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I am looking for the coldest lake, pond or reservoir in Austria suitable for swimming (i.e. where swimming is legal) during the peak summer months (July and August).

The location doesn't matter as long as it's publicly accessible (no matter if it takes some hiking to get there).

To provide an example, Frillensee located in Germany close to the Austrian border is said to be the coldest lake in Central Europe but I wasn't able to verify this beyond hearsay.

The coldest I can remember (without having measured it back then) is a little lake called Seeleinsee in the Hagen Mountains. My bet is that the lake at the bottom of the sinkhole at Funtensee, the coldest place in Germany, should also be reasonably cold. Both of these examples are located in Germany though (albeit it close to the border with Austria).

Are there similar occurrences of lakes in Austria?

  • This claim may be more than hearsay, since it is meantioned often (but not with a scientific source being given). deacademic.com/dic.nsf/dewiki/476695 – Mark Johnson May 26 at 7:26
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    Temperature varies over time. The coldest right now? The coldest in August, or January? Year-round average? – Nate Eldredge May 27 at 2:47
  • Good point, I clarified my question. I'm looking for the coldest temperature during summer (July/August). – martin May 27 at 4:50
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https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/gallery/2018/aug/03/a-colder-splash-ice-swimming-in-austria-in-pictures

While Europe swelters, members of the Austrian Ice Swimming Association spent three days in the Tyrol for training sessions in a kettle hole at the Nature ice palace inside the Hintertux glacier. Between 25 and 35 metres below the surface, the temperature of the glacier meltwater is -0.2C and the air temperature between 0C and 1C.

It really can't get any colder than that or it would be ice and not water.

Relevant links: https://www.tyrol.com/things-to-do/attractions/all-attractions/a-natural-ice-palace-hintertux-glacier

https://www.facebook.com/IISA-Austria-449159911908185/

  • Yes, that's what I was looking for. Thank you! – martin May 27 at 7:37
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    It's a big world, everyone finds their favorites... I am running to Eilat in the winter because I truly hate cold, you want to dip into glacier meltwater in the summer. And it's all fine, this is humanity in its beautiful diversity. – chx May 27 at 8:01
  • I'm living in Singapore and missing the cold ;-) – martin May 27 at 8:19
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Maybe this (in German) artical make give you some hint of where to look.
It is more scientific in nature than touristic.

Lunz am See plus a 3 hour hike in the mountains (1270 meters height) where areas can be found with tempature of 2 degrees, when in Vienna it is 30 at night.

No meantion of ponds or lakes directly, but possibly some exist.


https://diepresse.com/home/panorama/oesterreich/1442409/Frost-im-Hochsommer_Wo-Oesterreich-am-kaeltesten-ist


Other, more touristic sites meantion the coldest lakes as between 18 and 20. Kärnten with the most (1200) and Afritzer See, Kärnten as a public see for swimming with 20 degrees.

https://www.urlaubsguru.at/reisemagazin/die-kaeltesten-badeseen-in-oesterreich/

  • Thanks for the article, the name Lunz am See already hints that there's a lake (See is the German word for lake). – martin May 26 at 7:55
  • Yes, but the artical is based more on cold areas, thus the 3 hours away and 1270 meters hight. Get a good map of the area and look for pond if you are interested for something special. – Mark Johnson May 26 at 8:02
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    20 degrees isn't all that cold. I'm quite sure one finds smaller lakes higher up in the mountains which are significantly colder. Don't know the Austrian Alps so well but anything at the bottom end of a glacier will be colder for instance. – nohillside May 26 at 14:38
  • Between 18 and 20 degrees is clearly not the coldest. I'm looking for something much colder than places where people would usually go for a swim. I'm aware of public water temperature data (for example for Salzburg: salzburg.gv.at/wasser/hydro/#/Seen) but these usually only cover larger lakes. – martin May 27 at 1:57
  • Afritzer See sounds like an interesting option. Here's the water temperature trend, I couldn't find data for the summer months yet: info.ktn.gv.at/asp/hydro/daten/Feldsee_dia5.gif – martin May 27 at 1:57

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