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Fuschlsee (see=lake) is one of a small chain of lakes found in Austria's Salzkammergut Lake District. This small but popular holiday destination is a sightseeing gem dotted with charming villages, beautiful summer swimming beaches and scenic winter mountain trails. Located in Salzburg Province about 20 miles east of the city of Salzburg, Fuschlsee exudes the essence of Austria. The region is filled with "The Sound of Music" scenes, castle ruins, "holler alms" (mountain hut restaurants) and countless hiking trails all awaiting your discovery.
Formed during Austria's last ice age, Fuschlsee, Mondsee, Irrsee, and Attersee are directly connected by small rivers. All four lakes are part of the River Ager catchment area with Lake Fuschlee's outflow feeding Lake Mondsee. People have been drawn to the beauty of this natural glacial lake for centuries. Archeological evidence dates back to the Iron Age with the first historical record of the lakeside community of Fuschl dating back to the eighth century. Resting on an outcrop of Schober Mountain, 13th century Wartenfels Castle sits in ruins overlooking Lake Fuschl. Further evidence of the area's settlement will be found in the 13th century smoke house found in neighboring Hof Bei Salzburg or an old 1872 mill still operated on a weekly basis.
Visitors will catch glimpses of Austria's history as they hike through the villages lining the six-mile shore. A well-marked path circles the shore and invites hikers to pause in mountain meadows, take a refreshing dip in one of Fuschlsee's secluded inlets, or stop for a meal at a lakeshore restaurant. The lakeshore trail is not strenuous, making it ideal for a family outing. Along the south side of the lake you will find additional signage describing the sights of a nature trail. At the southeastern end of Lake Fuschl lies the community of Fuschl am See. From here, visitors can enjoy a hike through the forest continuing toward the southeast and St. Gilgen, the birthplace of Mozart's mother. Saint Gilgen rests near the shore of Lake Wolfgangsee and offers spectacular views of 5,850-foot Schafber Mountain.
Filbling and Ellmaustain Mountains also rise above the sparkling water and alpine meadows of Lake Fuschl. An easy-paced 90-minute forest hike up Filbling Mountain takes you to Filblingsee, a small mountain lake with a photo-ready view of Lake Fuschl. The climb up Ellmaustein peak is short but strenuous and worth the climb for the photographic views.
After an enjoyable hike there is nothing more relaxing and refreshing than a pleasant swim in a secluded bay or along Fuschl's gently sloped shore. Visitors can select from multiple public and private swimming beaches around Lake Fuschlsee. Despite reaching a chilly depth of 221 feet and average depth of 123 feet, this snow-fed lake has some of the warmest water in Salzkammergut. Beach amenities vary but often include sunbathing lawns, playgrounds, game courts, restrooms and refreshment stands. Parking fees may apply to public beaches, and entrance fees vary at private beaches.
This small 657-acre lake is an ideal place to learn to sail, canoe or windsurf. Boat rentals and classes for beginners, intermediates and children are available among the villages. To preserve the tranquility of this favorite lake, only electric motors are allowed on Lake Fuschl.
Fishing Lake Fuschlsee has been a longstanding tradition, and it remains one of the most popular fishing lakes in the Salzkammergut Lake District. The district states that Fuschlsee is run by a fishing master who is "responsible for the cultivation but also for direct marketing, processing of fish products, licenses, administration, organization, supply and much more." Fishing season runs from April 1 to November 30, and a fishing license is required. A daily fishing limit is in place for lake trout, arctic char, brook trout, whitefish, pike, tench, lake carp, eel, perch and chub. No live bait is permitted, and anglers are limited to "2 rods and/or lines with 1 hook and 5 baits per line."
Amidst all the fishing, fun and scenery of Fuschlsee it is difficult to believe that the area has its dark side. In 1450 the Archbishops of Salzburg built a lakefront country palace along the northwestern shore of Lake Fuschl. Over the centuries the property came into private possession. In 1939 the property was seized for use by the German Foreign Minister, and the landowner was sent to Dachau where he perished. Today the palace has regained its glory and sits on the shore of Lake Fuschlsee as a world-class resort.
A scenic drive to Salzburg will place you at the center of one of Europe's most beautiful cities. The art, architecture and music found in Salzburg each merit a vacation unto themselves, but day trips can be taken to enjoy a selection of sites including: the Baroque architecture of Salzburg's Old Town; Hellbrunn and Mirabell Palaces; museums and family homes of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; and the world-renown Salzburg Festival.
Seemingly tucked deep in the Austrian countryside, Lake Fuschlsee is only a short drive from Salzburg. Offering a remarkable mix of country charm, luxury resorts and endless outdoor recreation, Fuschlsee has long been a favorite destination for local and international visitors. The villages of Fuschlsee are built with tourism in mind. A marvelous selection of holiday homes, guest houses, hotels and inns will be found among the listings of vacation rentals and real estate properties. Select a view with a golden sunset over the mountains or an ancient castle's reflection on the lake and let the peace of this valley surround you.
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