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Saltmine Tours in Salzburg /Berchtesgaden / Salzkammergut area

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Aug 27th, 2003, 06:48 AM
  #1
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Saltmine Tours in Salzburg /Berchtesgaden / Salzkammergut area

We will be in these general areas in a few weeks time, and we are interested in taking a saltmine tour. If my memory serves me correctly (don't have my travel guide with me today), there appear to be at least 3 options in the vicinity of the various areas we will be visiting - one in Hallein, one in Berchtesgaden, and one near Hallstatt. Do I have this right? Any others? Can anyone recommend one saltmine tour over another, and tell me why they think it is a good tour to take?

Thanks for any feedback you can provide!
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Aug 27th, 2003, 07:20 AM
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I went on the salt mine tour in Altaussee three years ago. It's the only one I've been on. I liked putting on the white canvas over-suits that made you look like radiation workers and going down the slide.

The reason I went on that one was because it was the only one open for tours the first half of April on the day of the week I had available. I would have preferred Hallstatt's because I was staying there. And I think you get to ride a train into the salt mine at Hallstatt.

I don't know how their schedules run but a "few weeks" could put you in late September/early October and you're choices might be limited then like it was for me in April.
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Aug 27th, 2003, 07:41 AM
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I can't give you advice about saltmines but I have advice on a nearby place you shouldn't miss. Near Berchtesgaden there is a place in the mountains called obersalzburg (which means over Salzburg) The Bavarian headquarters of Hitler was located there. The famous Eagles Nest is on the top of a mountain accessable by a secret elevator in the center of the mountain. There are also bunkers and lots of history. You can also hike through the (now forest) and find Hitler's house which is in rubble.

Obersalzburg makes history very real.
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Aug 27th, 2003, 08:16 AM
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I've been to both the Berchtesgaden and Hallstatt salt mines. I thought Berchtesgaden was the better of the two. They both have trains in and out of the mountain.
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Aug 27th, 2003, 08:22 AM
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We did the saltmine tour just outside Hallstatt, it was lots of fun. A very steep funicular takes you up to a beautiful alpime meadow area, where you hike uphill for a few minutes to the saltmine complex. You need to don coveralls, and ride a tiny train into the mines.
Also in the same general area is the ice caves and ski area. I believe it was called Mt. Krippenstein or something like that. Instead of doing the ice caves (it was a beautiful day), we decided to take the additional cable car to the summit of the mountain, and hiked around for a few hours. It was absolutely breathtaking!
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Aug 27th, 2003, 09:50 AM
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I have done the one near Salzburg (Hallein) twice and the Hallstadt one once. I preferred the first time ('70)I did the Hallein one. Unfortunately, the second time I went ('87), they had shortened the tour and it was about the same as the Hallstadt one.

You might also consider the Ice Cave tour in Werfen - very interesting
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Aug 27th, 2003, 10:24 AM
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If you're staying in Salzburg, the Hallein mine is only about a 10 minute ride from downtown...very easy to do, and not very expensive either.

Here are some photos of the Hallein tour:

http://www.jimtardio.com/austria-hallein.html
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Aug 27th, 2003, 01:14 PM
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We did the Hallstatt one. It is as zootsi described. At the lodge up the hill, you pay the fee and take a waiting number. They call a group of people having the same waiting number and take a group at a time thru the dressing room and to the waiting area outside the cave. The instructions were in German only, but by watching what others are doing, we got an idea of what we were supposed to do.

What I did not know was just how much walking was needed once we got off the train. Lots of time in poorly lit rough cave paths. It is not a good tour for those who cannot walk briskly in a dimly lit cave where the paths are even but not paved flat.
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Aug 27th, 2003, 01:58 PM
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We did the one in Hallstadt. Even my 3 teens enjoyed it. The guide repeated what he said in german also in english after we requested it. The restaurant at the top was good with an amazing view.
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Aug 27th, 2003, 02:16 PM
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We are "veterans" of the Berchtesgaden Salt Mines. Did them in 1970 when in the Army in Germany, then again in 1993 with friends and one more time in 1998 with more friends. They are fun. Plus, they are good to use if you run into a rainy day. Be sure to get the group photo of you on the train.

Berchtesgaden is one of our favorite spots in Germany. One poster mentioned the Keilstein tour. If you get up there (Eagle's Nest) on a clear sunny day the views are magnificient. Also take the electric boat ride on the Koingsee Lake. Great beauty and fun to hear the echo as the driver plays the trumpet.

Notice the train station in Berchtesgaden. It is very large for such a small town. Reason? The portion in back was built for Hitler to arrive along with his visitors. He used that as private entrance and exit.
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Aug 27th, 2003, 03:32 PM
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We did the Hallein one in June. It was both in German and English. We enjoyed in very much. We rode a little mine train, slide down two banisters, had a short ride on an underground float, and donned the white garb (don't really know why). It was great.
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Aug 27th, 2003, 03:35 PM
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I think the radiation suits (white garb) were really to protect the wooden slides from any buttons, rivets, fasteners, etc. you might have on your clothing.
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Aug 28th, 2003, 07:40 AM
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travelgirl,

My wife and I this summer took the salt mine tour in Halstatt. Apparently this very popoular tourist attraction, known as Salz Welten, has been the recent recipient of some serious funding, and it proved to be an entertaining, well organized tour.

At Salz Welten you'll change into some oversized yet practical mining garb, experience some underground wooden slides (one is quite long and fun), straddle a mine "trolley" out of the mine, and endure a laser show which played like a low-budget background to a Pink Floyd concert. You'll also receive some background information on the history of the mines. Most moving is the story of a prehistoric man who was discovered by miners in the 1700s The man, it is believed, was buried in Halstatt, but no one knows its location. Perhaps the man's skull is one of the painted ones in the town's Charnel House. The story of the "Man in the Salt" is one of the highlights of the salt mine tour - a tour which, while enjoyable, leaves you feeling that the management spent too much time trying to entertain the tourists while shortchanging the history of the salt mines.

A final note: The mine "package" is not inexpensive. Including the funnicular ride up and back, it cost my wife and I Euro 39 to take the tour. On the positive side, our tour guide offered a bilingual tour, German and English, and there was a video with English subtitles, too.

Best of luck.

Best of luck.
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Aug 28th, 2003, 08:29 AM
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We took the Salzbergwerk tour in Berchtesgaden in December of 2001. The one hour tour was in German and English and included a train ride into the mine, a raft ride across a salt lake and two steep slides, which were alot of fun. The cost at the time came to about $10 per person.

It was a lot of fun, but it was incredibly cold that time of year. No crowds though...
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Aug 28th, 2003, 11:27 PM
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I did the Berchtesgadens' . Easy to menage the Obersalzberg and the Königsee in the same day.
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Aug 29th, 2003, 06:07 AM
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travelgirl,

Pardon my reappearance, but should you visit the Halstatt region do make a point of seeing the nearby Dachstein Caves.

Here you'll take an exciting cable car ride up to an altitude of about 1,400 meters, from where you'll make the short but steep hike to the entrance to the giant ice cave. The tour of the cave is both informative and a feast for the eyes, as many of the ice formations are quite stunning. The solid, no-nonsense tour is given in both German and English. Dress for cool temperatures and get ready to do a fair amount of hiking.

Best of luck.
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