So I hope you know the Southern Bohemian region pretty well now. Now, let’s move to the beautiful country of Austria for a few minutes.
I wouldn’t lie if I wrote about Kalbelesee as one of the most beautiful places in Austria. I absolutely don’t understand that I haven’t discovered it earlier. Maybe it’s because it’s not really the closest Austrian place to where I live and I usually go somewhere closer for the weekend. Kabelesee is located in the very west of Austria, where most Czech tourists don’t make it to, and even we wouldn’t probably come here unless we weren’t on our way to Switzerland and didn’t need to sleep somewhere along the way. Let’s face it, getting to Switzerland from Prague in one go is pretty exhausting.
Why visit Kalbelesee?
Because it’s a natural gem, and therefore is great for wildcamping. Thanks to all the questions I get, I think I have to remind again all the facts about wildcamping in Austria (and indeed elsewhere in Europe). Wild camping is forbidden. However, there are some places which don’t specifically restrict it but don’t allow it either, so it’s kind of tricky. Vorarlberg is one of those places. If you don’t want to cause any trouble, then:
- pitch the tent after sunset and pack up right after sunrise
- have a camouflage tent (dark green works perfectly!:))
- make no noise & don’t leave any mess or trash!
And one more thing – I always say “leave the place as you found it”, so keep that in mind. There is no need to destroy the beautiful nature any more.
Anyways, back to Kalbelesee.
If you go from the east (for example from the Czech Republic), be sure to leave plenty of time for the last part of driving, because the last 50 kilometers before you hit Kalbelesee are absolutely stunning. The last 50 km took us about two hours because we were constantly stopping and taking pictures. We were incredibly lucky with the weather. The fog fits this landscape so much more than sun & blue sky.
Where to pitch the tent?
Certainly not right by the road. You can park at the gate, then you have to walk a bit. We saw a lot of flat grassy areas, but a spot overlooking the lake, about a kilometer from the car, caught our attention the most. In the next picture you can see how happy I was when we discovered this spot, hihi 🙂
In the morning, right after sunrise, we ran into the lake to swim/wash ourselves a little bit, because you know how it is – this is the only way to shower on camping roadtrips. The water was insanely cold, but what was worse was the mud at the bottom. As I stepped into it, I got into the mud to my knee level, therefore I kinda started freaking out, haha:)
We didn’t do much of swimming, because it was getting late and we heard first cars showing up on the road. When we went back to the tent, we enjoyed an awesome breakfast, then we quickly packed our tent, stuffed everything into backpacks and just chilled for a while. Our eyes couldn’t get enough of the beauty. It worked out perfectly, because as soon as we put the backpacks on our backs, the first tourists started showing up. When walking back to the car, we passed about 10 people, so if you ever follow our footsteps, don’t forget to set an alarm. Seems like this place can get quite crowded during the day.
To conclude this, I’d love to say that this place was the most beautiful camping place, but I think my absolute favorite one is still Reinebringen on Lofoten.
P.S.: Kuba has already been to Kalbelesee before, so be sure to check out his article too! 🙂