Achensee or Lake Achen: The largest lake in the Austrian Tyrol (and one of its best kept secrets)

While you read why not listen to my album ‘Electro Baroque‘ (all tracks are also available on iTunes using the link here)? Classical music using modern instruments:

or if you prefer to listen to my electro/techno album ‘Studio Valiumm‘ here are the videos (also on iTunes using the link here):

More info about my music is at the dedicated website www.TRANSFORMATES.com

Author about to set of in the direction of the Austrian Tyrol and the Achensee

Author about to set of in the direction of the Austrian Tyrol and the Achensee

Today it is raining and therefore a perfect day to test my conviction that the Alps can cheer you up on even the most dismal of days – you just need to get off your butt, go outside and open your eyes.

I decided to visit a lake which quite frankly I had never heard of before; this is how most of my sightseeing trips start off. Those of us who have lived in this region are very familiar with lakes like the Chiemsee and the Tegernsee. Both are beautiful locations but because of their close proximity to the A8 Autobahn which connects Munich with Salzburg they are very popular with city dwellers and can get very crowded. They are also therefore rather commercialised and just finding a parking space can be a challenge. Although you can see the alps in the distance the immediate countryside around these lakes is rather flat so if, like me, you have a mountain fetish they can be a bit frustrating.

Achensee Lake landscape view from the south shore footpath on a rainy day

Achensee Lake landscape view from the south shore footpath on a rainy day

So on this rainy day I headed down the Deutsche Alpen Straße (B 307) in the direction of the Achensee. From my alpine hideaway in Bad Feilnbach this route took me past the Schliersee and then the Tegernsee. So before I had reached my ultimate destination I had already had a chance to see two very scenic lakes and, since the (kind) rain had kept most of the tourists indoors, the roads were relatively free. As the photographs in this blog will show the rain did not prevent me from enjoying some fantastic mountain views.

In fact the clouds, together with the mountains, can often help to create some very dramatic images like the one below. As all of my photographs are in high-definition you can get a much more detailed version by clicking your mouse over the picture. In particular this will help to bring the wider panoramic landscape pictures to life.

The clouds creep over the mountains from Germany in the North into the Achensee valley

The clouds creep over the mountains from Germany in the North into the Achensee valley

One of the things that impressed me most about the Achensee is that it is surrounded on all sides by incredible mountain scenery. It sits in the Achental valley which divides the Brandenberg Alps to the east from the Karwendel mountain range in the west.

The Tyrolean Achensee - whereever you look you see mountains: the Brandenberg range to the East and the Karwendel range to the west

The Tyrolean Achensee – wherever you look you see mountains: the Brandenberg range to the East and the Karwendel range to the west

Sometimes lakes in this region have waterfront properties which go right to the shore-line preventing visitors from walking round the lake. This is not the case with the Achensee which has very pleasant made-up walking paths around its perimeter. Clearly on a rainy day it is advisable to bring an umberella. Because this is the largest lake in the Tyrol a stroll around the edge can be something of a challenge; the lake is 1 km wide and 9.4 km long!

The southern Achensee lakeside walk is impressive even on a rainy day

The southern Achensee lakeside walk is impressive even on a rainy day

Wherever you go along the side of the lake you will be able to enjoy splendid alpine views like the ones in the photos below.

Brandenberg moutains to the north-east of the Achensee Lake in the Austrian Tyrol

Brandenberg mountains to the north-east of the Achensee Lake in the Austrian Tyrol

Dramatic views of the Brandenberg Mountain range to the east of the Achensee Lake

Dramatic views of the Brandenberg Mountain range to the east of the Achensee Lake

On the north side of the lake there are sporting facilities. These include a swimming area with a huge wooden platform. The water of the lake is almost of drinking quality and it is so clear you can see down to a depth of up to 10 metres. There are many sailing activities on the lake due to its large size and the winds created along the valley. It is therefore very popular with windsurfers.

Achensee Lake northern shore's swimming area (on a rather quiet day)

Achensee Lake northern shore’s swimming area (on a rather quiet day)

Among the sporting facilities there are also beach volley-ball courts which thanks to this rainy day did not challenge my blood pressure with a preponderance of lightly clad volley-ballettes (today the only naked surface in view was that of the volley-ball court itself!).

Moutains to the north of the Achensee Lake with a somewhat 'naked' looking beach volley-ball pitch in the foreground

Mountains to the north of the Achensee Lake with a somewhat ‘naked’ looking beach volley-ball pitch in the foreground

The mountain scenes at the beginning of the blog were taken from the South side of the lake. Moving 10 kilometers to the North I took the photographs here and those below which show a totally different alpine perspective.

Moutain view from the Achensee northern shore: Tyrolean beauty of southern Austria

Mountain view from the Achensee northern shore: Tyrolean beauty of southern Austria

If you are interested in reading about, and seeing photographs of other scenic ‘secrets’ from the alpine region please take a look at some of my other blog entries. These can be found using the links below:

here (Spitzingsee or Spitzing Lake in the Bavarian Alps)

here (Bavarian Schwarzenberg or the Black Mountain in the Voralpen region)

here (Thiersee or Lake Thier in the Austrian Tyrol), and

here (Bayrischzell: a Bavarian village with an impressive background)

Here’s looking forward to the next rainy day!

Chris Duggleby

Achensee Lake landscape view from the north shore. This is the largest lake in the Tyrol

Achensee Lake landscape view from the north shore. This is the largest lake in the Tyrol

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