Lünersee is a large alpine lake high above Brandnertal in the Austrian State of Vorarlberg. Set amidst the striking limestone mountains of the Rätikon Alps, this gorgeous lake is a destination like no other.

Lünersee Lake is highly accessible, as there’s an aerial cableway that connects Brandnertal (Brandner Valley) to the lake. Not surprisingly, this is a very popular alpine destination for families and people of all ages.

We recommend carving out at least half-a-day to hike around the lake, eat lunch at Douglashütte, and even summit the highest peak in the Rätikon Alps.

We visited Lünersee in order to start this 5-day hut to hut hike, which was one of the best treks we’ve ever done in the Alps. 

In this guide to visiting Lünersee, you’ll learn about:

  • Lünersee Hiking Map
  • How to Get to Lünersee
  • Lünerseebahn Cable Car
  • Where to Eat around Lünersee
  • Lünersee Day Hikes
  • Lünersee Multi-Day Hikes
  • Where to Stay near Lünersee 

Plan your Austria road trip: 14 Day Austria Itinerary and 7 Day Austria Itinerary.


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Visiting Lünersee in Vorarlberg, Austria

Lünersee, Austria in Summer
  • Area: 112 hectares / 1.12 square km
  • Depth: 139 meters
  • Surface Elevation: 1,970 meters
  • Swimming: Not permitted.
  • Fishing: Allowed with Fishing Club Day Pass. Fishing is allowed from the middle of June until late October.
  • Boating: No boats are allowed on Lünersee.
  • Camping: Camping is forbidden. If you want to stay the night at Lünersee, you can overnight in Douglashütte mountain hut.
  • Cycling: Not permitted.
  • Public Transit Accessible: Yes.
  • Where to Stay: Pension Bergkristall (Budget), Hotel Lün (Midrange), Aktiv-Hotel Sarotla (Luxury) in Brandnertal.

Lünersee Hiking Map


How to Get to Lünersee

How to get to Lünersee, Vorarlberg, Austria

The easiest way to get to Lünersee is from Brandnertal. It’s easy to reach Brandnertal by public transit from Austria’s major cities. From Innsbruck, Linz, Salzburg, or Vienna, take a direct train to Bludenz.

Book your train ticket to Bludenz.

From Bludenz, take bus line 81 to Brandnertal (direction: Lünersee). The bus station in Bludenz is located directly outside the train station. You purchase your bus tickets in the bus.

If you’re driving, you can drive through Brandnertal all the way to the parking lot at the Lünerseebahn cablecar.  


Riding the Lünerseebahn

Lünersee, Brandnertal - Everything you need to know about visiting Lünersee Lake

Lünerseebahn is an aerial cableway to Lüner Lake, high above Brandner Valley. You can walk from the base of the cableway station to the lake, but we suggest taking the Lünerseebahn. 

Opening Times: May 13 – October 26, 2021

Operating Hours: ascent: every 15 min between 8:00 am and 16:55 pm; descent: every 15 min between 8:10 am and 17:00 pm

Roundtrip Prices: 18.10 EUR for Adults; 17.20 EUR for Seniors; 10.90 EUR for Children.

Ascent/Descent only Prices: 11.90 EUR for Adults; 11.40 EUR for Seniors; 7.20 EUR for Children.



Where to Eat around Lünersee


Douglass Hütte

This mountain hut (1979 m) is located next to the Lünerseebahn top station. They have ample outdoor seating along the lake as well as comfortable indoor seating. The food is excellent. And, the service is even better. We loved their Bauernsalat (Farmer’s Salad). 


Lünersee Alpe

This is a traditional “Alpe” (aka alm) mountain hut, located on the opposite side of the lake from Douglass

Hütte. You can try their fresh Buttermilch (buttermilk), which is a traditional dairy drink in the Austrian Alps. They also serve sausage, cake, and a few other snacks.


Totalphütte

Totalp mountain hut (2385 m) is located on the trail to Schesaplana peak, a good 400-meter ascent from the lake. We stopped here for an Apfel Strudel and coffee – both of which were outstanding. 


Lünersee Day Hikes

Circuit Trail | Gafalljoch | Totalphütte | Schesaplana Summit


Lünersee Circuit Trail

Lünersee Lake Circuit Trail, Vorarlberg, Austria
Lünersee Circuit Trail
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Distance: 6.1 km
  • Altitude Difference: 210 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Lünerseebahn top station

The Lünersee circuit trail wraps around the entire lake. This is an easy trail suitable for everyone. From the cableway top station, you can walk in either direction. If you go right first, the trail is initially flat. If you go left first, you’ll pass Douglasshütte (1979 m), cross the reservoir wall, and then initially ascend several meters, before the trail levels. 


Lünersee Circuit Trail and Gafalljoch ridge (2239 m)

Hike to Gafalljoch Ridge, Swiss-Austrian Border, from Lünersee Lake, Austria
Gafalljoch
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Distance: 8.7 km
  • Altitude Difference: 357 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Lünerseebahn top station

This hike follows the circuit path to Lünersee Alpe, which is the alm mountain hut located directly across the lake from the cableway top station. From here, you’ll hike to Gafalljoch ridge. The Gafalljoch ridge forms part of the Austrian – Swiss border, so you can step foot into Switzerland. After enjoying the view from Gafalljoch (2239 m), head back down to the lake and complete the loop.


Totalphütte (2385 m)

View of Lünersee from Schesaplana hiking trail
Trail to Totalphütte and Schesaplana
  • Total Time: 5 hours (with breaks)
  • Distance: 9 km
  • Altitude Difference: 514 m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Lünerseebahn top station

After exiting the cableway station, make a right. Follow the circuit trail around Lünersee until you see a sign to Totalphütte (2385 m). It’s a 400 m ascent to the hut. You’ll need sturdy hiking shoes. Hike up here for delicious food and great views of the lake. After enjoying the hut, hike down to the lake and finish the circuit trail around Lünersee. 

Read Next: Best Day Hikes in Austria


Schesaplana Summit (2964 m)

Schesaplana Summit, Rätikon Alps - A guide to visiting Lünersee Lake in Austria
Schesaplana Summit
  • Total Time: 7 hours
  • Distance: 11.2 km
  • Altitude Difference: 1000 m
  • Difficulty: Challenging 
  • Trailhead: Lünerseebahn top station

This difficult hike to the highest mountain in the Rätikon takes 3.5 hours one-way. After passing Totalphütte (2385 m), you’ll continue ascending to the summit (2964 m). Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring your hiking poles with you. The path is clearly marked and easy to follow. Expect lots of scree.


Lünersee Multi-Day Hikes

5 Days | 4 Days | 3 Days


Lünersee 5 Day Hut to Hut Hiking Route

Schesaplana to Mannheimer Hütte, Lünersee Multi-Day Hike
Schesaplana to Mannheimer Hütte

We hiked 5 days around the Rätikon mountains, starting and ending at Lünersee. We wrote this detailed Rätikon hiking itinerary, so you can experience this amazing route too. Here’s the route summary:

Day 1: (Brandnertal) – Douglass Hütte – Lünersee – Lindauer Hütte (4 hours, 10 km)

Day 2: Lindauer Hütte – Tilisunahütte – Carschinahütte (5 hours, 10.2 km)

Day 3: Carschinahütte – Schesaplanahütte (6 hours, 15.8 km)

Day 4: Schesaplanahütte – Schesaplana – Mannheimer Hütte (5.5 hours, 7 km)

Day 5: Mannheimer Hütte – Südwandsteig – Totalphütte – Lünersee – Douglasshütte (4.5 hours, 8.2 km)

If you’re new to hut to hut hiking, read our Hut to Hut Hiking in Austria Guide.


Lünersee 4 Day Hut to Hut Hiking Route

Drusenfluh, Rätikon Alps, Switzerland - 5 Day hike around Lünersee

This 4-day route follows the exact route outlined in this guide. However, on Day 4, after ascending to Schesaplana, you’ll continue to Totalphütte and down to Lünersee, instead of hiking to Mannheimer Hütte.

Day 1: (Brandnertal) – Douglass Hütte – Lünersee – Lindauer Hütte (4 hours, 10 km)

Day 2: Lindauer Hütte – Tilisunahütte – Carschinahütte (5 hours, 10.2 km)

Day 3: Carschinahütte – Schesaplanahütte (6 hours, 15.8 km)

Day 4: Schesaplanahütte – Schesaplana – Totalphütte – Lünersee (9.2 km, 5 hours)


Lünersee 3 Day Hut to Hut Hiking Route

Schweizer Tor, Rätikon Alps, Austria - Hut to Hut Hike around Lünersee
Schweizer Tor

This is a perfect 3-day route suitable for families and anyone who wants an easy, but tremendously beautiful hike. If you’re new to hut to hut hiking, this is a great place to start. You can follow the same itinerary. However, on Day 3, you’ll descend down to Lünersee from Gafalljoch/Cavelljoch.

Day 1: (Brandnertal) – Douglass Hütte – Lünersee – Lindauer Hütte (4 hours, 10 km)

Day 2: Lindauer Hütte – Tilisunahütte – Carschinahütte (5 hours, 10.2 km)

Day 3: Carschinahütte – Gafalljoch/Cavelljoch – Lünersee (5 hours, 13.6 km)


Where to Stay near Lünersee

The best base for exploring Lünersee is in the town of Brand in Brandnertal.

Budget | Pension Bergkristall is an apartment-style accommodation in Brand, next to the Dorfbahn Cable Car Station. If you’re planning to base yourself in Brandnertal for a few days, or even a week, you’ll feel very comfortable here. Breakfast is available upon request.

Mid-RangeHotel Lün is a top-rated modern alpine hotel in Brand, offering double rooms as well as apartments with fully equipped kitchenettes and dining areas. Highlights of staying here are the spa area, the breakfast buffet, the fresh and cheerful design.

Luxury | Aktiv-Hotel Sarotla is a stylish and modern hotel with excellent spa facilities, spacious rooms with balconies, and a fabulous hotel restaurant and bar. Guests can participate in guided hiking and cycling tours free of charge.

Look for accommodation in Brandnertal.

Related: Best Places to Stay in Austria in Summer


Get Hiking Insurance

For peace of mind on the trail, make sure you have hiking travel insurance. When you have World Nomads insurance, you’ll get emergency medical insurance, emergency medical transportation, gear protection (in case of theft, loss, or damage), and trip protection (in case of cancellation). 

Book your hiking insurance


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