Finding a beautiful lake in Austria it’s not hard since there are dozens. But not all of them have an amazing turquoise colour like Grüner See (Green Lake), also known as the Caribbean of Alpen. Hiking around Grüner See (Green Lake) and spending some leisure time on a blanket at the waterfront, make the perfect getaway for every nature lover.
FACTS ABOUT GRÜNER SEE
Grüner See in Tragöss is one of the most beautiful nature places in Styria, Austria. During the early months, the lake gets filled up with water that melts from the Hochschwab Mountains and can reach a depth of up to 10 meters. At this time of the year, the colour of the lake is changing into a gorgeous turquoise colour. That’s’ the reason why so many visitors choose to visit this natural beauty. In summer, the level of the water begins slowly to sink, and by autumn it’s considerably low. In the winter, the water almost disappears. The authorities were afraid that in time, due to the high number of swimmers and divers, the striking colour of the lake would turn into a cloudy brown colour. Also, they were afraid that flora and fauna would be affected so in conclusion, swimming and diving are forbidden since 2016.
HIKING AROUND GRÜNER SEE
There are many trail options in the area, so find one that suits you before heading to the lake. We chose an easy route before heading to the lake and spending some time on a blanket in the sun.
FLOWER PATH & GRÜNER SEE WALK – 10 KM – 3 hours 30 minutes
FLOWER PATH – 2 HOURS
Highest Point: 1, 345m
First thing, find a parking place near the starting point of the trail, just after you exit Tragöss Oberort. If you can’t find any, leave the car at Festsaal parking area, only 5 minutes walk from where the trail begins.
Follow trail nr. 844, in Messnerin direction. The first part of the hike is steep but manageable, through a pine forest. You’ll reach than a viewpoint with lovely views over Tragöss.
Note: If you visit the area during April and Mai, you will see many Lilies of the Valley flowers. The smell is incredible, making the hike more delightful. But if you come during June and July, you will discover many Edelweiss flowers, the tiny rare white flowers which grow in the high Alps only. Remember, the Edelweiss flowers are protected, so don’t pick them up.
Stay on the path, and in one hour you will reach a junction, going to a hedge from where you can see the Green Lake. At this slight elevation, you’ll have a different perspective on photography as well.
From here, you simply walk through the forest until you reach Grüner See (Green Lake).
GRÜNER SEE WALK – 1 Hour
Highest Point: 793 m
A stroll around the lake takes around one hour, depending on how many times you stop. Although the surrounding mountains are imposing, the lake itself is pretty small. Being easily accessible, during the spring and summer months, the lake gets many visitors so it might be crowdy. But the water is so clear, and the landscape is stunning, so it’s all worth the effort of coming here.
PFARRERTEICH AND KREUZTEICH
On the way to the parking lot, you will find two small idyllic ponds Pfarrerteich and Kreuzteich. Make a little detour and walk around them. There are plenty of benches to sit on, so take a break and have a picnic. The area is quieter than Grüner See so you’ll have better chances to find a place just for yourselves.
MESSNERIN HIKE – 8 Kilometers – 5 Hours
Highest Point: 1,836m
Follow the same steps from the Flowers Path and hike until you reach the junction with Messnerin. From here you’ll have another two hours to reach Messnerin Peak and two hours to reach Green Lake.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR VISIT
- Entrance: FREE, no opening hours
- Best way to come to Tragöss is by car. Parking: 4 EUR, 4.5USD / day. TIP: Leave your car at the Festsaal parking lot, in the middle of Tragöss. It’s free of charge and takes no more than 10 minutes to reach Green Lake.
- Zenz Campingplace offers camping facilities if you choose to camp in Tragöss.
- At Seehof Restaurant you can serve a delicious traditional lunch.
Hiking around Green Lake (Grüner See) should be on everyone’s list travelling to this part of Austria. While most of the people prefer to walk around the lake, I encourage you to take your time and go on a hike through the forest before heading to the lake.