Zeller See (Lake Zell)
The Zeller See (Lake Zell) can be found in the Pinzgau region in the Alpine south of Salzburg State. It is one of the biggest lakes of the state and famous for the spa town that it was named after: Zell am See ("Zell at the Lake"). It is 3.8 kilometres long, 1.5 kilometres wide and known for being particularly scenic. Zell am See owes much of its popularity to the lake and the pretty, 19th century promenade along its shore.
There is a rule of the thumb: A lake surrounded by steep mountains is likely to be deep, one in a homogenously flat landscape is probably very shallow. Lake Zeller See is no exception to this rule: Surrounded by steep hills, the Alpine lake is up to 68 metres deep. It formed towards the end of the last Ice Age between 10,000 and 6,000 years ago. In the southern part of the Lake, there is a canal which is approximately two kilometres long. It links Lake Zeller See with the Salzach River.
The community of Zell am See is a rather touristy one. From there, you can embark on motor boats that operate there for cruises. Other water sports such as windsurfing, sailing and kite surfing are popular, too. The average water temperature during the summer is 18 degrees, which is still rather refreshing. Lake Zeller See has about 100 springs at the base of the lake; they cause several local torrents and keep the lake from freezing in winter until very low temperatures occur. Even then certain parts of the ice will be very thin. Skating and curling are popular in the bays nonetheless.
Most of the surroundings of Lake Zeller See are a nature reserve. Strict environmental regulations apply; this is reflected in the high quality of the water and in turn in the abundance of fish species. Especially the "Reinanken" (coregonus) is common - and best enjoyed in one of the local restaurants in Zell am See or Thumersbach. All of the Zeller See lies within the municipality of Zell am See, by the way; the communities of Thumersbach and Schüttdorf are no independent municipalities and part of Zell.
Wikipedia on Lake Zeller See
Information on sailing, gear, boats and vacations
More on the Salzburger Seenland Lake District
Information on the Salzkammergut