The Green Lake (Gruener See) in Austria

The Green Lake in Tragöß, also known as the Grüner See, is one of the most beautiful natural sites in Styria and has also become an extremely popular excursion destination in Austria in recent years. Situated at the foot of the imposing Hochschwab Mountains, between high mountains and deep forests, the Green Lake, both in summer and winter, is an absolute highlight for nature lovers. The special thing about it are the almost kitschy turquoise blue water colors, which together with the mountain landscape conjure up a spectacular backdrop. During a hike around the Green Lake you will certainly experience Styria from one of its most beautiful sides! A real highlight that you should not miss.

In this travel guide we give you all the important tips about the Green Lake in Austria. In addition, we show you amazing pictures, the most beautiful places to visit, and lots of information about planning your excursions.

Good to know!

The easiest way to get to Green Lake is by car. Public buses to Tragöß hardly run anymore. Parking costs 6 euros per day and serves to preserve the nature reserve.

If you are still looking for a great accommodation near the Green Lake, then we can recommend the beautiful vacation apartment of HAUS RUSSOLD in a picturesque landscape!

Directly at the Green Lake you are not allowed to camp. However, the beautiful campsite Freizeitsee Zenz is only a few minutes drive away and is also open all year round!

The area around the lake is a fantastic hiking area. The most popular hike is from the Green Lake in the direction of Jassing up to the Sonnschienalm. Wonderful are also tours to the Pribitz, Meßnerin or to the Edelweißboden.

General information about the Green Lake

The Green Lake is located in Styria – Austria, about 80 kilometers from the provincial capital Graz. This natural jewel belongs to the municipality of Tragöß-Sankt Kathrein and is beautifully nestled between the imposing mountains Pribitz, Trenchtling and the Meßnerin. Truly impressive is the crystal clear, emerald green water, which comes from the snow melt in spring. With only 4 to 6 degrees, this lake is ice-cold, and yet not suitable as refreshment, because swimming or diving in the Green Lake has not been allowed for several years for protecting nature.

The approximately 1-hour round trip from the parking lot makes it possible to walk around the Green Lake. On the way you will find numerous benches and nice places for picnics and snacks. The Seehof Inn restaurant also spoils its guests on site with regional delicacies.

It is also interesting that the water level of this meltwater lake changes greatly throughout the year. In late autumn and winter, the lake is only 1-2 meters deep, and in some years it can even disappear completely. At the beginning of summer, however, the Green Lake shows its most beautiful side. Then the maximum water level is between 8.5 and 11 meters, depending on how snowy the previous winter was!


The highlights of the Green Lake in Austria

No matter if spring, summer, autumn or winter, a trip to the Green Lake is worthwhile in every season! In 2014, this natural spot was even voted the most beautiful hidden place in Austria. If you are planning a trip, we have compiled the most beautiful impressions and impressions for you here:

The Green Lake in Summer

As soon as winter is over and the temperatures rise again in April, the lake fills with meltwater. The color of the mountain lake seems even more turquoise than usual, which is due to the lime dust in the water. An almost kitschy natural scenery awakens and attracts visitors from all over the world to admire the dreamlike play of colors and the green landscape. Locals often refer to their Green Lake as the “Caribbean of Styria” – and truly, the water colors here are absolutely magical!

Around the lake there are beautiful places to take a breather and let nature take its toll on you during a romantic picnic. It’s worth taking a look at the lake, because when the water level is high, it miraculously makes some hiking trails, bridges and benches even disappear into the water.

The Green Lake in Winter

In winter, tranquility returns to Green Lake. The picturesque region turns into a dreamlike, snow-covered, barren and clear winter landscape. The tourists tend to stay away then, and it becomes really romantic and idyllic. The mixture of icy air, the silence and the crystal clear turquoise water creates a unique ambience. With a little luck, you have the whole lake to yourself. Due to the low water level, you can easily walk around the lake even in winter.

A beautiful cross-country ski trail starts at the parking lot of the Green Lake. Equipment can be rented on the spot in the small hut. The 14.5-kilometer trail runs through an impressive landscape and even passes the nearby Pfarrerlacke for a short distance.

Getting to Green Lake & Parking

Public buses to Tragöß go rather rarely. The easiest way to get to Grüner See is with your own car or rental car. Parking costs 6 euros per day and can be paid directly at the machine. Here are a few distances to the larger towns in the area:

  • 35 minutes from Bruck/Mur
  • 50 minutes from Leoben
  • 1:15 hours from Graz
  • 2 hours from Vienna

Hikes in the region of the Green Lake

You can perfectly combine a trip to Green Lake with a hike in the surrounding mountains! In the region you will find numerous great walks, hiking trails and mountain tours. Here are a few of the most beautiful ones:

  • Grüner See Circular Trail: the 1-hour circular trail leads from the parking lot about 1 kilometer to the lake, passing smaller lakes such as the Pfarrerlacke and the Kreuzteich. Then it goes another kilometer once around the lake, and back to the parking lot.
  • Hike to the Sonnschienalm: The most famous tour in this area is the hike to the Sonnschienalm. The best way is to go by car in the direction of Jassing. From there you start the ascent via the Russenstraße, which takes about 1.5 hours and can also be easily managed with children.
  • Edelweißboden: A real insider tip is the 3-hour hike to the Edelweißboden at Trenchtling. From the end of June to the end of July you can marvel at the blooming of thousands of edelweiss flowers, a truly enchanting natural spectacle.


Best accommodations near the Green Lake

In Tragöß and the surrounding area you will find some nice accommodations. Most of them are privately run apartments or small family-run guesthouses. If you would like to stay a few days in this region, we have put together our recommendations for great accommodations near Grüner See…it’s worth a look!

  • Pension: The Haus Bergblick is a lovely vacation rental just 3 kilometers from the lake. Guests love the hospitality, the delicious breakfast and the central location!
  • Vacation apartment: The HAUS RUSSOLD in a relaxed atmosphere offers a pretty vacation apartment in beautiful surroundings. The facilities and cleanliness are also excellent.
  • 4-star Hotel: If you want to combine your trip to the Green Lake with wellness, we recommend the beautiful Falkensteiner Hotel & Asia Spa in Leoben.

Find the best Accommodation around Tragoess:

Read more about Austria:

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.



  1. Superschöne Bilder vom grünen See im Winter! Auch die im Sommer, aber im Winter kenne ich den See selbst nicht, ist schon faszinierend schön!! 🙂
    Lg Sabrina von smilesfromabroad

  2. Loved the blog. Green Lake is beautiful in both the seasons, but to me, I guess I would prefer the one in summer. It looks so beautiful and green. Loved the pictures in this blog.

  3. Wow, the lake is gorgeous whether in winter or summer. I cannot decide which season I would rather visit this place! Maybe summer though, I hate the cold even though it is beautiful. Btw, that yellow dress is super cute and fits right in with the lush green surroundings.

  4. Followingtherivera Reply

    I’m definitely sold on this gorgeous green lake! It’s great to read it’s free to visit too. Thanks for sharing this beautiful place!

  5. Wow! You can see why it’s called Green Lake! It’s absolutely stunning 🙂 I have been to Austria, though only for a few days, and that was to Snow Bombing Festival, so I didn’t see much scenery. This place looks amazing though, and handy that you’ve included tips on how to travel there x

  6. Oh man, glacial lakes – there’s nothing like them. Last time I saw lakes like this was in Banff 🙂 What a stunning set of photos!! Thanks for the amazing inspo.

  7. That is one gorgeous lake! I am sure there are many such hidden gems in Austria that I have never heard about. I was there in December and would’ve loved to visit if I had known. I did not see a lot of gorgeous lakes in the winter time there, and it seems like I missed something really amazing. What a pity! By the way, I love your little yellow summer dress 🙂

  8. Danila Caputo Reply

    We’ve only seen Vienna, but clearly we’ve been missing out! The Green Lake looks so beautiful in Winter, next year we might have to visit!

  9. I love that it’s called the Caribbean of that area! Rightfully so with that crystal clear water! I did not have this lake on my radar but thanks to you, now I do!

  10. The Green Lake looks so mesmerizing. The beauty of the lake has a strange mystical quality to it. Your photos have brought alive the ethereal look of the lake in stunning detail What I am awed by is the way the lake assumes a different avatar in winter and summer. If it is beautiful in winter, it looks unbelievably stunning in summer.

  11. I’ve never even heard of Grüner See before but it looks like a stunning part of Austria. I’ve wanted to visit this gorgeous country again for ages now, I’ve only been to Vienna. Your photos are amazing, I especially love the one of you in the yellow dress!

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