Achen Lake (German: Achensee) is the largest lake within the federal state of Tyrol, together with surrounding five villages it is nestled into surrounding mountain scenery. Maximal depth of the see is 133 metres, water is very clear with sight up to 10 metres below surface and very clean. The quality of water in Achen Lake is near drinking water. Because it is alpine lake, created after the last Ice Age by glaciers, temperature of the water is very low and it rarely rises above 20 °C.
The lake is located just few kilometres north of Jenbach and 380 metres above Inn Valley and it is easily accessible from the main Inn Valley motorway. In the summer Achensee can be reached with the scenic steam-driven rack Achensee Railway from Jenbach the only train station in Austria with three different gauges sizes, a standard gauge West Railway, a narrow Ziller Valley Railway gauge and 1 metre wide Achensee Railway gauge. Since the end of 19th century steam boats were used for transport of passengers, mainly tourists and rarely stock. Steam ships were in use until 2007, when the last steam ship St. Benedikt was retired.
Because of its size, sandy beaches, turquoise water, large boats carrying tourists and windsurfing Achensee is often called Tyrolean Sea. The wind conditions on lake are optimal for sailing and surfing and from 1970s wind surfing, sport discipline that combines sailing and surfing, found its place and developed here. Since then more Austrian state, European and World Championships in windsurfing were organised here.
For decades the lake and its surrounding area have been attracting tourists. In the past Austria’s emperors were frequent guests. Because of its natural beauty, the lakse is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Tirol for over a century.
ln winter, the Achensee region is perfect place for the cross-country skiing and it is regarded as the best cross-country area in Tyrol. More than 200 km of cross-country ski trails are available, many of them four-lane. Ski areas around the lake, although smaller than nearby Zillertal ski areas, still have extended network of slopes with more than 50 kilometres of groomed runs and 19 ski lifts.
Sandy beaches, windsurfing, turquoise water in summer to cool down or skiing and cross-country in winter there are lot of reasons to visit Achensee – The Sea of Tyrol.
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