Osterseen in the hinterland of Munich.

Hiking guide: Bavarian lakes

Hike with bathing opportunities

A day by the lake or a trip through the mountains? For everyone who does not want to choose, there are solutions to this leisure problem: hiking and paddling – the perfect combination for the summer.

 

Spitzingsee: Cooling off for mountain lovers

If you would like to bring together a hike to the summit and a bathe in a mountain lake, you should not miss a trip to the Rotwand. The mountain on Lake Spitzingsee is a popular destination for excursions and is easily accessible by alpine pastures and a cable car.

Lake Soinsee (1458 m above sea level) is located in close proximity to it; the scenery could come from a picture book: blue water, grey rocks, green trees. The lake is relatively small with an area of just under five hectares and does not have any visible inflow – the Soingraben only appears out of the ground suddenly 780 metres further on, to then comfortably splash towards the valley.

Sometimes small rock pools form which also invite you to cool off. The water in Lake Soinsee is really cool, which is hardly a surprise: it is frozen for around five months a year.

How to get there: There are several routes up: from the west via the Taubenstein cable car (Spitzingstr. 12, 83727 Schliersee) and the Rotwandhaus, from the east via the Silberghaus (Tiroler Str. 70, 83735 Bayrischzell). Hiking gear is necessary, you should allow for at least half a day, depending on your route.

Tegernsee: The secret lido

A lido that is small, easily accessible and also free of charge? Yes, there is one: the Kaltenbrunn lido by Lake Tegernsee is a real insider’s tip. This is because most visitors to Lake Tegernsee prefer to go for a walk somewhere else.

The Kaltenbrunn lido is actually located in an apparently unattractive location on the northern bank. There are few tourist attractions apart from Gut Kaltenbrunn; even the lakeside path soon leads away from the lake and through a dense wood.

So this is just the right place for anyone who wants to bathe in peace. The lido is particularly suitable for the final stop of a longer walk.

How to get there: There are a few parking spaces at the neighbouring marina (Kaltenbrunn 3, 83701 Gmund). Gmund station can be reached in 10 to 15 minutes on foot.

Walchensee:Caribbean feelings

Lake Walchensee is also referred to as the Bavarian Caribbean: because its water has such an incredible turquoise green colour. You can hardly resist jumping into it. The banks with their shingle beaches are largely unspoilt; as a result, there are lots of places for bathing.

The Zwergern peninsular, which offers an excellent view of mountains and villages, is particularly popular. Lake Walchensee is a good starting and end point for hikes up the Herzogstand. If you want to save yourself part of the ascent, you can take the Herzogstand cable car.

A circuit of Lake Walchensee covers 27 kilometres – it is beautiful, but more suited for cyclists.

How to get there: A95, Murnau/Kochel exit, then via Kochel am See. There are parking spaces at the Herzogstand cable car (Am Tanneneck 6, 82432 Walchensee).

Osterseen: In and out

Hiking, bathing, hiking, bathing, hiking, bathing: there is probably nowhere that this is as easy as at the group of lakes known as the “Osterseen”. This group of lakes near Iffeldorf consists of 20 individual lakes of varying sizes; there are also a couple of pools. The variety of bathing options is correspondingly high.

Connoisseurs swear by Lake Fohnsee. It is easily accessible and particularly picturesque. There are numerous hiking trails leading throughout the region, some of which go through biotopes. A number of endangered species of plants and animals live here, for example Alpine newts or the Siberian winter damselfly.

Therefore, bathing is prohibited in many places. Nature lovers stay at the campsite by Lake Fohnsee.

How to get there: Good starting points are Iffeldorf station or the nearby Waldhaus am Fohnsee (Fohnseeweg 30, 82393). It is easy to roam through the region from here; you can get from lake to lake in just a few minutes on foot.

Ice Lakes: Hike for a long time, freeze for a moment

The ice lakes (1827 m) in the Allgäu live up to their name. They are so cold that bathing is definitely only recommended for hardened visitors. Remnants of snow lie on their banks into the summer. The ice lakes appear strangely lost in the rugged mountain landscape – solitary dashes of blue.

However, the picturesque sight does require some effort: the lakes are located slightly off the beaten track. This is why only practised mountain enthusiasts should go on this all-day trip. As a bonus, the long journey can be combined with a visit to the little village of Gerstruben, one of the oldest settlements in the Oberstdorf area.

If you end your hike at Lake Christlessee, you can jump into the water there.

How to get there: Most trips start at Lake Christlessee (916 m above sea level) near Oberstdorf; it is also possible to start at Gerstruben (1155 m above sea level). Continue via the Dietersbachalpe (1325 m) and the Älpelesattel (1780 m).

 

 

Text: Nansen & Piccard; Photos: Frank Stolle
Neuschwanstein Castle in the surrounding region of Munich.

Hiking guide

Royal wanderlust

Herrenchiemsee, Linderhof, Schachenhaus and Neuschwanstein: Bavaria’s castles and palaces are among the most beautiful in the world.

Herrenchiemsee, Linderhof, Schachenhaus and Neuschwanstein: Bavaria’s castles and palaces are among the most beautiful in the world.

Landscape near Kochel am See

Franz Marc & Kochel

The home of ”Der Blaue Reiter“

Our author goes on a hike in search of the places where Franz Marc found his inspiration.

Our author goes on a hike in search of the places where Franz Marc found his inspiration – and finds a magical place.

Two hiker are on a mountain ridge near Munich.

For latecomer lovers of the mountains

After-work hiking

Getting out into nature quickly: no problem in Munich, even in the afternoon. Five hiking tours for late risers and after-work athletes.

Getting out into nature quickly: no problem in Munich, even in the afternoon. Five hiking tours for late risers and after-work athletes.

View of an alpine hut in front of a mountain panorama in Munich.

Munich's southern reaches

Hiking in wonderland

Barren rocks, wild mountain forests – and a fairy-tale castle.     

Barren rocks, wild mountain forests and a fairy-tale castle: The perfect tour for a lonely weekend in Munich's landmark mountains.

Two women with a bicycle on a pier by a lake in Bavaria.

Wasser-Radlwege Oberbayern

Bathe, banter, bike

Whether „Hopfen and Bier-Schleife“, „Salz-Schleife“ or „Kunst- and Kulturschleife“, Munich is the hub for all routes of the water cycle paths.

Whether „Hopfen and Bier-Schleife“, „Salz-Schleife“ or „Kunst- and Kulturschleife“, Munich is the hub for all routes of the water cycle paths.

Entrance of the Hündeleskopfhütte, the first vegetarian hut in the Alps near Munich.

Hiking guide: alpine huts

Alpine huts around Munich

 With this selection of alpine hut restaurants, everyone will find their ideal destination.

Families, mountaineers, connoisseurs: With this selection of alpine hut restaurants, everyone will find their ideal destination.

Kehlsteinhaus Berchtesgaden including a panoramic view of the valley in the surroundings of Munich.

Eagle's Nest

Hitler's tea room

A historical lookout high above Berchtesgaden, offering a stunning panoramic view.

The Kehlsteinhaus has been retained in its original form as a historical monument from the Third Reich, and is among the most popular destinations for trips in Germany.

Nymphenburg Palace in Munich at sunset.

Royal Munich

Castles and palaces in and around Munich

The magnificent castles and palaces in and around Munich are world famous. An overview.

Residenz, Nymphenburg, Herrenchiemsee, Neuschwanstein: The castles and palaces in and around Munich are world famous. An overview. 

Two skiers skiing down in deep snow in front of a mountain panorama.

Ski touring

Under your own steam

From Munich, you can experience the combination of climbing under your own steam and descending through untouched snow within a weekend.

From Munich, you can experience the combination of climbing under your own steam and descending through untouched snow within a weekend.

View from above of a snow-covered winter landscape with a monastery in the outskirts of Munich.

Winter walks in and around Munich: snow trekking

Into the snow!

Whether in the city centre, along the banks of the Isar river or up a mountain in advance of tobogganing back down into the valley, Munich offers a wide selection of winter hikes to enjoy.

Whether in the city centre, along the banks of the Isar river or up a mountain in advance of tobogganing back down into the valley, Munich offers a wide selection of winter hikes to enjoy.

Munich Card & City Pass

Discover Munich in a relaxed and uncomplicated way: discounts for the diverse range of art, culture and leisure activities with our guest cards.

Public transport is included

Many discounts with the Card, many things for free with the Pass.

Online or at the tourist information offices

Lakes & Mountains
Boat trip at the Königssee with panoramic view of the Alps in the surroundings of Munich.

A boat ride to a natural paradise

Königssee

Emerald-green water at the foot of the legendary Watzmann.

Emerald-green water at the foot of the Watzmann – taking a trip to Königssee lake is to enjoy a singular natural experience.

Lake Chiemsee with the Bavarian Alps in the background.

The Bavarian Sea

Chiemsee

At Bavaria's largest lake, you can not only do water sports or go on a bike tour, you can also experience many cultural attractions.

At Bavaria’s largest lake, you can not only do water sports or a bike tour, you can also experience a lot of culture at the Herrenchiemsee Palace.

A man is standing on rocks at the shore of Eibsee nearby Garmisch in the surrounding region of Munich.

The highest mountain in Germany

Zugspitze

The Zugspitze is only 90 kilometres away from the Bavarian state capital.

While Zugspitze in the Wetterstein Mountains may not be one of Munich’s local mountains, it is a mere 90 kilometres away from the Bavarian state capital.

Watzmann in the Berchtesgadener Land in the surrounding of Munich.

The mountain of destiny

Watzmann

The Watzmann has long fascinated mountain climbers from all over the world.

A truly extraordinary shape and the legendary east face: The Watzmann has long fascinated mountain climbers from all over the world.

Boats in Starnberger See in the Five Lake Region nearby Munich with the Alps in the background.

Recharge your batteries

Starnberger See

Anyone who fancies a swim, bike ride, leisurely stroll or boat trip won’t be disappointed on a trip to Starnberger See.

Around just 20 kilometres to the south-west of the city, you will find “Munich’s summer swimming pool”. Anyone who fancies a swim, bike ride, leisurely stroll or boat trip won’t be disappointed on a trip to Starnberger See.

The Tegernsee in the evening light with cloud reflection on the lake surface near Munich.

Like God in Bavaria

Tegernsee

Lake Tegernsee lies nestled between hillsides of dark-green forestation, is a wonder of nature whose origins date back to the last ice age.

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.

Evening atmosphere with sunset at Ammersee near Munich

From Utting to Herrsching

Ammersee

It is not only one of the largest lakes in Bavaria, but also a popular destination for those seeking peace and tranquillity.

It is not only one of the largest lakes in Bavaria, but also a popular destination for those seeking peace and tranquillity.

Windsurfer on the Walchensee in the hinterland of Munich.

The Bavarian Caribbean

Walchensee

Walchensee is not only the perfect destination for swimming, but also for windsurfing and hiking. Tips and information for a day trip from Munich.

Walchensee is not only the perfect destination for swimming, but also for windsurfing and hiking. Tips and information for a day trip from Munich.

Cathedral in Salzburg in winter

Salzburg and the Lake District

Visit the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and relax on the journey to beautiful Lake Wolfgang.

Book now from 64 €!

Visit the birthplace of composer extraordinaire Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, stroll through the Baroque old town and then relax on the journey to beautiful Lake Wolfgang.