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The Most Beautiful Lakes in Austria – Part One

Imagine you’re swimming in a gorgeous lake. What comes to mind? Are you thinking of a distant, exotic country? If so, we’ve got news for you: it’s not as far as you think! Some of the world’s most impressive lakes are right in the mountainous terrain of Central Europe. Today, we’ll focus on the ones in Austria.

The clear water and beautiful Alp views make Austria a worthy tourist destination. Whether you’re stopping by for a swim or water sports like windsurfing or sailing, you’ll be enchanted by the lakes’ unreal beauty.

With over 25,000 larger lakes to choose from, deciding which to visit is a daunting task. And it doesn’t help that they’re all beautiful in their own right. But no need to worry! This article will help you decide which lakes in Austria belong at the top of your list.

Attersee: One of the Largest Lakes in Austria

Attersee (Lake Atter) near Salzburg is one of the largest lakes in Austria, stretching for 20 kilometers. It draws many visitors, especially in summer, to cool off in the crystal clear water, but remains a popular destination in spring and autumn.

The strong winds blowing through the gaps in the mountains create light waves on the lake – ideal conditions for the local windsurfing community.

One such wind, the rose wind, blows through the gardens of a nearby castle (another great place to visit). The wind supposedly carries the scent of roses from the garden across Attersee and lets visitors completely relax.

The lake is too big to completely freeze over, so winter activities are confined to the shores. Since the mountains are nearby, you can also go skiing and snowshoeing. And, of course, the hiking trails are a favorite summer pastime.

Attersee’s shores also have a lot to offer, including picturesque Mediterranean villas. From the higher ground of the steep mountain slopes, you’ll enjoy a panoramic view of the entire lake.

Maybe you want to stay active during your holidays. That’s no problem! Volleyball nets line the shore, perfect for playing a couple of sets with your new acquaintances.

The Gosausee

Strictly speaking, Lake Gosau (Gosausee) is actually three interconnected lakes. We highly recommend a day trip to this gorgeous lake while in Salzburg.

It’s one of Austria’s most breathtaking locations, with stunning scenery throughout. Rugged mountains and the nearby Dachstein Glacier make a swim in this beautiful lake a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Enjoy the pleasant summer air and admire the beautiful mountains all around you.

Lake Gosau is stunningly clear. From the surface, you can see several meters into the water. But be warned: the lake is not very warm. Even in summer, the water temperature sometimes drops below 17 °C.

Fortunately, there are plenty of activities to do without jumping into the cold water. For example, you could rent a boat and explore the lake that way or go on a hiking tour to take in the beautiful landscapes. The Dachstein and Gosau Glaciers offer a breathtaking, panoramic view of the lake.

Grüner See

The Grüner See (Green Lake) owes its name to two phenomena. The first is easy to guess – the water itself is vividly green. The second reason is tied to the unique local climate. Every time the lake water levels rise, the nearby meadows flood. This usually happens after the snow melts in spring. Then, the meadows disappear under several meters of water. But the water is extremely clear, and the green grass is still visible far below the surface.

The water level can rise to 12 meters, making it a popular destination with divers. The floods following the thaw cover entire trees and bridges. As you can imagine, this makes for a unique diving experience!

By contrast, the lake shrinks a lot during the winter. It almost seems like it dries up entirely. To give you a better picture, you can dive several meters deep during the summer. Yet, in winter, the deepest parts of the lake are just one meter under the surface.

Sporting activities are not allowed on Green Lake because of its fragile ecosystem. Instead, most recreational activities involve hiking trails around the lake. But they’re totally worth it! The impressive area around Green Lake will make for the most spectacular photos. So, add this one to your list!

Traunsee: One of the Deepest Lakes in Austria

With a maximum depth of 190 meters, the Traunsee (Lake Traun) is the deepest lake in Austria. As a result, you’ll always find a lot of visiting divers. But it’s also great for other sports enthusiasts, like sailors and windsurfers.

Many boat races occur on the lake toward the end of spring. If you’re a beginner and want to learn how to sail correctly first, courses are available at one of the local sailing clubs. Or explore the Traunsee through a relaxing cruise.

One of the major attractions near the lake is Schloss Ort (Ort Castle). The small fortress on a small island in the Traunsee dates to the Middle Ages. A long bridge connects the island to the mainland, so you won’t need a boat to reach it. Plus, wonder gardens surround the castle and add stunning beauty to the atmosphere.

Several pleasant villages line the lake’s shores, including Traunkirchen, Ebensee, and Altmünster. And don’t worry, you don’t have to track along the shore for hours to get from one village to the other. Many ferry services connect them and simplify the whole process. Besides, walking through the majestic mountains is nothing to complain about.

Fun fact, a legend surrounds the Traunsee, similar to the Loch Ness Monster. The Austrian version of Nessie goes by the name Lungy. Who knows – maybe you’ll be lucky enough to spot this legendary monster during your visit.

Weissensee

The beautiful emerald green Weissensee (Lake Weissen) is definitely worth a trip – especially since it gets pleasantly warm, unlike many other lakes in Austria. In the summer, the water temperature can reach about 25 °C and is so pure you can drink it without hesitation.

The Gailtal Alps surrounding the Weissensee will make some impressive additions to your photo collection. It freezes over entirely in winter. No matter the time of year, this lake and its surrounding snow-covered landscapes will enchant you.

Conclusion

The gorgeous lakes in Austria need to top your list of holiday destinations. This Central European country has more than 25,000 lakes, with each more beautiful than the next.

Since choosing which to visit is very difficult, we’ve picked the most beautiful ones that will never disappoint.

The lakes offer a wide variety of activities – from swimming to diving and boating trips, you’ll never be bored! There are even ways to spend time outside the water. Whether you’re cooling off in the summer or hiking through the picturesque mountain landscape, Austria’s lakes will make for a most memorable visit.

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