Travel to the Austrian Alps is sure to mean scenic gold. Mountainous treks with dazzling views, crisp greenery away from the bustle of the city, and crystal clear glacier waters for the brave for your Austria travel. What if I told you there’s a unique phenomenon that gives you all of the above, interchangeably? What if I told you that a green park turns into a Green Lake in the summer?
Meet Grüner See (Green Lake)—a picturesque, shape-shifting basin near the village of Tragöß, nestled within the Hochschwab mountains of Styria. For most of the year, Green Lake is but a painter’s addition to his landscape portrait: a shallow pond surrounded by prairie, trees, stone paths, benches and a little bridge. It’s the ultimate spot for locals to breathe in fresh air, and travel lovers from every corner to enjoy panoramic trails. Well, until spring temperatures take toll, and snowmelt from surrounding mountains fills the park with 45-degree glacier water.
Everything at the pond’s edges is submerged under the surface, transforming the lake into a majestic underwater oasis. The lagoon’s shape-shift in numbers would measure from low three to almost 40 feet at its peak. Time for travelers to change from runners to flip-flops! The park stays drowned from May through the end of July when the water begins to evaporate.
The pristine glacier water is not only incredibly cold, but also transparent. Due to this nature, the quaint travel destination earned its nickname the “Caribbean of the Alps.”
Travelers Beware: No Diving
Divers travel from afar, flocking to the scene come summer. Those who are pre-certified have long had the chance to explore the scenery dressed in a wetsuit and duck webs. In 2016, however, the local tourism board decided to temporarily disallow divers, swimmers and boats.
The appeal of an emerald-toned oasis attracted one too many travel addicts. The lake’s turning colors is a result of warmer weather in recent years. Algae grow larger during the summer months, and then die as temperatures drop. But locals and experts alike also believe the bathroom-tourist ratio has cause the occasional other to pee-pee in the pond.
If Austria travel is on your list, make sure you see this miracle lake – minus the pee pee in the pond!