Beneath the Hochschwab mountains lays a lake that has something that distinct it from all the other lakes in the world. During the winter months the lake is deep only 2 meters, covering the area of 2000 sq. meters and all around it there are hikers’ trails with benches, trees and all other features one mountain lake has. But when the summer comes, the snow from the mountains melts, raising the level of water in the lake 5 to 6 times making it twice as big, 4000 sq. meters. Because of this, everything that surrounds the lake gets submerged in water, creating unreal underwater scenery.
The lake is located in Styria in Austria and it is very popular hiking destination for a half of the year where locals and tourists come to take a break from city and enjoy crisp mountain air. But in the other half of the year the spot becomes one of the most interesting destinations for divers. When diving, you get a feeling like you’re transferred to another dimension because everything that surrounds you does not belong in the underwater world.
At summer time one can dive next to park benches, hiking trails, footbridges, trees and flowers.
Because the water that fills the lake is coming from the snow from the mountains, it is crystal clear, and if sun is shining the diving becomes out of this world experience.
The Gruner See means Green Lake and its color derives from meadow’s grass and foliage that gets submerged. The Green Lake is the deepest during the June so that’s the best time to visit to witness this unique occurrence.
However, if you want to dive, you have to be pre-certified diver and you can’t get certified on the spot. If you have certificate you can explore scenery on your own or go on guided group dive. You can take underwater photography class or underwater biology class. If you think that this is the right thing for you be prepared for very cold water from 4 to 7 C, since it comes directly from the top of the mountains.
Water starts to rise in the spring, peaking around the June, while the receding stars in July, so the most divers gather around from May to early July, to experience real world Atlantis. Since the lake is not so big during the winter season there is no big fishes swimming around but you will for sure encounter some trout and other small fishes as well as underwater insects.
The bad news is that officials announced that diving will be banned, since it became too popular leading to water contamination. The divers around the world don’t agree with this decision and state that the number of permits should be limited.