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Salzburg (in German: Salzburgerland), is one of the smallest states with Austria. Despite it's size it has a lot to offer. Salzburg, the capital of the state has a beautil old center, and a fortress overlooking it. The ice caves in Werfen are the largest in the world. There is the lake region, and of course the snowcapped mountains of the Hohe Tauern rising up in the south of the state.
The geography of Salzburg is pretty simple. In the north you have hills and lakes and the further south you go the higher the mountains get. Most of the people in the state live in the Salzach valley, named after the river Salzach that has it's origins near Krimml, and flows through Mittersill, Bischofshofen, Werfen and Salzburg.
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For more information about the city of Salzburg, check the travel guide for Salzburg.
In the mountains above Werfen lies the ice caves of Eisriesenwelt The caves are open for the public between May and early October. From the parkinglot in Gries/Werfen there are busservices going up the mountain that take you to a parking lot near a cablecar that takes you even further up hill, and after that it's a short 15-minute walk to the caves. Drivers who have experience in driving in the mountains, can drive up the mountain for the first piece on themselves. When you visit please remember that these are ice caves, so bring appropriate clothing.
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The Krimmler Waterfalls are often refered to as the biggest waterfall in Europe, but that depends on how you look at it. If it is or is not the largest/tallest/biggest waterfall in Europe (or even Austria), is not as important as the beauty of the falls. It still is an amazing sight so see 20,000 m³/h of water see rushing 380 metres downwards. The waterfalls come down in three stages, a first frop of 140 metres, a second one of a 100 metres, and a last step with again a drop of 140 metres. Along the waterfalls is a pathway, for with a €2 entrance fee is asked (children between 6-15 pay €0.50). When driving on the Gerlos Hochalpenstrasse you have some great views. On the new road is a panorama platform (and parking), from where you have a good view on the waterfalls
In the mountains above Kaprun lies on of the greatest engineering projects in Austria. The Tauernkrafwerke is a powerplant that uses two giant lakes and it's water to produce electricity. From Kaprun busses and a giant platform that's crawling up the mountain (and again busses) take you to the dams. The ride alone is a scenic one.
The best way to see a lot of the mountains is to go hiking. Be prepared for the possible change in the weather, that can occur in the mountains. A large part of the Hohe Tauern mountain range, is national park, which means that it is closed for traffic. There is a large amount of valleys streching from Krimml until Bischofshofen, that are ideal for hiking due to there position. These valleys are alined from north to south, making them easy to access from the Salzach valley, and the views you have during your walk are spectacular as you are looking at the main ridge of these snowcapped mountains. Most of the valleys have 1 or 2 guesthouses, where you can eat and drink something, and if there is a room available even stay the night. Higher up in the mountains you will find several cabins, which are the starting points for the people that want to summit one or more of the peaks in the Hohe Tauern. For most hikers this is as far as they go.
It's not very well known that in the Habachtal (between Krimml and Mittersill) there is an Emerald mine. The Emerals from Habachtal are a little bit lighter in colour if you compare them with the Emeralds from Colombia. If you want to go hunting for you own little gem, you have to make a walk to what is called the 'Sedl', which is the debree field of rocks that are removed from the actual mine. Access to the mine, is not possible. To reach the debree field you need to turn left from the mainroad in the Habachtal, a couple of meters behind Gasthof Alpenrose. From here you will need to make a hard climb, which takes about 1 to 2 hours. After that you can start your search.
In autumn, when the snow starts to fall at lower altitudes, the farmers bring their livestock back to the valley. This is called Alm abtried. This often happens in an organised way, and with the cows decorated, it looks like a long parade of cows, coming down from the mountains. In a lot of places there are other festivities planned, like music and dance events.
Salzburg Airport named W.A. Mozart Airport is situated at the west of the city, only 2.5 kilometres away from the city center. Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Flybe, Transavia and Thomson Airways, are amongst the airlines that have regular flights to this airport. There are several dozens of airlines more though, some of them being charter airlines.
Some main destinations include Brussels, Copenhagen, London, Dublin, Berlin, Zürich, Bucharest, Corfu, Gran Canaria, Santorini, Zakynthos, Oslo, Warsaw, Stockholm, Moscow, Crete, Tenerife, Rhodes, Saint Petersburg, Rotterdam, Kiev and Tallinn.
Another option to reach Salzburg by air is to fly to Munich and travel the last bit by train.
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