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Austria’s Most Beautiful 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?
Every year since 2014, Austria has voted for its most beautiful places: For the popular TV show “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?

Most Beautiful Place 2018: Lake Schiederweiher, Upper Austria

  • Schiederweiher © Sulzbacher Schiederweiher © Sulzbacher
  • Schiederweiher in Hinterstoder © TVB Schiederweiher in Hinterstoder © TVB

Lake Schiederweiher 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) and Großer Priel (2,515 m). 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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Most Beautiful Place 2017: Lake Körbersee, Vorarlberg

  • Blick auf den Körbersee © Warth-Schröcken Tourismus / Tim Schwarzmann Blick auf den Körbersee © Warth-Schröcken Tourismus / Tim Schwarzmann
  • Körbersee im Herbst © Warth-Schröcken Tourismus / Angela Schwarzmann Körbersee im Herbst © Warth-Schröcken Tourismus / Angela Schwarzmann

Situated in a basin at 1,656m above sea level and surrounded by impressive mountain peaks, Lake Körbersee boasts a pretty unique setting. It is up to eight metres deep and even in summer, only reaches temperatures of 14°C. 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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Most Beautiful Place 2016: Kaisertal Valley, Tirol

  • Hinterbärenbad im Kaisertal © Tourismusverband Kufsteinerland Hinterbärenbad im Kaisertal © Tourismusverband Kufsteinerland
  • Natur, Kaisertal © Tourismusverband Kufsteinerland Natur, Kaisertal © Tourismusverband Kufsteinerland
  • Antoniuskapelle im Kaisertal © Tourismusverband Kufsteinerland Antoniuskapelle im Kaisertal © Tourismusverband Kufsteinerland
  • Kaisertal © Tourismusverband Kufsteinerland Kaisertal © Tourismusverband Kufsteinerland
  • Kaisertal: Hinterbärenbad © Tourismusverband Kufsteinerland Kaisertal: Hinterbärenbad © Tourismusverband Kufsteinerland

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

  • Der Formarinsee © Lech Zürs Tourismus GmbH Der Formarinsee © Lech Zürs Tourismus GmbH
  • Hiking to the Formarinsee lake © Lech Zürs Tourismus GmbH Hiking to the Formarinsee lake © Lech Zürs Tourismus GmbH
  • Lake Formarin with Red Wall mountain © Vorarlberg Tourismus / Christina Branz Lake Formarin with Red Wall mountain © Vorarlberg Tourismus / Christina Branz
  • Blick auf der Rote Wand © Lech Zürs Tourismus GmbH / Bernhard Huber Blick auf der Rote Wand © Lech Zürs Tourismus GmbH / Bernhard Huber

With its intensely blue water, Lake Formarin 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 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 Lake Formarin (5 hours).

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

  • Grüner See Tragöss © Steiermark Tourismus / Weberberger Grüner See Tragöss © Steiermark Tourismus / Weberberger
  • Le lac "Grüner See" © Steiermark Tourismus / ikarus.cc Le lac "Grüner See" © Steiermark Tourismus / ikarus.cc
  • Grüner See © Steiermark Tourismus / I Kraus Grüner See © Steiermark Tourismus / I Kraus

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 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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