Imagine this, you are cooling off in a lake, surrounded by beautiful nature. What can be better than that?
With the summer season being here and travel restrictions easing up, we can finally go and experience this amazing moment. We can’t think of a better place to enjoy stunning lakes and water activities other than Austria.
With over 25,000 lakes, Austria is a paradise for water lovers. From idyllic mountain lakes in nature reserves to lively beach resorts full of water sports, there is something for everyone. The variety of water activities are endless and will satisfy even the wildest of desires.
Discover the top 7 of Austria's most beautiful and fun lakes and plan your next summer vacation to escape the desert heat.
Achensee Lake, sometimes called the "Tyrolian Sea," was carved out of the Alps more than 20,000 years ago by glaciers. Today, it is renowned for its emerald green surface and its crystal-clear water that attracts tourists worldwide.
Surrounded by picturesque mountains and lush green valleys that surround the lake, the Karwendel Nature Reserve offers visitors a choice of activities including surfing, sailing, paddle boating, and diving. Thanks to the unique mountain location, the water stays cool even in summer and reaches temperatures of up to 20°C. Lake Achensee lake is located just 45 minutes from Innsbruck.
Lake Achensee © Achensee Tourismus
Located in the Salzkammergut region of Austria, lake Attersee is the largest lake in the country and it is the only lake that is completely within Austria. Its water is exceptionally pure and clear - even underwater it is possible to see up to 25 meters deep, which makes it a paradise for divers.
Attersee is known for its artsy, laid-back flair, as well as several beach baths, and an adventure pool with water temperatures up to 25°C during the summer season.
You can enjoy a stroll through “Little Venice” – an area full of Mediterranean-style villas, that used to belong to the likes of famous Austrian artist Gustav Klimt – then dip your toes into the cool water while admiring the rugged mountains that frame the lake.
Lake Attersee © Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH, Hochauser
As one of Austria's largest bodies of freshwater, the Neusiedler See (or Lake Neusiedl) is a special place on several levels: it is, on average, 1 m deep and is one of the country's most beautiful sights.
It is a steppe lake, and the landscape is characterized by vast meadows and reeds. Birdwatchers will find more species of birds here than at any other inland lake in Europe, and wine lovers will be able to try a variety of local vintages. Lake Neusiedl is conveniently located an hour from Vienna which makes it the perfect lake to visit for a day trip from Vienna.
Lake Neusiedlersee © ÖW, Popp-Hacker
Its location on the southern side of the Alps is unbeatable: Lake Weissensee is the highest bathing lake in Carinthia and is located at 930 meters above sea level. With 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, and breathtaking natural beauty surrounding it. The area features clear emerald water, great hiking and biking trails, and activities like surfing, stand-up paddling, and fishing.
Lake Weissensee © Kaernten Werbung, Edward Groeger
Surrounded by forests, meadows, and mountains, lake Wolfgangsee straddles the border between Upper Austria and SalzburgerLand. There are several chocolate box villages on its shores - visit St. Gilgen, St. Wolfgang, and Strobl while you are there. You will surely enjoy it!
Several water sports activities are available along the lakeshore which makes it an ideal tourist destination. You can enjoy water skiing, water tyres, or parasailing during your bathing holiday. Also, the lake is a wonderful place to explore with pedal boats or electric boats.
The best view of Lake Wolfgangsee, lake Attersee, and lake Mondsee can be enjoyed at the top of Schafberg mountain. Which you can reach on a scenic ride with the Schafbergbahn, one of the oldest steam-cog-railways in the world covering 1200 meters from St. Wolfgang to the top.
Lake Wolfgangsee Schafbergbahn © Salzburg AG
Lake Wörthersee is the largest lake in Carinthia, and it is only 15 minutes away from Klagenfurt. Due to climatic conditions, it is one of the warmest Alpine lakes with temperatures reaching up to 28°C. Also, it is sheltered against strong winds. Due to its tranquility, Lake Wörthersee is Austria's most famous and popular summer sports destination, offering water sports and beach volleyball, among others.
You can get to experience nightlife there with many hip beach bars, first-class restaurants, and a casino that you can find along its shores. Enjoy the beautiful sunset over the lake, while sipping on a fruity cocktail, and listening to the waves as they patter, while warm sun rays reflect on the surface of the water.
Lake Woerthersee © Woerthersee-Tourismus-GmbH, Bernhard Pichler-Koban
We cannot forget about Lake Zell, a stunning one-of-a-kind spot that will certainly catch your eye with its refreshing crystal-clear water. You will be able to see the majestic mountains surrounding it, crowned by a glacier. Fun fact: you can go tobogganing or skiing all year round at the Kitzsteinhorn!
On the banks of the lake, the town of Zell am See offers laid-back street cafés, a promenade, and a hint of imperial flair. Spend the day relaxing at one of three lake lidos or try stand-up paddleboarding, sailing, or surfing or take a leisurely boat ride on the lake to enjoy the incredible views.
Lake Zell © Schmittenhoehe
Main Image Source: © Woerthersee-Tourismus-GmbH, Bernhard Pichler-Koban