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Water sport vacation at the Wörthersee

© by Arnold Weisz

Surrounded by a fantastic Alpine panorama, with access to loads of water sports and Mediterranean bathing temperatures, the Wörthersee is one of Austria’s most popular summer holiday destinations.

You can easily spend a week at Wörthersee without running out of fun activities. Many of Austria’s rich and famous have cottages by the lake. The village of Velden, especially its casino, is a playground for the rich. Fortunately, the lake is big enough for local and regular tourists to play around on and in the water. The almost 17-kilometre-long lake in Carinthia is one of Austria’s warmest lakes. The lake was named after the small village of Maria Wörth, one of eight villages and towns situated by the Wörthersee. The largest is Carinthia’s capital, Klagenfurt, at the eastern shore of Wörthersee.

Beach Holiday Paradise

Although Wörthersee is more than 85 meters deep at its deepest and at times partly covered with ice in the winter, it still reaches a water temperature of around 25 °C during the summer. If you stay at a beachfront hotel, you must enjoy the lake. For those who do not have this luxury, there are several public bathing parks around the lake. You often have to pay, but Freibad Edelweiss between Pörtschach and Krumpendorf is free. Pörtschach also has a great public beach on a peninsula that juts into the lake. Krumpendorf, it is not easy to get to the water’s edge, but there is an opportunity at Café Schamandra, approximately one kilometre east of Krumpendorf. The largest public beach of all of them is located at Klagenfurt, where on warm summer days, up to 30,000 people can enjoy themselves by the Wörthersee.

< Click on the images to enlarge >

Water Sports

For those who want more than just splashing around at the waterfront, several water sports centres are around the lake. There are activities for everyone, such as motor and sailboats, pedal boats, electric boats, banana boats, parasailing, wakeboarding, water skiing, windsurfing, and stand-up paddling. Furthermore, in Krumpendorf, you will also find a diving centre for those who want to see Wörthersee underwater.

Full steam ahead

Tourism is not a new phenomenon on Lake Wörth, and especially boat trips have long been popular. From its beginning in 1853, it kicked off with 30,000 passengers a year. In 1883, the cruise business reached a passenger volume of 175,000. It is easy to understand why, after taking a round on the lake with the steamship “Thalia“. Of course, you do not have to take a whole round trip on the same journey, but you can jump on and off as desired. There are also other ways to enjoy the summer on the water. You can rent your boat or tour with some party boats that sail on the Wörthersee in the summer.

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Excursions around Wörthersee

At the eastern end of Wörthersee, you find Klagenfurt, the lovely state capital of Carinthia. The historic city centre (Innere Stadt) is characterized by Baroque and Art Nouveau facades. Moreover, small and large squares, narrow alleys, and pedestrian streets make the city centre a fun place to explore.

The best view of the entire lake is from the 851 m high Pyramidenkogel. Also, one has placed a 100-meter-tall tower of wood and steel on top of the hill. The upper viewing platform at 83 m gives you amazing views, not only over Lake Wörthersee but also in the surrounding areas. You can either go straight up to the tower by car or take the boat to Reifnitz and ride a bus up to the tower.

If you want a break from the beach life, we recommend a trip to the medieval castle Burg Hochosterwitz. The castle is on top of a limestone cliff with views of all celestial directions. The castle is taken from a fairy tale book and is only 20 km from Klagenfurt. Furthermore, this is one of Austria’s most beautiful medieval cities and is open to the public.

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Written by Ana Lucia Marcos

Ana Lucia has traveled the world, but fell completely in love with Austria. She loves the dramatic mountain landscape, the phototastiske lakes and the captivating castles. Moreover, a real Wienerschnitzel is always on the menu when she explores the alpine country.