Traunsee, Austria

Traunsee is the fourth largest lake in Austria and the second largest to be uniquely within the territory of that country.  Located within the Salzkammergut tourist area of  Austria, it has a surface of approximately 24.5 km² and a maximum depth of  191 - 207 metres (depending on the source of the information).

To visit the lake, I stayed at Camping Traunsee in Altmünster which is located on the lake shore with wonderful views of the Traunstein which is directly in front and the mountains to the south.

At the southern end of the lake, it is mountainous but this is at the northern tip of the Alps and as one looks towards Gmunden at the northern edge then it becomes comparitively flat although Gmunden itself is dominated by the Grünberg and Traunstein mountains to some degree.  Because of the shade of the mountains, as one moves south it becomes more mysterious, the village of Traunkirchen on the western shore has been inhabited since Neolithic times and itself seems to have secrets to offer.

One can relatively easily cycle around a large part of the lake although the Traunstein mountain blocks the path. For those wanting to do a tour thus of the lake, the final leg can be taken by the steamers that ply between there and the town of Gmunden.  One of the boats dates back to 1931 and is still in as good condition as it was when manufactured.  The boat trip gives one the opportunity to see the mountains and the lake castle at Gmunden from close up. Alternatively, one can take a round trip on the boat from Gmunden.

If one travels by road from the south, then that is now via tunnels but a former road which went around the side of the lake is now open to pedestrians and cyclists.