Hallstatter See, Upper Austria, Austria
Also known as: Lake Hallstatter, Lake Hallstatt, Hallstattersee
Welcome to the ultimate guide to Hallstatter See — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!
Topics we cover in this article:
- All About Hallstatter See
- Things to Do
- Fish Species
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Hallstatter See Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Shop Hallstatter See Gifts
Looking for Hallstatter See cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.
All About Hallstatter See
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.
Things to Do at Hallstatter See
- Vacation Rentals
- Water Skiing
- Scuba Diving
Fish Species Found at Hallstatter See
- Lake Trout
- Rainbow Trout
Find Places to Stay at Hallstatter See
If you’re considering a Hallstatter See 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 Hallstatter See Vacation
If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Hallstatter See lodging partners.
- VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
- Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com 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.
- Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com 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.
Hallstatter See Statistics & Helpful Links
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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