Altmuhl Lake, Bavaria, Germany

Also known as:  Altmuhlsee

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Altmuhl Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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All About Altmuhl Lake

Lake Locations: Germany - Bavaria Region, Germany -

Sprawling across the heart of Bavaria in a land more comfortable measuring time in millennia than years, Altmuhl Lake (Altmuhlsee in German) is a recently added treasure. The lake adds 1,112 acres of water for outdoor enjoyment and wildlife to a region already rich in recreation opportunities. Nestled in the Altmuhl Valley surrounded by green meadows and charming, quintessentially German villages, Altmuhlsee is an inspiring Bavaria destination.

Altmuhl Lake is one of several artificial or dammed lakes that make up the Franconian Lake District. It was the first lake created in the lake district which includes Brombachsee, Small Brombachsee, Rothsee, Dennenlohersee, Hahnenkammsee and Igelsbachsee. Altmuhlsee is an artificial reservoir formed in 1986 for water storage and flood control. Most of the lake’s inflow is from the Altmuhl River. The water is stored until needed, then flows into the Brombachsee, the largest and most recently created of the reservoirs in the Franconian Lake District.

Water levels on Altmuhl Lake fluctuate between 1.5 and 2.5 feet over the course of the year with a summer time area of 1,112 acres. It is a shallow lake with a maximum depth of only eight feet, so the lake freezes every winter. The shallow depths and the quality of the water that flows into the lake have contributed to Altmuhlsee’s eutrophication (excessive nutrients), so water quality is an ongoing concern. The lake, however, supports abundant populations of bream, roach, carp, white bream and pike with fishing rights going to the regional sports fishing association. The association sells fishing rights to individuals.

The northwestern side of Altmuhl Lake is full of small islands which have been dedicated as a Nature Reserve. The Vogelinsel or Bird Island includes 300 acres and protects over 200 species of birds. Access to the reserve on foot or by boat is strictly prohibited with the exception of a mile long circular wooden walk for bird watching. Sailing and windsurfing are allowed on the rest of the lake, and there are places to rent pedal and electric boats. Canoes are a great way to enjoy the Altmuhlsee and an even better way to explore the Altmuhl River. The river makes up the lake’s primary outflow, and it is possible to canoe from the outlet at Gunzenhausen along the length of the river to its junction at the Danube River.

Along the way the Altmuhl River flows through the Altmuhltal Nature Park. Hiking and biking trails cross the park which is a mixture of green meadows with grazing sheep, small villages and an abundance of breweries. Medieval castles, Roman watchtowers and evidence of the area’s history dot the valley. The valley is also known for its fossils, and over 800 different kinds of fossils have already been discovered. Most significant perhaps is the archaeopteryx, nine of which have been found in the Altmuhltal. The small reptile-like birds may help make the connection between dinosaurs and birds.

There are holiday homes, cottages and hotels scattered throughout the Altmuhltal including some lakefront vacation rentals on Altmuhlsee. The lake is 31 miles south of Nuremberg, and al of the city’s museum and cultural opportunities are an easy day trip from Altmuhl Lake. With the amenities of Nuremberg, the rich history of the region, and over a thousand acres of water to enjoy, Altmuhlsee is a Bavarian treasure whose value will grow year after year.

Things to Do at Altmuhl Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum

Fish Species Found at Altmuhl Lake

  • Carp
  • Pike
  • Roach

Find Places to Stay at Altmuhl Lake

If you’re considering a Altmuhl Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Altmuhl Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Altmuhl Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Altmuhl Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Surface Area: 1,112 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,352 feet

Maximum Depth: 8 feet

Water Volume: 7,375 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1986

Trophic State: Eutrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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