The area around Obertraun is known for its salt mines. Salt was already extracted in the mountains as from the middle bronze age. In the 18th century, they even found mummies of prehistoric miners who had died while doing their job. At the location of the salt mines, there used to be a huge lake that evaporated 250 million years ago. The salt dried up and was later discovered and used. In those days, salt was a valuable commodity and was also referred to as the 'white gold of Austria'.
Nowadays, one of the most unique excursions in the area is a visit to the salt mines. You will find no fewer than three salt mines that are worth a visit in the surrounding area of Dormio Resort Obertraun. They are located in Hallstatt, Hallein and Altaussee.
At only ten minutes from Dormio Resort Obertraun, in Hallstatt, you will find the oldest salt mine of the world, the oldest wooden staircase of Europe and a floating Skywalk at 360 metres above the ground with a breathtaking view of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Now, the salt mine has been opened to visitors and you can see here how salt used to be extracted from the mines.
Dressed in protective clothing, you will start a journey of discovery back to the beginning of salt mining about 7000 years ago. You will experience the history of the bronze age with the latest multimedia technology such as 3D projections, holograms and a cinema that is located 400 metres under the ground! You will see the long slides that miners used to move around underground from one salt layer to another. Slide down one of these slides yourself and check how fast you are travelling on a speedometer. The final leg of the tour is a ride on the mine train.
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The Hallein salt mine in the Salzburg area was the first mine in history that opened its tunnels to the public. They have a magical power of attraction on visitors from the entire world. A visit to the Hallein salt mine will therefore be full of surprises! The place where once salt was extracted from the mine now offers an exciting voyage of discovery for the entire family.
Dressed in protective clothing, you are taken deep into the salt mine of Dürnnberg with the mine train. The path to the first miner slide takes you through tunnels and different information stops. You will slide 50 metres down with the wooden slide. Next, you will be taken on a raft ride on a subterranean salt lake and you will see a light show. You will also be crossing the border with Germany. Visiting the Hallein salt mines is an experience in itself: you will enjoy an adventurous day and will learn a lot about the history of salt and the wealth of the bishops in Salzburg. Especially for families with children between the ages of 4 and 10, children tours are provided by Sally, the mine duck.
In Altaussee, you will find the largest salt mine of Austria that is still operational. A visit to this salt mine that is also called the Mountain of Treasures is also very impressive! The salt mine can be found in the Styrian section of the Salzkammergut region and offers, for example, tunnels that are made of pure rock salt, a Mineral Chamber, a salt lake and various historical milestones. The mystical St. Barbara Chapel is truly special: the chapel glistens in red, yellow and orange and offers a beautiful play of colour.
The Altaussee salt mine played an important role in the Second World War and was chosen in 1943 as the storage place for important art treasures. At the end of the war, there were more than 6500 paintings, statues, weapons and coin and jewellery collections. One of the storage rooms from that time has been restored to recreate the atmosphere of that time.
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During the excursions in the different mines, you must wear miner's protective clothing. You must wear this in order to protect your clothing because the humidity level in the mine is very high. Tip: the temperature in the mines is only 7 to 10 degrees Celsius and therefore we recommend wearing warm clothes and strong shoes.
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It is very easy to reach the salt mines from the resort in Obertraun. Reception can provide more information about the salt mines and the route and on where you can park. Note: the salt mines can be visited by children who are 4 or older.
Check out the current opening times of the salt mines. You can book a ticket online so that you do not have to queue.