In this blog post, I’d like to take you on a journey through Bavaria / Southern Germany and introduce the most beautiful alpine lakes. Bavaria’s capital Munich has been my home for 3 ½ years. When you hear Bavaria, you probably think of Oktoberfest, beer and picturesque mountain villages first – but Bavaria has so much more to offer. In this blog post, I will show you the beauty of Bavaria’s alpine lakes. Did you know that there are more than 200 lakes in Bavaria? Let me introduce the best and most beautiful alpine lakes in Bavaria to you…
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Lake Eibsee is probably my favorite lake in Bavaria. The lake is located around 100 km southwest of Munich and lies at the foot of Germany’s highest mountain (Zugspitze).
You can walk around the lake on a simple loop trail which takes around 1,5 – 2 hours. The trail leads you through a beautiful alpine forest along bays with crystal clear turquoise water where you can stop and dip into the refreshing water. We had a bay just for ourselves when we were there.
In case you are looking for activities at Lake Eibsee: You can rent a boat or a Stand-Up Paddleboard right at the lake to enjoy the mountain view from the water. We already did both and it was such an amazing experience. This way, you can even reach the small beautiful islands within the lake. If you have a whole day there, the lake is also a good starting point to take a cable car to Zugspitze. The view over the lake and the surrounding areas is breathtaking.
Travel tip: If you want to beat the tourist crowds at the lake (especially at the weekends), make sure to come in the early morning or just visit the lake on a weekday.
My second favorite lake in Bavaria is Lake Königssee. Lake Königssee is situated in the Bertechsgarden Alps around 150 km southeast of Munich and is Germany’s third deepest lake. The lake is known for its picturesque setting in-between the mountains, spectacular viewpoints and its famous boat tours around the lake. Visiting Königssee feels like being in the fjords of Norway. The boat tours at the lake are carried out by silent electric boats with a vintage look. Make sure to arrive early to avoid cueing at the boat dock. A full round-trip will take approximately 2 hours (without getting off at the stops).
During the boat trip, you can enjoy amazing views of this crystal clear alpine lake, waterfalls along the way and the beautiful mountain scenery. We spent a full day at Lake Königssee and got off at both stops. The first stop is the beautiful St. Bartholomä church, a charming church from the 12th century. And the second stop is Salet where you will find Lake Obersee (which you can see in the pictures below).
Moreover, there are many hiking trails around Lake Königssee. Spectacular views are guaranteed. The Malerwinkel (“painter’s corner”) offers the best-known view onto the lake and can be reached by an easy trail. The viewpoint got its name from the painters coming there to paint the lake. However, one of the best views you have from Rabenwand. It takes around 40 minutes to walk there from Schönau at Lake Königssee but it’s definitely worth the hike as you can see below.
From there, we hiked another 40 minutes to the natural pools and the waterfall at the eastern wall of Lake Königssee. It was an incredible (and freezing cold) experience to take a dip in the clear mountain water but it was so worth it after the long and exhausting hike. And the views from up there were absolutely breathtaking.
Note: I would only recommend the trail to the natural pools to experienced hikers as it’s an old, not maintained and very difficult hiking trail. Please make sure to check the weather conditions, wear proper hiking shoes and bring a backpack (with water, your camera, personal belongings, …) because you will need both of your hands while hiking.
Lake Hintersee in Ramsau is just around the corner of Lake Königssee. It only takes a 15-minute drive by car. I immediately fell in love with the emerald water of Lake Hintersee. In addition, the mountain scenery behind the lake is simply stunning.
Ramsau is not only famous for its lake but also for its idyllic and picturesque church St. Sebastian. It’s probably one of the most photographed churches in Bavaria. Every picture we took in this place looks like a postcard. For me, it’s one of the dreamiest spots in Bavaria. Therefore, you should make sure to stop here to take some unforgettable postcard pictures.
From Lake Hintersee we hiked to a suspension bridge in Klausbachtal. It takes a one hour hike to reach the bridge. Along the trail, you pass through beautiful nature next to a small creek. We went there in the middle of the day and no one else was around. The only one we met was a chamois.
Kochelsee & Walchensee
Kochelsee is another beautiful mountain lake but not as famous as Königssee and Eibsee. As a consequence, there are not as many tourists around. The lake is located around 70km south of Munich on the edge of the Bavarian Alps. Kochelsee offers amazing mountain views and incredibly blue water.
In addition to Kochelsee, you should make sure that you also visit Walchensee, the neighboring lake (also known as the Caribbean of Bavaria), which is as beautiful as Kochelsee and the drive through the winding mountain road is a lot of fun.
Around these two lakes, there are a lot of beautiful hiking trails. One of them will lead you to an amazing viewpoint above Kochelsee and Walchensee. The easiest trail leading there starts close to Walchensee and leads up to Herzogenstand for the best view.
I hope you enjoyed this short journey around my favorite Bavarian alpine lakes. As already mentioned, there are more than 200 beautiful lakes in Bavaria. In conclusion, I can only recommend visiting as many as possible to pick your own favorites.
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