Grüner See is rightfully considered one of the wonders of Austria. The lake is often called the Emerald Lake because of the special shade of its water. Hiking trails of different lengths and difficulties are arranged along the shores of the lake. Stunning views are along these trails. Diving on the lake is one of the most unusual tourist attractions in Austria.
The road to the lake goes through the villages. The area is pastoral, surrounded by well-groomed fields and beautiful houses. Parking is available near the campsite, where you can stay overnight. Many walking routes diverge from here, one of the most popular is described in this route. You can drive directly to the lake by car, but our route includes another lake that was not originally planned, but it was worth it.
This additional lake is called Lake Cross - "Kreuzstich".
Mount Pribitz rises above the lake. It is reflected in the greenish-blue clear water. The height of Pribits mountain is 1579 meters above sea level. It forms the eastern border of the Lamingtals Valley on Trages in the “high mountains” of the Hochschwabgebiet in Styria. The maximum height of the ridge is 1835 meters above sea level.
One of the most beautiful views of Lake Cross and Mount Pribitz is located here. There are several options for climbing the mountain. The parking route leads first through forest paths to Klammhöhe and then onto the Pribitz plateau. On Pribitsalm (1405 meters above sea level), there is a plateau with magnificent views of Green Lake.
Rainbow trout is abundant in the lake. Rainbow trout can reach the length of half a meter and weigh up to two kilograms. This fish loves fresh and clean water, like this one. Growing into a grown-up one, this beautiful fish with a silver-white abdomen and a greenish back with brown spots on its sides becomes a predator. She can devour frogs, chicks, and small rodents. Trout spawns from March to May, when the Cross Lake is overfilled with water.
This stunning lake is filled with water from snowmelt in March. Excess water flows through the dam into the Lyaming brook and a complex system of irrigation canals that feed the fertile valley. Rainbow trout spawns near the dam in a turbulent course, laying large eggs up to half a centimeter in diameter.
This point is very suitable for photographing the most beautiful views of the lake and Mount Pribits.
Residents stroll along the lake, and the small chapel pleasantly reminds faithful Catholics that all the beauty of the Earth, as well as the universe, is part of the grand plan and craft of the Lord.
In winter, the water in the lake freezes, and it turns into the most beautiful ice rink, where ice is shining in blue and emerald color. On sunny days, the surface of the lake reflects the mount Pribits as a mirror.
The path rises up and leads through the forest to the most beautiful lake - Grünen Zee - Emerald Green Lake.
A restaurant is right in front of the lake, provides services for groups, and organized excursions. Different hiking trails start from here. A popular route for hiking is the path through the gorge to Sonnschienalm and Ebenstein. For experienced travelers, a hiking trail in Messnerin is recommended. There is also an information center for all divers who flood the lake in spring. Here you can also use the public toilet.
Officially, Green Lake is a karst lake in Styria in the municipality of Trages-Sankt Katherine in the Oberort district. It is located on the south side of the Hochschwabgruppe massif. In late summer - early fall, the water in the lake reaches its lowest point.
The lake is filled with water due to its topography formed by a giant landslide that descended from the southern flank of the Messnerin massif towards Trages in prehistoric times.
The lake is filled with water due to melting snow on the surrounding mountain slopes. This process is gradual, and the water is immaculate. Throughout the year, the water is cold (5-6 ° C), and its level is highly dependent on the season. The highest watermark is reached at the beginning of summer, then the lake is in its real beauty, with depth along the coast of about 10 meters. In the autumn, it dries almost completely. At this time, meadows with hiking trails and benches again emerge to the surface from under emerald water.
The hue of the waters is unique, and a simple physical phenomenon causes this. The pure water on the lake surface absorbs first infrared light, and therefore the lake appears blue-green in thick layers of water closer to the middle. This effect is enhanced by the big amount of small, almost powdered fragments of limestone rock, which is in a colloidal state, which reflects, first the blue-green light shades.
The mountains around the lake protect it from the winds. The lake is located in a basin and receives cold air coming down from the mountains in the complete absence of wind. Thus, there are hardly any waves on the lake, and it is practically devoid of intensive evaporation of water. This phenomenon allows you to easily see the water even from the smallest angle of view - almost when the light glides over the surface. Bright white limestone helps increase brightness underwater when the lake is flooded. Its color seems to be "shimmering emerald green." All this leads to extremely high visibility in the water - up to 50 meters, which attracts divers.
Streams of thawed snow do not dry out throughout the year. They always murmur, feeding the lake. When the water runs out and the air temperature rises - the lake becomes shallow, almost dry. Then frosts strike, the streams freeze, the lake freezes, and, frozen in the wizard of ice, everyone expects spring. In spring and summer, the lake is filled with water and floods the trails and benches with emerald clean and cold water, and, by the end of summer, having become shallow again, the lake repeats this ritual from year to year.
Walking along the paths along the shores of the lake you can find many wonderful places for photographs.
The benches around the lake are in surprising places. As a rule, It is where the view is most beautiful where you want to sit down and enjoy the beauty.
By diving in the lake, divers can enjoy the special fish-eye effect created by the diver mask together with the water surface. Due to the calm surface of the water and the constant refraction of light on its surface, a wide-angle, unobstructed view appear of the forest around the lake and the towering mountains. In the supine position, when you look vertically up, you can see the mountains on the right and left at the same time when the spheric effect of the mask window for diving is strengthened by the wide-angle impact of the surface of the water.
On October 25, 2014, Green Lake was shown on the television show ORF 9. The lake was included in the nine most beautiful places in Austria according to the choice of viewers, and by the jury choice - as the most beautiful little-known place in Austria. This discovery caused an international tourist movement in 2015.