The Most Beautiful Lakes in Austria – Part 2
The lakes in Austria are among the most impressive and cleanest in the world. The surrounding Austrian Alps only add to the awe-filled atmosphere.
It comes as no surprise, then, that Austrians love their lakes. The second temperatures rise after winter, crowds swarm to the country’s most beautiful lakes. Whether it’s to go swimming or diving, Austria’s waters become the center of public life in summer, alongside the mountains. Boat rentals are even provided for relaxing boat trips.
But the lakes are a true paradise in winter, too. You can ice skate under pale blue skies in the middle of a beautiful winter landscape. The mountains are never far away either, so you can easily ski on one of the slopes on the same day. Or how about a snow hike?
If you’re interested in seeing this fantastic landscape with your own eyes, then read on! You’ll discover even more beautiful lakes in Austria (for the first part, click here).
Lake Achen: One of the Largest Lakes in Austria
Lake Achen (Achensee) is known for its large size, hence its nickname “Tyrolean Sea”. Its other nickname, “Fjord of the Alps”, comes from the water’s excellent quality.
The clear water makes Lake Achen perfect for swimming. However, it’s still a mountain lake, so it only reaches a high temperature of about 20 °C.
Windsurfers spend a lot of time here as well. Thermal winds blow over the lake and provide the ideal conditions for this sport. In summer, you can rent a boat and explore the lake at your own pace. If you’re not ready to helm your own vessel, plenty of operators offer boat rides. There are even some stations on the lake where you can disembark and explore the nearby villages.
The Rofan and Karwendal mountain ranges surrounding Lake Achen provide the space for hiking and cycling, among other things. The Bärenkopf near the lake has some especially beautiful hiking trails. If you reach its summit, you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the lake.
Moon Lake: One of the Warmest Lakes in Austria
Moon Lake (Mondsee) near Salzburg is about eleven kilometers long and has calm blue water. Unlike many other lakes in Austria, it even gets quite warm, at least for a place in the Alps. In summer, the water temperature can reach 27 °C.
Moon Lake is ideal for several water sports, including windsurfing and boating. There are also a few diving boards and giant slides, so you can have plenty of fun.
The lake sits directly on Drachenwand, a limestone mountain partly covered with dense forest. Hikers and climbers love to scale this beautiful mountain, as do BASE jumpers. The town of Mondsee is also right on the lake. It contains the famous church featured in the movie The Sound of Music where Maria and Captain von Trapp married. Even if you’re not a fan of the musical, this picturesque town is definitely worth strolling through.
Lake Hallstatt (Hallstätter See) is best known for the small village of Hallstatt. This is one of the oldest towns in the country; UNESCO even named it a World Heritage Site. The sixteenth-century wooden houses adorning the coast will surely amaze you. It doesn’t matter when you visit – Hallstatt always radiates a charm incomparable to any other place in the world.
Don’t forget to visit Lake Hallstatt either! It’s another reason Hallstatt is so popular among travelers worldwide. Head to the shores and wade through the refreshing water to experience the lake’s wonders for yourself.
Thanks to its calm waters, Lake Hallstatt is perfect for swimming. You can also enjoy the magical seascape by boat, or ferry if you don’t want to row yourself. They are often old wooden boats, giving the trip an authentic feel.
Plansee is near the German border. Measuring almost three square kilometers, it’s the second largest naturally formed lake in Tyrol after Lake Achen. Its blue-green color earned it the nickname “Austria’s fjord”.
The water is so clear, you can easily see up to 15 meters into the lake. As a result, swimming and diving in this lake is an experience you won’t soon forget! Like the other lakes, many people also come to practice surfing and sailing.
However, the best thing about Plansee is its proximity to the mountains and forest. You get a panoramic view of a breathtaking mountain landscape from the lake. It’s no wonder, then, that it’s so popular with hikers and cyclists. The hiking trail to the Ehrenberg castle ruins, starting in Reutte, and the Thanellerwerg trail, leading from Berwang over the mountains, are especially popular.
Many hiking trails are even accessible in winter, so you can take an exciting snowshoe hike amidst the beautiful white landscape. The lake also freezes entirely and becomes an extremely popular ice skating rink.
Lake Zell (Zeller See) is not particularly large or warm. It’s a measly four kilometers long, and even in summer, the water temperature barely exceeds 19 °C. Nonetheless, Lake Zeller remains one of the most beautiful lakes in Austria.
The lake formed about 10,000 years ago toward the end of the last ice age. The many mountain streams feeding the lake keep the waters crystal clear in the summer and offer impressive scenery.
We highly recommend exploring the lake by boat. However, boats with combustion engines are forbidden to protect the environment. Only those with an electric motor are allowed. If you don’t have one, you can rent one from the boat rentals on the shore. Lake Zell is also ideal for other water sports. So, if you want to go sailing or windsurfing, you’ve come to the right place!
If you’d prefer to stay dry, you can stay on the promenade that runs along the lake instead. It offers a fantastic view and plenty of shade, perfect for the summer.
Lake Zell is definitely worth visiting in winter too. The entire lake freezes and becomes an all-natural ice rink. You can glide across the pristine crystal surface while admiring the beautiful snow-covered mountains and then go for a scenic snowshoe hike.
Austria has some of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. Many of them are beautifully clear and perfectly suitable for many water sports. Whether you visit in summer or winter, there’ll always be more to see.
During the summer, you can swim or dive in lakes like Lake Zell and Lake Moon without a problem. Many also windsurf and sail to their heart’s content. During the winter, many lakes freeze over, providing plenty of space to ice skate, among other things.
And as if this wasn’t enough, you’ll always be close to impressive mountains while visiting these lakes in Austria. You’ll quickly fall in love with the Austrian landscape, especially if you like hiking. Whether you’re taking a relaxing hike in summer or through the snow in winter, you’ll definitely enjoy your time in Austria.
It can be surprising that the beautiful spots we have here on Earth often remain forgotten. So take the plunge into the lakes in Austria and experience this undiscovered beauty yourself!