The village of Maurach is where most visitors first glimpse the blue waters of Lake Achen.
Maurach is at the lake’s southern end reached by a road which runs from the nearby Inn valley to Achenkirch and Germany.
The village of Maurach belongs to the larger administrative district of Eben, which covers the southern end of the lake (including Pertisau and the Hinterriss valley in the Karwendel park).
Eben itself is a small village which is almost a suburb of Maurach, notable mainly for the museum dedicated to the popular local St. Notburga. It is the first settlement on the main road after the hairpin bends rising from the Inn valley.
Maurach itself is a sprawling village closer to the lake. The historic centre is a slight distance from the lake. The growing suburb of Buchau on the eastern shore has expanded with tourist facilities and hotels.
Maurach, at 960m altitude, is a similar size to Achenkirch, and has over 2000 inhabitants.
Maurach, like the other lakeside settlements, originally belonged to various abbeys and monasteries. The Counts of the Tyrol took control and used the water and the mountains surrounding it as their personal recreation area.
The trading route via the eastern side of the lake was important as well. The extensive forests in the area produced charcoal, used to smelt the ores mined in the Inn valley. The final products often headed north past the lake again into Germany.
The hamlet of Eben is a pilgrimage centre for those visiting the shrine of St. Notburga, a popular saint in the Tyrol.
Notburga was originally a servant woman in Rattenberg down in the Inn valley. Among other good deeds, she fed the poor from the leavings of her masters and later, as a field hand, would only work until evening prayers. She moved back to the valley, but when she died she asked for her two oxen to carry her body. The oxen, wandering where they wanted, brought her back to Eben and her body was buried in the Rupertikirche.
Notburga became a saint in the 19th century and she has become the patron saint of servants and farm workers, as well of many organisations who promote typical local dress. (The St. Notburga procession, held on the Sunday after her saint's day on September 13, is notable for the local 'Trachten' dresses worn by the participants.)
Tourism is an important industry in the area. Two of the major draws, outside the mountain and lake scenery, are the steam cog railway up from Jenbach and the lake ferry.
The train has three stops in the Maurach area. The last station is on the lakeshore just beyond Maurach with a ferry stop. Another embarkation point is on the opposite shore in Buchau near the bathing and beach area.
The railway and the ferry service date back to the 19th century. However the town also offers modern pastimes, such as kitesurfing and paragliding, plus the adrenaline rush of the glider lift at the top of the Rofan cable car.
Extensive walking is available in the Rofan range, served by the cable car and covering the eastern side of the lake. Opposite the Rofan in the Karwendel, the hike to the Weissenbachsattel and Bärenkopf an attractive route.
More information about the walking in the area
The ski area at the top of the Rofan cable car is tiny compared to other Tyrolean ski areas, but worth a visit for the views and the mountains. The area is also popular for ski tourers and snowshoe walkers.
More information about skiing in the Rofan area