Austria's Most Beautiful Bathing Lakes

    It’s a perfect summer day. The waves lap against your feet, the sun rays dance on the water. You can’t decide if the lake is rather blue or green today. The one thing you do know is it’s so clean you can see all the way down to the ground.

    These are our top 9 Austrian lakes for a perfect day.

    Bathing at the jetty in Pertisau am Achensee

    1. Lake Achensee in Tirol

    Dubbed “Tirol’s ocean” at times, this lake was carved out of the Alps by glaciers more than 20,000 years ago. Today, it welcomes visitors with its emerald green surface and crystal-clear water. Surrounded by picturesque mountains and lush green meadows, Lake Achensee offers countless water sports activities including swimming, surfing, sailing, paddling and diving.

    • Altitude: 929 m / 3,048 ft
    • Surface area: 6.8 km2 / 1,680 ac
    • Avg water temperature: 19°C / 66°F
    • Max water depth: 133 m / 436 ft

    How to get there: Lake Achensee can be reached in just 45 minutes by car from Innsbruck. If you travel by train, get off at Jenbach station, then take a free bus, the local steam railway, or a taxi. Find directions here.

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    Sailboat at the Lake Attersee

    2. Attersee Lake in Upper Austria

    Right in the heart of Austria’s lake region, Lake Attersee has a special artsy, laid-back flair. Enjoy a stroll through “Little Venice” – an area full of Mediterranean-style villas that used to belong to the likes of Gustav Klimt – then dip your toes into the cool water while admiring the rugged mountains that frame the lake.

    • Altitude: 469 m / 1,539 ft
    • Surface area: 46,2 km2 / 11,416 ac
    • Max water depth: 169 m / 554 ft

    How to get there: The Attersee region is about halfway between Salzburg and Linz and can easily be reached by car via the A1 motorway, or by train via the Frankenmarkt, Vöcklamarkt, Vöcklabruck, or Attnang-Puchheim stations. More details here.

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    Ike Hodits doing stand-up paddling on Lake Neusiedl

    3. Lake Neusiedler See in Burgenland

    Neusiedler See is pretty special: It is, on average, only 1 m (3.3 ft) deep whilst being one of Austria’s largest bodies of water in terms of surface area. It is a steppe lake, and the landscape is characterised by vast meadows and reeds. Birdwatchers will find more species here than at any other inland lake in Europe, while wine lovers are treated to a variety of local classics.

    • Altitude: 115 m / 377 ft
    • Surface area: 320 km2 / 79,074 ac
    • Avg water depth: 1 m / 3.3 ft
    • Max water depth: 2 m / 6.6 ft

    How to get there: Vienna airport is only about 70 km / 43 mi from Lake Neusiedl. The lake can easily be reached via the A4 motorway by car, or by hourly trains from Vienna. Plan your journey here.

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    Jumping into Lake Weissensee

    4. Lake Weissensee in Carinthia

    Its location on the southern side of the Alps is unbeatable: You get all the mountainous beauty you could ask for, plus 2,000 hours of sunshine per year. The fjord-like Weissensee lake welcomes visitors with clear, emerald water, great hiking and biking trails, and activities like surfing, stand-up paddling, and fishing.

    • Altitude: 930 m / 3,051 ft
    • Surface area: 6.5 km2 / 1,606 ac
    • Water temperature: up to 24°C / 75.2°F
    • Water depth: 99 m / 325 ft

    How to get there: The closest airport is Klagenfurt (1.5 h by car). By train, you can go as far as Greifenburg station, then take a free shuttle to Weissensee nature park. More details here.

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    Wolfgangsee lake boat tour / St. Gilgen

    5. Lake Wolfgangsee in Upper Austria & SalzburgerLand

    Surrounded by forests, meadows, and mountains, Lake Wolfgangsee straddles the border between Upper Austria and SalzburgerLand. On its shores, you’ll find chocolate-box villages such as St. Gilgen, St. Wolfgang, or Strobl. A vintage cable car takes you up Zwölferhorn mountain, one of the region’s most beautiful viewpoints.

    • Altitude: 538 m / 1,765 ft
    • Surface area: 12.4 km2 / 3,064 ac
    • Avg water depth: 52 m / 171 ft
    • Max water depth: 114 m / 374 ft
    • Avg temperature: 22°C / 71.6°F

    How to get there: The closest airport is Salzburg. From there, take bus 150 to Strobl, then change to 546. Find detailed directions here.

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    Pyramidenkogel at the Lake Wörthersee

    6. Lake Wörthersee in Carinthia

    Carinthia's largest lake is one of the warmest in the Alps with temperatures of up to 28°C / 82.4°F. In the evening, visit one of the hip beach bars or first-rate restaurants on the shores, and watch the sun set over the lake with a cocktail in your hand.

    • Altitude: 450 m / 1,476 ft
    • Surface area: 19.4 km2 / 4,793 ac
    • Avg depth: 42 m / 138 ft
    • Max depth: 84.6 m / 278 ft
    • Max temperature: 28°C / 82.4°F

    How to get there: Klagenfurt is located right at the lake, with the airport just 15 min away. The city can also easily be reached by train from all major Austrian cities. Learn more here.

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    Lake Zell with boats

    7. Lake Zell in SalzburgerLand

    Lake Zell is one of a kind: First, its crystal-clear waters will catch your eye. Then, you'll look up at the majestic mountains, crowned by a glacier (fun fact: you can go tobogganing all year). On the banks of the lake, the town of Zell am See offers laid-back cafés, a promenade, and a hint of imperial flair. Spend the day relaxing at one of three lake lidos or try stand-up paddle boarding.

    • Altitude: 750 m / 2,460 ft
    • Max length: 4 km / 2.5 mi
    • Max width: 1.5 km / 0.93 mi
    • Max water depth: 73 m / 240 ft
    • Avg temperature: 23°C / 73.4°F

    How to get there: The closest airport is Salzburg. Take a direct train to Zell am See from Salzburg, Innsbruck, Munich, Klagenfurt, and Graz. Details here.

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    Aussicht vom Kulmspitz

    8. Lake Mondsee in Upper Austria

    Lake Mondsee is located in the Upper Austrian Salzkammergut, south-west of Lake Attersee. The border between Salzburg and Upper Austria runs on its southern bank. It is very popular with all kinds of surfers and sailors due to suddenly shifting winds, but of course also with swimmers due to its warm temperatures reaching 27°C / 81°F.

    • Altitude: 493 m / 1.617 ft
    • Max length: 11 km / 6.8 mi
    • Max width: 2 km / 1.24 mi
    • Max water depth: 68 m / 223 ft
    • Avg temperature: 23°C / 73.4°F

    How to get there: The closest airport is Salzburg. From Salzburg's main train station, you can take the bus 140 to Mondsee, which takes about one hour. Find more information here.

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    aerial picture Bodensee / Bodensee, Vorarlberg

    9. Lake Constance in Vorarlberg

    The third-largest inland lake in Central Europe shares its shores with Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It offers endless possibilities for water lovers, from swimming to boat trips to cycling tours and barbecues in the sunset. Don't forget to visit the city of Bregenz!

    • Altitude: 395 m / 1.295 ft
    • Max length: 63 km / 39 mi
    • Max width: 14 km / 8.7 mi
    • Max water depth: 251 m / 823 ft
    • Avg temperature: 20°C / 68°F

    How to get there: Bregenz is located right at the lake. The airports Altenrhein (CH), Friedrichshafen (DE) and Memmingen (DE) are just under an hour's drive from the city. Find more information here.

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