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Weissensee – Hiking and cruising

© by Foto: Franz Gerdl - Kärnten Werbung

Weissensee is beautifully located in a valley in southwestern Carinthia. The relaxed atmosphere and lovely nature make this a perfect holiday destination for seaside relaxation.

The first thing we did was to get an overview and enjoy the first impressions of the Weissensee by taking a cruise on the lake. What immediately struck me when we got out on the water – was the silence. Too often, there is a lot of traffic noise around the lakes, but this time it’s thankfully absent because there is no road around the entire lake.

Panorama cruise

A great way to get to know the area is to take a cruise on the lake. Furthermore, apart from the passenger boats, motorized traffic on Weissensee is not allowed. Hence, it’s really nice to sit down on the sun deck and enjoy the sailing. Here and there you see canoers, while others are just relaxing in rowboat in the middle of the sea with a fishingrod, waiting for the fish to bite. According to the tourist office, there are 20 different species of fish in the Weissensee. Notwithstanding, there more activity at the bathing jetty, where swimmers enjoy a refreshing dip. We refreshed ourselves with a drink from the bar on board the “MS Weissensee”, which offers both food and drink during the about 2-hour long cruise.

< Click on the images to enlarge >

On foot or on two wheels

The area around the lake, the so-called Weissensee Nature Park, has focused on nature tourism. The park is known for its 200 kilometres of hiking paths and 150 kilometres of mountain bike trails. Hence, this area is perfect for those who want to enjoy nature using their legs, either with hiking boots or on two wheels. As mentioned before, it is not possible to drive around the lake by car, but there is a 8 km hiking route along the northern shore. En route between Neusach, you pass by the “Der Ronacherfels“, a waterfront hotel before arriving at Strandbad Stockenboi (beach), at the far eastern end of the lake. The path is partly narrow and steep and follows the water edge but well secured. On the south bank there is also a hiking path, but a little but further inland and higher in the hillside.

Hiking from jetty to jetty

I recommend hiking one way and then taking the boat back, if you do not have the time or the desire to circumvent the lake on foot. Besides, if you want to combine the boat trip with hiking, you can just hop off at one of the 7 stops. Stopp and try the culinary delights at some of the seaside restaurants. In the high season there are 8-10 departures a day, allowing you make a hop on – hop off tour. Get a map of the local hiking trails and head out on a trip and hike to the pier you want to return from by boat. Bring bathing suits and a lunch.

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One of Austria’s cleanest lakes

The lake is situated in a lovely mountain landscape at 930 meters (3050 ft) above sea level and is over 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) long. Despite its location in the Alps, water temperatures reach as much as 24 °C (75 °F) in late summer. Furthermore, this is one of Austria’s cleanest lakes and offers drinking water quality. Hence, scuba diving is also a popular activity at Weissensee. The areas at the western end of the lake are flat and here you find small hamlets on the hillsides and waterfront hotels. The landscape around the eastern part is much steeper and there are no roads and therefore almost no buildings either. Only about a third of the shoreline is developed. Main port of call for the cruise boats is Techendorf, which with its around 200 inhabitants is the most important village on the Weissensee for tourists. Here you will find shops, post office, tourist information etc.

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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.