Lake Tegernsee in the vicinity of Munich in the evening light.

Lake Tegernsee

Like God in Bavaria

Lake Tegernsee lies nestled between hillsides of dark-green forestation. Its banks are lined with reeds and old oak trees. Beyond, the masts of sailing boats sway in the wind. In front of the Bräustüberl in Tegernsee, good fortune comes in its own colour: yellow. Yellow as in the colour of the façade of the monastery, a cold beer and the evening sun under which visitors can reflect on a day of adventure.

Tegernsee (lake) is a wonder of nature whose origins date back to the last ice age. The founding of the Tegernsee Benedictine Abbey brought life into the region in the 8th century. Situated around the lake today are the pretty communities of Gmund, Bad Wiessee, Kreuth, Rottach-Egern and Tegernsee. The many rose-covered houses, flowerbeds and the boathouses on the Mangfall (river), which rises from the lake near Gmund, are picture-perfect.

How lovely to share the view from the jetty at Strandbad Kaltenbrunn (lido) over the panorama of the Tegernsee mountains and Wallberg (mountain) with a loved one. Hirschberg (mountain), Riederstein (mountain) and Schloss Ringberg (castle). The Tegernseer Valley is also the setting for the film 'Die Geschichte vom Brandner Kaspar' (The story of Brandner Kaspar) who cheated death because he couldn't bare to give up his wonderful life. Hardly surprising given the region he lives in. 

The foothills of the Bavarian Alps, just 50 kilometres from Munich, are home to several prominent names. From 1929 through to his death in 1958, the Norwegian painter, illustrator and caricaturist Olaf Gulbransson lived at the Schererhof of the southern slope of the Neureuth (mountain). There is a museum dedicated to the artist in Tegernsee. As well as the permanent Gulbransson exhibition, the museum also holds regular special exhibitions.

It's well worth taking a guided tour followed by refreshments at the Naturkäserei Tegernseer Land (cheese dairy) in Kreuth, or visiting the Büttenpapierfabrik (paper factory) in Gmund. The paper factory was built here over 190 years ago, and recently developed a personalised paper collection for the Bauhaus in Dessau.

Tegernsee is just under an hour's train ride or drive from Munich. There are railway stations in Gmund and in Tegernsee. A circular bus serves the localities around the lake. It runs every half hour. If you enjoy hiking and walking but don't fancy an extreme Alpine experience, there are plenty of fantastic trails around Tegernsee. The Tegernseer Höhenweg from Gmund to Tegernsee, the climb up to mountain restaurant on the Neureuth (mountain) or to the Aueralm at the foot of the Fockenstein (mountain) are all popular.

You can also reach the 1722 metre peak of the Wallberg, with its 360° views of the Bavarian Alpine foothills, by mountain railway. In 2018, the municipality of Kreuth officially became a "Mountaineering Village". An award for outstanding sustainable mountain tourism that the Deutscher Alpenverein (German Alpine Association) has granted to only three other places in the Bavarian Alps. It's a true delight in the summer to hike through the Wolfsschlucht (gorge) which begins behind Kreuth, enjoying the many pools along the way.

If you like to rely on the expertise of a local, you'll be in good hands with the certified Tegernseer Heimatführer guides. A particular highlight, alongside the guided mountain pastures and huts hikes, is the "Nacht und Sterne“ Wanderung (‘Night and Stars’ walk). During this approximately one-hour excursion, with stories about the city along the way, you can keep looking through the astronomers' telescopes to see the night sky above Tegernsee. Other attractive offers from the guides include forest bathing, geocoaching and a guided tour in the tracks of the golden eagle.

Bad Wiessee is not only known for its casino – as the name suggests it is also a designated spa resort. Mineral springs were discovered here in 1910. They bear the names Adrianus and Queen Wilhemina, and are Germany's strongest iodine and sulphur springs. The new iodine and sulphur spa opened in Bad Wiessee in June 2020. The bathhouse was designed by the multi-award-winning architect Matteo Thun.

The freshly renovated Seesauna in Tegernsee also offers wellness for the body in a unique setting. If sweating isn't your thing, even on a sauna boat, head up on deck on one of the Bayerische Seenschiffahrt pleasure cruisers. There are lots of landing stages around Tegernsee. One of them right on the waterside promenade at the Bräustüberl (restaurant) in Tegernsee, where God would take a seat if he lived in Bavaria.


Photo: Der Tegernsee, Peter Prestel


The City of Munich is also affected by the nationwide measures to contain the coronavirus. Hotels and accommodation establishments, indoor and outdoor gastronomy and shops are open. But there are some restrictions. All other important information about the coronavirus and your stay in Munich can be found here.

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