When I used to think about traveling in the Alpes, I always had the Italian, Swiss or the Austrian Alpes in mind. When I got the opportunity to cooperate with the German Tourism Board, Lufthansa and Lametayel, I did some pre-exploration and was astonished about how I was missinformed about this beautiful area in Bavaria. I should note that this road can be done also in 2 weeks, taking the most of Bavaria, but has we had 6 full days – this is what we were up to:
The German Alpine Road stretches from the Austrian border near Salzburg in the East going West towards Constance Lake on the border with Switzerland. It is possible to do this trip by public transportation yet we chose to rent a car so we can visit all these small places you see on the way, and to have full control on our schedule. It should be noted that this road goes through Austria at times, which requires a sticker for the car, that allows entry for the car in Austria (you can be fined for not putting it in the front of the car) and can be bought for 8 EUR in every gas station.
Day 1 – Landing in Munich
When traveling in Bavaria, Munich is the destination to pick. The city itself is nice but doesn’t have enough attractions for us to see (in my opinion) aside from Marineplatz and the English Gardens so stayed the night and picked the car we had ordered in advance and went on our way. A nice thing about Munich – it is one of the cheapest places to rent a car in Europe – far more than other places I’ve rented cars such as Norway, Greece and Italy.
We took the highway towards the Austrian border and arrived to Schönau am Königssee in the area of Berchtesgaden, arriving in our hotel for the night.
Day 2 – Königssee
We woke up to a beautiful sight of the Alpes outside of our hotel room and took the car straight to Königssee.
We chose to see a ferry along the lake. We arrived to the anchorage (just put Königssee in your navigation app) from which we took the full boat ride along the lake including Obersee. If you are kenning on getting half way and take the shorter route to St. Bartholomä, a famous pilgrimage church that is located on a peninsula about halfway down the western lake shore, than you should buy the ticket to St. Bartholomä (beautiful place) and if you like to make the full ferry ride getting into Obersee you should buy the ticket to Salet (in which Obersee is located). The ferry costs 15-19 EUR per person.
The day was beautiful and we took the 1 hour ferry along the lake. The colors reminded me of the Philippines and Thailand (!) – who knew that Germany has these kind of views?! (not me).
Königssee is a beautiful natural lake, most of the lake is within Berchtesgaden National Park and is surrounded by mountains, including the famous Watzmann mountain. If you’re a climber there are many opportunities to that around the mountains in Königssee but in order to get to the lake itself – one can only arrive by boat.
We arrived to Salet taking the path to Obersee lake. In general there are a lot of hiking trails, with different lenghts, ranging from 45 min to 5 hours. We loved the place and decided to spend the day there (until the last ferry – 18:00 in the summer), taking random hiking trails, lying around and resting in quieter areas.
2 tips: Try to take the first or second ferry to enjoy the place without too many people around. DO NOT EAT IN THE OBERSEE RESTAURANT. It is so bad that I’d rather just stay hungry all day. Please take with you some snacks!
Day 3 – Hintersee
Since staying and driving through the area of Berchtesgaden was so breathtakingly beautiful e decided to stay one more night and hike around Hintersee, a small lake situated near the village of Ramsau. Hintersee has a trail leading around it with very easy hiking trails along a wild mountain stream. If you have time, there are some other beautiful hiking trails around it, almost empty of people. In general, Hintersee seemed to host mostly Germans visiting the area and we didn’t encounter almost any tourists beside us (we visited on the first week of September).
Other possible activity is taking a small boat around the lake or just doing a picnic, enjoying the beautiful view. From there, we drove towards Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Day 4 – Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Located a distance of about ⅕-2 hours from Berchtesgaden (a beautiful ride BTW), Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a famous ski town in winter, but as we came on the first week of September, we came to enjoy the other attractions Garmisch to offer. It should be noted that the weather wasn’t on our side, it was mostly rainy and cloudy but we managed to make the best out of the weather! One can only imagine how beautiful it is in the area when it’s sunny!
Garmisch offers beautiful hiking trails and climbing the mountains surrounding it. If the weather allows, there is also a cable car taking you to the amazing view overlooking the area from mountain Zugspitze, the highest mountain in all of Germany! Unfortunately for us, the weather was extremely foggy, so had to skip 100 meters(it’s located in the same place) from the cable car station to Eibsee (just put Eibsee on any navigation app).
Eibsee is a beautiful lake with turquoise water and hidden gems all to yourself. There is a walking trail around it, and if you go off the road there are more beautiful places to see.
Eibsee is utter peace for you who are looking to disconnect and just hear bird sounds for the day. As mentioned, Eibsee is located on the slopes of the Zugspitze, allowing you to enjoy the reflection of the Zugspitze, overlooking the lake.
Partnach Gorge is another great place to visit! It’s a natural conduit for the Partnach River, surrounded by limestone walls, allowing you to walk along the river. It is a beautiful, relatively short and easy hike (making it also good for families) yet unfortunately we have had bad weather, so I didn’t manage to get the full experience out of the place.
Day 5 – Neuschwanstein & Geroldsee
Looking for places off the beaten track of tourists? You should visit Gerold Village and the lake next to it, Geroldsee. On the way from Garmisch to Füssen, we stopped to visit the amazing picturesque village of Gerold. It’s a beautiful small village and we were by ourselves, enjoying the amazing view and beautiful and relatively nice weather. It’s peaceful, quiet, green and authentic. Highly recommended to stop on the way.
Next stop was the beautiful village of Immenstadt, where we had lunch and went on the alpine coasters. You don’t need to be a child to enjoy these alpine coasters overlooking the area. After the coasters we arrived in Füssen, a city overlooking the Neuschwanstein Castle.
About Neuschwanstein, it was built originally in the beginning of the 19th century, by Ludwig the II, known as the mad king. It is more famous to be real life inspiration for Walt Disney himself, as he used the outline of the castle in the Disney movie – Sleeping Beauty as well the as the castle in the Disney Logo. As for arriving there – by car (like us), bus or taxi – there is another climb up that takes about 40 minutes by foot – we did it on the way up and it is not recommended! We’re in shape, non smoking young people and it was a hard climb. Taking a horse with a carriage is also no solution! these horses are being tortured for us to climb up and down all day long! I encourage everyone to just take the bus, it takes 10 min and costs 1.5 EUR (cheaper and more humane than a carriage) .
Once getting up, when you get off the bus everybody will go towards the castle. if you turn right before the lane towards the castle, you will see Marienbrücke, the bridge which gives a beautiful view of the castle. If you decide to cross the bridge and climb up you can get an even more beautiful view and nicer photos. Please be careful while doing that, this place doesn’t have fences!
After hiking around castle, we came back to Füssen, where we spent the night, woke up and continued west towards Lindau, a city nearby Lake Constance (Bodensee), that shares common boarders with both Germany & Switzerland. Upon arriving to our hotel, we went to hike around the lake and the area of the hotel, enjoying the beautiful view and orchards.
After spending the night we took the road back to Munich Airport, flying back home.
Bavaria was a surprise to me, wasn’t expecting to see this amazing nature, people and the sense of tranquility it gave me. Bayern – I’ll be back.
I want to the thank the German Tourism Board, Lufthansa & Lametayel for inviting me on this trip.
לחצו כאן לקריאה של הכתבה שלי באתר למטייל