Austria, the landlocked country in southern central Europe that is well known for its castles, buildings, and palaces, may not be the first destination that springs to mind when thinking of the perfect paddle boarding location. This article, however, is going to change your mind completely as we’re here to uncover some of the best SUP locations that the country has to offer.
Something we particularly love about paddle boarding through Europe is the fact that with every season, you have a completely different experience. From gliding over crystal clear waters at the base of the Austrian Alps to taking in the views of local towns from the comfort of your own SUP, Austria really has a waterway for everyone, and you won’t be disappointed with your decision to visit.
So, if you’ve been dying to find out where to paddle board in Austria, keep on reading, because trust us, you’ll be thoroughly surprised.
One of the most popular paddle boarding destinations in Austria is Lake Constance which the locals refer to as Lake Bodensee. What makes this lake so popular is the fact that it is surrounded by three countries, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.
Of the three countries that border the lake, the Austrian coastline is the smallest, however that doesn’t take away from how truly magnificent this lake actually is.
If you’re an avid stand-up paddle boarder who enjoys long days out touring, then Lake Constance’s sheer beauty, size, and it’s mixture of cultured shorelines make it quite possibly the ultimate paddle boarding location. And as the lake is so popular, you’ll also find it extremely easy to travel around on land as there are numerous transportation points for locals and tourists alike.
Here are some of the top sites to visit when paddle boarding Lake Constance:
Attersee Lake in upper Austria is the largest lake in the Salzkammergut region, and with such a large surface area, there are many possibilities when it comes to water sports. Paddle boarders especially enjoy the flat calm waters of Lake Attersee, which also happen to be surrounded by mountains, meadows, and towns.
The area around the lake has become popular for hiking as there are numerous trails that take you up the mountains and along the lake’s coastline. You can even paddle along a small river to Lake Mondsee from the southern end of Attersee, so you can tick off two of Austria’s best lakes in one day.
As we just mentioned that you can paddle from Lake Attersee to Lake Mondsee, we thought it was only right to include it next. Lake Mondsee is about half the size of Attersee and has a town that is renowned for its former monastery, the Mondsee Basilica.
Lake Traunsee is Austria’s deepest lake, and like many other waterways in the country, it is encompassed by mountain ranges. The biggest of the mountains, however, is the Traunstein Mountain which is almost 1,700 meters tall.
The summer months see the biggest influx of tourists as the waters in Lake Traunsee are of high-quality bathing water with an average summer temperature of 19 degrees. And because the lake is so deep, you can even go scuba diving!
Lake Zell is another amazing water sports destination where you can practice paddle boarding, surfing, windsurfing, sailing, canyoning, and rafting. You can even kick back and relax in one of the lake’s three lidos or try out your Iron Man skills in the lakeside assault course.
If you want to feel like you’re paddling boarding on a postcard, then lake Hallstätter See is the place to be. This electric blue lake is positioned perfectly next to a rugged mountain backdrop with the most idyllic alpine village you could ever imagine.
With views like this, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that the area of Hallstätter See is actually a UNESCO world heritage site. And, whether you want to explore by SUP or on foot, there is an abundance of sites and attractions to see.
If you’ve finished up with your day on the water, then be sure to check out these other activities that Hallstätter See has to offer.
For a slightly different SUP experience, you’ll want to head to Neusidler See lake. Neusidler See is Austria’s lowest point, and the majority of the lake is only 1.5 meters deep at best, making it an ideal location for beginner paddlers who are trying to perfect their paddle boarding technique and balance.
Neusiedler See is another lake that shares its border with a different country, but this time, however, it is Hungary. You’ll find the weather and water to be stable all year round, and when you’re done with paddling, you can make your way to the region's vineyards to taste a selection of incredible Chardonnays.
The turquoise lake of Worthersee in southern Austria is one of the best paddle boarding destinations for adventurists. If you enjoy heading out on a hike, or even going skiing before or after your time out on the water, then Worthersee is where you want to be.
The region in which Lake Worthersee is located is the reason why the lake glows blue. There aren’t many other waterways in the country that have this unique hue, so in our opinion, that sets Lake Worthersee out from the rest.
Along the shore, you’ll witness a quaint town that is popular among Austrian holidaymakers, as well as mountain peaks and lush greenery.
If you are looking for that picture-perfect blue-turquoise tint to the water, then Lake Achensee is another option just a few hours' drive away from Worthersee. The lake was originally carved out by the Alps glaciers over 20,000 years ago, and as it is nestled between the mountains, you’ll have an incredible backdrop no matter which part you paddle in.
For a unique experience, head to Lake Achensee at sunrise or when the sun is setting to witness the skies turn a range of shades and colors.
Lake Wolfgang offers ideal conditions for a range of water sports, including paddle boarding. If you’re an experienced SUPer looking for slightly more challenging waters, then you’ll be happy to know that you can even surf at Wolfgansee, which is something we find particularly interesting.
The lake is located not too far from the town of Salzburg, which is a popular destination during the summer months. After paddling, you can relax in heated lakeside pools while taking in the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. It really doesn't get much better than that.
Austria has some incredible lakes that make the perfect SUP destinations. Here are some of the prettiest and most popular locations:
Most lakes throughout Austria are suitable for paddle boarding, however, it is advised to do your research before visiting. A quick Google search for the lake you wish to paddle on will show you all the relevant information you’d need before heading on over.
Yes! If you have your own paddle board, then it is totally possible to take it along with you to Austria. We recommend packing an inflatable paddle board as they’re far easier to transport and will cost less if you happen to be traveling by plane.
If you don’t have your own paddle board, then not to worry, there are numerous paddle boards for rent at shops all over the country.
Thanks to the Eurotunnel it is possible to drive from the UK to Austria in under 21 hours. The journey will require you to drive from London, through Belgium and Germany, and into Austria.
Traveling with your paddle board isn’t as difficult as it may sound, especially if you have an inflatable SUP that you can pack down into a backpack or duffel bag. Inflatable SUPs can easily be tucked away in the boot of your car or checked in as regular luggage on airplanes.
Hard top SUPs, however, are slightly more difficult as they’d require a roof rack system for car transportation, and when it comes to airplanes, they’d need to be checked in as oversized luggage.
We have gone into more information on vehicle mounting a paddle board in our article How to Mount a Paddle Board and we’ve also created a step-by-step guide to strapping down your SUP on How to Strap Your Stand Up Paddle Board to Your Car.
The gear you take with you really comes down to your own personal preferences. Some paddleboarders prefer packing light, whereas others take everything but the kitchen sink.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when packing your paddle boarding gear is the amount of weight your paddle board can hold. All SUPs have a weight capacity and if you tip over this limit, it will become incredibly difficult to maneuver and control your SUP.
To make packing that little bit easier we’ve put together a Stand-Up Paddle Board Gear Checklist that includes all the must-haves as well as other items that’ll make your time on the water more pleasurable.
Austria, like many countries in Europe, sees minus temperatures in the winter, and boiling hot days in the summer so gearing up with the correct clothing is extremely important. To get a rough idea of the types of clothing and protection you should be wearing head over to SUP Clothing: What to Wear Paddle Boarding in All Seasons and The Best Gear and Clothes for Cold Weather Paddling.
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