As I mentioned in my previous article, Maurach, Austria is a beautiful treasure of a European town, nestled amongst the Austrian Alps. It offers exciting mountain activities and delicious Tyrolean cuisine. I neglected to mention though that it is also situated on the Achensee, meaning Lake Achen, which is unlike any other inland lake with which I am acquainted. It is probably important to mention here too that there are apparently five “Maurach, Austria”s, so when arranging a transfer from the Munich airport or from wherever one may arrive, this can be clarified by distinguishing that it is Maurach am Achensee or Maurach on the Achensee Lake.
The Achensee is an enormous turquoise-colored lake, on the outskirts of Maurach whose color one is more likely to associate with the Caribbean rather than Austria. On a warm day, its sandy shores are populated by locals looking to soak up the sun. Having spent several days at the Achensee myself, I could not help but be reminded of an island paradise. Just like visiting the mountains, tourists simply must make time to spend a day or two by the lake, enjoying European sandwiches, cheeses, beer and wine (Austria does not have any of those pesky open container laws that we have at home).
Also, at the Achensee, visitors can take a ferry around the lake and enjoy the beautiful areas and towns that surround Maurach. The fare is about fifteen euro and well worth it! The views alone are outstanding and the ferry offers a much more exciting way to visit Pertisau, Ackenkirch and the other nearby towns than by merely traveling by bus. Patrons can board in Maurach, depart from the ferry in any of the other stops, spend several hours and re-board whenever they are ready. Generally, the ferry returns to any of the given stops about once an hour. I must mention too, that I have also seen a ferry-sized pirate ship on the Achensee on several occasions. I cannot say that I know what takes place on this novelty but it is worth researching if this is your kind of thing!
One of the only downsides to staying in Maurach is that there is very little souvenir shopping available to visitors. The best option for those of us, who simply must return home with a dirndl or lederhosen, is a day trip to Pertisau. As I mentioned, one can take the ferry or bus to this nearby town or on a sunny day, make the sixty-minute or so walk. Here, shoppers will find dirndls, lederhosen, sweatshirts, mountain-crystal jewelry, Tyrolean speck, Austrian wines and many more souvenir options. Moreover, the Achensee is centrally located in the middle of Pertisau, unlike Maurach where it lies on the outskirts. Therefore, there are many more lakeside dining options here, of which I am a great fan.
Other nearby towns include Wiesing, Achenkirch and Jennbach. Jennbach is a short bus ride outside of Maurach and is particularly important because it has the closest train station. From Jennbach, one can take a short train ride and make a day trip to Innsbruck, Maurach’s closest “big” city, which is best known for having hosted the Olympic games in . Innsbruck has a large variety of cuisine options and fabulous shopping centers, including a beautiful Swarovski crystal store, which I highly recommend too for souvenir shopping. Also from the Jennbach station, one can travel to any of the major European city centers. I personally have travelled to Prague, Munich, Salzburg and Vienna from this station.
If travelers are still searching for more activities close to Maurach, I suggest a visit to the Swarovski crystal and/ or Riedel glass factories. These internationally recognized companies manufacture their products no more than thirty minutes outside of Maurach. A trip to either of these locations provides visitors with an insider’s look at the creation of these products and access to limited quantity products.
In the next and final installment of Maurach travel articles, I will share dining and lodging tips and insights.