
familycard: 18,00 € (valid for 2 adults and 1 child or 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children)
The entrance to this park is included in the Salzburgerlandkarte.
The top (= oberer) waterfall is with its 145 metres the highest one of the 3 falls.
When you follow the scenic path behind Gasthof Schönangerl, you are at the bottom of the top fall.
When you want to reach "the top of the top", you have to walk the last part of the Wasserfallweg, which is quite steep at this last part. It's steep, but not in a way that if gets dangerous or very difficult.
Once you get up there, you'll be rewarded with a spectacular view on the waterfalls and the town of Krimml way down below !
When you continue the way from the top of the falls, you'll reach the beautiful Krimml Achen valley.
On the way from Schönangerl to the top all the way up, you'll pass again some view-spots : Staubige Reib (1330 m high), Bergerblick (1390 m). At Schettkanzel (1460 m) you are at the top and you won't regret it !!!
When you want to skip part of the path, you can take a taxi to Gasthof Schönangerl. That way you just have to walk the last (steepest) part of the Wasserfallweg.
Most of the picuters we have from the top of the falls and in the valley aren't digitalized yet, so I'll add them later !
More info on the lower fall and the middle fall in my other tips.
The middle (= mittlerer) waterfall takes a 100 metres dive from Schönangerlboden.
When walking up the scenic path, which is quite well asphalted but sometimes a little steep, you first pass by Riemann Kanzel (1100 m high), Regen Kanzel (1150 m), Sendtner Kanzel (1170 m), Jung Kanzel (1215 m), Jagasprung (1220 m) and Bergersteig (1245 m).
At most of these places it is easier to take pictures compared to at the foot of the lower fall, due to less wind and thus less waterdust.
At Gasthof Schönangerl ... congratulations ... you are at the top of the second fall !!!
It is possible to "cheat" a bit and take a taxi to Gasthof Schönangerl. They dop you off right at the restaurant, from where you can either walk to the top of the upper fall, or walk down to the Kürsingerplatz at the lower fall. These Nationalparktaxi's are available at the parking places next to the main road in Krimml. One of them is the taxiservice provided by the Krimmler Tauernhaus : www.krimmler-tauernhaus.at / email@example.com
More info on the lower fall and the upper fall in my other tips.
If possible, you should definitely walk up to the top of the falls - even though it is steep most of the way (but a good, smooth path). You see so much going up which you do not see going down only. It took us about 2 hours going up and about 1 hour going down, include bathroom and ice cream stops - and we weren't really in shape. If it's a warm day, you don't need any rainwear. But it would be a good idea to take some if the weather is cool and/or rainy.
The Gerlos Alpine Road is a 12km long panorama road that goes from Krimml up to the Gerlos pass and further on to the Zillertal (Ziller valley). There’s a car park about half way up from where you have a great view on the waterfalls of Krimml. The pass ist at about 1600m, and from there it goes down into a nice high valley (1200m), passing the reservoir Durlaßboden. The valley is called Gerlostal (Gerlos valley), and here’s also the town Gerlos which seems to be a touristy place!
Toll is 7,50 € for a car per day.
If you’ve purchased two adult tickets of the WasserWunderWelt, you only need to show these tickets and don’t need to pay toll. If you first drive the Gerlos Alpine Road and then visit the WasserWunderWelt (purchasing at least two adult tickets), you will get the toll refunded at the WasserWunderWelt.
The waterfalls of Krimml are really impressive. When you come down the Gerlos Alprine road, you already get a good impression how high they are. The water falls down in several steps, and with a drop of 380m they are the fifth highest waterfalls in the world, and the highest in Europe. A nice hiking path goes up along the waterfalls in many serpentines, and there are several viewpoints from where you get fantastic views on the waterfalls. The rushing water is great, and on our way back we finally had some sun which caused great rainbows!
We didn’t climb up all the 430m altitude difference to the top of the waterfalls, only about half of it. You need quite some time and energy to walk up to the top! You also can take the “waterfall taxi” to the restaurant Schönangerl about half way (6,50€), to Oberhofen at the top (8,50€) and even further. We saw one taxi (a small bus) at the car park where you also find a sign with the phone numbers and prices (they are per person and for 4 or more persons).
Open mid of April until end of October.
Admission: 2,50 € adults, 0,50 € children. There are combi tickets with the WasserWunderWelt, but note that you only get them at the WasserWunderWelt!
There’s a free car park directly a the WasserWunderWelt.
The Wonder World of Water, that’s the House of Water (exhibition some hands-on experiments and information about water & the waterfalls), the “Aqua Park” (little park with some more hands-on experiments) and a multivisons cinema . The exhibition wasn’t large but interesting and the hands-on exhibitions (like the silent water jet) where well done. Same for the aqua park, it was nice to stroll around and do some of the water experiments, like generating a vortex. Only the multivision cinema was rather boring, it just was a sequence of water scenes, accompanied by music, I did miss some comments and information. But if you just want to relax it’s fine...
Open daily from 9:30 to 17:00, from May 1st to October 31.
Admission (includes waterfall path): 7 € adults, 3,50 €children.
There’s a free car park directly a the WasserWunderWelt.
Welcome to the European highest Waterfalls.
These waterfalls have a drop of 380 meters, and that makes them the fifth highest waterfalls in the world.
The hiking trail, built by the Austrian Alpine Association, will bring you very close to this natural spectacle.
The 4 km trail has a lot of vantage points and platforms. In about 10-15 minutes walk from the parking, you will arrive at the lowest waterfall, from where you can proceed using the trail, arriving at the summit, the walking time is about 1 ¼ hours.
As it is easy to find more information about the fifth highest waterfalls in the world, all I would like to share here with you is that you should not underestimate the hike. I read everywhere that the climb could be done in 1 hr, but it took us 3! The weather seemed terrible in the beginning, but even with slight drizzle rain, it's worth it! With your Gästekarte (proof that you stay at a hotel in the area), you get free access.
While we were up at the middle falls look offs we saw many wild flowers some growing in what would seem solid rock all watered by the cool spray coming off the falls. I was surprised to see the thistles - they had smooth leaves with no stings unlike the kind I find back home. The tiny bluebells (I don't think that would be there name here!) were enchanting with their deep blue hues. After looking at the tiny beauties we took a long look at the bigger picture - you really do get the best views from on high - the little village of Krimml with its Church as the centre piece. The tree clad valley - the surrounding mountains and the river rushing far below. A magical totally clean and green vista stretched out before us - a truely picture postcard view can await you here too.
The Krimml Water Falls are described as "The Wonderful World of Water" I would rename it "A great place to catch a rainbow" especially on a sunny day. We saw so many rainbows appear at the different look off points and magically over the river too. Krimml water fall holds Austria's only Conservation Diploma awarded in 1967 - the award has been repeated every five years. A steep but well maintained path with safe view points allows all abilities to access the falls. The weather was so hot the day we visited the fall the estimated time of reaching the restaurant in 20 minutes was greatly increased while we stayed a while enjoying the spray from the cool waters, watching the rainbows appear and enjoying our time here. To view the whole of the falls you have to be at the visitors centre (see photo 2) here you can see the whole 380 meters as they cascade their way down towards the river. I enjoyed being high up with the wonderful sights and sounds of natures marvelous water up close and personal. The falls are open from 1st. May through to 31st. October from 9.30 till 17.00 price is 1.80 euros for adults and 50 euro cent for children.
While visiting Krimml Waterfalls, you may want to consider visiting the other attractions near to it, especially the follows:
- Town of Zell Am See (beautiful town next to a lake and surrounded by mountains, popular during winter for skiing and summer for hiking and scenery. Please visit my VT Zell Am See page for more information and photos).
- Grossglockner Road (this is one of the most scenery roads in Europe, passing through the Austrian Alps which consist of the highest mountains in Austria. This includes the Grossglockner, the highest mountain in Austria. More information and photos are at my VY Grossglockner page).
- Kitzsteinhorn (this is one of the highest mountain in Austria andis permanently snow capped so you can so skiing there even in summer. The town of Kaprun and the dammed lake at the foot of this mountain are also worth a visit. More information are at http://www.kitzsteinhorn.at
This is a theme park along the road near to the entrance of Krimml Waterfalls (opposite the OBB postbus stop). It consists of a House of Water (where kids can enjoy games, experiments, art with water etc), Aqua-Park (open air park) and multivision cinema showing the importance of water. I did not go to this theme park but you can consider going there, especially if you are bringing your kids along :)
When you are at Krimml Waterfalls, you will notice that there are lots of water mist (i.e. droplets) blowing from the waterfall depending on the wind direction. Due to this, there is an area next to the waterfall which is constantly sprayed with water and this has allowed the growth of simple plants such as mosses and lichens which otherwise would not have survived without a moist environment.