About this Germany walking region
Upper Bavaria, and with it the Bavarian Alps, forms a magnificent natural divide along the Austrian border. Crammed into this thin sliver of land is some of the most magnificent Alpine walking that Europe has to offer.
Upper Bavaria and the Bavarian Alps are also home to some of Germany’s most colourful folk traditions and world-famous fairy-tale castles. Spread along the fringes of the Bavarian Alps is a succession of storybook palaces, ancient monasteries, and lavish, onion-domed Baroque churches. Sample the magic of Castle Linderhof, where Bavaria’s eccentric King Ludwig lived for most of his life; the ancient Benedictine Abbey of Ettal (known as ‘Bavaria’s Temple of the Grail’); and the memorable village of Oberammergau, famed for its Passion Play.
Villages and towns in Upper Bavaria have a genuinely authentic atmosphere and a long history. The warm welcome of this region is famous; the image of the chubby, rosy-cheeked innkeeper with a constant smile is no invention. The food is delicious and filling; the beer is like nectar; and the villages and towns themselves, with their onion-domed churches, frescoed houses and tidy prosperity, can seem both pleasingly old-fashioned and conveniently up-to-date. Folklore traditions are particularly strong in this part of Bavaria, as demonstrated, among other things, by their love of traditional music and folk dancing. It is also not uncommon to see men of all ages sporting Gamsbart hats and Lederhosen (traditional leather trousers) as well as women proudly wearing a frilly Dirndl dress.
Walking in Bavaria – The Bavarian Alps
Although Southern Germany’s small slice of the European Alps offers few peaks that compare in height to some of those in neighbouring Austria, the scenery is no less rewarding for walkers and hikers. The highest main summits in Germany’s Upper Bavaria are Mt. Zugspitze (2,962m/9,718 ft), Mt. Hochwanner (2,746m/9,009 ft) and Mt. Watzmann (2,713m/8,900 ft). Numerous walking trails criss-cross the region, from gentle walks and rambles around the lake to exhilarating mountain climbs. And, easiest of all, you can take one of the many cable cars and follow the signed paths to where only the tinkling of cowbells stirs the silence. Scenic highlights include the stunningly picturesque and pristine Lake Königssee in Berchtesgadener Land; the beautifully wild Breitach, Partnach and Höllental gorges; and the rack-railway trip to the summit of Mt. Zugspitze.