Austria may not be the first destination that comes to mind for diving, but this landlocked country in Central Europe offers some unique diving experiences in its pristine mountain lakes, reservoirs, and indoor facilities. With a range of dive sites suitable for both experienced divers and beginners, Austria provides a diverse range of underwater adventures.
Best diving spots for experienced divers:
- Lake Attersee (Upper Austria): As the largest lake in Austria, Attersee offers several interesting dive sites for experienced divers, such as the Black Bridge (Schwarze Brücke) site, which features underwater rock formations and steep walls.
- Lake Fernsteinsee (Tyrol): This clear lake is located in a nature reserve and offers fascinating underwater scenery, including sunken trees and caves, which are ideal for experienced divers.
- Lake Seewaldsee (Vorarlberg): This picturesque lake is surrounded by forests and offers a captivating underwater world with rock formations and sunken trees. The lake's deep zones make it suitable for experienced divers seeking a serene and secluded diving experience.
Best diving spots for beginners:
- Lake Wolfgang (Salzkammergut): With its calm waters and good visibility, Lake Wolfgang is an excellent location for beginner divers. The Abersee dive site offers a shallow depth and a diverse underwater landscape, making it perfect for training and certification courses.
- Lake Plansee (Tyrol): This lake offers a beginner-friendly dive site at the Seespitz, with a shallow depth and diverse underwater landscape.
- Lünersee (Vorarlberg): This stunning mountain reservoir is accessible by cable car and offers a beginner-friendly dive site at the reservoir's dam. The shallow depth, clear water, and gentle slope make it an excellent spot for novice divers and training courses.
Austria's lakes and reservoirs are home to various freshwater fish species, such as pike, perch, trout, and whitefish. You may also encounter freshwater crayfish, snails, and other small aquatic creatures.
Water temperatures in Austria's lakes and reservoirs range from 41°F (5°C) in the spring to 75°F (24°C) in the summer. Visibility in these dive sites is generally excellent, ranging from 16 to 65 feet (5 to 20 meters) or more, depending on the site and weather conditions.
Diving costs in Austria can vary depending on factors such as equipment rental, guided dives, and training courses. Here's a general estimate of the costs you may encounter:
- Equipment rental: $30 to $60 per day for a full set of gear.
- Guided dives: $50 to $100 per dive, depending on the dive center and location.
- Dive training and certification: $350 to $600 for entry-level courses, such as PADI Open Water Diver or SSI Open Water Diver.
Please note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on the dive center and season. It's always a good idea to research and contact local dive centers to get the most accurate and up-to-date information on diving costs in Austria.