11 Things to do at Achensee in Austria – Travel Guide (+ map)

achensee rakousko

Lake Achensee is one of the most beautiful lakes in Austria. It is also the largest lake in Tyrol and is known as the “Tyrolean Sea”. Take a look at the travel guide for everything you need to know before your trip and holiday at the lake – things to do at Achensee, swimming, hiking, boating on the lake, accommodation and other useful information and tips.

Why visit Lake Achensee in Austria?

We liked Achensee at first sight. A beautiful lake with turquoise water that reaches pleasant swimming temperatures in summer. There are public and smaller secluded beaches, cycling and hiking trails, from easy to challenging paths.

Whether travelling alone, as a couple or with the family, everyone will enjoy it here. You can take a ride on the Achenseebahn with the children and with your partner on the peaks of the Rofan Mountains, which offer breathtaking views of the Achensee.

things to do at achensee

Interesting facts about Lake Achensee

Achensee is located in Austria just south of the German border, just south of Munich. From the Czech Republic it is one of the most easily accessible lakes in Austria – from Prague you can reach it in 5.5 hours, from Moravia an hour more.

The lake is of impressive dimensions – 9 km long, up to 1.3 km wide and 133 m deep. The nickname “Tyrolean Sea” is a fitting nickname due to its size.

Achensee was formed by glacial activity and its shape and surroundings resemble a fjord, like Lake Como in Italy.

The lake is bordered by the Rofan Mountains and the Karwendel mountain range opposite. If you are planning hiking, you will find something for yourself here. A cable car will take you up and from the top station you can take one of the maintained hiking trails.

things to do at achensee

Is Lake Achensee suitable for swimming?

The Achensee is one of Austria’s lakes that are suitable for swimming. The water temperature here reaches a pleasant 19-22°C in summer. If you’re looking for a warmer alpine lake, look for example at Wolfgangsee near Salzburg or the lakes in Carinthia.

The water is clear and crystal clear. Around the lake there are beaches, seating, sun loungers and refreshments – especially in Achenkirch, Maurach and Pertisau. There is ample paid parking in the surrounding area.

lake achensee in austria - achensee swimming

In all of these towns you can rent a boat and take a ride on the lake.

During the summer months, specifically from June to August, temperatures are usually around 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. Some days are warmer, especially in July and August, when temperatures reach up to 30 degrees Celsius. The evenings and nights are cooler.

Hotels Achensee 😴

These accommodations include the Achensee Card, which gives you discounts on area attractions. All guests will receive their card automatically on arrival.

ubytování achensee
Das Rotspitz hotel

Traditional hotel with good price/quality ratio

ubytování achensee
Travel Charme Fürstenhaus

4* lakeside hotel with wellness

Things to do at Achensee, Austria

1. Trail around the Achensee

Achensee is one of the few Austrian lakes that is almost entirely accessible. It is not fenced with private land and you can easily get around it on the cycle path, which is ideal for an easy walk.

The road leads from Pertisau southwards and then across the entire eastern shore of the lake to Achenkirch. There are sun loungers, grassy seating areas, small sandy beaches and refreshments.

  excursions achensee

If you would like to walk the entire trail from Pertisau to Achenkirch, allow 3 hours without stops. Then you can get back on the boat.

things to do at achensee

2. Boating on the lake

Boating on the lake is one of the most popular activities around Achensee. The boats sail at regular intervals and connect the main points around the lake, including Pertisau and Achenkirch.

achensee boating

Detailed information on fares and timetables can be found on the official website. Here are the stops during the boat cruise.

achensee boating

3. Zwölferkopf

Zwölferkopf is a popular peak in the Karwendel massif, one of the largest and most beautiful mountains in Austria. It is located above Pertisau, from where the easiest way to get up is by the Karwendel-Bergbahn cable car.

The entire area is crisscrossed with hiking and cycling trails. The roads are wide, gravelly and well-maintained. At the top there is a restaurant with an open terrace and a children’s playground. A short and easy walk leads to the Bärenbadalm mountain hut.

karwendel trips achensee

If you want to enjoy the best view of the lake, head over the hut to the top of Bärenkopf. From the hut you will start to climb more significantly, the path is steep and rocky, with a smaller belay towards the end.

If you are at least a little bit used to the mountain terrain, you can manage the route without any problems. From the top station of the cable car, you can reach the top of the Bärenkopf in 1.5 hours with an elevation gain of over 500 metres. If you start from the lake, expect an elevation gain of 1,000 metres.

karwendel trips achensee

4. Rofan Mountains

On the other side of the Achensee is the Rofan mountain range. The Rofan Seilbahn cable car takes you up from Maurach to the bottom of the Gschöllkopf. From here you can follow one of the trails or descend around the lake and back to Achensee via Rotspitze.

rofan achensee

Right on top of the Gschöllkopf there is a viewpoint in the shape of an eagle’s nest. The way up is steep and requires sturdy shoes. It takes about 30-40 minutes to reach the top from the top station of the cable car. From the viewpoint there are magnificent views of the Rofan Mountains and Lake Achensee.

rofan achensee
rofan achensee
rofan achensee

5. Gaisalm

The Gaisalm is one of the most popular alpine pastures around Lake Achensee. Nestled on the shores of a lake with imposing mountain peaks at its back. There is an open terrace, a children’s playground, sun loungers and good cooking.

You have 2 ways to get to Gaisalm:

  • By boat on the Achensee (see above), which also stops directly at Gaisalm.
  • On foot from Achenkirch or Pertisau. In both cases, the trail is relatively narrow and steep, so sturdy shoes are a must. In both cases, the journey takes about 1.5 hours.
achensee austria

6. Dalfazer Waterfall

Dalfazer Waterfall is the highest waterfall in the Rofan Mountains with its 60 metres. It is located on the eastern shore of the lake and is easily accessible. An easy trip also ideal for families with children.

The easiest way to get here is from Maurach-Buchau, where the trail to the waterfall starts. Allow approximately 30-40 minutes.

Waterfall Dalfazer achensee austria

The other option is to take the cable car to Rofan and from there descend through the Dalfazalm alpine pasture to the waterfall. If you use Google maps for navigation, Dalfazalm is not marked here. But it normally works in season and is a popular stop along the way.

The disadvantage is that the waterfall is dry for part of the year. You are most likely to see the waterfall in spring after the snow melts or after heavy rains.

dalfazalm achensee hiking and things to do
Alpine pasture Dalfazalm / things to do at Achensee

7. Achenseebahn

The Achenseebahn is one of the most interesting railway lines in Austria, famous especially for its historic steam train. It is one of the few cogwheel railways in Austria – there is another one at Lake Wolfgangsee, for example.

The line is about 6.8 km long and connects the town of Jenbach, which lies on the main Innsbruck-Salzburg railway line, with Seespitz on Lake Achensee. From Jenbach, the track climbs with an altitude difference of over 440 metres to the shore of Lake Achensee. It makes several stops along the way.


A ride on the historic Achenseebahn is a popular tourist attraction, offering spectacular views of the Inntal Valley and Lake Achensee. In high season, I recommend going early before the crowds pile in. Here you will find detailed information about the Achenseebahn.

8. Wolfsklamm

The Wolfsklamm is a 1.5-kilometre-long gorge full of wooden footbridges, ladders and stairs that takes you through impressive rock formations and a crystal-clear mountain river with waterfalls. It’s pretty slippery, so make sure you wear sturdy, non-slip shoes.

At the end of the gorge is the monastery of St. Georgenberg, which is connected to Wolfsklamm by a pilgrimage trail and is one of the oldest pilgrimage sites in Tyrol. The monastery has an excellent restaurant. You can get back to the car park via the forest trail.

wolfsklamm achensee austria

Wolfsklamm is located near the town of Stans in Tyrol, about 25 minutes’ drive from Lake Achensee. It is usually open from May to the end of October, but the specific opening hours vary from year to year. Here you can find up-to-date information on admission and opening times and where to park nearby.

9. Innsbruck

Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol, is just 40 minutes from Lake Achensee. If you want to enjoy a stroll through the historic city with views of the Alpine peaks, make Innsbruck part of your itinerary.

In the centre, don’t miss the Golden Roof, the gilded balcony from which Emperor Maximilian I watched the street bustle.

Alternatively, take the Hungerburgbahn cable car from the town centre directly to the Nordkette mountain range, which is part of the Karwendel Alpine Park, which also surrounds the Achensee. The views from here are breathtaking.

10. Swarovski Kristallwelten Museum

The Swarovski Kristallwelten is a unique museum and adventure park located in Wattens, just a 35-minute drive from Achensee.

The museum opened in 1995 to celebrate the centenary of Swarovski and has been growing in popularity ever since.

Upon entering the grounds, you are greeted by a giant head made of greenery, with a fountain representing the ‘guardian’ of Kristallwelten.

The museum consists of several “Chambers of Wonders” designed by different artists and designers. Each chamber offers a unique installation or artwork that uses Swarovski crystals to create stunning visual effects.

In addition to the indoor exhibitions, Kristallwelten also offers beautifully landscaped gardens where you can see more artworks and crystal installations. There is also a Swarovski shop, a café and a playground for children. Check out the official website for more information.

Hotels Achensee 😴

ubytování achensee
Alpenhotel Edelweiss

Cosy alpine hotel with restaurant

ubytování achensee
loisi’s Boutiquehotel

4* boutique hotel suitable for families

11. Großer Ahornboden

Another tip for a trip around the lake is about 50 minutes drive from Achensee, but I promise it’s worth it.

The Großer Ahornboden, which translates as the Great Maple Plain, is known for its unique landscape. There are approximately 2,400 old maple trees here , some of which are up to 700 years old. In addition to the imposing old maple trees that give the landscape its character, the area is surrounded by the majestic mountain peaks of the Karwendel.

big maple plateau tyrol

Großer Ahornboden is the starting point for many hiking and mountain trails that lead to the surrounding Karwendel region. But many people stay right here and enjoy the view of the place that has been declared the most beautiful place in Tyrol.

There are benches and restaurants where you can enjoy traditional Tyrolean cuisine.

Due to the protection of the area, access by car is charged – a small toll gate is located in Hinterriss and is open from May to October. Detailed information about opening hours and prices can be found here.

big maple plateau tyrol
big maple plateau tyrol

Lake Achensee on the map

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map with tips for hikes and things to do at Lake Achensee in 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 about Achensee in Tyrol. 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 at Lake Achensee: the Achensee card

Austria is famous for its Sommercard, which gives you discounts and free entry to transport and attractions in the area. Achensee is no exception, although the discounts here are not as significant as in other regions.

On arrival, you will automatically receive an Achensee Card, with which you can make unlimited use of the regional buses (in the areas of Achenkirch, Maurach, Pertisau, Steinberg, Wiesing and Jenbach). At the same time, you have free access to the sightseeing bus that runs from the lake to Jenbach. Your host will send the card to your mobile phone, where you just need to show it when you board the bus.

Achensee Holiday Card

You can buy the Achensee Holiday Card, which includes the following attractions:

  • unlimited cable car rides to Rofan
  • unlimited cable car rides on the Karwendel
  • Achenseebahn steam cog railway
  • unlimited boat trips on the Achensee
  • museums including Swarovski Kristallwelten

The price of the Achensee Holiday Card is € 94 and € 47 for children (children under 6 years free). The condition is that you must have a basic Achensee Card from your host. The card can then be purchased at the lower cable car stations on Rofan or Karwendel or at the information centres in Achenkirch, Pertisau and Wiesing , or from your host. The card is valid for 7 days from the first use. You can use it from about the end of April to the end of October.

achensee excursions and hiking

When to visit Achensee in Tyrol?

Spring (March to May): In spring, nature comes to life and temperatures start to rise. This is the ideal season for hiking and cycling, especially at lower altitudes where alpine pastures open up. Snow still prevails at higher altitudes.

Summer (June to August): Summer is the most popular time to visit Achensee. The weather is warm and pleasant, ideal for most outdoor activities. Lake Achensee, with its clean and clear water, is becoming a great place for swimming, sailing, windsurfing and other water sports. If you want to guarantee warm and sunny weather, head to the lake in August.

Autumn (September to November): In autumn, nature turns golden and red, which is the ideal season for hiking. Temperatures are still comfortable for early autumn, although mornings and evenings can be cooler. There are also fewer tourists, so you can enjoy Lake Achensee without the crowds.

Winter (December to February): Winter turns Achensee into a winter paradise, ideal for winter sports enthusiasts. The region offers opportunities for downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities. In winter, 150 kilometres of trails are open, so hiking enthusiasts will also enjoy it.

These were our tips for hiking and things to do at Lake Achensee in Austria. Do you have a question? We’ll be happy to answer it in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

More information about Austria

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.

Get inspired by the things to do in Carinthia or enjoy a holiday at one of the lakes in Carinthia. Here is a detailed guide to Lake Wörthersee.

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