Day trip destination
Durnholzer See lake: A gem of nature
Unspoiled and peaceful. The Durnholzer See lake at the end of the valley of the same name in the Sarntal valley is just as original as the entire valley landscape.
According to South Tyrolean legend, where today a small triangular mountain lake, around 900 metres long and 350 metres wide is located, there used to be one of the most beautiful and largest farms in all of Durnholz. Legend has it that the farmer ignored the little bell which signalled the end of day’s work in order to continue gathering the freshly mown hay. He used the words, "(...) and should my whole farm be drowned". When the villagers went to church the next day, the whole farm was gone and a big lake was spreading out in its place. Although the legend is still recounted today in the Sarntal valley, it is probably more plausible to assume that the lake was created a long time ago as a result of a landslide on the northwestern side of the valley and the resulting damming of the Durnholz stream.
Durnholzer lake bliss
The small mountain village of Durnholz and nearby Durnholzer See lake are located at 1550 metres at the end of the Durnholzer valley in the middle of the Sarntal Alps and can be reached all year round from Bozen via the Sarntaler road. In summer it’s also possible to reach Durnholz from Sterzing over the Penser Joch - a popular route for motorcyclists. The lake is fed by various smaller springs as well as the Großalmbach and the Seebach streams. The lake flows into the Durnholzer Bach, which, in turn, flows further out of the valley into the Talfer, one of the two rivers that flow through South Tyrol’s capital Bozen. Although the lake contains few nutrients, both aquatic plants and trout can be found in its waters. In summer, the shores of Lake Durnholz become a popular meeting place for anglers. The lake is not suitable for swimming due to its low water temperature.
Wanderlust in the Durnholzer valley
Durnholzer See lake and its surroundings offer numerous opportunities for long walks and challenging hikes. The mountain village of Durnholz with a population of 260 and the lake are a car-free zone. That’s why visitors are requested to leave their cars in the pay car park outside the village. Before you make your way along the 300 metre-long paved road to the lake, it’s worth taking a detour to St. Nicholas Church with its high Gothic frescoes dating back to 1430. A leisurely walk around Durnholzer See lake will take you about 60 minutes. You will be able to gaze at the scattered, very steep mountain farms, the dark forests and the lush green mountain meadows that are characteristic of Sarntal valley. If you are out and about with a pushchair, you can hike from Durnholzer See lake to the restaurant at Seebalm, where a small playground and a petting zoo will keep the children entertained. Durnholzer See lake is also an ideal starting point for challenging tours in the Sarntal mountains. Whether it’s the Jakobsspitze, Fortellscharte, Latzfonser Kreuz or Flaggersee, the choice of routes for experienced hikers is just as impressive as the view of the mountains in the Sarntal Alps. Many hikes, such as those to the Hörtlaner Spitze, can also be skied in winter.