Achenkirch is the most accessible lakeside resort for visitors arriving from the north. From the village, a road leads over the German border past the Tegernsee towards Munich.
The village sprawls over an open valley between the Karwendel mountains and the Rofan range. Achenkirch centre is around 2km from the northern end of the lake.
The village altitude is just above 900m with a population of over 2000 inhabitants.
The Achen valley was originally where the water from the lake drained northwards into the Isar. The moraines left by the retreating glaciers blocked the way for water to flow to the south down into the Inn river and it drained instead into Germany. However, since the Tyrolean power company built the hydroelectric plant in Jenbach, the water flows in its original direction to serve the needs of electricity generation.
The closeness of Germany meant the route past Lake Achen and the Achen Pass was an important trading connection from the Middle Ages onwards. The old pedlars' trail widened into one which could take wagons in the 14th century and a customs house built around that time.
Salt from the nearby mines in Schwaz was one of the important trade items, but wine from the South Tyrol and grain from northern Germany also travelled on the lakeside trails.
Fortifications guarded this important route over the pass once the Thirty Years' War started. Two hundred years later, the Bavarians invaded the Tyrol. They destroyed the military installations guarding the route around the lake as one of their first actions.
Perhaps tourism started with the ruling families of the Tyrol back in the Middle Ages who used the area as a hunting and fishing centre. This 'tourism' meant farming became more unpredictable as the numbers of bear and wolves in the region increased.
Once the connections improved, the beauty of the lake and the walking and climbing available in the surrounding landscape started to draw more visitors from the Inn valley and Bavaria.
Nowadays visitors come in the summer for the walking and the mountain biking possibilities not forgetting, of course, the water sports offered by the lake.
In the winter months, the main attraction is the ski area of the Christlum, although winter walking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are also popular.