Travel Guide: Breathtaking Scenery of Austria and its Beautiful Lakes

The austrian pristine beauty is immerged into the historic towns and villages nestled upon its gorgeous lakes. Recreational opportunities are numeral blending with the elegant spa hotels as the symbol of Austria. The recharging power of austrian scenery is incomplete without the emerald lake colors.

Salzburg is the perfect base to explore the Lake District of Austria, the tranquille treasure for outdoor lovers. Salzkammergut is the region spreading across 3 austrian states where the exquisite lakes shine like pearls. It’s announced as UNESCO World Heritage Site from 1997.

What are the most beautiful lakes to explore?

Mond Lake

One of the largest austrian lakes shapes the crescent Moon and that’s why it took this artistic name. Within 11 km along the entire shore Mondsee town is a popular starting point, only 30 km away from historic Salzburg. The larger Attersee continues the line of Mondsee.

Mondsee Lake in Austria- photo by Touropia
Mondsee Lake in Austria- photo by Touropia

The warm temperature of the lake makes it a perfect vacation spot. The colourful Mondsee town is a place to absorb the musical traces of the movie „The Sound of Music. The Basilica of St. Michael is a beautiful backdrop where the wedding from this movie happened. Nowadays the hotel interwines the church complex as well as the museum of the Neolithic pile dwellings oSr typical houses. Being protected by UNESCO history engraves at this museum 5000 years back.

The town hosts three other museums among which a farmhouse museum, a museum dedicated to the local railway and a museum about traditional local costumes.

Mondsee town at Mondsee lake- photo by Seehof Mondsee
Mondsee town at Mondsee lake- photo by Seehof Mondsee

Enjoying the lake and its wide choice of water activities is the treasure that Mondsee brings. Sailing or windsurfing can be put on the hiking radar while having fun at the swan boats. Drachenwand Mountain (Dragon Wall) decorates the edges of the picturesque lake. The most adequate way to experience the lake is taking the boat tour. To observe the lake life means being embraced by thousand colours where the large beach covers the awe.

Irsee joins the charming necklace of stunning nature only 10 minutes by car from Mondsee.

Attersee Lake

Enchanting beauty of one of the largest austrian lakes Attersee is filled with outdoor activities specially in the summer. It’s located 70 km from Salzburg just south-east of the road from Mondsee. Also known as Kammersee its rolling hills at the south become the true mountains.

Attersee in Austria
Attersee in Austria- photo by

It’s one of the deepest lakes, very popular for swimming in summer. Always occupied into water sports like diving, sailing or water skiing this lake is an outdoor paradise. Several yacht clubs join the recreational treasure including the sailing schools. Many hiking trails include more than hundred possibilities among which the most popular are: Schoberstein summit with excellent views, Reinthaler Moos with the unique flora and fauna, discovering Atteree-Traunsee Nature Park, Celtic Tree Path starting St. Georgen, Mermaid Falls or Nixenfall near Weissenbach, beautifully decorated Glass Valley in Weissenkirchen.

The Attersee observation tower offers the stunning views at 208 steps, located in Lichtenberg. Burggrabenklamm is a fantastic gorge and waterfall at the southern hores of the lake.

The village of Attersee itself is an excellent starting point to indulge into the lake activities.

Wolfgang Lake

Picturesque lake in the Salzburg region is lovely framed by the peninsula on its half. Along its wideness of 10 km the lake is encircled by the mountain Schaffberg. Charming towns of St. Gilgen, Strobl and St. Wolfgang make it an attractive destination. The name of the lake comes from the local saint who lived here at the end of 10. century.

Wolfgang Lake in Austria- photo by Places of Juma
Wolfgang Lake in Austria- photo by Places of Juma

Schafberg Railway was built to connect the lake with Salzburg and other places. The most impressive views of the lake are placed at Schafbergspitz. The distance of 1h from the train station makes it a colourful adventure.

The spa town Bad Ischl belonging to summer residence of Emperor Franz Joseph is lovely excursion within 15 minutes drive from the lake. Being the traditional pilgrimage village St. Wolfgang became an outstanding touristic destination.

St. Wolfgang village is like an image full of colourful houses where lovely promenades share their tales with local shops and caffe bars. Historic hotels like Im Weissen Rössl impressively set up at the lake shore evocate the popular opereta At the White Horse Inn filmed here. The charming hotel features a fabulous heated swimming pool placed on the lake.

Kalvarienberg in St. Wolfgang town leads to an impressive views within an easy reach.

St. Gilgen town at the north-western shore of the lake evokes the spirit of Mozart as his mother and grandfather lived here.

St. Gilgen town at Wolfgangsee- photo by Places of Juma
St. Gilgen town at Wolfgangsee- photo by Places of Juma

The idylic village collects the fabulous views within an easy distance by Zwölferhorn Mountain cable car.

Ochenkreuz is a small island with a tiny chappel where crystal clear colours stand in awe within a 20-minutes hike from the hotel Furberg just across St. Gilgen. Amazing emerald colours invite the tropical feelings.

Postalm offers the stunning views of the local cottages at this hiking trail within 12 km from Strobl. This high plateau is also known as the Winterpark and skiing centre.

Strobl town is a treasure of greenery at the eastern shore of the lake Wolfgang.  Embraced by the mountain edges it’s a stunning spot for water sports.

Lake Hallstatt

Lake Hallstatt gives the owe to its popularity due to its romantic position of Hallstatt town filled with scenic views. Sweet little corners are the treasure of discovery as Hallstatt has been a historic place offering many water activities.

Hallstatt town at Hallstatt lake- photo by Travel Triangle
Hallstatt town at Hallstatt lake- photo by Travel Triangle

It’s the place where the oldest salt mines have been preserved in the world. Amazing salt and ice caves click into this puzzle of natural wonder. The Salt Mine has been equioed by the fantastic Skywalk.

Significant power of the lake designed the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. This enchanting place is even car-free during the months from May till October.

Cultural Heritage Museum dating from 1888. is the comprehensive historical panorama of the place. Bone House is a place to see phenomenal collection of 1200 skulls.

Colourful houses and cozy caffes are inevitable part of this sweet little town.

Near the village of Obertauen the splendid viewpoint named Five fingers is a collection of breathtaking views of Dachstein Mountain.

Zeller Lake

Zeller Lake is a small lake embraced by the alpine spirit at the town Zell am See, around 60 km south from Salzburg. Zell am See is a famous ski town surrounded by impressive mountains and glaciers.

Mountain Schmittenhöhe catches the stunning views over the Zeller lake, easily reachable by the 4 h hike or by cable car. Near its peak of 1965m the chappel of imperatrice Elisabeth engraved the proper memory.

Mountain Kitzsteinhorn close to Kaprun town gives throne to the highest peak of the region.

Zeller Lake in Austria- photo by Touropia
Zeller Lake in Austria- photo by Touropia

Summer time is pretty alive at the lake, occupied with lake cruises, windsurfers and various water sport. Refreshing swimming pools add the charm to the whole family accompanied by the waterslides.

Lovely promenade around the lake is a treasure of relaxing views and sculpture decor. The lake itself takes 12 km of largeness.

Zell am See is a charming town where typical painted house pose their way while the high tower of Kasternertum rules. It’s the place where town’s museum is now placed.

Traun Lake

Nestled on the eastern side of the Attersee lake Traun lake is known as the deepest austrian lake. From the soft mounts and valleys to the fantastic Traunstein massif wonder is omnipresent here.

Traumsee in Austria- photo by
Traumsee in Austria- photo by

Inevitable water activities make the fun at summer and impressive hiking sights will not leave anyone lukewarm. Hikiing enthusiasts will find their triumph at the peaks of Feuerkogel (1,592m) and Traunstein (1,691m).

Town of Gmunden specially known by its ceramics is the place where Traun river merges with the Traun lake. Dispersed castles and Capuchin monastery bring medieval charm into town.

Seeschloss Ort situated on the small island is a picturesque highlight of the lake. Being famed by tv series Schlosshotel Orth this place attracts numeral visitors each year.

Grünberg cable car is a cozy way to see the lake views above Gmunden. Salt water at its depths is what makes Traun lake unique which happens due to the yearlong salt production at the southern Ebensee.

Traunkirchen and Altmünster are pretty places at Traum lake worth the visit.

Achen Lake

Turqouise colours of this stunning lake in Tyrol near Innsbruck are more than dreamy. Framed by the majestic Rofan mountain Achen Lake is picturesquely offering its fairy tales to everyone. This outdoor paradise will take you to the journey of numeral water sports. Exploring the lake by boat will be a fascinating way to retreat all senses.

Achensee in Austria- photo by Touropia
Achensee in Austria- photo by Touropia

Sport & Vitalpark Achensee is an adventure park connecting villages of Achenkirch, Maurach, Pertisau, Steinberg am Rofan and Wiesing. More than 50 activities will fulfill even the deepest adrenaline urges.

Lush meadows full of colours will give the most stunning paintings to the eyes of the observers.

Achensee 5 peaks via ferata is one of the most challenging experiences where the viewpoints dive into the five scenic mountains around: Haidachstellwand, Rosskopf, Spieljoch, Seekarspitze and Hochiss.

Dramatic cliffs that blend with the soft forrest give the perfect hiking and biking opportunities. Rockclimbing on Rofan and Karwendel mountains attract climbers of all levels.

Pretty villages of Pertisau, Maurach, and Achenkirch with plenty of hotels have been a true vacation paradise.

Gaisalm is a hidden gem of Achensee, a mountain hut with the restaurant that can be reached by easy hike or by boat. The stunning views of Achensee shores are guaranted.

Weissen Lake

Located at the southern Austria between Lienz and Villach Weissen Lake lies at the high altitude of the 930 m. This glacial lake is surrounded by the Weissensee Nature Park where the pure mountain air touches numeral hiking trails. 35 different orchid species find its place through the charming nature.

Weissensee in Austria- photo by
Weissensee in Austria- photo by

Frozen nature of Weissen lake at winter atracts many ice-skaters giving a place for fantasy world. Ice-skating is here a paradise hunt.

Dutch 11-City Tour is happening every year at the end of January, this largest ice sport spectacle.

The crystal clear lake is enchanting by itself, its cleanness even more. This tranquille lake can be enjoyed in the pure meaning of this word as the other traffic except the passenger boats are not allowed.

Though being only 11 km long, Weissensee is making a trick by being longer due to its tiny waving shape.

Plansee Lake

This tyrolean gem near the german border resemble the shape of fyords being the second largest lake in Tyrol. Recognized by the excellent quality of water Plansee lake is the complete retreat for soul attracting many sport enthusiasths. Tiny canal divides it from the lake Heiterwang.

Plansee in Tyrol, Austria- photo by Camping Plansee
Plansee in Tyrol, Austria- photo by Camping Plansee

Exquisite hikes of various levels can be experienced. Dreamy colours of emerald water make the sufficient reason to explore the hiking viewpoints. Sunsets in this fabulous scenery are absolutely magical.

Reutte Nature Park near the town of the same name is streching all the way to Bavaria flowing gently along the Lech river. Reutte town is a pretty place surrounded by several castles known together as Ehrenberg Castle Ensemble.

Grüner Lake

Grüner Lake is a wonderful shallow lake in the Hochschwab mountains in Styria, not far from Graz. It is created every spring by melting the snow and ice from the nearby mountains. That’s why in the summer it disappears becoming a lovely park often visited by hikers, even a bench is placed under the lake. This emerald body of water amazes as nature wonder and used to be particulary popular by divers. It’s located near the village Tragöß.

Gruner Lake in Styria, Austria- photo by Slovenians Travel
Gruner Lake in Styria, Austria- photo by Slovenians Travel


Naturally acting as a feast to the eyes austrian lakes have created a special flow of tourism. Equally popular in the winter or summer these marvellous pearls sing the songs of unparallel beauty and wonder.

Exquisite landscape come to its purest version from above where the aerial mountainous views shine in thousand colours. This inner beauty harmoniously catches the magic as the unique colours blend with nature.

Incredible amazement of austrian lakes substitues the lack of seaside magic, it creates soft life autonomously gathering the sport treasure. Hiking opportunities just around one lake are enourmous, the instant invitation to explore the lake in the easiest way.

Scattered among the charming, painted towns typical Austria comes to life when visiting some of the lakes. Historical challenges will take you to the world of drindls, lovely austrian dresses. Historical hotels are the perfect examples of life caught in time.

Salzkammergut region spoils the senses as the tranquille richness of flora and fauna can be discovered, as the stunning landscape idyll asks for more. Rejunevation takes the shapes and colours of natural beauty, of places dazzling with immagination like austrian lakes.

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