the beauty of south germany
In September we took off for a holiday in South Germany and Bavaria. More specific we took off for Berchtesgaden National Park A lot of people asked us: Germany, what the hell are you going to do over there? Well, the next time someone will ask us or you this question, let them read this blog post!
We were truly amazed by this beautiful region. Although it is our neighbouring country we do not visit Germany this often. Most of the time when we go to Germany it is to visit our family who lives there, but further than this city we actually never spend any holidays. For this reason, we decided to head off to the south of Germany to make some hikes and especially to climb some spectacular via ferrata’s. In addition, Must see places in Germany
Berchtesgaden national park
Our holiday started off at Berchtesgaden national park for 5 days. Although the title suggests we spent 5 days there, we can easily recommend a holiday here for 7 to 8 days. If you’re a nature and outdoor lover, this is the place to be. Berchtesgaden national park has a total surface of 208 km2. The park is truly unique in all its aspects; high stonewall cliffs, deep dark forests, an explosive amount of wildlife, idyllic valleys and the best panoramic views.
There are lots of things to see and to do, and for every kind of adventure holiday. There are different trails to follow and different activities to do, so you will never have time enough during your holiday 😉 After all, Must see places in Germany / Best places in Europe
Our first day started at Lake Hintersee, which can best be visited at sunset or sunrise. And this for the following 2 reasons: beautiful colours and views and also fewer people around. Hintersee is known as the most picturesque place in the Bavarian Alps. In the late 1800s, a lot of artists and painters came here for inspiration and to portray the beautiful landscapes. It is definitely worthwhile to take a hike around the lake. And to fully enjoy the scenery, take the walk also in the opposite direction.
As explained in previous blogs, nature always looks different when you walk the other way around. So every time you turn around, you will discover new views and get a different perspective. The walk around the lake takes about 1 hour, but if you include some photo stops you will easily spend a few hours there. In contrast, Most beautiful places in Germany
Beauty in the morning
Around 6 a.m. we arrived at lake Hintersee, and we were not even the first visitors. You will find plenty of fishermen around the lake enjoying their peace. Of course, you’ll also pass some other early birds catching the first Sun or the mist. A tip we can give you in this area: never let “bad weather conditions” discourage you to visit a place. Probably this counts for every place in the world. Most of the time fog, clouds, and even rain can reveal a different kind of beauty. This can even result in better pictures or more moody views. Thick fog can obviously ruin the views, but later more on this 😉 However, Most beautiful places in Europe
After our morning walk around lake Hintersee, we decided to take a tour in Berchtesgaden town. We had the best German breakfast on a cosy terrace, with the sun on our faces. Nothing better to start the day than a German breakfast. After breakfast, we strolled through the small town and discovered some local specialities and visited a few shops. Travel blog / travel inspiration
The second day we decided to visit the ‘Kehlsteinhaus’, better known as The Eagle’s Nest. It was built by Martin Bormann during the nazi era at a height of 1834 meters. They completed the work in only 13 months. 4,000 men worked non-stop to finish the construction as quickly as possible. Hitler first visited the Kehlsteinhaus on September 16 in 1938 and inaugurated it on April 20 1939 (on his 50th birthday). After all,Must visit places bayern
Contrary to popular belief, this was not a gift for Adolf’s 50th birthday. Not only is the house an architectural masterpiece for that period, but the road leading to the house is also (for that time) a technical masterpiece, with many hairpin bends and tunnels. Due to the steepness, the road could not go up to the house itself. So the builders decided to let it end at a parking space and they installed a tunnel with an elevator straight up to the house. Must visit places germany
Nowadays, the house no longer has any relation to the Hitler era. It serves as a restaurant and café with an extremely beautiful panorama. Unfortunately, we were in the area in dense fog so we have no clue how good the views are in reality. Although we can imagine they must be stunning given the location of the house high above Berchtesgaden national park. Must visit places europe
Not only was the dense fog one of our obstacles, but at the time we were there, the Kehlsteinstrasse, as well as the Kehlsteinhaus, were closed. First and foremost because of Covid-19, but they made use of the situation to restore the road and the house. As a result, we had no chance to take the bus up to the house, and we also could not use the elevator. Which was a pity, we would have loved to see the lift from the inside. Anyway, we had to walk up there, but the walk itself is worth going for. We parked at P11 and had a 2-hour walk up to the house, which gives your even more satisfaction when you reach the top! Important to realize,Must visit places bayern
If you want to go by car and to park around P11, you have no other choice than to take the ‘Panoramastrasse’, leading straight to Austria. The parking is free, but the access to the Panoramastrasse costs you 8€. But the ride is worth paying for. The street is beautiful and the views are absolutely stunning. Take some time to cross the border with Austria and enjoy every viewpoint you pass by! Must visit places europe
Lake Königssee is one of nature’s true masterpieces and definitely the highlight of the park. With its emerald green colour and nestled at the foot of the imposing eastern wall of mount Watzmann in the heart of the Berchtesgaden National Park. On our second day, we had the ‘Grünstein klettersteig’ on our programme. Unfortunately, due to heavy rain, we decided to postpone the via ferrata for our own safety. Instead, we decided to take a boat trip on the lake instead. Travel blog – travel inspiration
And what an idea this was. We were extremely glad the rain changed our programme because the lake is absolutely gorgeous and impressive. You are in the shadow of the Watzmann, in an amazing valley, surrounded by wonderful and moody forests. We went for a long trip and took the boat to Salet. The boat trip itself is quite nice, and the 2 captains make a big effort to make the trip as interesting as possible. They provide you with some history of the lake, some current information, and some entertainment by playing the trumpet to catch the echos in between the mountains. Travel blog – travel inspiration
Once we arrived in Salet, we took the walk up to the waterfall. Due to the heavy rain, we had had for 2 days in a row, there were waterfalls all around the lake. But behind the Königssee you can find a smaller lake, called Obersee, which is home to the highest waterfall in Germany. The Röthbach Waterfall has a vertical drop of over 470 meters, and after 2 days of rain, the amount of water coming down was impressive. At this point, we were quite lucky, given that normally there would not be so much water dropping down in September. Another key point, things to do in berchtesgaden / things to see around konigssee
Walking to the waterfall will take you about 90 minutes (one way), and on your way, you also pass the Fishunkelalm, where it is recommended to take a short break. Their products are all fresh, made from local products, such as fresh cow milk. The Alm itself is also located beautifully, with a panoramic view over the Obersee. in fact
Important to realize is that the end of the walk is quite steep if you want to go to the waterfall itself. Make sure to bring some good hiking shoes with a good grip on wet stones. Otherwise, it might get quite dangerous: because of the mist created by the waterfall, everything in the area is sort of swampy and very wet. Given these points, Must visit place
A few days later we were luckier, there the weather changed drastically and we had some relaxing sunny days and 25 degrees! The perfect weather to revert to our original idea and climb the Grünstein via ferrata. We started at the Königssee parking lot, just outside Berchtesgaden. From there it takes a 45-minute walk to the start of the via ferrata. There is a big sign at the start, so you cannot miss it!
One of the great things about this via Ferrata is that it is absolutely recommendable for a family holiday. The walk to the top takes about 2 hours and is not that difficult, and the via ferrata also takes about 2 hours. For this reason, you can split up and everybody can choose the way they want to take. The via Ferrata consists of easier and more difficult routes, so here too you can choose the route that fits your level best. Since, via ferrata germany
There is an A/B route which starts at the bottom and goes all the way to the top, but if you’re up for it and are experienced in a way, there are also other routes to take which are B/C – C/D and even D/E. In general, this Ferrata is one of our favourites due to its difficulty but also thanks to the amazing views. On top, you have an overview of not only the Königssee but also all of Berchtesgaden national park. Henceforth,
When you reach the top via the Ferrata, it’s only a 10-minute trip down to the hut where you can relax and recharge. If you prefer to take the normal hiking path, you’ll pass the hut first before you arrive at the top. After a refreshing drink in the hut and a little recharge, it took us about 1 hour to descend again from the hut to the parking space. For a detailed overview of the Ferrata and more pictures see our blog post about ‘The Grünstein’. By the timeVia ferrata germany / klettersteig grunstein
Traverse of the Watzmann
We guess that the most challenging thing to do in Berchtesgaden national park is climbing the Watzmann. But we’ll start by telling you it’s not to be underestimated. The traverse of the Watzmann is still a dangerous path to overcome, and still every year there are people who lose their life on this mountain. Opposite to,…
Given that it’s not that easy, we made it a 2 days trip over the traverse of the Watzmann. On day 1 we started at Königssee parking space and hiked up to the Watzmannhaus. It took us 5 hours to get to the hut, but we also took a lunch break from about an hour, so let’s say we had a 4-hour walk up. We had an overnight stay at the hut and continued our path early in the morning. The first stop is Hocheck, where you have to conquer immediately a lot of height meters, which allows you no time to wake up. Therefore, the first part is also the most physically heavy, afterwards, it’s more about technique and condition.
For a detailed schedule of our Watzmann climb, read our full blog post. In the first place,.
Tip: It’s also possible to make a day hike to the Watzmannhaus. Most people start this day hike at the Wimbachbrücke, from where the walk is a little shorter and the paths are easier, which is more recommended if you want to do the return way on 1 day.