Upper-Sure Lake

© Thomas Jutzler

Outdoors Passion Water sports on the lake and river

5 minutes

Paddling, diving, enjoying nature
Destination(s): Moselle, Éislek

Still waters or foaming waves: the Upper Sûre lake and the Moselle offer both relaxing and dynamic watersports experiences.

Built in the 1950s, the Upper Sûre drinking water reservoir meanders through the narrow valley like a gigantic serpent. At times, it feels like a Norwegian landscape. Other spots feel like a boundless Canadian lake. “You can take long trips out on the water here, if you want,” says canoe guide Christoph. “The tour to Pont Misère out west takes all day. It’s 9 km one way.” You can take the trip in a kayak or canoe, your choice. Kayaks require a double-bladed paddle, and canoes a single-bladed paddle. Both are simple to master and the lake is an ideal place to learn because there are no motorboats.

The reservoir is located a one hour drive north-west of Luxembourg City and is the largest body of water within a 50 km radius. Sunny weekends draw crowds to secluded swimming spots along the lakeshore and river bank in Lultzhausen, Liefrange and Insenborn. If you’re paddling through though, you’ll barely notice them. Focusing on the rhythmic splish-splash, keeping a steady paddle movement and your eye on the water and waves will make you feel serene in no time. “That’s what I love about water sports. These moments of tranquillity, especially early in the morning when the water is still draped in mist right after sunrise,” says Christoph. Enjoy yet another perk of heading out with a canoe, kayak or SUP-board: “You can reach places that can’t be accessed on foot or by car. You get to choose your own perfect picnic spot.”

Kayak on the Upper-Sure Lake in Lultzhausen

© Thomas Linkel

Over the course of several hundred fjord-like metres, the large Upper Sûre lake branches off into a creek. Christoph and his group turn around and enjoy a first rest stop on a rock on the river bank. Out of the waterproof container, the canoe guide conjures up a camping stove, an espresso maker and fresh croissants.

On their way back to the hostel in Lultzhausen, the starting point, the group passes underneath a high bridge. Stronger winds are stirring waves but the boats remain steady on the water. Guided canoe tours last three hours. “After that, people know how to paddle and steer. They are able to head out on their own,” explains Christoph. 

Night dives in the reservoir

Back at the hostel, the kayaks are pulled ashore. Stéphane Ewerling and his friend finish prepping for a dive. Stéphane is a teacher at the hostel’s diving school. “Diving is my greatest passion,” he says, raving about night dives in the reservoir where you can see crabs battling it out. The centre of the reservoir is 30 to 35 m deep with a maximum depth of 50 m. It’s a perfect location for beginners and experienced divers alike. “If you can dive here, you can dive in the Mediterranean,” says Stéphane.

Watersports Upper-Sure Lake Lultzhausen

© Thomas Linkel

The diving course takes you from theory to pool to lake. “You’ll be focused on technique on your first dive, but you’ll still manage to see a lot, like fish or some other strange sightings. Garden gnomes and Christmas trees were sunk on purpose.” It takes a while for Stéphane and his diving buddy to put on the gear. The oxygen tank goes on last. Overall, the equipment weighs around 20 kg. They check each other’s gear. Do the air supplies and pressure gauges work? They give each other the OK hand signal, wade into the water and disappear below the surface. Around a minute later, a buoy emerges from the water, indicating the divers’ location.

Even though you always dive with a buddy, it is still a solitary experience. “There are no ambient sounds. All you hear is your own breathing and the bubbles it generates. That’s it. It’s a phenomenal way to switch off after a stressful day,” says Stéphane.

Relax here, be active there

The reservoir is nestled in the woodland hills of the Upper Sûre Nature Park, a great place to hike or mountain bike. Watersports in the park area are an all-round relaxing experience. 

For more intense water sports, check out the dynamic activities along the River Moselle near Ehnen. Here, you’ll find Glenn Birsens wakeboarding on the river at 35 km an hour. He uses the boat’s wakes as a ramp to jump and swing around in the air.

He controls the board with swift motions from left to right, choosing each wake. All the while, he holds on to a wakeboard rope and handle, his feet held firm by boots in bindings, similar to snowboarding. It takes some practice to make it look as easy as he does but wakeboarding will be heaps of fun from the start. You don’t have to be a member to learn the sport with one of the many watersports clubs along the Moselle. 

From action to adventure, vibrant to peaceful: One day can bring two quite distinct water experiences in Luxembourg.

Watersports Ehnen Moselle

© Thomas Linkel
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