Lichtenstein Gorge – where rainbow begins. Austria
Our planet is rich in sights. Every piece of land is worthy of attention. The gorges have a special place. For example, the most beautiful Verdon Gorge in France or the Gorge of the Leaping Tiger in China. They are wide, majestic and sometimes even magical. Once you have been there or at least read about them, you understand how beautiful our world is.
But the gorges are not always so wide. There are some where the width can be only a few meters, and the height of several hundred meters. There is just such a sight in Austria. This is the Liechtenstein Gorge, located in the Eastern Alps, 60 kilometers south of Salzburg.
Liechtenstein Gorge on the map
- Geographical coordinates 47.313318, 13.189580
- The distance from the Austrian capital of Vienna is about 260 kilometres in a straight line
- Approx. 60 km to the nearest airport in Salzburg
Liechtenstein gorge has a length of just over 4 kilometers and is a very narrow and deep canyon. Its width in some places is not more than two meters, and the height of steep walls reaches 300 meters. Because of this, in some places, even the sky overhead can not be seen.
The gorge was formed during the glacial period, when the movement of ice masses literally scratched it in the earth’s surface, and the meltwater dug a narrow but deep crevice.
It is not possible to walk along the bottom of the gorge as in Antelope Canyon (USA) for the simple reason that at the very bottom of the Liechtenstein Gorge there is a rough river.
But it is possible to visit the gorge. To do this, the slopes are laid hiking trails.
Tourist attraction of Austria Liechtenstein Gorge became only at the end of the 19th century. Moreover, the gorge has nothing to do with the small country of Lichtenstein.
It owes its name to a patron of the arts. It was Johann the Second, also Prince von Lichtenstein. At that time he donated 600 guilders for the arrangement of a walking route in the gorge. Whether it was a lot or a little, the beginning of the hiking trail was laid. In 1875, built about 800 meters of road made of stone, erected wooden stairs. In honor of this generous man and the gorge is called Lichtenstein, or as locals say Lichtensteinklamm.
Since then, the route has been supplemented with tunnels, suspension bridges on both sides of the gorge. Now you can enjoy walking along this path, which ends at a high 150-meter waterfall. There is also a beautiful alpine meadow nearby.
The legend of the Lichtenstein Gorge
According to one legend, Lichtenstein Gorge is the place where the rainbow is born. In the myriad splashes of the waterfall, you can see it come into being. And if you wondered when you were a child where the rainbow begins, now you know – it is born in the Liechtenstein Gorge.
Liechtenstein Gorge in tourism
The mesmerizing views attract many tourists here. Entrance to the territory of the gorge is paid and is only possible through a special gate, which, by the way, can be closed during adverse weather conditions.
To date, the Liechtenstein Gorge is a successful attraction in Austria. All conditions have been created for tourists. Not far from the gorge there are cafes, stores and souvenir shops. There are several parking lots for cars.
Access to the Liechtenstein Gorge is open from May to October. The best time to visit is during the morning hours.
If you walk through the gorge in the morning, you can visit the famous Five Fingers Lookout in the evening. It is located 40 kilometers to the northeast. From the site offers amazing views of the mountains and a beautiful lake Halstatt.
Lichtenstein Gorge Austria or the Birthplace of the Rainbow.
Walking along the bottom of one of the deepest and longest gorges in Austria is an exciting adventure. The Liechtenstein Gorge is located in the Pongau region, just 50 kilometers from Salzburg, not far from the town of St. Johan. It is a nature reserve. Many folk legends are told about the Lichtenstein Gorge. Indeed, here you feel as if you are in a fairy-tale world, which is created by the forces of nature. Our children and we were delighted. We highly recommend visiting this amazing natural attraction in Austria.
At first we thought, judging by the name, that the gorge is in Liechtenstein, but in fact it is not named after the country of Liechtenstein, but in memory of Count Johann II, Prince von Liechtenstein, who financed the construction of this amazing natural attraction in Austria.
How to get to Liechtenstein Gorge.
Follow the A10 to St.Johann-Im Pongau and follow the signs to the B311 to Lichtenstein.
By public transport.
By train Munich-Salzburg-Saint Johanen or Westbahn Vienna-Salzburg-Saint Johanen. A city bus leaves from the train station every hour to the Plankenau Wirt Hotel, and then a 20-minute walk along a beautiful road to the entrance of the Liechtenstein Gorge.
Opening times: The gorge is open from May 1 to September 30, from 8-00 to 18-00. In October from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. From November to May the gorge is closed. The gorge does not receive visitors during extreme weather conditions. Service: At the entrance to the gorge there are restaurants, souvenir shops.
Cost of visiting: Adult ticket – 6 euros, children – 4 euros. Family ticket for adults and 2 children at a discount – 14 euros. We bought a ticket for two sights at once: Hohenwerfen Castle + Lichtenstein Gorge, so we were able to save some money on their visit. Buying tickets for Hohenwerfen Castle gives you a 15% discount for the entrance to the Lichtenstein Gorge. For the current price, see the official website – http://www.liechtensteinklamm.at/en/sommer/liechtensteinklamm/opening-hours-fees.html
Also read our report about our trip to Austria:
Helpful tip: Be sure to bring comfortable shoes and warm clothes and be prepared to tackle the wooden steps and stone damp tunnels. A leisurely walk through the Liechtenstein Gorge took us about 1.5 hours.
Parking. There are three parking lots along the way, all free. But the closer the parking is to the entrance, the more crowded it is.
Along the bottom of Lichtenstein Gorge, just above the rushing river, is an artificial hardwood trail with stairs, bridges, and stone tunnels. It leads to the beautiful Lichtensteinklamm waterfall. The wooden path is securely attached to the walls of the gorge with metal fasteners and steel cables.
The length of the hiking trail is 1 km in one direction. It was equipped in 1875. The construction of wooden stairs was started by local residents – enthusiasts. But soon they ran out of money. And then the Pongau region authorities asked for financial assistance from a well-known philanthropist – Johann II, Prince von Lichtenstein. The prince agreed and allocated 600 guilders for the equipment of the gorge. The construction was continued and the gorge was opened for visitors in 1876. In honor of the generous prince, the tourist site was named Lichtensteinklamm.
The Lichtenstein Gorge is of glacial origin. The glacier formed a deep, narrow crevice in the rocky cliffs. And the rushing mountain river Grossarler has been grinding its walls for thousands of years. The walls of the Liechtenstein Gorge are up to 300 m high, and the width between the rocks is up to 2 m. It is one of the deepest and longest gorges in Austria.
There is a legend about the Lichtenstein Gorge. Its origin, according to popular belief, is connected with mysticism and evil spirits.
Near the town of St. Johan, in a small Alpine village Oberarl, lived a blacksmith with his wife and daughter. He was a very greedy and cunning man. One day the blacksmith decided to bring the hot Gastein springs right up to his home. To do this he decided to enter into a contract with the devil himself. According to the terms of the contract, the smith had to give the devil his only daughter and the devil had to bring the springs to him just one night before the cock crows crowed.
The blacksmith’s wife overheard her husband talking to the devil and decided to save her beautiful daughter and prevent the deal. She came up with an ingenious way – in the middle of the night she dipped a rooster into a barrel with cold water. It woke up and cackled to the whole neighborhood.
And at the same time, the devil was on his way to the blacksmith’s house with the Gastein Springs. He was just flying over a deep ravine. When he heard the rooster singing, the unclean man became angry. He understood that it was dawn, and thus he would not have time to fulfill his bargain and get the beauty. With all his might, the devil threw the Gastein waters to the bottom of the ravine. So that people would never get them.
By the way, it is still not possible to connect to the water supply the stormy river Grossarler, flowing at the bottom of the Liechtenstein Gorge. This is a very powerful roaring water stream.
The experience is unforgettable. The forces of nature have created a wonderful fairy tale – the Lichtenstein Gorge. A powerful loud roaring river stream runs along the bottom and pours from the rocks.
The water rumbles, foams, swirls, and shakes the walls of the gorge.
The sound of the river echoes through the gorge and lifts it high to the narrow gaps between the rocks. In some places you can barely see the sky.
The stone rocks mesmerize with their whimsical pattern. And water, just like thousands of years ago, keeps grinding the rocks of the gorge.
Wooden path led us to the picturesque waterfall Lichtensteinklam.
An old legend says that this gorge is the birthplace of the rainbow. On sunny days, bright rays merge with billions of small splashes. At this time you can see the miracle of the birth of the rainbow. But on the day of our trip the weather was overcast and it was raining, so unfortunately we could not see the rainbow. But nature has no bad weather))) There were few tourists in the rain, so we had a lot of fun walking in the gorge.
Professional photographers come here at different times of the day to capture the amazing play of shadows. Even our “soapbox” photos turn out interesting. Some of them do not tell at once where there is heaven and where there is earth. Only on the wooden path on the rocks this puzzle with a photo can be solved))
We are glad we included the Lichtenstein Gorge in the itinerary of our trip to Austria. Walking along the wooden path over the rumbling river stream that shakes the walls of the gorge, the beauty of the high stone rocks, the waterfall, a piece of the sky above – an unforgettable experience!
Here is a video of walk along the Lihtentsheinklam Gorge. Terrific impressions! The hum is not the noise of the video, but the rumble of the water flow. Look!
Where to stay near the Lichtenstein Gorge:
The excellent Forsthof Hotel – BedandBreakfast is close to the gorge. Our clients, to whom we made a personalized guide and travel itinerary for Austria, Hungary and Romania, stayed there on our recommendation and were very satisfied.
Book hotels or apartments in Austria quickly and easily on the website boqing . How to find and book a hotel, we wrote in this article.
We recommend to read it:
Did you like this article? Please click on the social networking buttons and share it with your friends)) Thank you! This is the best evaluation of our work)))