Austria's Pink Lakes
Images Courtesy Pink Lake Festival
Story by Joseph Alexiou
A whole weekend lounging around a pristine Austrian lake is nothing short of paradise for lovers of the European vacation. In the southern province of Carinthia—a beautiful sunny region made up of a thousand lakes and mountains—Lake Wörthersee and the town of Pörtschach will be host to the second annual Pink Lake Festival—an international LGBT event from September 10 through 13.
In what is essentially a gay pride weekend without the parade, Pink Lake is an opportunity for the region to invite queer travelers to experience a quiet and remarkably picturesque part of Europe. With borders near Italy and Slovenia, last year's festival saw visitors from myriad destinations in Europe and beyond. Pörtschach, a spa town full of tradition (from architecture to bakeries), classy restaurants and boutique shopping, is "ideal venue for the Pink Lake Festival."
Highlighted events start with the Almdudler Folkwear Party at the beautiful Parkvilla Wörth—guests wearing Lederhosen or Dirndl (the traditional lady's peasant dress, although being a lady is obviously not a requirement) get a present, and additional prizes to the most creative outfits. Friday's big event is the dragtastic Sissi Ball at the Congress Center Pörtschach, presented by Villacher Bier and featuring the ladies from Vienna's Herr...liche Damen calls for Baroque, "eccentric" costumes. On Saturday the main event is the Schlumberger Boat Cruise, a nighttime dance cruise with live DJs and beautiful views of the lake.
Additional events include Welcome Speed Dating on Thursday for those looking for some weekend romance, a bicycle toure around the lake at 10 a.m. on Friday, numerous happy hours, buffet dinners, and the free "banana cruising," a sports happy hour at the Pink Lake Hausboot (a daytime bathing suit party, if you will). Check out the event website for full scheduling details and locations.
All-inclusive event tickets cost 20€, although most events are no more than 10€ individually.