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Guide to Lake Gosau in Austria - Everything you need to know before your visit

Plan your perfect trip to Lake Gosau in Austria with our comprehensive guide. Discover how to get there, where to stay, and how to have a fantastic day at Lake Gosau.

Guide to Lake Gosau in Austria

Gosausee is a stunning alpine lake surrounded by the majestic Dachstein Mountains. Lake Gosau is a spot where you can happily spend the whole day without getting bored, even for a moment. Whether you're dipping into the refreshing glacier water or conquering world-class via ferratas, Lake Gosau offers something for everyone.

Watch our YouTube video from our Road Trip to Austria

How to get to Lake Gosau

Without a doubt, the easiest way to reach Lake Gosau is by private car. Once there, you'll find ample free parking for both cars and motorhomes. However, during our August visit, which was the peak season, this parking area, though fairly large, filled up quickly. Therefore, I recommend arriving early if you plan to visit Gosau Lake during the summer months.

Alternatively, you can take bus 544 from Hallstatt Lahn (Seelände) station to Hallstatt Gosaumühle station, then transfer to bus 541. This journey typically takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour.

What's the best time to visit Lake Gosau

Lake Gosau is a year round attraction and you can enjoy it regarding of any weather (as long as it's not raining).

Guide to Lake Gosau in Austria

What to do at Lake Gosau

Lake Gosau is a destination where you can spend the entire day. Nature lovers will surely enjoy taking a stroll around the lake, dipping into its clear glacier water or renting a boat. For adventure seekers, there are options like a short hike to Hinterer Gosausee, another stunning lake, or trying one of the two via ferratas starting from the lake. Additionally, there's a cozy restaurant right next to the lake where you can enjoy lunch or a refreshing drink. Gosau Lake is a place that can satisfy even the most discerning visitors!

Guide to Lake Gosau in Austria

Hike to Hinterer Gosausee

This popular hike leads you to another stunning lake - Hinterer Gosausee. The trail is easy and well-maintained with a moderate incline.

🥾 Easy

⛰️ Total Distance: 6.5 KM (point to point)

📈 Incline: 250M

While hiking between the lakes, you can immerse yourself in nature and feel like you're in a remote area. The trail passes through a dense forest shaded by pine trees. To be honest, it's not the most spectacular trail in Austria, but having the option to see another nearby lake makes it a great choice for exercise. Hinterer Gosausee is a small glacier lake surrounded by the Dachstein mountains. When you reach the lake, you'll notice a perfect spot for a picture on the stump of a broken tree.

You can extend your hike and walk up to Adamekhütte. This 10.5-kilometer hike (from Lake Gosau) is already physically challenging as you have to ascend over 1300 meters, but it might be worth it as you'll see some fantastic views over the lakes and surrounding area.

Hiking around Lake Gosau

Taking a stroll around the lake might be one of the best things to do at Lake Gosau. The footpath is very well maintained, but it's not suitable for bikes and can be uncomfortable for strollers because the path sometimes becomes narrow and has many tree roots.

🥾 Easy

⛰️ Total Distance: 4 KM (round trip)

📈 Incline: 0M

⏱️ Total Duration: up to 1h

Guide to Lake Gosau in Austria

What is a Via Ferrata

A via ferrata is a protected climbing route that originated in the Alps. The protection includes steel fixtures such as cables to which climbers clip themselves using a via ferrata protection kit, and railings to step on or hold onto. Climbing via ferratas is usually done individually, without the support of a guide. Climbers need to be familiar with using climbing protection equipment like harnesses, carabiners, and helmets. Via ferratas can be a safe way to explore less accessible parts of the mountains and provide a great challenge to oneself.

Guide to Lake Gosau in Austria

Short Via Ferrata Laserer Alpin Klettersteig

This moderate via ferrata starts right from the trail on the left side of the lake and takes around 45 minutes to complete. In the first part, climbers walk their way below the trail, just a meter above the water. Later, after climbing a high ladder, you reach a very high place from which you can see the entire lake. The top part of the trail can make your blood run cold. Although this via ferrata is very short, I found it to be quite physically demanding as I had to hold onto the steel cable most of the time. Using via ferrata gloves is highly recommended when climbing this route.

Guide to Lake Gosau in Austria

Long Via Ferrata Klettersteig Donnerkogel

The iconic Austrian via ferrata is famous for its thrilling part - a 40-meter ladder called the "Stairway to Heaven," which leads to the top of Donnerkogel mountain (2054 m). This route is not for the faint-hearted, as it is rated C/D+ (Difficult) and requires a good fitness level and climbing experience.

To reach the starting point, you can take a scenic cable car from Gosau Lake and then hike for about 2 kilometers to the trailhead. The route is very exposed and might become challenging after a rainy day. There's no shade to hide from the strong summer sun, so it's advisable to cover your body and carry enough water. This is a very popular route, so it might get busy. I arrived with the second cable car on that day, and the trail was already crowded, which extended the overall time to 5 hours. Many visitors overestimate the challenge and panic at the more difficult parts of the trail. Fortunately, there are 3 exits where you can safely leave the trail, so it's advised to study the map before the hike. From the end of the via ferrata, climbers must walk down a regular mountain trail for another few kilometres.

Guide to Lake Gosau in Austria

Trying the Donnerkogel Via Ferrata was a long-time dream of mine, but also a great challenge. When I visited it on an early morning in August, it was very busy, and I spent over 5 hours waiting in the queue to complete this trail. There was no moment when I felt comfortable or safe. I was most afraid of the famous ladder, but the most challenging part turned out to be right after it. This hike requires good climbing skills and lots of experience in via ferratas. My biggest mistake was not having enough water for this 5-hour-long exercise.


Apr 05

I was looking for information about those lakes! Thank you so much. Very useful 😉 I also watched your YouTube video. You guys deserve so much more views and subscribers! Keep up good job! Best luck, from Czech Republic ! 🇨🇿


Apr 05

This is great! Thank you!


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