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Christmas atmosphere around the lake
Behind the scenes

Christmas atmosphere around the lake

At the very head of the Zauchensee valley, where the valley comes to an end and you are surrounded by imposing mountain peaks such as the Gamskogel or Strimskogel, lies the idyllic Zauchensee Lake, which also gives the village its name. During Advent and over Christmas, this lake is the star of the village. On three days (Fri 9th, 16th & 23rd December 2022) it becomes the stage for an atmospheric production of light and music, nature experience and tradition.

The tour around the idyllic lake is certainly one thing: an invitation to look and listen closely. If you let yourself be guided by your open eyes and ears, you will be amazed at what there is to discover here. Right at the beginning of the tour, virtuoso sounds of classical music welcome the visitors. Gentle sounds of violins reverberate, sometimes stronger, sometimes softer, the wind seems to be the sound engineer here. The spectacle around the Zauchensee Lake is a fascinating mix of nature and staging. The illuminated branches of the spruces moving in the wind are reminiscent of angels’ wings swaying in time to the music. The gentle ripple of the stream that flows into the lake seems to flow into the overall composition.

A narrow path leads around the lake. It is illuminated by the warm flickering of the torches placed on the lakeshore and the reflection of the lake surface shrouded in magical light. Sometimes the view of the mystically illuminated lake is unobstructed, sometimes the branches and twigs of the firs and spruces push against the backdrop, revealing only sections of the spectacle. They act like a natural frame begging to set the scene for very special moments.

We continue over small wooden bridges until, about halfway through the tour, two small huts appear in the snowy landscape. Here you can smell the aroma of warm mulled wine and punch, and people gather around the open fireplaces. Locals meet guests, they listen to the sounds of the brass band or chat happily with each other until it’s time to move on again. They wish each other “Merry Christmas” and go on their way.

“Really lovely”, says an older man in front of me. He is holding a torch in his hand to light the way for his companions. Young people, who don’t seem to mind the cold, have settled down on a bench by the side of the path. They, too, gaze in wonder at the illuminated lake and the mountain scenery all around. They wait in anticipation for the changing colours of the play of lights. A murmur goes around: “Look!!! Now it’s green!” Children shout loudly “Wow!!! Look!!!” and mobile phone cameras are pulled out.

Bergsee Advent Zauchensee

No one remains untouched by the fascination that this special place exudes. Young and old, everyone tries in their own way to capture these magical moments and take them with them, to carry them over into everyday life.  Whether all by themselves, together with their loved ones or via a mobile phone photo that makes its way into the wide world within seconds via Instagram & Co.

The atmospheric Mountain Lake.Advent on the shores of idyllic Zauchensee takes place on Fri 9th, 16th & 23rd Dec 2022 from 6.00 to 8.00 pm.

The small stalls on the lake offer local handicrafts and culinary delicacies from the region. The walk around the lake takes about 30 minutes.

Free admission! Whatever the weather.

Tip: Storyteller Chris Ploier tells long-forgotten tales at the observatory.

photo credits: Altenmarkt-Zauchensee Tourismus_Matthias Fritzenwallner


A magical attraction draws me to the mountains all year round. What fascinates me about it? Simply everything! The air, the landscape, the silence, the colours, the people. Everything is different here. More intense. And every time I feel enchanted like new.

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