The old Paul McCartney's song "Waterfalls" says "don’t go jumping waterfalls", which is actually a good idea in the case of magnificent Krimml Waterfalls, the highest Austrian waterfalls. With a total height of 385 m, they are a symbol of all-natural beauty in the Hohe Tauern National Park.
The waterfalls are formed by the Krimmler Ache River, fed by 17 glacial streams, that falls from the Ache Valley in three stages, close to the village Krimml. The upper waterfall is 145 m high, middle waterfall 100 m and the lower one 140 m. The Krimmler Ache is a typical glacier stream with a fluctuating water level, that depends on the time of the day and the season due to the melting of snow and ice. In June and July, the flow is the strongest with 30 to 40 times more water than in February, when the flow is the weakest.
Photo © Credits to JosPannekoek
Krimml Waterfalls are located on the edge of the town of Krimml, around 2 hours from Salzburg and 1,5 hour from Innsbruck, and can be reached using the federal road number 165. For all visitors, there is a waterfall trail leading from the bottom all the way to the top of waterfalls with 33 serpentine and 7 observation platforms, from where you can experience a magnificent view. The path leads through a beautiful spruce forest with thick moss and lichens. Many species of birds live in the area of waterfalls, including the endangered and protected species. You need approximately 1 hour to reach the top of the upper waterfall. From there, you can continue hiking and discover beautiful Ache Valley. Krimml Waterfalls have been visited by tourists since the 19th century. Today, they are one of the major tourist attractions in Austria with approximately a half million visitors every year.
Already in the Roman times, there was a mule track along the waterfalls over the Ache Valley to Italy. This road had a special significance as a part of ancient transalpine traffic routes. In the High Middle Ages, it was used to transport important commodities such as salt to the south and wine to the north. The track served as an alternative route, if the more convenient Alpine passes, such as the Brenner Pass, were not usable due to political disputes or difficult weather conditions. The most important stop was the Krimmler Tauernhaus at 1622 m above the sea level, first documented in 1389 and opened even today.
Photo © Credits to EvgenyShmulev
As a part of the research project "Water, Air, Lung", the Paracelsus Medical University examined the health effects of Krimmler Waterfalls on 54 asthmatic children. The results showed that the daily one-hour visit to the Krimml Waterfalls significantly and sustainably improved asthma and allergies in children and adolescents. The finest electrically charged water particles of the lower Krimmler Waterfalls cause a lasting functional, symptomatic and immunological improvement in allergic asthma.
Visiting the highest Austrian falls, Krimml Waterfalls is not only good for your soul and eyes, but also for your health, so maybe don’t go jumping waterfalls just be close to them.
Like this story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.