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Austria, Styria: Riding Down the Salza River and Wasserlochklamm Gorge

Published: 28.6.2017
Salza is a mountain river in Styria. The river rises below Goller mountain. Beautiful nature, rapids and the gorge at the lower reaches is one of the most popular and most frequented rivers in Austria.

It is passable almost all year long. Only during snow melting in spring. It is of beautiful color and nature is amazing. It is forbidden bring your own raft on the river to avoid injures. If you are a beginner and you want to sail down a section of the river without rapids hop on a boat which departs from Prescena Klause dam. There the river is wide. The most frequent section with rapids of mild current is situated between Wildalpen and Weiberlauf. More experienced paddlers imrpove their technique there. Rapids get more intense under the Lassinge river confluence. The most beautiful and the most difficult section is at lower reaches. The river narrows down there and becomes embraced by the canyon. Paddlers get off their rafts just behind the Enns river confluence.

most, který vede ke vstupu do soutěsky   řeka Salza

When sailing down the river, you pass by a wooden water jump on your left. Then you sail under a hanging bridge. Where does the bridge go? Actually to one of the most beauitful gorges in Austria. The entrance to the gorge is situated between the villages Palfau and Wildalpen regardless if you sailed down the river or you are about to return into the camp. Wasserlochschenke restaurant and a box office is situated halfway to the gorge. There is also a really large parking lot. It costs €5,50 to enter the gorge. The tickets are sold at the cash box by the road. You can even buy souvenirs there or visit a restroom.

pokladna k soutěsce   restaurace Wasserlochschenke

Narrow canyons, beautiful waterfalls, vistas far into the distance over Salzatal valley and more. This is Wasserlochklamm gorge. There is everything the right tourist trail must have. The entrance to the gorge is by the parking lot on the other end of the beautiful emerald colored river Salza. You can get on the side of the river by crossing the Hängebrücke at the end of which there is a turnstile. You walk along the river for a while. This will help you feel the intensity of the river. Then you step on a sidewalk following the rock. The sidewalk goes uphill. There goes one kilometers long trail of 325 meters of elevation. Waterfalls, the main attraction, are the reward for this steep hike and many steps you need to overcome. The highest one is 39 meters high. Water from this waterfall shatters on the rocks and splitters several meters wide. One need to stop for a second and relish this beauty. Also, you will walk through a deep canyon, something every true gorge must have. Upon about an hour of hiking uphill you reach the top which is a scenic vista from where you see Salzatal valley and the Salza river. Right above the deep canyon there is Wasserloch cave. From this cave, all the water in the gorge flows out of. On your way back you can either walk back through the gorge or through forest. Both trails get you to Wasserlochschenke restaurant and an adjacent parking lot. 

waterfall cascades   great vista of the waterfallsthe vista on the summit

I have to say that the Wasserlochklamm gorge is truly the most beautiful gorge in Austria I have ever seen. There is a via ferrata on the small mountain of Mendlingstein (883 m) situated on the crossroads leading to Palfau.  stojí přímo na křižovatce k Palfau. The ferrata's name is Kaisergams Klettersteig and it is of C/D difficulty. Moreover, you can visit Arzberghöhle cave (in the opposite direction from the gorge). Alternatively, you can take your children, if you have them, to Mooslandl which is not far away. There is a lot of water fun inside Freizeitpark Ferienland. 

GPS: 47°41'55.0"N 14°52'26.3"E


Text and photos: Martina Brožková

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