Neuschwanstein Castle in the surrounding region of Munich.

A tour of the palaces

Royal wanderlust

Herrenchiemsee, Linderhof, Schachenhaus and of course Neuschwanstein: Bavaria’s castles and palaces are among the most beautiful in the world. And the best bit: even the journey to get to them (or back again) is almost a royal pleasure itself.

Royal hikes at a glance

- Herrenchiemsee
- Linderhof
- Königshaus am Schachen
- Neuschwanstein

 

Herrenchiemsee Lake: by boat and foot

There are few more sublime ways to begin a walking tour than by boat. After crossing from Prien am Chiemsee to Herreninsel island, the crowds tend to hotfoot it straight to the castle; but you should turn right instead, heading south and following the trail along the shoreline. The route then takes you around the castle, walking northwards, and ultimately to Augustiner-Chorherrenstift (Augustine Monastery), once inhabited by monks. At the end of an avenue lined with ancient trees, you will reach the palace’s canal before heading back to the jetty.

 

Prepare your feet: The route around the island takes about three hours. If you are planning a tour of the castle as well, make sure you have enough energy for plenty of standing and walking.

Delight your eyes: There are two lookout points on the south of the island: “Pauls Ruh” and “Ottos Ruh”, from which you can enjoy outstanding views over the lake and Kampenwand mountain.

Fill your stomach: Schlosswirtschaft Herrenchiemsee café has a beautiful terrace and is located at the northern end of the island. Don’t miss the Chiemseerenke (a regional trout dish)!

Linderhof: a walk through the flatlands

Conquering towering peaks is not everyone’s cup of tea. On this lovely flat walk through the Graswang valley, you can appreciate the proximity of huge mountains but simply keep them alongside the whole time. Setting out from Ettaler Mühle guesthouse, follow Arme-Seelen-Strasse past the springs and streams to Graswang, and then go on to Schloss Linderhof (Linderhof Castle) – allow at least two hours for your visit. The return route takes you through the Elmaugriess valley, on the southern side of the wider valley.

 

Prepare your feet: No hills but a total length of 21 kilometres. However, it’s really easy to shorten this route. For example, you could set off from Graswang instead.

Delight your eyes: As well as the bubbling springs that lead to the River Ammer, nature fans may also spot a golden eagle if they’re lucky.

Fill your stomach: Fresh beer and good food are on offer in the beer garden at Fischerwirt in Graswang, or Ettaler Mühle.

Königshaus am Schachen (King’s House on Schachen): a route fit for a king

There are many paths leading to Königshaus am Schachen in the Wetterstein mountains, though one of the most beautiful is the one known as “Königsweg” (King’s Path) – and it’s also suitable for mountain bikes. The route starts in the walkers’ car park in Elmau. To begin with, the trail leads you along the Elmau stream, and then to Wettersteinalm meadows, where you may spot young cattle grazing in summer. From there, a narrow gravel path takes you to the old hunting lodge built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria.

 

Prepare your feet: 20 kilometres on easy paths, in around three and a half hours – sounds doable. But beware: you’ll get to altitudes of over 1,000 metres above sea level.

Delight your eyes: Just as the hunting castle looks magnificent from the outside, its interior is also extremely splendid. Also recommended: the botanical garden created over 100 years ago, which houses plants from as far away as the Himalayas.

Fill your stomach: Simple yet delicious meals are available in Wettersteinalm in the summer.

Neuschwanstein: three castles in one

You’d struggle to find a more magnificent collection of buildings in one place. On this walking tour that starts in the town of Füssen, you’ll see not one but three castles. Set off from the late Gothic Hohe Schloss (High Castle) in Füssen. After a stroll through Füssen old town, make your way to the top of Kalvarienberg and on to idyllic Schwansee lake (perfect for a dip in the summer!). From there, you’ll get to Hohenschwangau Castle and follow the paved road to the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein. Make sure you don’t miss the detour to the Marienbrücke bridge! After descending back down to Alpsee lake, follow the Alpenrosenweg trail towards Bad Faulenbach, and then back to Füssen.

 

Prepare your feet: Though not difficult, this route is pretty long, taking a good five hours. If you fancy a shorter walk, there is a bus back to Füssen from Hohenschwangau Castle.

Fill your stomach: For a charming Austrian experience, visit Küss die Hand café/restaurant in Füssen old town.    

Delight your eyes: A glorious highlight of the tour is the panoramic view from the summit of Kalvarienberg, taking in all three castles, the mountainous skyline and the Allgäu region’s pre-Alpine lakes.

 

Also interesting: Castles in and around Munich

Video: Lakes & Mountains

 

 

Text: Nansen & Piccard; Illustration: Julia Pfaller; Photos & Video: Tobias Schnorpfeil, Carolin Unrath

Covid-19: current regulations

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Tegernsee lake in wintertime

Eight great winter excursions

From snow-covered Neuschwanstein Castle to the icy Partnachklamm gorge: eight excursion ideas that are particularly beautiful in winter.

From snow-covered Neuschwanstein Castle to the icy Partnachklamm gorge: eight excursion ideas that are particularly beautiful in winter.

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

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.

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.

Neuschwanstein Castle in the surrounding region of Munich.

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

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.

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.

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.

A woman with the Tegernseer chalet in the background at the Bavarian foothills of the Alps in the surrounding region of Munich.

10 mins from the main station

In Munich you can reach mountain tops, Alpine views and creature comforts in no time. Here are a few suggestions.

In Munich you can reach mountain tops, Alpine views and creature comforts in no time. Here are a few suggestions.

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

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Munich Card & City Pass

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Windsurfer on the Walchensee in the hinterland of Munich.

Walchensee (lake)

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.

Evening atmosphere with sunset at Ammersee near Munich

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.

View of the Salzach river and the castle in Salzburg.

Salzburg and the Lake District

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

Book now from 59 €!

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.