26 Galician

This hidden gem is located in the state of Vorarlberg, near the Alberg Pass on the border with Switzerland. The Lünersee Lake is a pristine mountain lake, I would say one of the most beautiful places in Austria.

It is an artificial lake at the bottom of the mountain Schesaplana. There are two options to get there: the easy one, just taking the funicular to the top. Or if you are the adventurous type and feel like walking, you can hike there too. It will take between one and two hours. It is not a complicated path, but not for everybody. It gets very rocky towards the end and you will need to use your hands in some parts.
Once at the top you will discover an amazing view on the lake and the mountains sorrounding it. It is really impressive regardless the way you use to get there, but I guess it looks more beautiful if you choose the hike over the cablecar.

Now enjoy the views with a well deserve picnic or having a meal in the restaurant, where you can enjoy traditional Austrian food.

Getting there

The closest town is Bludenz, famous for being the only one in the world where you can find purple cows (those decorating the Milka chocolate, made in the factory located here). From Bludenz you can get by car to the funicular in about 45 minutes. Crossing the municipalities of Bürs, Brand and Schattenlagant.

From Bludenz you can also take the bus L81 from the train station, which is going to take you to the bottom funicular station.

The Lunersee Treasure

But there is more than spectacular views, hiking and climbing around this lake. There is also a legend.

The legend of the Lünersee Treasure. The story comes from a physician named Dr. Wilhelm Gross who treated imprisoned Nazi criminals. An SS Officer from Dachau told him about a treasure that he had been carried from the Dachau prison and buried near Brand. The treasure was alledgedly moved by Colonel Frederick Viter, the commandant, and four of his officers shortly after the fall of Germany at the end of World War II. After burying the treasure, the four officers split up, with the SS Officer getting captured to share the tale. Dr. Gross shared the story with Dr. Edward Greger, a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer, and they planned an expedition to find the buried fortune, but by 1956, a dam in the area had increased the water level and all the surrounding land was now underwater. Furthermore, Dr. Gross mysteriously vanished sometime after. Federal employee, Robert F. Kesting, believes the story could be true because he found separate corroborating evidence in the testimony of Josef Jarolin, a sub-commander from Dachau, who gave testimony in being taken from the prison. Furthermore, Greger believed the treasure was still there, since by time it would have been safe to retrieve it, the dam would have already have been built and the returning officers could not have reached it. Several people have searched the area in the summer along the shore when the water level recedes.