Bavaria - The Bavarian Alps

Although walking and hiking is probably the focus of your holiday, it will be impossible to ignore the many cultural treasures and historical sights of this stunningly beautiful Bavaria Alpine region.

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.

Ammergauer Alps

In the heart of the German Alps ● Softly-rolling hills and valleys of wildflowers backed by stunning Alpine peaks ● Tiny Ettal with its famous Benedictine Monastery founded in 1330 ● Lavish Castle Linderhof built by King Ludwig II ● Oberammergau; the village of woodcarvers and the world-famous Passion Play.

Berchtesgadener Land

Breathtakingly beautiful Alpine mountain landscape ● A paradise for walkers and hikers ● National Park Berchtesgaden ● The fjord-like Lake Königssee with its sublime beauty ● Peaceful Alpine villages ● Surrounded by six impressive mountain ranges ● The spiky peaks of Mt. Watzmann (2,713m/8,900ft).

Lake Chiemsee Region

Scenic dream, shaped by the Ice Age ● Bavaria’s biggest lake ● Gentle walking at the foot of the Chiemgauer Alps ● Fairytale castle built by King Ludwig II ● Benedictine Abbey founded in the eighth century ● A vast treasure house of cultural attractions ● Rugged Mt. Kampenwand (1,669m/5,476ft).

Lakes Tegernsee & Schliersee

The ancient landscape of the Bavarian pre-Alps ● Some of the most picturesque lakes in Bavaria ● The pretty village of Schliersee ● Less than an hour from Munich ● Numerous gentle walking and hiking trails ● Various spa and sport facilities for summer and winter ● Mt. Wallberg (1,722m/5,650ft).

Mittenwald Region

Prime walking and hiking territory ● The stunningly turquoise-coloured River Isar ● Mittenwald; beautiful violin-making town, described by Goethe as a “living picture book” ● Wild, romantic mountain lakes and the mighty Wetterstein Mountains ● The Karwendel Mountains – 125 peaks over 2,000 metres (6,562 feet).

Mt. Zugspitze – Bavaria

The imposing peaks of the Wetterstein Mountains ● Garmisch-Partenkirchen; the country’s number one ‘walkers’ hub’, and Winter Olympics town ● The magnificently wild Partnachklamm gorge ● Truly outstanding mountain scenery ● The highest point in the Bavarian Alps, Mt. Zugspitze (2,962m/9,718ft).


Land of farmers, artists and monks in lovely pre-Alpine countryside ● Off the beaten track ● UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Wieskirche’ ● Combine walking with culture ● 159 churches and monasteries from the 18th century ● Germany’s ‘Romantic Road’ ● Ideal easy walking country ● Mt. Peißenberg (987m/3,238ft).

Tölzer Land & Isarwinkel

Two crystal-clear Alpine lakes: Walchensee and Kochelsee ● Bad Tölz; lively and pretty spa town ● Stunning Benediktbeuern – one of the oldest monasteries in Bavaria (739 AD) ● Beautiful Alpine scenery ● Mt. Herzogstand (1,731m/5,679ft); the favourite mountain of Bavaria’s King Ludwig II.


Travel Information

Best time for a walking holiday...
May to October

Fly to...
Munich (DE), Salzburg (AT), Innsbruck (AT)

Germany Walking Regions