Austria’s Prettiest Places, According to Austrians

    Every year, the Austrian public picks the country’s most beautiful spots in a live telecast. How about visiting one of these magical places?

    Once a year, Austria votes for its most beautiful places: For the popular TV programme "9 Plätze – 9 Schätze" (“9 Places – 9 Treasures”), each of Austria’s nine provinces nominates one particularly lovely spot, with the viewing public deciding on the overall winner. So why not visit one – or more – of these places on your next trip?

    Hiking with the family

    Most Beautiful Place 2020: Strutz-Mühle Mill, Styria

    Enter the lovingly restored, 150-year-old Strutz-Mühle mill to see how flour was made in the old days and bake your own bread, then make a feast of it right outside while listening to the creek gurgle along. The surrounding area lets visitors explore the lush nature of a virtually untouched beech and spruce forest.

    How to get there: The mill is located a 1 h 15 min drive south of Graz.

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    Lake Lünersee in Brandnertal

    Most Beautiful Place 2019: Lünersee Lake, Vorarlberg

    Tucked away in the very west of Austria, Lünersee lake is a natural mountain lake at 1,970 m (6,500 ft) above sea level offering a variety of activities. Take the one-and-a-half hour hike around the lake (perfect even for the little ones), go higher with a climbing tour on Kirchlispitzen or Schesaplana mountains, or try your hand at fishing for rainbow trout and arctic char in the lake itself.

    How to get there: Take a train to Bludenz (direct train from Innsbruck: 1 h 45 min), then Postbus line 81 to the valley station of the Lünerseebahn cable car (exact name of the station in German: "Brand in Vlbg Lünerseebahn Talstation", a 40-minute ride), which takes you to the lake in just 6 minutes.

    Discover the lake
    Lake Schiederweiher in Upper Austria

    Most Beautiful Place 2018: Schiederweiher Lake, Upper Austria

    Schiederweiher lake is a small, man-made lake in Stodertal Valley in Upper Austria. Known as the “pearl” of the valley, it features an idyllic setting, crystal-clear water that’s home to many indigenous fish, and breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains, Spitzmauer (2,446 m / 8,025 ft) and Großer Priel (2,515 m, 8,251 ft). The area can be explored via a variety of easy hiking trails – both in summer and in winter.

    How to get there: Take a train to Hinterstoder (1 hour from Linz), then an easy 30-minute hike to the lake.

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    Körbersee mit Höferspitze und Widderstein im Bregenzerwald

    Most Beautiful Place 2017: Körbersee Lake, Vorarlberg

    Situated in a basin at 1,656 m (5,433 ft) above sea level and surrounded by impressive mountain peaks, Körbersee lake boasts a pretty unique setting. It is up to eight metres (26 ft) deep and even in summer, only reaches temperatures of 14°C (57°F). The area around the lake is uninhabitated – save for a hotel that truly is a retreat from the rest of the world.

    How to get there: The lake can only be reached on foot or (in winter) by ski. Take a train to Dornbirn (2 h 20 min from Innsbruck), then take bus 40 to Schröcken Dorf. From there, it’s a 1-hour hike to the lake.

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    Hinterbärenbad in the Kaisertal valley

    Most Beautiful Place 2016: Kaisertal Valley, Tirol

    Like a trip back in time: Until 2008, this unique valley in Tirol could only be reached on foot, claiming the title of Austria’s last inhabited valley without a road link. It’s still largely car-free: Only the 44 locals are allowed to use the road. Visitors will have to climb 285 stairs to reach the picturesque St. Anthony's Chapel.

    How to get there: Take a train to Kufstein (45 min from Innsbruck). Take bus line 1 (city bus) or regional bus 4030 to Kaiseraufstieg. From there, it’s a 4-hour hike to Kaisertal Valley.

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    mountain lake Formarinsee with Rote Wand mountain

    Most Beautiful Place 2015: Formarin Lake and the Rote Wand (Red Wall), Vorarlberg

    With its intensely blue water, Formarin lake almost has a mystical quality to it. Its backdrop is the rugged Rote Wand (Red Wall) mountain, making for a beautiful contrast. Situated at 1,793 m (5,883 ft) above sea level, the lake can be reached via a toll road or on foot.

    How to get there: Take a train to Langen am Arlberg (1 h 15 min from Innbruck). Take bus 91 to Lech (25 min). From there, the Lech “Panorama Bus” takes you directly to the lake in summer. Alternatively, take the Formarinweg hiking trail from Lech to Formarin lake (5 hours).

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    The Green Lake in Styria

    Most Beautiful Place 2014: Grüner See (Green Lake), Styria

    The first time you see a picture of Grüner See (Green lake), you might get the impression it’s not quite real: Its waters are completely clear with an emerald shimmer, and underwater, you might find surprisingly well-preserved benches and bridges. This is because the lake all but disappears in winter, and only fills back up to its usual depth of over 10 metres (33 ft) during the melting of the snow in spring. 

    How to get there: Take a train to Bruck a. d. Mur (1 h 50 min from Vienna), then bus 175 to Tragöß. Walk about 30 min to Grüner See.

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