The Weissensee, in the Gailtal Alps to the southwest of Spittal an der Drau, is the highest of the four large Carinthian lakes. It is 11.4km/7mi long, some 500m/550yds wide and up to 98m/320ft deep. In warm summers its water reaches a temperature of 25 deg C/77 deg F. Unlike the Millstätter, Ossiacher and Wörther See, it lies somewhat off the beaten track and is popular with those who like a quiet and relaxing summer holiday. Much of the shoreline cannot be reached by car because of the steep wooded slopes which rise directly from the water. The Weissensee offers fishing, bathing, sailing, surfing and waterskiing; motor boats are prohibited. The villages around the lake have tennis courts and horses for hire, as well as being the starting points for walks and climbs. Cross-country ski runs in winter.
On the northwestern side of the Weissensee lies the chief place in the valley, Techendorf (930m/3,050ft; pop. 750). It is a popular summer resort, with houses built in the old Carinthian style and some inviting walks. Most of the hotels and boarding houses have their own bathing beaches, and the many events that take place make it ideal for families. To the west stretch Gatschach, Oberdorf and Pradlitz, all parts of the same commune, while 1.5km/1mi east straggles the village of Neusach, where the road along the northern shore ends. A ferry sails from Techendorf to the eastern end of the lake, and from there there is a road leading through the Weissenbachtal via Stockenboi to Feistritz an der Drau (about 25km/15mi). A motorway runs southeast to Villach.
Weissensee Southern Shore
From Techendorf a bridge 100m/110yds long crosses to the southern shore of the lake, from where a chairlift ascends to the Naggler Alm (1335m/4380ft; skiing area), the starting point of many ridge walks between the Weissensee and the Gail valley.2.5km/1.5miles east of the bridge lies the last place on the southern side of the lake, the hamlet of Naggl, a nature reserve. From here there is a pleasant walk around the lake by way of the Laka summit (1851m/6073ft) to the fijord-like eastern end, and then back along the northern side to Neusach, keeping about halfway up the steep wooded slopes, with a few ups and downs.