Top 10 Most Breathtaking Lakes to See in Austria

Lake Hallstatt

Austria is a landlocked country in the heart of Europe, but that doesn’t mean it lacks water. In fact, Austria boasts more than 1,200 lakes of various sizes, shapes and colours, offering scenic beauty and recreational opportunities for locals and visitors alike. In this article, we will explore some of the most stunning and significant lakes in Austria and how they contribute to the country’s culture, economy and environment.

Achensee is the largest lake in Tyrol. Thanks to the favourable wind conditions, the whole destination is known to be a paradise for surfers and yachtsmen, but also for families with children. The lake itself is stunning mainly due to its attractive location right at the bottom of the mountain. Its colour and crystal-clear water make it an unforgettable gem. With its average water temperature of 18 to 20 ° C, it can become a pleasant refreshment on hot summer days. And if you’re a fan of snorkelling or scuba diving, you will certainly appreciate the visibility in the water as in some parts of the lake, it is possible to see up to a depth of 10 meters.

And there’s more. You don’t have to spend your holiday just swimming in the Achensee lake. There are also other attractions available, such as a nice ride on a historic train, bus or boat. Lovers of mountain hiking will also find perfect hiking trails here, enjoying lake views from the surrounding hills, which are accessible by cable car.

Faaker See

Faaker See is a relatively small lake not far from Villach with amazingly turquoise water. It is considered one of the cleanest lakes in Austria. Lovers of water sports, fishing and cycling will enjoy themselves here. It is also possible to relax on several beautiful beaches, where you can enjoy a refreshing swim and a pleasant sunbathing.

Every year, many interesting events take place here, including the famous motorcycling event, which is the largest event of its kind on the European continent. If you have a long stay by the lake, head to the thermal baths in Warmbad Villach or to the historic centre of Villach. In winter you can test your ice skating skills here.

Green lake

Lake Grüner See or Green Lake lies near the village of Tragöß with a rocky bottom and crystal clear and emerald-coloured water. The water comes from melted snow from karst mountains, so even in summer, the temperature is very low. Experts agree that it is undoubtedly one of the cleanest lakes in Europe. Until recently, swimmers and divers could enjoy the beauty of the lake, but their presence increased the level of sediments, so local authorities currently banned all activities in the lake.

At present, it is possible to admire the lake from the shore, you will find several hiking trails and plenty of benches to relax.

Hallstätter See

hallstaettersee seestueberl

Hallstätter See is one of many lakes in the Salzkammergut region of Upper Austria. It is surrounded by high mountains and creates a truly picturesque oasis. On the shores lies the famous town of Hallstatt, which boasts traditional Austrian architecture and charming attractions. The lake itself is best seen from a hike in the mountains, but those looking for an unconventional experience can take guided diving lessons from Hallstatt.

Millstätter See

The Millstätter See lake is located in the Austrian state of Carinthia, whose steep shore resembles the Norwegian fjords. The local incredible terrain is formed by breathtaking mountains with lush greenery, between which the lake is wedged. The mountains protect the lake from cold winds, which means that you can enjoy swimming in crystal clear water with a temperature of up to 27 ° C during the summer. There are over 700 km of marked cycling and cycling trails and more than 500 km of hiking trails in the area. Be sure not to miss the village of Millstatt right on the lake, home to a wonderfully well-preserved 11th-century abbey.


Not far from Salzburg there is a beautiful lake Mondsee, which is visible from the A1 motorway, and it would definitely be a shame to just pass it. It is the largest lake in the Salzkammergut region and especially swimming enthusiasts will enjoy themselves here. The water temperature in the season reaches an incredible 27 ° C. Deprived of experiences, no one leaves. As with other lakes in the area, there are ideal conditions for cycling, hiking, golf, sailing, kiting or water skiing.

From the lookout points around the coast, you can see the northern limestone Alps and the northern sandstone Alps. From the town of the same name Mondsee, you will have a breathtaking view of the dominant Dragon Rock, which gives the whole landscape a literally magical atmosphere.


Traunsee or Lake Traven is another lake in the Salzkammergut region. It lies between the Traunstein rocky massif and the Höllengebirge limestone mountains. It is especially popular with lovers of outdoor activities and people who like mysterious mysteries. It is said that a mythical creature called the Lunga lives below the water’s surface, which could be compared to the Loch Ness monster in Scotland.

Thanks to the excellent water quality, there are many water sports (diving, water skiing, windsurfing). On the shores of Traunsee you will find countless attractions, including the villages of Altmünster and Traunkirchen or the beautiful medieval castle Ort.


Wolfgangsee is considered to be the most beautiful and most famous lake of the Salzkammergut, which lies about forty kilometres from the city of Salzburg. This is a great starting point for exploring the whole area. The lake is named after St. Wolfgang, who allegedly built a church here on the shores of the lake more than 1,000 years ago. The length of the lake is about 10 km and its depth in places reaches up to 114 meters. In summer it offers beautiful swimming and the locals even claim that in warm weather people can swim in it until the end of September.

The Schafberg mountain rises above the lake, and a small ancient train rises to the top. From here you will have an incredible view of the clear waters of the lake. Wolfgangsee is not only attractive in summer, it is also worth a visit during Advent, when a giant lantern floats on its surface, which together with the ornate towns around evokes the right pre-Christmas atmosphere.


Wörthersee is located near the town of Klagenfurt and without exaggeration could be described as a real gem of Carinthia. Already in the 19th century, the Austrian nobility spent the summer months here, which made the lake an even more attractive location for ordinary Austrians. Wörthersee is one of the warmest lakes in the country – so swimming here is really worth it. In the small town of Pörtschach, you can rent a bike and explore the region.

There are also seasonal summer ferries that cross the lake and go to other attractive places around the lake. An unforgettable view of the architecture from the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is offered during a boat trip. A popular tourist destination is also Rosegg Castle with the adjoining zoo and Austria’s largest garden labyrinth.

Zeller See

Zeller See or Lake Zell is a relatively small but beautiful freshwater lake in the Austrian Alps, located in the district of Zell am See in the Austrian state of Salzburg. It is interesting that due to its small size, it freezes in winter, which makes it an ideal destination for a year-round vacation. In summer you can swim, fish or kayak here, in winter, expect the crowds of locals who came here to skate. The lake got its name from the town of Zell am See, which is home to a stunning 16th-century castle and an impressive Romanesque church.


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