A Good Spot to Soak Your Bones: Tirol Lakes Worth Visiting

Lake Achensee (Photo Credit: W9 Studios)

When you think of a Tirol vacation, you might not think about hitting the beach or spending the day on a boat, but the Heart of the Alps offers great lake destinations. Even if some, like my ‘born-in-a-lake-district’ colleague Michael from Carinthia, wouldn’t agree. So, let me say it now and forever ;-): From beaches for swimming to sailing and jaw dropping scenery, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from in Tirol. Not sure where to begin? In this Blog Post, I have listed the largest, the warmest and the most romantic lake of Tirol – I’m pretty sure you’ll find your favourite pick here.

The Largest One: Achensee Lake

This aquatic jewel is the country’s largest body of water, which means abundant recreation and lounge-worthy beaches.

Occupying a single, glacier-carved trench, Achensee Lake is bordered on all sides by tall mountains. It is a popular destination for sailors, windsurfers and swimmers that is lovingly dubbed the “Sea of Tirol” by locals. The beautiful 6.8 surface square kilometer, turquoise-hued lake is measured at 133 meters at its deepest point, making it the deepest lake in Tirol, too. Cruising across Tirol’s largest lake on a boat is a blissful way to appreciate the magnificent Alpine scenery.

The Small One: Reithersee Lake

An idyllic and small lake to cool down in the summer.

An idyllic and small lake to cool down in the summer. (Photo Credit: TVB Alpbachtal)

This idyllic and small lake in Reith in Alpbachtal Valley sits in the heart of the village of the same name, with lots of family fun. The lake’s nearly 1.4 surface hectares—or 0.01 square kilometers, are a lovely place for Swimming and boating on a warm summer’s day. With a designated kids’ zone, Reithersee Lake is a popular spot for families.

The Shallow One: Berglsteinersee Lake

wasserFest am Berglsteinersee (Copyright FLo Smith)

Each year in the summer, Berglsteinersee Lake plays host to the popular WASSERfest – WATERproof Slackline Festival. (Photo Credit: Flo Smith)

This “natural paddling pool” named Berglsteinersee Lake is tucked away in a forest between Kramsach and Breitenbach. As this lovely body of water is measured at 2 meters at its deepest point, I consider it the most shallow lake in all of Tirol. Each year in the summer, the scenic aquatic gem plays host to the grand WASSERfest – WATERproof Slackline Festival. Well, slackliners won’t fall from a great height here …

The Chilly One: Vilsalpsee Lake

Vilsalpsee (Foto: TVB Tannheimertal)

On warm days, this is a mountain lake you can actually swim in, though at 1,165 meters and with not more than 17 degrees Celsius it’s gonna be brisk. (Photo Credit: TVB Tannheimertal)

This high Alpine lake is likely to be a bit brisk, since it is fed from mountain runoff and averages 17 degrees Celsius in the summer, but feels quite refreshing after a long day out on the hiking trails. Just in case you might not actually want to swim in Vilsalpsee Lake, it’s great for boating and the two lakeside restaurants make for a rewarding stop.

The Warm One: Schwarzsee Lake

Morgendunst am Schwazsee (Foto: Kurt Tropper)

Morning Mist at Schwarzsee Lake (Photo Credit: Kurt Tropper)

With water temperatures reaching up to 27 degrees Celsius, Schwarzsee Lake is a popular place to splash around in the summer. Situated between Kitzbühel and Reith, this natural whirlpool is an idyllic spot for scenic lounging near warm waters and poignant peaks.

The Romantic One: Piburgersee Lake

Piburger See in Oetz (Foto: W9 Studios)

Piburgersee Lake in Oetz (Photo Credit: W9 Studios)

Suspended in a nature reserve high above Oetz in Ötztal Valley, Piburgersee Lake is an aquatic jewel. While much of the shoreline is tree-covered and rocky, you’ll find hidden places beneath the trees (don’t forget to bring a hammock). That’s why this natural body of water is one of my favourite romantic spots for a date ;-)

The Activity-Filled One: Plansee Lake

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The second largest lake in Tirol, Plansee Lake in Reutte, is a magnet for summer fun with plenty of water sports activities, whether it’s swimming, rowing, scuba diving, fishing, windsurfing, or sailing.

The Highest One: Rifflsee Lake

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If you are an extreme swimming hole kind-of-a-person, then Rifflsee Lake in Pitztal Valley is one Alpine lake that will give you some serious bragging rights. This shimmering, green-aqua lake is Tirol’s highest “swimming lake”. At 2,232 meters, you’ll earn your dip—the lake can be accessed by a hike or Rifflsee Gondola ride. It’s going to be a quick plunge, but if you are up for the thrill, you’ll earn the chill. Or, simply marvel at the lake, contemplate the forces of nature that created it and bask in the glorious views ;-)

The Lowest One: Stimmersee Lake

Head on over to Stimmersee Lake in Langkampfen when you’re craving a beautiful location to bask in Tirol’s warm rays. Situated at an elevation of 522 meters, this is one of the most popular destinations in Kufstein District, with plenty of activities to suit your beach-loving fancy. Despite its low altitude, Stimmersee Lake boasts some serious bragging rights: With its stunning setting at the foot of Pendling Mountain and with some of the best water clarity and highest water quality in the country, the lake is a must if you’re vacationing in the area :-)

Find all swimming spots of Tirol at www.tyrol.com/swimming.


As a student, Lena enjoys travelling and discovering new things. Nevertheless, she feels most comfortable in her homeland and spends a great deal of time in the mountains and enjoying events in Tirol.

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