The Naturschutzgebiet Vilsalpsee nature reserve is one of the most beautiful spots in the Tannheimer Tal Valley. Along its shore grow 700 different plant species, including rare wild orchids. Great crested grebes are among the many birds which have made this charming corner of Tirol the highest avian breeding area in Austria.
As you can tell, Lake Vilsalpsee is very much a place to get away from it all and relax. Though swimming in the lake is permitted, the water temperature in summer is usually no higher than 18°C, so those brave enough to take the plunge are often back out on the shore within a few minutes!
Visitors who would rather keep their feet dry (and warm!) can hire a rowing boat on the northern shore or take a walk around the lake and admire the reflection of the Gaishorn and Rauhorn mountains in the water. Further popular attractions are the Vilsalpe hut, just a few metres from the southern shore, and the Bergaicht waterfall at the end of the valley.
There are two restaurants on the lake’s northern shore serving fresh fish from the lake, including brown trout, lake trout and arctic char. Fishing in the lake is also permitted.
The road leading into the nature reserve is closed to private cars from 10:00 until 17:00. During these hours the lake can be reached on foot, via horse-drawn carriage or by bus.