The Pink Lake LGBT festival, held around Lake Wörthersee in Austria closed this evening after four days of activities and parties. In what is a stunningly beautiful setting, the Pink Lake festival offers something unique to the thousand or so people who attend the event every year.

The days are spent relaxing around the “Sunshine Lake’s Beach Club”, attached to the My Lake Hotel in Pörtschach where guests can dip into the fresh but relatively warm lake, ride banana boats, go on treasure hunts, borrow a bicycle and ride around the stunning lake and surrounding countryside or simply chill out with a cocktail as the resident DJ spins some tunes

But the nights are when the festival comes alive. On the Thursday, Friday and Saturday, three very different, themed nights attract big turn outs.

Thursday saw 700 or so people brave quite chilly weather for an outdoor Almdudler Trachtenparty- an Austrian folk party. Many of the revellers were dressed in traditionally inspired but somewhat funky Lederhosen while the women and the obligatory drag queens donned Dirndls (traditional Austrian dresses).

While Friday saw a sold out boat party around the beautiful lake. It was actually held on two boats, that set off separately but then joined together, sailing side by side and allowing party goers to cross from one dance floor to the next. The boats returned to their jetties accompanied by a music synchronised fire works display. The after party back at the My Lake Hotel went on to the small hours.

By the third night, for the black and white party, there was a real family atmosphere. It was rather strange because you’ve seen the same people out the night before, and the night before that. You’ve chatted to them as you lounged around the lake, you’ve grinned at them as you emerged, a little hungover at breakfast. At the party itself, everyone, bar none was dressed in black and white, dancing to Alexandra Prince, who while her name might not be that familiar, her song “So many Times” has been a mainstay of the gay clubs for the past five years.

We can’t recommend Pink Lake more highly, the atmosphere is like nothing we’ve experienced before. Nice people, no trouble with the locals, stunning scenery and really attentive staff running the events. There is a genuine excitement in the normally sleepy town of Pörtschach at having hundreds of out, proud LGBT people enjoying themselves in a safe, friendly way.

PinkNews.co.uk stayed at the My Lake Hotel and flew to Vienna (three hours drive from Lake Wörthersee) with British Airways.