The Lünersee is one of the most beautiful alpine lakes and is located near Brand at the end of the Brandnertal in Austria, which I visited again this summer for a hike. I had hiked here before, as I lived in Bludenz for 2 years while studying at the Bludenz tourism schools. During this time, I already had the opportunity to explore various valleys and mountains in this region.
What is special about the Lünersee? It is an artificial lake that was created by building a dam. The Lünersee is about 2000 meters above sea level, and next to the cable car station is the Douglashütte, where you can buy coffee, cold drinks, and snacks. There is also the possibility of staying overnight in the Douglashütte, e.g. if you plan to hike to the Schesaplana, which is almost 3000 meters above sea level. A hike from the Douglashütte to the Schesaplana takes about 3-4 hours, while a hike around the Lünersee takes about 2 hours. Therefore, the hike around the lake is not challenging and is a good choice even for inexperienced hikers.
Instead of taking the Lünerseebahn, which takes about 5 minutes (and runs between June and October), you can also hike to the Schesaplana or the Douglashütte. However, the trail is called “Bad Step”, and you should probably wear proper hiking shoes if you plan to hike it.
If you don’t want to hike back after reaching the Lünersee, you can take the cable car back down into the valley at any time. I paid around 12 euros for the cable car (return trip), but a few years ago, I also hiked to the Douglashütte.
During my vacation in the Brandnertal, I had the opportunity to take the Dorfbahn and the Panoramabahn from Brand (1005 m) to the Burtschasattel (1680 m) because I wanted to hike Natursprünge Trail. The ride on the Panorama Bahn is pretty exciting because you have the opportunity to look deep into the valley. In the Burtschasattel, you will find the Fröödö restaurant, where you can enjoy a meal or just a refreshment with a breathtaking view. From the Burtschasattel, it went back down to Parpfienz (1390 m) on the Natursprünge trail. The Natursprünge Trail is also interesting for children who want to know this region’s nature, ecology, and geology using the information boards.
I also found deer antlers at an information point, and the meadows on the way down were covered with beautiful flowers. However, the best thing about the Natursprünge trail is the fantastic view over the Brandnertal and the surrounding mountains. You will meet cows, and in Parpfienz (1390 m), there is also a small restaurant that sells small local dishes and snacks.
The Natursprünge trail is also suitable for families with small children with a stroller, as the trail is well maintained. It is probably a good idea to hike from the top of the panoramic cable car and hike down the trail.
The Dorfbahn takes about 1 hour, depending on how much time you spend reading the information boards. It is only a short walk back to the Dorfbahn from Alp Parpfienz. From here, you can either drive to Brand (duration approx. 1 hour) or take the cable car down.
Parpfienz, barefoot trail and cows
Between Parpfienz and the summit of the Dorfbahn cable car, there is also the barefoot trail, on which you can go for a walk without hiking boots. The cows you meet on the way are friendly and can get very close to you. Just don’t try to disturb them when they have newborns.
I was running from Brand to the summit of the Dorfbahn. It’s a bit of a challenge, but you can take the cable car back to the valley once you get to the top.
The distance from the Burtschasattel to the summit of the Panoramabahn is approx. 4 km and from Brand approx. 10 km. You can wear normal running shoes to climb the summit. The trail begins in Brand directly behind the Dorfbahn.
You can also rent a handcart in Brand, which costs around 15 EUR. The family day ticket for both mountain railways costs around EUR 34. If you live in one of the hotels or apartments, you can also ask reception whether you can get the free guest card to take the bus between Lünersee and Bürs for free.