There are many beautiful lakes in Bavaria! There is a reason why Bavarian lakes are one of Germanys most popular destinations after the big cities (Berlin, Hamburg, Munich) and the Alps . Many lakes lie in a dreamlike scenery. You almost haveto rub your eyes to make sure that you don’t dream (just look at the color ofWalchensee). But more about that below!
In this article I would like to introduce you to my favourite lakes – Eibsee, Walchensee, Königssee, Chiemsee and Kochelsee. Of course there are many more lakes ; but there’s something special about that six lakes.
The Königssee was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been in Bavaria so far. The mountain lake is regarded as one of the cleanest lakes in Germany and lies in the Berchtesgadener Land. The Königssee lies like a fjord between steep mountain slopes and impresses with its emerald green colour! To circumnavigate the Königssee directly at the shore is not possible, because the mountain walls often lead directly into the lake. But there is also a hiking trail to one of the most popular vantage points at Königssee – the Malerwinkel.
St. Bartholomä, the landmark of the Königssee, can only be reached by boat, but is definitely worth a detour! The lake and St. Bartholomä even ranked 12th among the top 100 sights in Germany in 2015. At the lookout point you will find a few benches to rest on and an incredible view of Lake Königssee. From here you can even see the pilgrimage church of St. Bartholomä 4 km away. The view from here has really blown my mind, rarely have I seen such a beautiful landscape!
2. Walchensee/Lake Walchen
Walchensee is one of the most impressive lakes I’ve ever seen in my whole life! It is one of the biggest and deepest alpine lakes in Germany and really knocked me down at first sight. How unbelievably blue can water be? Unlike the Eibsee, the water does not shimmer green here, but deep blue and the view from above makes everything even more impressive. But how do you get to the top at all? There are two ways to get to the top – on foot or by train (the Herzogstandbahn). The Herzogstandbahn definitely already has a cult status. The cable car is very popular and well known, so it was relatively busy during the week. A valley & mountain ride costs 12.50 Euro per person for an adult, children up to 6 years don’t have to pay. I liked the ride very much; even though standing was a bit unusual.
My tip: Since there is already a lot going on here on quiet days, it could get very crowded on weekends/holidays. Nature can be better enjoyed without the hustle and bustle of people. Also plan some time for your visit (2-4 hours) to make the most of the fantastic hiking trails above!
Chiemsee is the largest lake in Bavaria and has a lot to offer – Fraueninsel, Herrenchiemsee Castle and many great bathing spots. Lake Chiemsee is also called the Bavarian Sea because of its great scenery such as the beautiful Chiemgau Alps.
As you may have noticed from my selection, I love lakes that are surrounded by mountains or close to mountains. Which is simply due to my love for the mountains!A boat trip to the Fraueninsel and the Herreninsel is recommended for your excursion to the Chiemsee, so that you don’t miss any sights and can take everything beautiful with you. The Chiemsee is not only popular because of its scenery and one of the most important destinations in Germany, but also because of the leisure activities. Here you can really do a lot – boat trips, cycling, hiking, bathing, surfing, fishing etc.. And of course these activities attract a lot of people! During our boat trip I was particularly impressed by Herrenchiemsee Castle. It was built after the model of Versailles.
My tip: Book an island tour or the big Chiemsee tour right away, so that you are firstly more flexible and secondly can also visit the different localities at the Chiemsee. The island tour West that we booked costs 9,40 € per person, children up to 6 years pay nothing. The tickets are available at the ports or on board.
4. Kochelsee/Lake Kochel
Lake Kochel is located 70 kilometre south of Munich and on the edge of the Bavarian Alps. In addition to swimming, walking and boat trips, the region is ideal for hiking. There are also ski slopes at Herzogstand. From there you have a incredible view of Kochelsee and Walchensee. The Kochelsee is a beautiful destination. The mixture between lake and mountains is simply fantastic and definitly worth a trip!
I knew Lake Eibsee from Instagram; many drone shots have already appeared in my feed and have always amazed me. The lake is the perfect image of a kitschy Bavaria – green/turquoise water, colorful trees and mountains around it. A dream for every traveller, locals and photographer! The lake is about 9 kilometres away from Garmisch-Partenkirchen and is easy to reach by car. Not least because of the green shimmering water and the Zugspitze massif, the lake is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the Bavarian Alps! And I can only agree with that, the Eibsee is also one of the most beautiful places in Bavaria where I have been until now! Due to its altitude, the Eibsee may not be the first place to go for all swimming enthusiasts, but if you want to swim there, I recommend the late summer months. If you want to go hiking at the Eibsee – around the Eibsee there is a beautiful circular hiking trail. The Zugspitzenbahn also goes there directly to the Zugspitze, if you want to see the Eibsee from above and be at the same time on the highest point of Germany.
My tip: Be there on a sunrise on a quiet day or sunset from 18 o’clock, because then parking is cheaper and much less people are on the way. In addition, the Zugspitze massif is beautifully illuminated! Since the Eibsee has gained in popularity in the meantime, I can only recommend that you do not come here on weekends/holidays.
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Many greetings from Regensburg,