The Black Gold

The Black Gold

Since 1902, Tiroler Steinöl® (shale oil) has been extracted from oil shale located 1,500 metres above Lake Achensee, and processed in skincare products. Oil shale was formed 180 million years ago by deposition of silt and organic debris on lake beds and sea bottoms. Over long periods of time, heat and pressure transformed the materials into oil shale in a process similar to the process that forms oil. The oil shale was pushed to the surface by a powerful eruption during the formation of the Alps.

Today, numerous leading wellness hotels in the holiday region Achensee offer treatments with shale oil, which boasts natural healing properties thanks to its high content of organically-bound sulphur, and is said to alleviate muscle and joint pains. If you want to learn more about the “black gold”, visit the Tiroler Steinöl Vitalberg visitor centre in Pertisau, which is open year-round, and see exhibits depicting the history of the shale oil distillery. All products are available to purchase in the museum’s shop.

Tip: The most effective Tiroler Steinöl® treatment package is a fossil bath followed by a massage using shale oil.

Click here to view opening hours and entrance fees.

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