I spent a few days cross-country skiing in Pertisau, Achensee in the North of Tirol. Here is my guide to Achensee in winter for a perfect holiday!
Achensee is a place even my Austrian friends didn’t know about so it is a really good hidden gem and an amazing place in the North of Tyrol and one of the many Austrian lakes.
Achensee or Achen lake is surrounded by mountains and looks like those drawings in a fairytale book.
Below you will find a little guide to Pertisau, Achensee aka winter wonderland and what is to do arounf this small town:
Hotels in Achensee
During my trip we stayed in a wellness hotel in Pertisau am Achensee, the Travel Charme Fürstenhaus. The Travel Charme hotel is very well located and the only hotel in Pertisau that is directly looking on the lake for an amazing view. Waking up in the morning while watching the sun rise over the lake was breathtaking!
This hotel is also an historical place since in 1446, it was first a fishing
lodge built on the most attractive and sunniest part of the lake’s south-western shore,
that Kaiser Maximilian extended to create a prince’s residence now transformed in this superior four-star hotel.
Another highlight of the hotel also has got a 3000 square meter spa to relax after a day in the mountain. There I had a very relaxing shale oil bath. I had never heard about shale oil before but this is an Achensee well kept wellness secret. Indeed, since more than a century, one family extracted oil shale for it’s nourishing properties 1500 metres above Achensee and processed it to create a range of skin care products. The shower gel made out of shale oil is amazing agains muscle ache after a day in the mountain for example.
If you are interested in the whole story you can read more about it HERE or visit the “Erlebniszentrum Tiroler Steinöl® Vitalberg” in Pertisau.
For smaller budget, we had dinner at the Gasthaus Waldhäusl at Steinberg am Rofan, that is actually a bed and breakfast in Achensee with typical austrian interior. The bed and breakfast is in the hands of a very nice and funny couple : Röbi and Alex. They will be delighted to talk about the town and the neighborhood while dinner or take you to the 1km toboggan run next to the house. Perfect for family holidays in Achensee.
Eat and drink in Achensee
If you stay at the Travel Charme Fürstenhaus at Pertisau Achensee you won’t be disappointed by the food that is served there : bio bread, Cheese from the Alps, fish out from the lake and fresh local ingredients. You can also ask for a private dinner that will be set in the wine-tasting cellar.
On the slope, we had two great lunch. The first one was on our way while going for a 15km cross-country skiing tour in the Sennhütte Falzthurm where we had typical “Tiroler Kässpätzle” and “Kaiserschmarrn”.
On-mountain eateries are generally a good idea to recharge batteries after a few hours on the slopes.
If you plan to go around Achensee and go for a toboggan run for example, the Gasthaus Waldhäusl about which I talked a few lines above is a great stop. Alex, one of the owner who has lived in Rome for a few years is cooking austrian-italian food. I had there the most amazing osso bucco I ever had!
For a drink, Achensee has got it’s own brewery : Achensee beer that comes in different style : season beer, pale ale beer, weissbier, etc made out from the local Karwendel water and that you can drink at Hotel Karlwirt or Pertisauer Langlaufstüberl. For those really into beer, it is possible to take in a tour in the brewery to see how the different Achensee beers are made and do a cheese and beer degustation.
Cross country skiing in Pertisau, Achensee
Around Achensee it is possible to do all kind of winter sport so there is something for every taste and every age.
What is really famous in Pertisau am Achensee though is cross-country skiing because of it’s 200 kilometer slopes that are mostly directly accessible from anywhere around the lake.
I am used to ski and I had some concerns about cross country skiing and though it is a very easy sport but after a 30 minutes training I quickly realized that is was not that easy and that those 30 minutes would not be enough for me to be good at cross country skiing anytime soon. The good thing is that you learn while practicing though. Also it is perfect for a family get together (you could even take your dog with you) as everyone would be able to do it even if just a little and it is also perfect way to visit the neighborhood.
Another good way to discover the landscape is winter hiking or snow shoe hiking like we did, accompanied by a region’s trained mountain guide.
If you are looking for more adventure, Tyrol has got everything for every taste and Wilder Kaiser might be your destination as it is the premier adventure travel destinations in the world.