The Old Danube (Alte Donau) is perfect for swimmers, sailors, rowers and windsurfers. There are four lidos along the river and the Gänsehäufel area has two kilometres of beach, swimming pools, playgrounds and cafés for enjoying relaxing summer days. If you’re feeling more adventurous explore the Lobau in the east of Vienna – part of the Donau-Auen National Park.
It has ponds and creeks suitable for swimming and several areas for FKK – nude sunbathing and swimming. From May until October, you can get there with the National Park Boat which leaves at 9am from Salztorbrücke, Franz-Josefs Quay to the Lobau. Or cycle there from the Prater.
The romantic Lunzer See is surrounded by forests and is Lower Austria’s largest lake in. The swimming area has a diving tower for daredevils and there are rental boats with which to explore the lake. Next to the beach is a shell-shaped stage where the Wellenklänge festival is held every year. There is also a popular lakeside restaurant with a terrace and view out over the lake. www.lunz.at
The turquoise-hued Lake Attersee is famous for its excellent sailing conditions. In summer the water temperature is around 25C – making it very pleasant for swimming and diving along the shore. Waterskiing is another popular activity and there are campsites and hotels close to the lake. www.attersee.at
With 300 days of sunshine per year, the Neusiedler See is the spot for sun worshippers. Europe’s westernmost steppe lake and the largest lake in Austria, its deepest point measures only 1.8m. The shallow water warms up very quickly in the summer making the lake a popular destination for families. The Neusiedler See is also great for windsurfing. www.neusiedlersee.com
At 1000m above sea level, the Weissensee is Carinthia’s highest lake. With a temperature of around 24C, the clear water is refreshing even on the hottest of days, and has fantastic visibility. Two thirds of the lake shores are protected by conservation laws, and the area offers great scenic beauty. Ideal for those in search of a peaceful break. www.weissensee.com
The 11km long Wolfgangsee is SalzburgerLand’s largest lake. In addition to the two main resorts, St. Wolfgang and St. Gilgen, there is also Strobl on its eastern shores which offers numerous hotels and camping sites. Thanks to its crystal clear, warm waters, Lake Wolfgang is popular with swimmers, families and scuba divers in summer. wolfgangsee.salzkammergut.at
Known as the ‘Styrian Sea’, Lake Grundlsee is the largest lake in Styria and has 14km of natural beaches, and a section reserved for nudist bathers. It also has boat rental, sailing and surfing classes. www.grundlsee.at
Lake Achensee was created by mountain glaciers and is a great place for swimming, surfing, sailing, rowing, diving, and fishing. There are two bathing areas – the North and the Schwarzenau, which have camping grounds, restaurants, and boat rental. The average water temperature is a chilly 19C – refreshing on a hot day.
Austria’s share of Bodensee, or Lake Constance, is a 27km long stretch of beautiful beaches between the towns of Hörbranz und Gaißau. The Strandbad Bregenz is the largest beach, with an outdoor pool as well as an indoor pool. In the summer the lake has an average temperature of up to 26C, and the swimming pools are 22C.
The town of Hard has Bodensee’s only nudist bathing beach. The charming Militärbad, or “Mili”, lies between Bregenz and Lochau. The former military swimming baths were converted into Bregenz’s first recreational bathing beach in 1825.