Hiking the Finsterbach Waterfalls in Treffen am Ossiacher See
The Finsterbach Waterfall Trail in Treffen am Ossiacher See is one of the top hiking trails in the Villach area. Located near the Gerlitzen Alpe, the waterfalls bring water from the top of the mountain down to the Ossiachersee. The trail is remarkably rewarding for how easy it is. In about 1.4 kilometers of hiking, you can see three separate waterfalls. My husband and I were lazily looking for something to do on a Saturday morning and came across this trail on the Kaernten Region Villach app. I had no idea that there were waterfalls within a 15-minute drive from our apartment – lucky us! We packed a water bottle and our camera and went on the short drive to the trailhead in Treffen.
We were surprised to find that the first waterfall is pretty much immediately after you start the trail. So even if you are unsure of whether you want to commit to a hike, you can still see a waterfall without much effort. There are picnic tables by the first waterfall that would be perfect for a picnic. It was a beautiful day in Villach and the Ossiachersee was absolutely stunning to see from the trail. We were tempted to go swimming after our hike, but we forgot to pack our bathing suits. Since we hiked on a warm day, the waterfalls made everything very humid so I was longing for a dip in the refreshing lake! Don’t make my mistake, I recommend coming prepared for some swimming afterwards.
The main attraction of the hike is clearly the waterfalls, but I recommend observing the flora and fauna found on the trail. There are some lovely wildflowers and interesting insects along the trail, after rainfall you can sometimes see salamanders! Since the trail goes up a mountainside with waterfalls, there are a variety of microclimates along the trail with different plants to see.
In German: Finsterbach Wasserfälle Wanderweg
Season: April – November
Trailhead: Sattendorf Volksschule, Dorfstraße 20, 9520 Treffen am Ossiacher See
Parking: I recommend finding parking near the Volksschule. There is no public parking on “Finsterbachweg.”
Directions: Follow the “Wasserfallweg” north up the hillside. The first waterfall is visible at the beginning of the trail. The second waterfall is a brief hike away from the first one. The third waterfall is the biggest.
Bring good shoes since the trail can be slippery from the waterfalls.