The constructions of hydropower plants sometimes can have positive effects, such as the creation of the Durlaßboden artificial lake, a man-made beauty. A large mountain lake Durlaßboden is located in the municipality of Gerlos, in the beautiful Ziller Valley at 1,400 metres above the sea level. The borderline between the Austrian federal states of Tyrol and Salzburg runs exactly through this lake, that became a popular tourist location since it was constructed. Lake Durlaussboden is surrounded by the impressive Zillertal Alps and the Reichenspitz mountain range, which offers an unforgettable scenery.
Durlaussboden is a reservoir built as a part of the Ziller Valley hydropower plant system. This system consists of eight hydroelectric power plants and five storage lakes. The projects for the development of water power in the Ziller Valley have been underway since the beginning of the 20th century. However, they were interrupted during the First World War and resumed later. Durlassboden reservoir with its 83 m high earth dam was completed in 1966. The lake itself is fed by the 33 km long Gerlosbach River, the right tributary of the Ziller River, with a natural catchment area that covers more than 200 km².
Photo © Credits to DaLiu
Because it is filled with natural water running down off the mountains, the large high-mountain lake Durlaßboden is relatively cold. However, in summer months, the spring-fresh water warms to the comfortable 21°C, and the lake becomes a popular destination for swimming and water sports. Of course, you can take a ride with a rowing or pedal boat. It is also possible to learn how to surf here, at the Gerlos Surfing School, Austria's highest sailing and surf school. Scuba diving is also popular, especially in autumn, when the visibility can reach up to 20 metres. Fishing lovers can also purchase the daily tickets for fishing.
Photo © Credits to DaLiu
Among the hikers and cyclists, the tour around the lake is extremely popular. The tour provides great panoramic views, and it is approximately 10 kilometres long. You will need between 3 and 4 hours to finish the entire circle. Every year in mid-August for more than two decades now, the lake is a venue for the Gerlos Lake Run, a cross-country race along the reservoir. In winter, the lake freezes, nevertheless the hiking with a fantastic view across the frozen Durlaßboden Lake is possible. The lake is located in the middle of the biggest skiing Valley in the World, so that you can easily plan to visit the skiing resorts of the Ziller Valley. Three cosy mountain restaurant - the “Finkau”, “Bärschlagalm” and the “Seestüberl”, are located next to the lake. They offer culinary delights with the beautiful scenery. This man-made beauty, lake Durlaßboden is easily accessible by car because it is located directly next to the federal road and very close to the scenic Gerlos Alpine Road.
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