In Austria’s sunny south more than 200 warm swimming lakes, most of them pure enough to drink, invite you to take a swim. Joyful living and relaxed enjoyment come naturally here. Sparkling water, a mild, almost Mediterranean climate and the glorious mountain and lake landscape nestling in the Alps-Adriatic region, which shares borders with Italy and Slovenia, form a perfect setting for being active, relaxing and enjoying life.
Pure lifestyle on Lake Wörthersee
Experiencing the lake on a boat trip, discovering cosy picnic spots when you are out hiking or enjoying the party mood at one of the numerous events – on the largest lake in Carinthia, the trendy Lake Wörthersee – the lightness of being can be felt everywhere. 22 lidos offer inviting swimming fun, while lively experiences on the lake are guaranteed when you take a truly refreshing trip on water skis or by motorboat. The best way to round off the easy enjoyment of a summer’s day is with the culinary highlights on the attractive sun terraces and the 15 award-winning restaurants that embody southern flair combined with the Carinthian Alps-Adriatic cuisine. This unique flair has also inspired numerous artists. Musicians such as Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler composed many of their famous works here on warm summer’s days. You can almost hear the melodies today when you glide across the lake on a nostalgic boat trip and admire the unmistakable villas of the famous Wörthersee architecture. A breathtaking view of the lake and the whole of Carinthia can be enjoyed from the Pyramidenkogel, which is being rebuilt and will be completed in June. Numerous events are invitations to celebrate: the sporty atmosphere of the CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship, which is being held for the first time this year (29.07. – 04.08.2013) at the lido in Klagenfurt, will be just as spectacular as the motivating shouts of the spectators at the Ironman Austria (30.07.2013).
Visitors to the annual “Fête Blanche” (26.07.2013) dress only in white, while the models at the Body Painting Festival in Pörtschach (01.07. – 07.07.2013) are dressed only in bright colours.
Werzer’s bath house to reopen in summer 2013
The historic Werzer’s bath house on Lake Wörthersee has been renovated with great attention to detail and will be reopening its doors for the first time on 01.05.2013. The building, which was first constructed in 1895, has been rebuilt in line with guidelines on the protection of historic monuments and the result is well worth seeing: a perfect symbiosis of traditional ambiance with many new facets to guarantee delightful hours. Lake saunas with direct access to the lake offer sheer pleasure, while the various relaxation oases are inviting places to relax. A special feature is the heated pool in the lake, which at a temperature of a warm 30 degrees will enable guests to bathe in Lake Wörthersee all year round. www.resort.werzers.at
Romantic hours by Lake Millstätter See
The romantic Lake Millstätter See, the deepest swimming lake in Carinthia, nestles harmoniously in the picturesque mountain world. When the lake wakes up every morning with the first rays of the sun, Gottfried Strobl is already busy getting his wooden boats ready. Guests here can go “bay rambling” to discover the peaceful bays along the undeveloped southern shore of the lake and enjoy nature. You can enjoy an eventful few hours on the surrounding alpine pastures during leisurely hikes, and if you look carefully along the way you may well find a garnet or two, also known as the firestone of love, as these used to be mined here on the mountains for many years and are still found occasionally even today. A picnic on the “Sternenbalkon”, the balcony of stars, with a magical view of the lake is sure to provide romantic moments. Or if you would like more time for just the two of you, Kollers Hotel in Seeboden will organise a “dinner for two” for you, when a festively laid table awaits guests on a small floating raft in the middle of the lake. During the meal, your togetherness will be interrupted only by the waiter as he serves you a variety of culinary specialities by boat.
Relaxation and enjoyment in the first Carinthian bath house
The first Carinthian bath house was opened in December 2012 on the idyllic Lake Millstätter See. It represents deep relaxation, peace and well-being right by the lake, which can thus be enjoyed all year round. Its style is reminiscent of the classic bath house architecture of the 19th century and the time when aristocratic families still enjoyed the freshness of summer in their feudal villas on the Carinthian lakes.
In the bath house on Lake Millstätter See the warm wooden architecture and the sustainable construction ensure a pleasant atmosphere with a generous glass frontage that reveals a wide view of the lake. Here lake wellness takes on a new meaning: an extensive wellness and beauty programme, special infusion ceremonies with stone pine oil or alpine herbs in the different saunas, and an outdoor pool heated to 35 degrees which seems to merge into the lake, guarantee an all-round sensation of wellness. The Restaurant L’Onda – Die Welle is a source of real culinary treats with typical dishes in the true spirit of Carinthian Alps-Adriatic cuisine. www.badehaus-millstaettersee.at
Close to nature lake experience Nassfeld – Lake Pressegger See | Lake Weissensee | Lesach Valley
Lake Weissensee is the cleanest swimming lake in the Alps. Its shape resembles that of a fjord, two thirds of its shore is undeveloped and the surrounding area is a true paradise for anyone who likes to be out and about in an unadulterated landscape. Culinary treats can be enjoyed on the gourmet raft, when a floating wooden platform takes a leisurely trip around the lake with alternating top chefs from the region and culinary titbits such as the tasty Weissensee fish produced by Martin Müller. The people around Lake Weissensee also attach great value to managing nature sustainably, so the Weissensee Nature Park has eBikes and an excellent public infrastructure which enables guests to enjoy their holiday car-free. Guaranteed swimming fun for all the family is on hand in the warm Lake Pressegger See near Hermagor, where you will find Carinthia’s first water theme park. The many attractions guarantee many happy hours for young and old. Or if you like things a little quieter, why not go for a walk along the attractive circular path through the lake’s reed beds?
Enjoy the south on Lake Faaker See and Lake Ossiacher See
The water of Lake Faaker See glows turquoise. It is the chalk particles that find their way into the lake from the surrounding Karawanken which create this Caribbean shimmer. A holiday on the island in the lake is a unique experience: the island’s hotel will win you over with its total peace, surrounded by the beauty of nature.
If you want to explore nature further, why not try a canoe hike on the lake? During this guided tour, the boats reach the mysterious places on the lake which would otherwise remain hidden from view. Once a year the lake is transformed into a stage for motorbike fans. The European Bike Week at the beginning of September has become a cult event and every year attracts thousands of spectators and participants, but especially Harley-Davidson fans.
Lake Ossiacher See has a high quality programme ready and waiting for music lovers. If there is music in your ears when you are swimming, it means that the Carinthian Summer has been heralded in. This cultural festival with its special atmosphere and internationally known artists is an annual highlight for connoisseurs and lovers of classical music.
Lovely warm swimming fun in Lake Klopeiner See
Lake Klopeiner See is one of the warmest lakes in Carinthia and reaches up to 28 degrees. Twelve public lidos guarantee hours of variety for all the family. As well as classic water sports, quite a few fun sports can also be discovered here, such as bungee jumping and aqua skipping. But the nearby Forest Adventure World with its treetop path, Flying Fox and much more is also a delight for families. The shore promenade is also unique in Carinthia – here you can stroll all around the lake without a single interruption and admire the wonderful art installations by various artists.
The active way to discover Carinthia’s glorious mountain and lake landscape
For active holidaymakers, the beauty of the mountain and lake landscape offers not only swimming fun, but also unforgettable experiences in an unspoiled natural setting. Hikers who scale one or other of the summits can enjoy hours of peace and wide-ranging views of the surrounding mountain world, while cyclists can explore the beautiful region on panoramic routes with wonderful views. Truly magical moments lie in wait on exciting trips into the unspoiled nature protection areas, where trained rangers have interesting stories to tell of the flora and fauna during a guided hike.