Carinthia is wonderfully warm in the summer and is home to more than 200 lakes. With its excellent weather and sparkling water, it makes sense why so many tourists come to the South Eastern corner of Austria for their holidays. As a resident of Carinthia, I love to spend my free time in summer swimming in the many lakes nearby. The Villach region is home to 9 lakes, ranging from the beautiful turquoise of Lake Faak to the natural beauty of Lake Vassach.
The largest lake in the Villach region is Lake Ossiach which is located just north of the Villach city center. The lake is a deep emerald green and has excellent views of the Gerlitzen Mountain and the Ossiach Tauern mountain range. In the summer, the town of Ossiach hosts an international music festival as part of the Carinthischer Sommer. The large lake has a fantastic cycle path that encircles the lake as well as many sports rental facilities nearby. Besides going for a swim, I also enjoy walking around Stift Ossiach which is a beautiful abbey located right next to the lake.
Lake Faak is Austria's Southernmost lake and is known for its beautiful turquoise color. In the summer, Lake Faak reaches up to 27°C making it a perfect destination for a summer swim. Ever heard of an island in the middle of a lake? The only car free island in Austria is located at Lake Faak and has scenic woods as well as a four-star hotel. Lake Faak also hosts European Bike Week which is the largest motorcycle rally in Europe.
In addition to the large lakes of Lake Faak and Lake Ossiach, there are 7 more lakes throughout the Villach region. "See" is the German term for lake.
Afritzer See. Located in the Gegend Valley in the Nock Mountains, Afritzer See is known for its natural beauty.
Aichwaldsee. Only a kilometer from beautiful Lake Faak, this lake has excellent views of Mittagskogel.
St. Leonharder See. A recreational lake that is perfect for sunbathing. Located just northeast of Villach.
Silbersee. Conveniently located next to the Drau cycle path and accessible by the summer Drau river cruise. This lake is a popular spot to play beach volleyball.
Magdalenen See. Located only three kilometers from the Villach city center. Insider tip, be sure to visit the nearby Hauser's Mostschenke in St. Magdalen for a fantastic Austrian Brettljause dinner.
Vassacher See. A quiet lake located by Kumitzberg and Oswaldiberg. This lake is surrounded by forest and natural beauty.
Wernberger Badesee. Perfect for families, this lake near Föderlach has a children's play area, volleyball courts, and a 65-metre-long water slide.
Summer is my favorite time of year in Villach and I love spending time at the lakes. So far, I have only gone to 4 of the 9 lakes in the Villach region. Sounds like I need to add trips to the 5 remaining lakes as part of my summer bucket list.
Do you have a favorite lake in the Villach region? I would love to hear your thoughts and any insider tips in the comments. Viel Spass an den Seen!
Chelsea Navarro is an American expat from California, USA.
She has lived in Villach with her partner and dog since February, 2016. She enjoys exploring the Austrian wilderness, drinking Villacher beer and traveling around Europe.