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Lake Ossiach Austria Europe nature adventure holiday weekend getaway hiking cycling

A beautiful place to get lost...

"The Carinthian Riviera"

Lake Ossiach, with a shore length of 25 km, is famous for being the third-largest lake in the Austrian state of Carinthia. This unbelievably beautiful lake spreads across 10.5 km² and is superseded by Lake Wörth (17.64 km²) and Lake Millstatt (13.3 km²), in terms of size. Together, the three main lakes are known as the “Carinthian Riviera”

By the way, Carinthia is known as the “Land of Lakes”, featuring over 1,200 lakes! So which one of the hundreds of lakes do you choose for an unforgettable family holiday? Lake Ossiach, of course!

Know before you go

Family holiday at Lake Ossiach Austria Europe nature
Summer in Lake Ossiach Austria Europe nature
Catholic Monastery in Ossiach Austria Europe travel
landscape in Lake Ossiach Austria Europe

Be original and plan your own long weekend to arrive early on a Friday and leave late on a Monday. The lake will do the rest of the work, namely keep you relaxed and “busy”.

A frequently asked question is: Is it worth going to lake Ossiach? The short answer is “Yes!”

For starters, you have plenty of scenic hiking trails and cycle paths calling your name. In addition to these land activities, you can go on a boat cruise of the lake which offers lights meals and refreshments on the way. 

May to September are the best months to enjoy nature at Lake Ossiach.

  • May, being the last month of the Spring season, is particularly popular if you want to avoid the peak-season rates. Likewise for September, being the month when the European schools open again.
  • July is the sunniest month with an average of about 8 hours sunshine a day. 
  • Another noteworthy bit of information is that the boats usually operate from April to mid-October.

I found Ossiach to be a bit more expensive than the average travel costs for Austria. Especially over the peak summer season.

Cycling in Lake Ossiach Austria Europe nature
Lake Ossiach Austria Europe cycle cycling
Monastery Church in Ossiach Austria Europe
Lake Ossiach Austria Europe nature
View of the Catholic monastery of Ossiach on Lake Ossiach Austrian Alps Europe
Aerial view of Lake Ossiach Austria Europe nature

Things to do in and around Lake Ossiach

  • International Music Festival: The “Carinthischer Sommer” originated in Lake Ossiach in 1969. Usually, the traditional event is held in July/August each year.
  • Paragliding: One of the most scenic experiences in Austria is to paraglide from the Gerlitzen Alpe on the northern shore of the lake. 
  • Take a boat cruise and visit the lakes mentioned above, but also Lake Weissensee which is very scenic too. 
  • The warm waters (up to 28°C) of the alpine lakes make for some enjoyable water activities for the entire family.
  • Go on an easy family-friendly 4.8km hike: Domenig Steinhaus Loop from Steindorf am Ossiacher See. On this hike you’ll get to see Steinhaus. Steinhaus featured in the 2015 blockbuster “Point Break” with Luke Bracey,
  • Pop in at the local tourist office to get your copy of up-to-date hiking trails and cycle paths/roads. Alternatively, go to www.komoot.com for a vast selection of different trails. Incidentally, you can leave your bike at home and rent from “Bike Point“. It just makes traveling so much easier if you’re not into competitive cycling.

Getting there...

Klagenfurt Airport (KLU) is 57 km from the lake. Generally, the least stressful way to get to Lake Ossiach is to fly in and hire a car.

Alternatively, take a bus from the airport to Villach. It’s about a ten minute walk to the bus terminal, namely Klagenfurt Annabichl Bahnhof which will take you to Villach Hbf, and ultimately to St. Urban/Ossiachersee Bahnhof. Thereafter you have a further 3 minute walk before you’re in Lake Ossiach.

Lastly, (and more convenient than the bus) you can catch a train from Klagenfurth Hbf to Ossiach-Bodensdorf Bahnhof. The train trip has one change and the trip is about 50 minutes long.

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Explore nearby Klagenfurt

Day trip

History

Do an old town tour in Klagenfurt am Wörthersee and discover the romantic Renaissance courtyards, Klagenfurt’s watchman, and plenty more.

90 MINUTES

Adventure

Scavenger Hunt” is great fun for groups and cheap at the price. Book in advance and keep it as a surprise. You’ll get the instructions via e-mail. Thus, no guide needed. You do it at your own pace!

60 minutes

Sightseeing

Be guided by a professional guide and discover Klagenfurt’s most famous landmarks, art and culture dating back to ancient times.

Where to stay at Lake Ossiach

Travel-and-Home Hotel Review

Travel Tip: There are not many public lake entries. Thus, our choice of accommodation was one with a private beach. And it was worth it!

“The hotel has direct access to the lake and a 10,000 m² beach, which is ideal for playing, fun and relaxation. It is one of the largest private beaches on the lake and features a jumping tower, a playground, badminton and volleyball courts, many kinds of water sports facilities, and much more.”