Lünersee, Vorarlberg, Austria

The 25 Most Beautiful Lakes in Austria

February 29, 2024

Austria is a Central European country with a large part covered by the Alps. As a result, Austria has an extremely large number of lakes, reportedly more than 25,000 lakes. There are large lakes surrounded by charming little Austrian villages, there are World Heritage sites and there are alpine lakes that are difficult to reach but of magical beauty.

The best time to visit Austrian lakes

The best time to visit lakes in Austria is from April to October, with May, June and July being the best months.

In September and October, the weather in the Austrian Alps is a little more changeable and rainy, but hotels are generally less full and often cheaper. So if you are looking to travel to the lakes of Austria on a lower budget, it is worth considering an autumn trip.

Winter is the ski season in the Austrian Alps, during which it is more difficult to access these Austrian lakes. There is often a lot of snow in the mountains, and it is recommended to travel only to the ski resorts.

Other things to know when visiting the lakes in Austria

  • Most lakes in Austria are surrounded by excellent hiking areas and fantastic photo opportunities, so don’t leave your hiking gear and photo equipment at home.
  • For the best approach, cable cars are often needed. If you need a lift/cable car, be aware that those are only open from around 8am to 5pm on average, which depends on the season and destination.
  • At almost all the lakes listed, especially in the Austrian Alps, you will find so-called “Hütte”, which are mostly restaurants and hostels in one, or only restaurants. In these you can taste real local Austrian gastronomic delights.
  • It is also important to note that in Austria, many roads are toll roads. On the one hand, you have to buy a highway vignette to use the highway, and on the other hand there are so-called “Mautstelle” (toll stations) at some points on the highway, where you have to pay a one-time extra fee. Some of the Austrian lakes on our list are also accessible by extra toll roads. These are called “Mautstrasse”, where you usually have to pay between €10 and €30 to use the mountain road to the lake.

Where to stay in Austria

To compare Austrian accommodations, we recommend Booking.com. There you will almost certainly find the accommodation in Austria you want.

Or if you want to find accommodation in Austria using a map, you will find the right place below.

The 15 most beautiful lakes in Austria

We have tried to include all kinds of lakes on our list: from all regions of Austria, including mountain lakes, lakes used for summer recreation, artificial lakes and natural lakes.

So after a few general things to know, here is our list of the 25 most beautiful lakes in Austria.

1. Grüner See

Green Lake or Grüner See is a small lake in northern Styria, about an hour’s drive northwest of Graz. The Grüner See is an exceptional mountain lake in a picturesque location in Austria. The water level in the lake is constantly changing. It is named after the emerald green color of its water.

You can park your car about 1.5 km from the lake, or if you are planning a meal at the local restaurant, you can park right next to the lake in the restaurant car park.

The lake is beautiful from April to September and is dry in autumn and winter most years. The best months to visit the lake are April, May and June.

It has recently become a very popular destination, so it is worth a visit rather on weekdays.

2. Leopoldsteiner See

The Leopoldsteiner See is also located in Styria near Eisenerz. If you’re traveling from Graz, the journey itself is quite spectacular, as you get a view of the Eisenerz mine and cross a huge bridge with a panoramic view.

You can park near the lake and then walk to the lake shore. The best view is from the southeastern part of the lake, where you can swim and taste Austrian dishes.

3. Lake Hallstatt

Lake Hallstatt or Hallstätter See is a lake in the Salzkammergut in Upper Austria. It is named after Hallstatt. The town of Hallstatt is a symbol of Austria , it is a small market town famous for its salt mining since prehistoric times. Almost everyone has seen photos of the fairytale-like little town on the shores of a lake, with its wooden houses and church. It is Hallstatt.

A popular activity in Hallstatt is the funicular, which takes you up to the top of the mountain near the town, from where you get a fantastic view of the whole area.

Parking is often difficult in Hallstatt, which makes it worth arriving early. The nearest car park is P2, but if there is no space you can walk from P1.

Around the Dachstein mountain you will also find fantastic lookouts overlooking the lake, such as the 5fingers viewpoint. But you can only get there by mountain lift.

4. Vorderer Gosausee

There is a group of three lakes near the small town of Gosau in Upper Austria. The first lake called Vorderer Gosausee (Front Gosau Lake) is one of the most beautiful lakes in Austria. It is completely circumnavigable, which means about 4 km.

For those looking for a longer hike, we also recommend the lakes above. The middle lake is more interesting only in spring and summer, as it is also dry in autumn and winter. The upper lake is a bit harder hiking trail with steep sections, so we recommend basic hiking equipment (stick and shoes). The top lake is about 5-6 km from the parking zone.

5. Schiederweiher

The Schiederweiher (Schieder-Pond) is an artificial lake in Hinterstoder, Upper Austria, created by impounding the river Krumme Steyr. The lake is located at the base of the Großer Priel in the Totes Gebirge mountain range.

In 2018, the Schiederweiher was voted the most beautiful place in Austria in a television voting show.

For good reason, we come back to Hinterstoder several times to visit this place of wonder. It is a fantastic photo location with the green lake and the rocky, often snow-covered mountain peaks.

Moreover, Hinterstoder has more to offer, with the nearby Hutterer Böden a popular ski resort in winter and hiking destination in summer. You can get up to the mountains either by cable car or by car, with tolls for cars. Above, there are numerous hiking trails with views of the Dachstein and the Totes Gebirge.

6. Almsee

The Almsee is a lake in the Salzkammergut region, Austria. The lake is surrounded by beautiful forests and rocky mountain peaks. It is easy to walk around, so it is worth admiring the scenery from every angle. Next to it are hillside lookouts such as the Ameisstein, from which you can overlook the magical green water of the lake and the surrounding area from above.

7. Großer Ödsee

Großer Ödsee is a small lake in a very hidden place in Austria. It is located near the Almsee, a few kilometres away by car on a forest road. The car has to be parked at an intersection, which is saved on the map under “Parkplatz Kreuzung”. From here you have to walk up a few hundred metres up a hill, where you will find the Großer Ödsee on the way.

The lake has a smaller neighbor, the Kleiner Ödsee, which is also worth a visit if you are in the area. Be careful, though, because there are lots of snakes in the area (we also found a few), so you need to be careful when you leave the gravel paths.

8. Kölnbreinspeicher

The Kölnbreinspeicher is Austria’s largest and deepest reservoir lake. It can be reached by a winding toll road from the small town of Malta via the Maltatal. The German name of the road that leads there is Malta-Hochalmstraße. It is also worth noting that the way has a one-time fee upwards. Along the way, you can see amazing waterfalls, go through tunnels and meet local farm animals.

There are restaurants and a hotel at the end of the road. There are also breathtaking views of two lakes, one above (Kölnbreinspeicher) and the other below, called Galgenbichlspeicher. There are many hiking opportunities in this area and it is a very good photo destination. Perfect for an afternoon out on a nice summer’s day.

The road is only open from spring to autumn. We went there at the end of the season, in October, when it was already very cold, so we rather recommend the summer.

9. Stausee Mooserboden

The Mooserboden reservoir is located near the town of Kaprun in Salzburg state, high in the Austrian mountains.

You can only get up to the top car park by car, from there you have to take a bus through tunnels to a funicular, then after the funicular you have to take a bus again, which takes you up through winding roads to the upper lake. The final stop is at the upper lake, where you can enjoy the popular landscape.

As the Mooserboden lake is situated at a very high altitude, it is surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks almost all year round. Austria’s highest mountain peak, the Großglockner, can be also seen in the distance. As mentioned, the way up is a bit complicated, but well worth the effort for the breathtaking views at the top.

10. Schlegeis Stausee

The Schlegeisspeicher is the third largest reservoir in Austria. A mountain lake of magnificent beauty with good hiking and photo opportunities.

It can be reached via a private road, which costs about 15 euros. Also pay attention to the opening hours of the road, the lake is only accessible in summer. By the way, part of the road is one-way. On the way, you pass through some old tunnels, and when you reach the lake, there are many parking options available.

From the lake, you can go up a very difficult and long hiking trail to the so-called Olpererhütte. There you can try the local specialties and get the famous Tyrolean view from here, which has become very popular on social media sites in recent years.

However, the view of the lake from below, next to the car parks, is also absolutely stunning.

11. Speicher Finstertal

The Speicher Finstertal is also a reservoir in Tyrol, one of the highest in Austria. There is a winding asphalt road leading up to the lake, or a cable car a little further away, from where you can also reach the lake by a short hike.

The village of Kühtai, where the lake is located, is beautiful in itself. From Speicher Finstertal you can enjoy a fantastic view of the lake, the surrounding mountains and the mountain pastures on the other side.

12. Seebensee

Lake Seebensee is a lake in the Tyrol, near the small town of Ehrwald, high in the Austrian mountains.

You will have to leave the car in the parking lot in Ehrwald. From there you can either walk or take the cable car up to the next point. From there, you can only continue on foot or by bicycle. The Seebensee is about 3.5 km from the upper station via a gravel road. There are some steeper sections, but it’s basically not difficult terrain. Along the hiking trail there are also some local huts serving traditional Tyrolean dishes.

The lake is surrounded by huge rocky mountains and the water has a beautiful clear green color. It is one of the most beautiful lakes we have ever visited in Austria.

If you still have energy, beyond Seebensee is another, perhaps even more beautiful lake, called Drachensee. However, there is a brutally steep, difficult and rocky road up to the top, requiring hiking equipment. It is recommended only for those with experience and endurance, but the views are worth the effort.

13. Zürser See

The Zürser See is located near the village of Lech in Vorarlberg, Austria. The easiest way to reach the top is by cable car.

The area offers fantastic hiking opportunities and a beautiful lake. In winter, there is a popular ski resort in the region. From the upper station of the cable car you can enjoy a stunning view of the surrounding mountains and the village. Occasionally, marmots can also be seen up near the lake.

14. Lünersee

Lake Lünersee is located in the western part of Austria, in Vorarlberg. The Lünersee is one of the largest natural mountain lakes in the Alps. The dam built was only needed to deepen the lake and for the power plants. The bright blue lake is surrounded by beautiful rocky mountains that offer excellent hiking opportunities.

The nearest car park is reachable by car on a steep, winding mountain road. From the car park you can either walk up a steep, rocky mountain path to the lake, or take a cable car up to the lake.

We think the best views are from the south and east sides of the lake, climbing a little up the hillside. There is also a restaurant near the lake, where you can enjoy the view of the lake on the terrace while you enjoy local Austrian food.

15. Lake Neusiedl

Lake Neusiedl, Austria’s largest natural lake, is located in the north of Burgenland. The lake is extremely shallow and one of the smallest lakes in Austria. Lake Neusiedl is a popular summer destination with many beaches, restaurants and campsites. A perfect destination for wine lovers, as the area around Lake Neusield is rich in wine regions.

Our favorite is the lighthouse in the village of Podersdorf, a great photo spot, especially at sunset. You can walk along the lakeshore, swim in summer and enjoy the local gastronomy.

16. Traunsee

Lake Traunsee is one of the deepest lakes in the Austrian Alps, located in the Salzkammergut region.

The largest of the lakeside settlements is the town of Gmunden, famous for its beautiful ceramics and the centuries-old, charming castle of Schloss Ort. While walking along the shores of the lake, you can enjoy amazing views of the Traunstein mountain. You can also take boat trips on the lake to admire the stunning scenery even better.

17. Achensee

Lake Achensee in the Tyrol is a popular holiday resort, especially in the summer months, although in winter there are also numerous ski slopes in the area.

The crystal clear water of the lake offers excellent opportunities for water activities such as boating, sailing and kayaking.

The closest towns to the lake are Pertisau and Achenkirch, which are excellent starting points for exploring the surrounding mountains.

If you visit the Achensee, it is also well worth visiting the Dalfazer Waterfall, which can be reached by a short hike from Buchau.

18. Lake Constance

Lake Constance, also known as Bodensee, is one of the largest and most beautiful lakes in Central Europe.

The lake is situated on the border of three countries: Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The lake offers beautiful scenery, surrounded by high mountains, forests and picturesque towns. Water sports such as swimming, sailing and boating are also popular here.

The largest of the Austrian towns around Lake Constance is Bregenz, where the Bregenz Festival is held every summer and where you can enjoy the views of the lake and the old town of Bregenz all year round.

19. Lake Millstatt

Lake Millstatt is one of the largest and most beautiful lakes in Carinthia, Austria. This beautiful lake, like most of the other lakes on our list, is surrounded by magnificent mountains, offering stunning landscapes.

The excellent water quality of Lake Millstatt makes it a popular spot for swimming and fishing. The blue water of the lake and the Alps offer a stunning view. The surroundings of Lake Millstatt have numerous hiking trails and cycle paths, which allow outdoor enthusiasts to discover the natural beauty of the area. The nearby mountains offer many other hiking opportunities.

The town of Millstatt is the largest municipality in the lake area and offers historical and cultural attractions. The observation deck in Millstatt (on Google Maps “Aussichtsplattform Slow Trail Zwergsee”) is also well worth a visit.

20. Lake Wörth

Lake Wörth or Wörthersee is the largest lake in the state of Carinthia and is known as one of the most popular lakes in the country. The lake’s beautiful water and idyllic mountain setting make it a magnet for visitors.

The capital of the state Carinthia, Klagenfurt, is also located next to Lake Wörth, although there are many other towns and villages on the shores of the lake. The town of Velden, on the western shore of Lake Wörth, is home to numerous resorts and a popular casino.

Close to the southern shore, you can find the Pyramidenkogel Tower, from where you can enjoy fantastic panoramic views over the lake and its surroundings.

The lake is ideal for summer swimming and sunbathing, and visitors can also practice water sports. Cultural events, festivals and concerts are often held around the lake, making the area even more vibrant during the summer.


Lake Faak

Lake Faak or Faaker See is a charming lake in Carinthia, near Villach. The water of Lake Faak has a beautiful greenish-blue color, which together with the surrounding mountains creates a stunning landscape.

The lake is a popular summer destination, ideal for boating, swimming and camping. The area around Lake Faak is home to numerous beaches, campsites and recreation areas, so visitors can enjoy a pleasant stay at the lake.

Hiking trails are also available near Lake Faak, so nature lovers will find additional activities to suit their needs.

22. Lake Stubenberg

Lake Stubenberg is one of our personal favorites, and we visit it regularly ourselves.

Situated on the eastern edge of Styria, near the municipality of Stubenberg am See, this small lake offers quiet recreation all year round, except in summer when it becomes a popular holiday destination.

There are numerous hotels, campsites, restaurants, bars and other entertainment facilities available when visiting Lake Stubenberg. There are activities for all ages at the lake.

In addition, Lake Stubenberg is one of the warmest lakes in Austria. The water temperature can be between 25-27°C (77-80°F) in summer, making it a popular swimming spot.

23. Lake Wolfgang

Lake Wolfgang or Wolfgangsee is one of the most popular lakes in the region of Salzkammergut. The mountains and forests surrounding the lake create a magical landscape.

Lake Wolfgang attracts tourists and water sports enthusiasts alike. The town of St. Wolfgang, located directly next to the lake, is famous for its church and its ferry terminal, where a 150-year-old steamboat is also in use.

St. Wolfgang is the starting point of the Schafbergbahn, a train that takes visitors up to the top of the Schafberg mountain, from where they can enjoy a breathtaking panorama of Lake Wolfgang and the surrounding other lakes.

Also next to the lake is the town of St. Gilgen, where you can find a variety of hotels, a wonderful lakeside promenade and a fantastic view of Lake Wolgang from the hillside, called Mozartblick.

Lake Wolfgang is an ideal place for boat trips, but there are also plenty of attractions on land in the area, such as the Abarena amusement park. Accommodation, restaurants and shops are available in the lakeside municipalities, providing visitors with a comfortable environment to spend their time.

24. Mondsee

Mondsee is also one of the lakes of the Salzkammergut and is located in a beautiful natural setting.

The lakeside town of Mondsee is the largest settlement on the lake shore, where you will find the most accommodation and shops.

Mondsee is an ideal place for swimming and sunbathing and offers a wide range of water sports. In the area there are beautiful hiking trails which offer the opportunity to explore the natural beauty.

One of the best views is provided by the Aussichtsturm Kulmspitz, a high observation deck from which you can see the whole area. The lake is also visible from the Mondsee rest area on the A1 highway, which is only available in the direction of Linz.

25. Plansee

Plansee is located in the province of Tyrol, close to the German border. The surrounding mountains and forests offer spectacular views combined with greenish-blue water, ideal for nature lovers.

The Plansee area offers a wide range of leisure activities including hiking, boating, kayaking and fishing.

In addition, Plansee is connected to Lake Heiterwanger through a small canal, so visitors can take boat trips on both lakes.

One of the best views of Plansee can be enjoyed from the Höllkopf Lookout.

If you are in the area, it is also worth visiting the Stuibenfälle waterfalls, which are also a fantastic sight.

So these were the 25 most beautiful lakes in Austria according to us. Because we love traveling in Austria, there are still more wonderful lakes to discover. We hope this article has inspired you to visit these stunning destinations.

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