Hallstatter See, Upper Austria, Austria

Lake Locations:

Austria - Upper Austria -

Also known as:  Lake Hallstatter, Lake Hallstatt, Hallstattersee

Lake Hallstatter (Hallstatter See or Hallstattersee in German) is one of the best known lakes in Austria’s Salzkammergut resort area. A popular lake for scuba diving, scenic cruises and fishing, the surrounding mountains and alpine meadows also offer a variety of outdoor experiences including Nordic walking, hiking, cycling and paragliding. Hallstattersee is found in the Austrian state of Oberosterreich (Upper Austria) just over a one-hour drive southeast of Salzburg or two-hour drive from Munich.

The history of Hallstattersee, and the community of Hallstatt, begins with the area’s rich salt deposit. Archeological findings place discovery of the salt as early as 5000BC. Evidence of continued habitation was discovered in 1846 when a prehistoric cemetery was uncovered near Hallstatt. A study of the cemetery remains helped define the Early Iron Age (800BC-400BC) which became known as “The Hallstatt Period.” Over the centuries Illyrians, Celts, Romans and eventually European royalty held title to the precious mineral. It wasn’t until the 19th century that a connecting road and railroad brought tourism to Hallstatt, meaning “estate of the salt chamber.” In 1997 the valuable history of Hallstatt was recognized when Hallstatt-Dachstein-Salzkammergut became a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Lake Hallstatt is a deep, glacially carved lake. With a surface area of 2,120 acres (8.58 square kilometers), Hallstattersee is the fifth largest lake in the Salzkammergut. Listed according to size, the four larger lakes are Attersee at 11,342 acres (45.9 square kilometers); Traunsee at 6,326 acres (25.6 square kilometers); Mondsee at 3,511 acres (14.21 square kilometers); and Wolfgangsee at 3,249 acres (13.13 square kilometers). The River Traun flows through Lake Hallstatter providing the majority of inflow and outflow while helping to maintain a maximum depth of 410 feet (125.2 meters) and average depth of 213 feet (64.9 meters).

With summer water temperatures at 66 degree Fahrenheit (19 degrees Celsius), Hallstatter See is a bit chilly for swimming. Those who choose to dip will find a naturist’s area and multiple swimming (bathing) areas with changing facilities, sun bathing lawns, tables and playgrounds. Lake Hallstatter is a popular scuba diving lake. Designated diving sites are marked along the western and southern shore where the dramatic scenery above the lake continues into the depths of the clear water.

Boating on Lake Hallstatter is limited to canoes, kayaks and rafts with boat rentals readily available around the 13-mile shoreline. Power boats, water skiing, personal water craft and sailboats are not permitted. Taking a lake excursion on area cruise ships is highly recommended. Bring your camera and capture the dramatic cliffs and steep slopes of the Dachstein Mountains rising from this fjord-like lake to create one of the most photographed settings in Austria.

During the winter, temperatures get cold enough to freeze Hallstatter See. When the lake water is open you find shore anglers casting a line for river trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, arctic char, pike, carp, eel and many types of white fish. Fly-fishermen enjoy fishing for large grayling along the 95 mile (153 kilometer) River Traun. Whether you fish the lake or the river, a fishing permit is required and available at several stops in the lakeside communities.

Move beyond the shore of Lake Hallstatt and you will find what are described as the loveliest walks in the Salzkammergut. Trails cross working farms, alpine meadows, tree-covered slopes, and even across Hallstattersee on a suspension bridge. Additional paths and trails are open to cycling and mountain biking. Take the cable car past the village of Obertraun and explore Dachstein caves. Within the village of Hallstatt, take the opportunity to visit the historic salt mines and the Cultural Heritage Museum that hold the history of Hallstattersee.

If your adventurous spirit prefers an elevated view, you can climb the Dachstein Mountains, paraglide or enjoy a hot air balloon ride over the lake and rural countryside. From the heights you will find the villages of Obertraun (population approximately 750) and Hallstatt (population approximately 1,000) at the southern end of the lake and the market town of Bad Goisern (population approximately 7,600) immediately north of Lake Hallstatter. The view captures traditional Austrian architecture, historic buildings and a lush alpine setting that creates a perfect image of the Austrian countryside. Within the communities and along the banks of Lake Hallstatter, visitors will find an excellent selection of camp sites and caravan sites or vacation rentals including self-catering cottages, apartments, flats, homes and for those fortunate to call this fairy tale land home – real estate properties.

Whether you come to enjoy the summer scenery or ski and snowboard Krippenstein, a 6,890-foot (2100 meter) mountain towering over Lake Hallstatter, you will be surrounded by Austria’s beautiful scenery and the warmth of its people. Whether you are drawn by dramatic landscape or endless adventure, the exceptional awaits at every turn leaving you with the memory of a perfect Austrian holiday.

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Things to do at Hallstatter See

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Museum
  • Playground

Fish species found at Hallstatter See

  • Carp
  • Char
  • Eel
  • Grayling
  • Lake Trout
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Trout

Hallstatter See Photo Gallery

Hallstatter See Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 2,120 acres

Shoreline Length: 13 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,667 feet

Average Depth: 213 feet

Maximum Depth: 410 feet

Water Volume: 451,567 acre-feet

Water Residence Time: 6 months

Lake Area-Population: 9,350

Drainage Area: 159,754 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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