Lünersee is a large alpine lake high above Branderntal in the Austrian State of Vorarlberg. Set amidst the striking limestone mountains of the Rätikon, this gorgeous lake is a destination like no other. The lake is highly accessible, as there’s an aerial cableway that connects Branderntal (Brandner Valley) to the lake. So, this is a popular alpine destination for families and people of all ages. We started a 5-day hut to hut hike at Lünersee, which was one of the best treks we’ve ever done in the Alps. 

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Visiting Lünersee in Vorarlberg, Austria

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

  • 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 

How to Get to Lünersee

How to get to Lünersee, Vorarlberg, Austria

The easiest way to get to Lünersee is from Branderntal. 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. From Bludenz, take bus line 81 to Brandnertal (direction: Lünersee). The bus station in Bludenz is located directly outside the train station. 

If you’re driving, you can drive through Brandertal 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. Because it’s Austria, the Lünerseebahn is naturally closed for lunch (between 12:20 – 13:10).

Roundtrip Prices (as of Summer 2019): 14.60 for Adults; 13.90 for Seniors; 8.80 for Children.

Ascent Prices: 9.50 for Adults; 9.10 for Seniors; 5.70 for Children.

Note: Roundtrip tickets are good for 6 days. So, if you plan on a going on a multi-day hike, you can use your roundtrip ticket, as long as you return within 6 days.

Opening Times: The Lünerseebahn is generally open from late May to October. Starting in Fall 2019, the cableway is going to be rebuilt. They anticipate that it’ll be finished in summer 2020. Before your visit, check for updates here.


Where to Eat around Lünersee

 

Douglas Hütte

This mountain hut 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. The hut is so well managed, it puts every all other huts to shame. We loved their Bauernsalat (Farmer’s Salad). 

 

Lünersee Alpe

This is a traditional “Alpe” (aka alm) mountain hut, located on the opposite side of Douglas Hütte. You can try their fresh Buttermilch (buttermilk) – a traditional dairy drink in the Austrian Alps. They also serve sausage, cake, and a few other items. 

 

Totalphütte

Totalp mountain hut is located on the trail to Schesaplana, 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
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 Douglashütte, cross the reservoir wall, and then initially ascend several meters, before the trail levels. 


Lünersee Circuit Trail and Gafalljoch ridge

Hike to Gafalljoch Ridge, Swiss-Austrian Border, from Lünersee Lake, Austria

Gafalljoch

Total Time: 3 hours
Distance: 8.7 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailhead: Lünerseebahn top station

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


Totalphütte

View of Lünersee from Schesaplana hiking trail

Trail to Totalphütte and Schesaplana

Total Time: 5 hours
Distance: 9.7 km
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. 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. 


Schesaplana Summit

Schesaplana Summit, Rätikon Alps - A guide to visiting Lünersee Lake in Austria

Schesaplana Summit

Total Time: 7 hours
Distance: 11.2 km
Difficulty: Challenging 
Trailhead: Lünerseebahn top station

This difficult hike to the highest mountain in the Rätikon takes 3.5 hours one-way (940 meters ascending). After passing Totalphütte, you’ll continue ascending to the summit. 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 hiking itinerary, so you can experience this amazing route too. Here’s the route summary:

Day 1: (Brandnertal) – Douglas 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 – Südwansteig – Totalphütte – Lünersee – Douglashütte (4.5 hours, 8.2 km)


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) – Douglas 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) – Douglas 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, or the high alpine plateau of Tschengla, which overlooks Brandernertal. We stayed at Schillerkopf Alpine Resort and had an incredible experience. Your stay includes access to wellness facilities, a beautiful garden, all your meals (breakfast, lunch, afternoon cake, and dinner), and fun things like a pillow menu and spa bag. 

Look for accommodation in Brandnertal.

If you want to stay directly at Lünersee, you can overnight in Douglas Hütte. They have room and dormitory-style (lager) accommodation. 


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Learn more about hut to hut hiking in Austria

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