This post covers the most stunning lakes in Austria you should visit during your holidays in this gorgeous country.
Austria is one of Europe’s top travel destinations when it comes to summer holidays on the shores of beautiful, turquoise lakes. Whether you are planning a longer summer holiday or just a weekend getaway, this post will show you the prettiest lakes to visit during your trip.
What is the prettiest part of Austria?
If we’re referring to a lake landscape (which is why you’re here 😉 ), the prettiest part of Austria is definitely the Salzkammergut region of Austria’s lake district.
It is located around the Salzburg area with lots of major lakes nearby. Some are within 25 minutes drive, some a little further, but generally no longer than a one-hour drive from the city.
Can you swim in the lakes in Austria?
Yes! You can definitely swim in the lakes in Austria. Mondsee is just an example, a perfect spot for bathing in summer where the water temperature reaches even 27C/80F.
(If the see is more your thing, you will love this post on the best destinations on the Amalfi Coast or in the Liguria Region- Portofino and Cinque Terre).
What are the major lakes in Austria?
There are many gorgeous lakes in Austria and below I’ve listed the 7 most beautiful ones, which you should totally add to your travel bucket list.
As Austria is a relatively small country, you can visit these lakes during a weekend, or even in 1 day if you are pressed by time. Maybe not all 7, but 4 are definitely doable in a day’s drive.
So let’s have a look below at the best lakes in Austria which you’d definitely want to visit.
Best Lakes to Visit in Austria
1. Gossausee (Lake Gossau) – one of the most spectacular lakes in Austria
This is one of the most spectacular lakes I’ve ever visited so far. Lake Gossau is a gorgeous lake in Austria and probably less-known among the lakes in Europe, but it truly deserves a visit.
You can find it close to the village of Gossau, located around one hour drive from Salzburg. I highly suggest finding accommodation in the area, as this village is simply gorgeous and has a spectacular view of the mountains.
(If you are a mountain lover, you will love my Switzerland series covering Zermatt and Murren (Lauterbrunnen Valley).
2. Attersee (Lake Atter)
Another amazing lake to discover is Attersee, the largest lake in Austria’s Salzkammergut region. It is a great destination for a relaxing, quiet lake holiday either for larger families or couples. There are many camping possibilities along its shores and lots of great things to do in the area.
The best villages to visit in the region are Unterach am Attersee and Steinback am Attersee.
3. Hallstättersee (Lake Hallstatt) – one of Austria’s most instagramable lakes
Hallstättersee or Lake Hallstatt needs no introduction as it has probably been all over your Instagram feed. It borders the beautiful old town of Hallstatt.
Located in the same Salzkammergut region as well, relatively close to Attersee, this lake is not to be missed during your visit to the area.
Hallstatt is an extremely popular tourist destination so make sure to visit outside of peak season, as it can get extremely busy during summer. It is impossible to find a parking place in the area, believe me! 🙂
4. Wolfgangsee (Lake Wolfgang) – the best lake for a relaxing holiday in Austria
I’d like to say that this is one of my favorite lakes in Austria (and in Europe) but it’s really hard to pick a favorite as all lakes in the Salzkammergut region are simply spectacular!
We visited the lake and the cute St. Wolfgang village during our trip last year and this is definitely the place where we plan to come back. I already have my eyes on this beautiful hotel Im Weissen Rossl am Wolfgangsee. They have an amazing spa and pool at the lake which I am really looking forward to trying.
For all of you lake holiday enthusiasts out there, I can definitely recommend Austria as the perfect lake vacation destination in Europe. There are so many beautiful lakes with turquoise water and stunning views, bordered by picturesque villages, for you to explore and enjoy!
Mondsee is just another example, a perfect spot for bathing (the water temperature reaches even 27C/80F in summer), watersports, or hiking. You can find more information on planning the best lake holiday at Mondsee HERE.
6. Traunsee (Lake Traun)
Lake no.6 in our list of the top lakes to see (and why not, swim) in Austria is Traunsee. A beautiful lake and Austria’s second largest one is also located in the Salzkammergut region and totally worth a visit.
Make sure to stop in the picturesque village of Traunkirchen, which is a great spot for a picnic or lunch by the lake in one of its many restaurants.
7. Fuschlsee (Lake Fuschl)
Fuschlsee is a great vacation spot for a nature holiday. You can hike, swim, have a mountain bike ride, and lots more. As we’ve only visited it briefly, I added a link HERE with more information on all the activities around the area.
The great part is that it’s also pretty closely located to Salzburg, only a 23-minute drive from the city.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to the most beautiful lakes in Austria and that it has potentially inspired your next summer lake holiday! Happy travels!
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