The Lake Gosau is a picturesque alpine lake located in the southwestern part of the Austrian state of Upper Austria. It is nestled between Dachstein Mountains, close to the small village of Gosau, within the stunning lake district of Salzkammergut.
People often refer to Lake Gosau, but this term typically encompasses three lakes in the Gosau valley, known as the 'Gosauseen' in German. Apart from the main lake, which is called Lower Lake Gosau or Vorderer Gosausee, there are two smaller lakes nearby known as Gosaulacke and Upper Lake Gosau or Hinterer Gosausee.
Situated at an altitude of approximately 1000 meters (3280 feet) above sea level, all three lakes are surrounded by majestic Dachstein Mountains and lush forests.
You can enjoy a pleasant walk around Lower Lake Gosau, and if you continue walking, you can also reach Upper Lake Gosau by following the path along Gosaulacke, indulging in the magnificence of the surrounding alpine scenery as you journey, reveling in uninterrupted vistas that take your breath away.
Keep reading and discover everything you can do at Lake Gosau Austria or Gosausee Lake for an incredible travel experience! These picturesque alpine lakes offer a plethora of activities to make your visit unforgettable.
Immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of Gosauseen Lakes
Gosauseen Lakes is well-known for its stunning natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks, including the Dachstein massif.
It is a beloved destination that captivates outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers throughout the year.
The lakes is also a popular spot for photography, especially during sunrise and sunset when the light reflects off the water, creating a magical atmosphere.
Whether you visit in the summer or winter, this stunning location offers an array of activities and breathtaking scenery to satisfy your wanderlust.
Lower Lake Gosau Austria
Lower Lake Gosau is the largest and most well-known of the three lakes. It is located at the foot of the Dachstein mountains and is surrounded by rugged cliffs and forests.
The lake is fed by meltwater from the Dachstein glacier and is known for its crystal-clear and turquoise waters that reflect the surrounding scenery.
Lower Lake Gosau Austria is a popular spot for hiking, swimming, as well as for taking scenic boat rides on the lake. The lake is situated at an altitude of about 937 meters (3,074 feet) above sea level, and it is about 1.8 kilometers long and 600 meters wide, with a maximum depth of around 75 meters (246 feet).
While it is not one of the largest lakes in Austria, it is certainly one of the most beautiful and attracts thousands of visitors every year.
The Gosaulacke is a small body of water nestled between the Lower and Upper Gosau Lakes. Its water level varies depending on the season, with more water during snowmelt in spring or heavy rain, and sometimes almost drying up in the summer.
When the Upper Gosausee overflows, the Gosaulacke shows its full splendor, reflecting the surrounding mountain scenery.
During a hike along Gosauseen Lakes, the Gosaulacke serves as a perfect spot to take a momentary pause and enjoy the fresh mountain air while admiring the breathtaking views of the mountains and nature.
It's a tranquil resting place between the lakes, providing an opportunity to appreciate the changing beauty of the Gosaulacke throughout the seasons.
Upper Lake Gossau
Upper Gosau Lake is the last and second largest of the three alpine lakes located at the end of the Gosau Valley. It sits at an altitude of approximately 1,100 meters (3,609 feet) above sea level, with a maximum length of 800 meters and a maximum width of 600 meters. The lake's deepest point reaches approximately 36 meters (118 feet).
The serene surroundings and crystal-clear turquoise water make Upper Gosau Lake a popular destination for visitors.
Similar to the Lower Gosau Lake, Upper Gosau lake is nestled in the scenic Dachstein Mountains, offering a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities and relaxation. Hiking, picnicking, and simply enjoying the natural beauty of the area are some of the popular activities for visitors at Upper Gosau Lake.
Surrounded by lush meadows, majestic peaks, and forests, the lake provides a tranquil atmosphere where visitors can immerse themselves in nature's beauty.
Read also: 13 Must-See Lakes in Austria
Outdoor activities at the Gosauseen Lakes
Adventurers will find their paradise at Gosauseen lakes.
Embark on thrilling hiking trails that offer breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Challenge yourself with water sports such as kayaking or paddleboarding on the pristine waters of the lake. The exhilaration of these activities is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.
But, if relaxation is what you seek, find a tranquil spot by one of the lakes and unwind amidst nature's embrace. Enjoy a delightful picnic, breathing in the fresh mountain air and taking in the peaceful ambiance of Gosauseen Lakes.
There are many things to do at Gosau Lakes, let's check out one by one!
Embark on a captivating hiking adventure at Gosauseen Lakes Austria
The lakes are surrounded by numerous hiking and nature trails of varying difficulty levels, ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes.
Circular hiking trail around Lower Lake Gosau
One of the most popular is the circular hiking trail that leads around the first alpine lake. The trail is approximately 3.7 kilometers (2.3 miles) long and takes about 1-2 hours to complete, depending on your pace and how often you stop to take in the breathtaking views.
The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow, with several benches and rest areas along the way. The path winds its way around the lake, offering stunning views of the crystal-clear water, the towering Dachstein mountain range, and the lush forests that surround the lake.
The trail is suitable for hikers of all levels, including families with small children, baby carriages, wheelchairs, and is particularly popular throughout the year.
Along the trail, you will also encounter several informational signs that provide insights into the local flora and fauna, geology, and history of the area.
The circular hiking trail is a great way to experience the beauty of Lower Lake Gosau up close and is a must-do activity for anyone visiting the area of Lake Gosau Austria.
Keep hike along Gosaulacke to the Upper Gosau Lake
Upon reaching the other side of Lower Gosau Lake, you will have two choices: either to continue hiking around the first lake or take a route towards Upper Gosau Lake along the Gosaulacke.
You can also combine them by continuing to Upper Lake Gosau, and on the way back choose to go on the other side of Lower Lake Gosau.
The Gosauseen Lakes trail is a captivating trail spanning approximately 12 kilometers and taking around 4-5 hours to complete. This moderate trail leads you around three stunning alpine lakes: Vorderer Gosausee, Gosaulacke, and Hinterer Gosausee.
The trail encompasses diverse terrain, including forested paths, rocky sections, and steep ascents, making it unsuitable for baby carriages and wheelchairs.
However, along the way, you'll encounter enchanting pools, hidden forest houses, waterfalls, and breathtaking views, all of which contribute to its fairytale-like charm. It is recommended to have a good level of fitness to fully enjoy this trail.
Embark on a panoramic hike to the Zwieselalm
The Zwieselalm Panorama hiking Trail is a moderate to difficult-level hike covering approximately 10 kilometers that can be completed in 5-6 hours.
This exhilarating trail leads you through the lush meadows and forests of the Zwieselalm plateau, offering panoramic views of the Gosaukamm mountain range and Lower Gosau Lake.
The trail includes some uphill sections and uneven terrain, making it suitable for hikers with a moderate level of fitness and hiking experience.
Experience swimming in the Gosau Lake's Austria
Gosau Lakes, located in the Salzkammergut region of Austria, consist of three main lakes that were mentioned before. Among these lakes, swimming is only possible in Lower Lake Gosau and Upper Lake Gosau. Due to its size and variable water levels, swimming is not recommended in Gosaulacke.
Swimming can be a refreshing and enjoyable activity during the summer months, as the Gosau lake's crystal-clear waters offer a picturesque setting for a swim.
The temperature of the water can vary depending on the time of year and weather conditions. In the summer, the water temperature can range from about 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (59 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit), which can be chilly but invigorating.
Gosauseen Lakes doesn't have formalized changing rooms, showers, or other facilities for swimmers. However, there are usually some basic facilities, such as public toilets and picnic areas, near the lake where you can change and have a picnic.
It's also important to protect yourself from the sun while swimming in Gosau Lake Austria, as the alpine sun can be strong. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, and seek shade or cover up when needed to prevent sunburn and dehydration.
Swimming at Lower Lake Gosau Austria (Vorderer Gosausee)
Lower Lake Gosau (Vorderer Gosausee) is known for its crystal-clear water and stunning mountain backdrop, making it a popular spot for swimming and other water activities during the summer months.
There are designated swim areas where visitors can safely swim. These areas are marked with buoys or signs and are typically located near the shore of the lake.
It's important to swim only in these designated areas and follow any safety guidelines or rules that may be posted.
The water in Lower Lake Gosau is known for its excellent quality, and it's generally safe for swimming. However, it's always a good idea to check for any current water quality advisories or warnings before swimming, especially after heavy rainfall or storms.
Swimming at Upper Lake Gosau (Hinterer Gosausee)
Upper Lake Gosau (Hinterer Gosausee) is located higher up in the mountains and is equally picturesque.
However, swimming is generally not allowed in this lake due to its colder temperatures and potential safety concerns. It is primarily visited for its natural beauty and hiking opportunities.
When planning a swimming excursion in the Gosauseen Lakes, it's always a good idea to check local regulations and safety guidelines to ensure a pleasant and safe experience.
Unforgettable Diving Experience at Lower Gosausee Lake
Diving in Lower Gosau Lake Austria is a unique and exhilarating experience for underwater enthusiasts. The lake's crystal-clear waters make it a popular destination for divers seeking to explore its depths.
With a depth of approximately 70 meters, Lower Gosausee lake offers a diverse underwater landscape, including steep walls, boulders, tree stumps, and during the appropriate season, abundant tadpoles.
The underwater world of Lower Gosausee lake is a sight to behold, with its fascinating geological formations and diverse aquatic life.
Divers can marvel at the underwater scenery, which is accentuated by the lake's pristine water quality. The visibility is often excellent, allowing for clear views of the underwater environment and its inhabitants.
Ice Diving in Lower Gosau Lake
During winter, adventurous divers can also try their hand at ice diving in Lower Gosau Lake. This thrilling activity involves diving under the icy surface of the lake and experiencing the unique sensation of being surrounded by frozen water.
Proper diving equipment and permits can be obtained from Gasthof Gosausee, making it a convenient option for those interested in this cold-water diving adventure.
Whether you're an experienced diver or new to the sport, Gosau Lake offers a captivating underwater world waiting to be explored.
With its crystal-clear waters, stunning underwater scenery, and unique ice diving opportunities, diving in Lower Gosau Lake is an unforgettable experience for underwater adventurers.
Experience the Thrills of Water Sport at Lake Gosau
At Lake Gosau, water enthusiasts have a variety of exciting water sports to enjoy during the summer months. Located in the picturesque Salzkammergut region of Austria, Lake Gosau offers a stunning backdrop of majestic mountains and crystal-clear waters, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities.
Among the popular water sports available at the lake are E-boats, pedal boats, and Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) boarding.
Explore the lake at a leisurely pace with E-boats
E-boats are an excellent choice for those who want to explore the lake at a leisurely pace. These electric-powered boats provide a serene and eco-friendly way to navigate the pristine waters of Lake Gosau.
With their quiet motors, E-boats allow visitors to soak in the breathtaking scenery while gliding smoothly across the lake's surface.
Whether you're looking to enjoy a peaceful solo ride or embark on a romantic excursion with a loved one, E-boats offer a tranquil and comfortable experience.
Enjoy the tranquil waters of Lake Gosau with Pedal Boats
For a more interactive and engaging water sport adventure, pedal boats are a fantastic option. These human-powered boats provide a fun and active way to explore the lake with friends or family.
As you pedal your way through the water, you'll not only experience the thrill of movement but also have the opportunity to appreciate the stunning surroundings up close.
Pedal boats are perfect for groups seeking a social and enjoyable water sport activity that allows for easy conversation and laughter.
Go on a SUP adventure in Lake Gosau
Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) boarding has gained tremendous popularity in recent years, and Lake Gosau provides an idyllic setting for this trendy water sport.
SUP involves standing on a wide, stable board and using a long paddle to navigate the water. It offers a unique perspective, allowing you to enjoy panoramic views of the lake while engaging your core muscles and improving your balance.
Whether you're a seasoned paddle boarder or a beginner looking to try something new, Lake Gosau's calm waters are perfect for SUP adventures.
Renting E-boats, pedal boats, and SUP equipment
Renting E-boats, pedal boats, and SUP equipment is convenient and accessible at Lake Gosau. There are rental facilities located directly by the lake, ensuring easy access for visitors.
The equipment can be rented on a daily basis, allowing you to tailor your water sports experience to fit your schedule.
The rental services are typically available from June to mid-September, coinciding with the warmer months when the lake's water is most inviting.
Cycling & MTB in the Gosau Valley
Cycling and mountain biking in the Gosau Valley offer an exhilarating and immersive experience in the heart of the Austrian Alps.
Nestled within the enchanting Salzkammergut region, Gosau Valley presents a stunning natural landscape with towering mountains, lush meadows, and picturesque villages, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities.
For those looking for even more challenge and variety, the Gosau Valley serves as an excellent starting point to explore the wider Salzkammergut region.
You can embark on extended rides that take you to neighboring towns and attractions such as Hallstatt, Bad Goisern, Obertraun, and Wolfgangsee.
These routes allow you to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of the area, combining the joy of cycling with sightseeing opportunities.
To enhance your cycling or mountain biking experience in the Gosau Valley, where the Lake Gosau nestled, you can take advantage of local bike rental services.
These shops provide high-quality bikes, safety equipment, and knowledgeable staff who can offer advice on suitable trails and routes based on your skill level and interests.
Cycling in the Gosau Valley
Gosau Valley boasts a diverse range of cycling and MTB trails that cater to riders of all skill levels and preferences.
Whether you're a beginner seeking a leisurely ride or an advanced rider looking for a challenging adventure, there's something for everyone in this captivating region.
For leisure cyclists, the Gosau Valley offers a network of well-maintained paths that wind through charming villages and breathtaking countryside. The gentle terrain and scenic routes provide an enjoyable experience for riders of all ages and fitness levels.
As you pedal through the idyllic landscape, you'll be treated to panoramic views of the majestic Dachstein Mountains, the serene Gosau Lake, and the enchanting Hallstatt.
Mountain Biking at the Lake Gosau Austria
If you're an avid mountain biker craving adrenaline-pumping trails and technical challenges, Gosau won't disappoint.
The region is renowned for its thrilling mountain biking opportunities, with trails that traverse dense forests, rocky descents, and steep inclines. These trails cater to experienced riders seeking an exhilarating adventure amidst the rugged alpine terrain.
One of the standout mountain biking trails in the area is the Gosaukamm Trail. This epic route takes riders on a high-altitude journey along the Gosaukamm ridge, offering stunning vistas and demanding technical sections.
As you navigate the trail, you'll be rewarded with awe-inspiring views of the surrounding peaks and the charming Gosau Valley below.
Challenge yourself on Via Ferrata at Gosau Lake
Climbing at Lake Gosau offers an exhilarating and diverse range of experiences for climbers of all skill levels.
Situated in the picturesque Austrian Alps, Lake Gosau Austria provides a stunning backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure and breathtaking views.
Laserer Alpin Via Ferrata at Lake Gosau
One of the standout attractions in the area is the Laserer Alpin via ferrata, located on the left side of the Lower Lake Gosau, directly above the shimmering waters. This via ferrata promises an exciting climbing adventure with panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape.
The Laserer Alpin via ferrata is a popular choice for climbers looking to test their skills and immerse themselves in the beauty of Lake Gosau. With its vertical ascents, traverses, and exposure, this route offers a thrilling and rewarding experience.
As climbers navigate the via ferrata, they are secured by fixed cables, allowing them to confidently explore the rugged terrain while enjoying the stunning views of the lake and the surrounding peaks.
Via Ferrata on the Donnerkogel
For those seeking an additional challenge, Lake Gosau offers several other via ferrata options. The Donnerkogel via Ferrata presents a formidable adventure, including the famous "Ladder to Heaven," a suspended 40-meter-long ladder positioned at an angle of approximately 45 degrees.
This daring climb provides an adrenaline rush and a sense of accomplishment for those brave enough to take on the challenge.
Schmied Via Ferrata Gosau
Another noteworthy via ferrata in the area is the Schmied Via Ferrata Gosau, which offers a mix of vertical sections and exposed traverses.
With its varied terrain and breathtaking views, this route provides an exciting climbing experience that caters to different skill levels.
Max & Moritz Via Ferrata
Lake Gosau also has options for young climbers or those looking for a more family-friendly adventure. The Max & Moritz via ferrata is designed specifically for children, offering a safe and enjoyable climbing experience.
This via ferrata allows young adventurers to experience the thrill of climbing in a controlled environment, instilling a sense of confidence and accomplishment.
Lake Gosau Austria - Nearby Attractions
Lake Gosau is a picturesque gem nestled in the heart of Austria's Salzkammergut region.
Surrounded by breathtaking alpine landscapes, this enchanting lake offers visitors a serene retreat and serves as a gateway to a plethora of nearby attractions.
Gosaukamm Cable Car at Lower Lake Gosau
The Gosaukamm Cable Car is a prominent attraction that takes visitors from the Lower Lake Gosau to the Zwieselalm, providing a thrilling and scenic journey through the magnificent Gosaukamm mountain range.
As you ascend, panoramic windows reveal breathtaking views of surrounding peaks and valleys. At the top, awe-inspiring vistas and numerous hiking trails await, catering to all skill levels.
This cable car experience is a fantastic way to immerse oneself in the region's natural beauty and embark on exhilarating outdoor adventures like hiking, paragliding, and mountain biking.
From the captivating ascent to the diverse activities and serene landscapes, the Gosaukamm Cable Car offers an unforgettable encounter with the enchanting Austrian Alps.
The idyllic village of Hallstatt
Another must-visit destination near Lake Gosau is Hallstatt, a UNESCO World Heritage site located on the shores of Hallstatt Lake.
Known for its idyllic charm, Hallstatt is renowned for its stunning alpine scenery, quaint village streets, and the Hallstatt Salt Mine. Visitors can take a boat ride on the lake, explore the historic village, and marvel at the charming pastel-colored houses that dot the landscape.
The Hallstatt Salt Mine offers an immersive experience where you can learn about the region's rich mining history and even slide down the mine's wooden slides.
Adventure at Dachstein Mountains
For those seeking more adventure, the Dachstein Mountains present an incredible opportunity.
The Dachstein Ice Cave, a natural marvel, is a labyrinthine network of ice formations that has captivated explorers for centuries.
Guided tours take visitors deep into the cave, where they can witness the intricate ice formations and learn about the cave's formation and preservation.
Additionally, the Dachstein Skywalk offers a thrilling experience, with a platform that extends over the edge of the mountain, providing panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.
Salzburg - the birthplace of Mozart
Lastly, a visit to Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and a city rich in history and culture, is a must when exploring the attractions near Lake Gosau Austria.
Salzburg's historic old town, with its baroque architecture, narrow streets, and charming squares, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Don't miss the iconic Hohensalzburg Fortress, perched atop a hill, offering magnificent views of the city.
The city also hosts several music festivals throughout the year, celebrating its rich musical heritage.
Read also: 19 Top places to visit in Austria
In conclusion, Lake Gosau, nestled within the majestic Dachstein Mountains, offers a captivating blend of alpine beauty and serene lakes, providing a perfect escape into nature's embrace.
The crystal-clear turquoise waters of the lake reflect the towering peaks, creating a breathtaking panorama that leaves a lasting impression on all who witness it.
With its breathtaking scenery and diverse outdoor activities, Lake Gosau Austria is a destination that promises unforgettable experiences and rejuvenation for all who visit.