Carinthian Lakes: 5 tips for the most beautiful lakes in Carinthia (+ map)

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Carinthia is one of the most beautiful regions in Austria. From crystal-clear lakes to imposing Alpine peaks, there is something for every lover of breathtaking nature. Here is a list of the most beautiful lakes in Carinthia.

The article also includes practical information about swimming, lake temperatures and what to do around the lakes in Carinthia.

1. Wörthersee

Wörthersee is one of the most famous and popular lakes in Austria. It is also the largest lake in Carinthia with a length of 16.5 kilometres and a width of up to 1.5 kilometres.

worthersee austria

Swimming at the Wörthersee

The Wörthersee is very popular for swimming due to its warm water, which reaches temperatures of around 25 degrees Celsius in the summer months. Ideal for swimming, windsurfing, water skiing and other water sports.

The beaches around the lake are mostly paid or private. The paid beaches really provide everything for a day by the water – they are grassy with plenty of shady spots and good access to the water.

wörthersee carinthian lakes

If you’re travelling with children, check out the beaches in Velden, Schiefling, Pörtschach am Wörthersee, Reifnitz and especially Klagenfurt, which is the most popular on the Wörthersee.

Many of the hotels and apartments along the lake have their own private beaches.

After you’ve enjoyed your swim, take a stroll along the beautifully landscaped promenades. These are located in Velden, Klagenfurt, Reifnitz or Pörtschach am Wörthersee.

wörthersee lakes in carinthia austria

Things to do at Wörthersee

The surrounding area of Wörthersee is hilly, with hidden viewpoints in the forests and kilometres of hiking trails. Some places, such as the Pyramidenkogel lookout tower, offer views of the high Alpine peaks. The lookout tower is also very easy to reach – you can get to the top by car. There are also refreshments and a small exhibition focused on the construction of the tower. Here you can find the latest information about entrance fees and opening hours.

pyramidenkogel wörthersee

On the west bank you can visit Velden am Wörtherse, a cosmopolitan resort with a lively atmosphere, luxury hotels and a casino.

On the east bank lies Klagenfurt, the capital of Carinthia, full of history and beautiful architecture. While you’re here, don’t miss a visit to Minimundus, a miniature park where you can see over 150 miniature versions of famous landmarks from around the world. Click here for up-to-date information on admission and opening times.

minimundus park klagenfurt carinthia / carinthian lakes

If you like golf, there are several golf courses in the area.

For the best views of Carinthia, head to the Dobrac Nature Park southwest of Villach. The Villacher Alpenstraße, a high mountain road, leads through the area and offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside as far as Slovenia’s Julian Alps and the Karawanken Mountains.

From the car park, you can then continue to the top of the Dobratsch, where there is a panoramic restaurant with a terrace. Here you can find more information about Villacher Alpenstraße.

dobratsch nature park korutany

Wörthersee Plus Card

The Wörthersee Plus Card is a year-round discount card that gives you free admission and discounts to attractions in the area. The attractions vary depending on whether you visit Wörthersee in summer or winter.

The card is obtained automatically on arrival and is valid from a 1-night stay.

The card is valid for 3 regions – Wörthersee, Klagenfurt and Central Carinthia. Discounts apply to transport, the Pyramidenkogel observation tower, forest cable parks and museums and galleries in the area. You also get free access to one of the public beaches when you stay for at least 3 days. You will see the specific discounts when you arrive after downloading the Wörthersee Plus Card app.

☞ Here is a travel guide to Lake Wörthersee.

Accommodation Wörthersee 😴

These accommodations include the Wörthersee Plus Card, which gives you free admission or discounts to area attractions. All guests will receive their card on the day of arrival, along with a leaflet explaining what the card includes. The card is valid from the beginning of April to the beginning of November.

worthersee ubytování
Hotel Rösch

3* hotel with parking, wellness and restaurant

worthersee ubytování
Seepark Wörthersee Resort

4* resort with extensive spa and restaurant

2. Ossiacher See

Ossiacher See is another Carinthian lake, which is the third largest in the area. Located near Villach, it provides the perfect base.

Swimming at Ossiacher See

The Ossiacher See is popular for swimming thanks to its clean and warm water, which reaches temperatures of around 25 degrees Celsius in the summer months. Along the lake, there are several paid swimming areas that provide good services, including water equipment rental, refreshments and activities for children. In addition, the swimming pools are relatively cheap compared to other Austrian lakes.

ossiacher see austria carinthia lakes

The beach in Ossiach is beautiful, where there is also a water slide and a rope park and a beautifully renovated monastery a short walk away. Directly on the other side of the lake is the town of Bodensdorf, where you will find a great free beach – with refreshments, children’s activities and toilets.

In addition to public beaches, many hotels and apartments offer their own private beaches.

Besides swimming, you can also enjoy sailing, windsurfing, water skiing and other water sports at Ossiacher See. Just ask at your accommodation where you can find the nearest equipment rental shop.

ossiacher see lakes in Carinthia
ossiacher see austria carinthia

Things to do at Ossiacher See

When visiting Ossiacher See, don’t miss a visit to Burg Landskron, an imposing fortress with spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding area. One of the main attractions of the fortress is the falconry show, where you can see demonstrations of hunting with birds of prey.

landskon lake fortress in corutany
landskon lake fortress in corutany
View from Landskron Fortress

Not far from here is Affenberg, translated as “Monkey Mountain”, where you can observe more than 150 Japanese macaques in the wild. The tour is guided and you will learn more interesting facts and understand why the whole Affenberg – Landskron Fortress area won the title of the most beautiful place in Austria.

affenberg corinthia

Just outside the town of Sattendorf lies the beautiful waterfalls of Finsterbach.

You can also explore the historic centre of Villach or go hiking and cycling in the local countryside. A cable car takes you to the top of Gerlitzen, a popular ski resort in winter. There’s an observation deck, an adventure park and plenty of trails in the area.

In case of inclement weather, the KärntenTherme thermal baths are located on the outskirts of Villach – an ideal place for the whole family to enjoy water attractions and wellness.

All the tips for things to do and beaches can be found in the map at the end of the article.

gerlitzen alps ossiacher see
Gerlitzen Alpe near Ossiacher See


The Erlebniscard is the tourist card for the region Villach – Ossiacger See – Faaker See. You will automatically receive this card free of charge when staying at a partner property.

With the card, you can use regional trains in Carinthia (not high-speed trains and long-distance trains), summer buses in the region or the bus to the Dobratsch Nature Park from Villach. It also includes access to the KärntenTherme thermal baths, a climbing frame and, for example, the citrus garden at Faaker See. Entrance to cable cars and public swimming pools in the area are not included.

Accommodation Ossiacher See 😴

ubytování korutany jezera
Landhaus Marmorata

Modern apartments with garden

ubytování korutany jezera
Seeblick-Appartements Ossiach

Apartments with garden and private beach

3. Faaker See

Faaker See is another popular lake in Carinthia. It is located near Villach, a short distance from Wörthersee and Ossiacher See, close to the borders with Slovenia and Italy. It is perfectly situated for exploring Carinthia and the Julian Alps in Slovenia.

Swimming at Faaker See

Faaker See is one of the smallest lakes in Carinthia – thanks to this, the water here reaches up to 27 degrees Celsius in summer.

faaker see corinthian lakes

The area around the lake is often inaccessible due to private land, but there are several nice beaches. These offer everything you need for a day by the water – changing rooms, showers, toilets and refreshments.

One of the most beautiful beaches at Faaker See is located in Drobollach. In addition, admission is completely free, only parking is charged. The beach at Faak am See in the south of the lake is also popular. A short walk away, there are several campsites side by side with a private beach. Another option is a hotel or apartment with its own private beach.

faaker see corinthian lakes

Things to do at Faaker See

For one of the best views of the lake, visit Burgarena Finkenstein with its ruined castle. There are various concerts held here throughout the year, but you can come here anytime for a meal or just a good coffee. The car park is located about 5 minutes below the ruins.

faaker see corinthian lakes

From Faaker See, you can easily visit all the previous tips for excursions at lakes Wörthersee and Ossiacher See. Explore the historic streets of Villach, take a drive along the Villacher Alpenstraße or enjoy the view from the Pyramidenkogel lookout tower. With the children, you can visit the animal park in Rosegg or visit the macaques in Affenberg.

If you really want to enjoy the best view of the lake, head to Hochhinauf – Taborhöhe. The trip is short, there is a rope park of various difficulties, refreshments and above all a view of Faaker See.

faaker see corinthian lakes
View from Hochhinauf – Taborhöhe


The Erlebniscard is the tourist card for the region of Villach – Ossiachger See – Faaker See – see information for Ossiacher See.

Accommodation Faaker See 😴

ubytování faaker see korutany jezera
Karawanken Lodge

Rooms and apartments with garden

ubytování faaker see korutany jezera

Cosy guesthouse with excellent breakfast

4. Millstätter See

Millstätter See is the second deepest lake in Carinthia, with a depth of approximately 141 metres. The lake has a long, narrow shape and its shores are surrounded by wooded hills, which create a perfect contrast to the azure colour of the lake.

Millstätter See lakes in Carinthia

Swimming at Millstätter See

The water temperature in Millstätter See is usually between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius in summer. The lake is ideal for swimming, sailing and windsurfing.

Picturesque towns and villages line the shores of Millstätter See. The most famous is Millstatt with its monastery, and Seeboden, where various events are regularly held.

The beaches around the lake are mostly paid or private. A great beach can be found in Millstatt, for example, with slides and paddleboard hire. A short walk from the beach, you must visit the Kap 4613 café, which is floating and shaped like a partially glazed pyramid.

Millstätter See lakes in Carinthia

There are also nicely maintained beaches with refreshments and grassy areas in Seeboden and Döbriach. If you are travelling with children, the beach in Seeboden is preferable.

The entire northern shore is lined with a cycle path, from which you can take a break at one of the rest areas. There are also smaller car parks (often free for the first hour).

If you prefer peace and quiet, head to the south shore of the lake, which is less accessible than the north shore. Here is the beach in Spittal, which is the easiest to reach by boat.

Millstätter See lakes in Carinthia

Things to do at Millstätter See

The lake is surrounded by hiking trails. One of the most popular routes leads to the Granattor Gate. It is a gate made of huge blocks of rock. The name “Granattor” refers to garnets, which are precious stones found in Carinthia.

The gate is most easily reached from the Lammersdorfer Hütte. The hut can be reached by car on the toll road Lammersdorfer Almstraße (8 € in 2024). From the hut to the Granattor, count on a journey of just over 1 hour.

There is also a beautiful view from the top of the Jufenkreuz, which is about 20 minutes from the Lammersdorfer Hütte – you go the other way from the Granattor.

granattor Millstätter See lakes in Carinthia
View from the Granattor viewpoint

Or visit Sommeregg Castle, with its pleasant restaurant and nice views of the surroundings.

South of the lake is the Goldeck Peak, which can be reached by cable car. A great place for skiing and hiking. The Goldeck Panoramastrasse, a toll road, can also be reached from the top. The road is open from mid-May to about the end of October (varies according to current conditions). Entry is included in the Kärnten Card, without the card 6 € per person.

Millstätter See Inclusive Card

When you stay at the lake, you automatically receive the Millstätter See Inclusive Card. With it, you can use regional trains throughout Carinthia for free, get free admission to swimming pools around the lake and toll roads (Lammersdorfer Almstraße, Millstätter Almstraße, Tschiernock) and discounts on attractions in the area.

Accommodation Millstätter See 😴

ubytování korutany jezera
Gasthof-Pension Reidnwirt

Cheap accommodation near the lake

ubytování korutany jezera
Hotel Nikolasch

4* hotel with private beach

5. Weissensee

Weissensee is located west of Villach, near Millstätter See. It is narrow, long and wedged in the mountain landscape.

The lake is known for its excellent water quality, which is even considered drinkable. It’s so clean, you’ll feel like you’re in the Caribbean at times.

Weissensee lakes in Carinthia

There is no main road leading directly around the lake, as is the case with other Austrian lakes. This makes it quieter – especially on the east side of the lake.

Swimming at the Weissensee

The Weissensee offers excellent conditions for swimming in the warm summer months, when the water temperature can reach up to 25 degrees Celsius. Most of the hotels along the lake have their own private beaches. If you’re just coming for a trip and want to swim, there are places around the lake where you can get to the water.

Weissensee lakes in Carinthia

The entire northern shore is lined with a hiking trail that leads to several small bays with crystal clear water. There are also deck chairs and benches.

The popular swimming pool is located in Seecamping Müller, which is also open to the public.

You can rent pedal boats in the surroundings or take a boat ride on the lake.

Weissensee lakes in Carinthia

Things to do at Weissensee

The main village on the lake is Techendorf, which is also a great starting point for exploring the lake. The eastern part of the lake is heavily wooded and interspersed with hiking trails that also lead to the lake.

The western part is suitable for easy walking and cycling. The surrounding mountains offer various trails for mountain bikes.

Weissensee lakes in Carinthia

When visiting the lake, don’t miss the chairlift from Weissensee, where you will have the entire lake in the palm of your hand. From the top station of the cable car, you can head to the Naggler Alm mountain hut, take one of the hiking trails of varying difficulty or take the tricycle back down.

☞ Get inspired by the most beautiful places in Carinthia.

6. Klopeiner See

The Klopeiner See is one of the warmest alpine lakes in Austria and is located in the southern part of Carinthia. It has an oval shape and is relatively small compared to other lakes in the area – about 1.8 kilometres long and 800 metres wide. Nevertheless, it provides perfect facilities, water sports and swimming in clean water.

Swimming at Klopeiner See

In summer, the water temperature in the Klopeiner See can reach up to 29 degrees Celsius. Most of the beaches around the lake are private or paid. They are landscaped, with a grassy area, children’s activities and refreshments.

If you don’t have access to the hotel’s private beach, you can use the Sportstrandbad Süd beach in the south of the lake. But there are plenty of other beaches in the area, which you can find in every town or village.

There is also a beautiful lakeside promenade around Klopeiner See.

klopeiner see lakes in Carinthia

Things to do at Klopeiner See

If you are travelling with children, don’t miss a visit to the Walderlebniswelt forest park in Sankt Kanzian. There are outdoor and indoor attractions to keep children entertained for hours. Or visit the animal park at Turnersee, where there are various animals including parrots.

The surroundings of Klopeiner See are interwoven with easy hiking and cycling trails. For the best view of the lake, climb to the viewpoint at the top of the Kitzelberg. It is located on the west side of the lake and is easily accessible by a rocky road in about 45 minutes from the parking lot.

klopeiner see lakes in Carinthia

If you are looking for hiking or mountain bike trails, the Petzen resort with its cable car is less than half an hour’s drive from the lake.

Looking for an easy trip near Klopeiner See? Head to the Wildensteiner waterfall. The parking lot is located about a quarter of an hour from the lake, from where you can walk about 15-20 minutes to the waterfall. There is also a restaurant and a children’s playground.

Aktiv Card Südkärnten

Klopeiner See is located in the Southern Carinthia region, where you will receive the Aktiv Card Südkärnten on arrival, which allows you to travel on regional trains without restrictions. Please refer to the brochure you will receive at the beginning of your stay for current discounts.

Accommodation Klopeiner See 😴

ubytování klopeiner see korutany rakousko
Fishery Steffan

Modern private accommodation + restaurant

ubytování klopeiner see korutany rakousko
Pension Helios

3* guesthouse with private beach

Carinthian Lakes on the map

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map with tips for hiking, swimming and beaches around the lakes in Carinthia, Austria. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places mentioned in the guide to the lakes of Carinthia. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

How to save in Carinthia: the Kärnten Card

The Kärnten Card is the main tourist card for the Carinthia region. For one price you get free admission or discounts to over 100 attractions in the area.

Here are some of the attractions that are part of the Kärnten Card:

  • fees for high mountain roads (Goldeck Panoramastrasse, Villacher Alpenstrasse, Malta Hochalmstrasse, Nockalmstrasse)
  • cable cars (Bad Kleinkirchheimer Bergbahnen, Panoramabahn Turracher Höhe, Hochgebirgsbahnen Ankogel, Panoramabahn Kreuzeck, Bergbahnen Gerlitzen Alpe, Bergbahn Dreiländereck, Goldeck Bergbahnen, Bergbahnen Heiligenblut – Schareck, Kabinenbahn Petzen, Katschberg, Mölltaler Gletscher)
  • Pyramidenkogel lookout tower
  • Groppensteinschlucht, Raggaschlucht, Tscheppaschlucht
  • selected swimming pools in Carinthia (not valid for public beaches on Carinthian lakes)
  • selected zoos and animal parks in Carinthia

Once you have purchased the card, you download the app in which the Kärnten Card is stored. Prices start at €57 – this varies depending on how long you buy the card for and whether you are going to Carinthia in the main or low season. Find more information about the Kärnten Card here.

faaker see carinthia
Faaker See in Carinthia

These were our picks for the most beautiful lakes in Carinthia. Do you have a question? We’ll be happy to answer it in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

More information about Austria

KORUTANY: Get inspired by the most beautiful places to go in Carinthia. Here is a detailed guide to Lake Wörthersee.

AUSTRIA: Here are the most beautiful places in Austria. Are you planning a visit to the Austrian lakes? We have created a list of the most beautiful lakes in Austria, including practical information and a map.

VIENNA: See tips on things to do in Vienna (including entrance fees and opening times) and an itinerary of how to spend 3 days in Vienna. In the article Vienna with kids we share tips on how to enjoy Vienna with the whole family.

AUSTRIAN ALPS: Get inspired by our tips on things to do in the Austrian Alps (hiking routes, excursions).

Or head straight to Tyrol or Lake Wolfgangsee. Another popular destination in the Austrian Alps is the Dachstein mountain range or the popular resort of Zell am See.

If you want to enjoy the beautiful untouched nature, take a look at things to do in the High Tauern.

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