While Austria boasts numerous picturesque lakes, Grüner See (Green Lake) stands out with its unique turquoise hue, earning it the nickname ‘Caribbean of the Alps ‘. Hiking around Grüner See, followed by a leisurely lakeside picnic, offers an idyllic escape for nature enthusiasts.

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Facts about Grüner See (Green Lake)

a walk through the forest at Grüner See

Located in Tragöss, Styria, Grüner See is not just a natural site but a living, breathing entity that is undergoing a remarkable transformation. During the early months, the lake fills with water that melts from the Hochschwab Mountains, creating a spectacle that can reach a depth of up to 10 meters.

At this time of the year, the lake’s color is changing into a gorgeous turquoise color. This is due to a natural phenomenon where the sunlight reflects off the limestone in the lake, creating a stunning visual effect. It’s no wonder why so many visitors choose to visit this natural beauty.

In summer, the water level begins slowly to sink, and by autumn, it’s considerably low. In winter, the water almost disappears.

The authorities, recognizing the fragility and uniqueness of Grüner See, took a bold step in 2016. They prohibited swimming and diving, fearing that the lake’s striking color would turn cloudy brown and the delicate flora and fauna would be affected. This decision stands as a testament to our collective responsibility to protect and preserve our natural wonders.

Hiking around Grüner See – 10 km – 3 hours 30 minutes

Hiking around Green Lake (Grüner See) is a unique adventure that should be on everyone’s list when traveling to this part of Austria. While most people prefer to walk around the lake, I encourage you to take your time and immerse yourself in the enchanting forest before heading to the lake.

Rest assured, there are numerous trail options in the area, making it a breeze to find one that suits your preferences. We chose an easy route before heading to the lake and spending a leisurely time on a blanket in the sun.

First, find a parking place near the trail’s starting point, just after you exit Tragöss Oberort. If you can’t find one, leave the car at the Festsaal parking area, which is located on the main road, only a 5-minute walk from the trail’s beginning.

Flower Path Walk – 2 Hours 

Highest Point: 1, 345m

lovely views over the valley at Tragöss

Follow trail nr. 844, in Messnerin’s direction. The first part of the hike is steep but manageable through a pine forest. You’ll reach a viewpoint with lovely views over Tragöss.

lovely flowers at Grüner See

Note: If you visit the area during April and May, you will be greeted by the sight and scent of many Lilies of the Valley flowers, enhancing your hiking experience. However, if you come during June and July, you will discover many Edelweiss flowers, the tiny, rare white flowers that grow only in the high Alps. Please remember that the Edelweiss flowers are protected, so it’s crucial not to pick them up, ensuring their preservation for future visitors to enjoy.

lovely flowers at Grüner See

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. This viewpoint offers a stunning panoramic view of the lake and the surrounding mountains, providing a unique perspective for your nature photography. From here, you walk through the forest until you reach Grüner See (Green Lake).

Grüner See Walk – 1 Hour

Highest Point: 793 m

Hiking around Grüner See(Green Lake), Austria

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 area attracts many visitors; therefore, it gets crowded. But the water is so clear, and the landscape is stunning, so it’s all worth coming here. The best time to visit is early morning when you barely see anyone around. Hiking around Grüner See without crowds is definitely something you will cherish. 

Pfarrerteich & Kreuzteich Walk

Pfarrerteich & Kreuzteich , Hiking around Grüner See(Green Lake), Austria

On the way to the parking lot, you will discover two small, serene ponds, Pfarrerteich and Kreuzteich, perfect for a peaceful pause in your journey.

Make a little detour and walk around them. There are plenty of benches to sit on, so take a break and have a picnic.

In contrast to the bustling Grüner See, the area offers a unique opportunity to find a secluded spot, making your visit feel exclusive and special.

Messnerin Hike – 8 Kilometers – 5 Hours 

Highest Point: 1,836m 

Amazing views over the Hochschwab Mountains

Follow the same steps from the Flowers Path walk and hike until you reach the junction with Messnerin. From here, you’ll have another two hours to reach Messnerin Peak and two more hours to reach the Green Lake.

Things to Know Before Hiking Around Grüner See

the lovely church in Tragöss

Entrance: FREE, no opening hours.

The best way to come to Tragöss is by car. 

Parking: 4 EUR, 4.5 USD / day.

TIP: Leave your car at the Festsaal parking lot in Tragöss. It’s free of charge, and it 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 have a delicious traditional lunch.

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Hiking around Grüner See in Austria

Austria Travel Resources

Car rentals

We always use DISCOVER CARS when we want to rent a car as it compares local, national and international companies. Renting a car is the easiest way to see all the famous country has to offer. All mountain destinations are easy to access with a rental car, and having your own car is also the smoothest way to travel between Austrian cities and mountain villages. Check out the best rental deals HERE.

Secure your travel insurance

We never leave home without travel insurance designed to cover our expenses if something goes wrong. If you’re still on the lookout for travel insurance for your trip to Austria, I highly recommend HEYMONDO, a trusted insurance provider for leisure and business trips, backpackers, long-term travelers, and digital nomads. Their travel insurance protects against theft, flight delays, injury, illness, cancellations, and much more.

Get an eSIM before the trip

Because phones have become our most important devices, it’s necessary to have a data connection as soon as you step foot in a different country. Your home data plan might only work if you paid for a much more expensive package, finding wifi connections in airports or train stations might be tricky, and seeking a local store to buy a SIM card might be exhausting. Forget all of that!

You just purchase an e-SIM, install it on your phone, and activate the plan when you’re ready to use it. Getting out of the plane and instantly connecting to data was a game changer for me. I didn’t have to waste time standing in line to get a local SIM card or finding a wifi connection to book a taxi to reach my hotel.

If you ask me, getting an e-SIM is a quintessential part of traveling. There is no physical installation and no long-term commitments. And the best part is that you can always top up or purchase a new plan through the app. Pretty convenient, right? You can get an e-sim card with AIRALO

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