With warmer weather approaching, the 450 kilometers (just over 279 miles) of the German Alpine Road offers panoramic views of the Bavarian Alps. This just might be the best road trip in the world! Check out the places you’ll find along the way:
Your journey starts in Lindau, on the shores of the famous Bodensee (Lake Constance). You drive through the alpine upland with the illustrious Allgaeu and the health resort Oberstaufen. You pass Fuessen, known for its many lakes, and enter Koenigswinkel, where you come face to face with the romantic castles of Ludwig II, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.
Once you arrive in Oberbayern you continue toward Oberammergau and the mighty monastery Ettal. In the vicinity is one of the highlights of the route, Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze. The surrounding area of Garmisch Partenkirchen offers a variety of options. If you follow the Wettersteinmountain range you pass the Walchensee and the Kochelsee and eventually arrive in the famed health resorts Bad Heilbrunn and Bad Toelz. Continue through the Tegernsee Valley and the Chiemgau to the health resort Bad Reichental, known for its salt springs and saltern. The last leg of the journey brings you to Berchtesgaden, close to the Austrian border where the Watzman mountain offers a picturesque finish to the German Alpine Route.
The health and therapeutic resort of Oberstaufen offers Schroth therapy to help you improve your well-being. Schroth therapy, named for Johann Schroth, has been an ac- cepted homeopathic treatment in Germany for over 170 years. The Schroth diet for example, is a way to purify your body and lose weight through perspiring, drinking and dieting sensibly.
Known as a Kneippism health resort of distinction, Bad Hindelang is located in the middle of the Allgaeu Alps. Important sites include a picturesque church with a substantial altar, the city hall and a hunting castle. Of course, in the wintertime the area is heaven for winter sports.
At almost 3000 meters in height, the Zugspitze is Germany’s highest mountain. You can reach the peak via a rack railway, arriving first at the glacier. Once at the glacier, you switch transportation and continue on a cable car. A breathtaking 360-degree view awaits you, a spectacle of countless peaks in Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Germany.
Famous for its Olympic Ice Sport Center and its ski-jump. Every New Year’s Day, fans come here to watch the famous New Year’s Day Ski Jump. The Patrnachklamm offers natural beauty at its best. It is 800 meters long and the walls are up to 80 meters high. You can walk through the Patrnachklamm in the summer and winter. During the winter you will find bizarre ice sculptures on its walls. This site is a definite must-see, especially during evening hikes, and of course always with a tour guide.
The castles of King Ludwig II Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau and Linderhof invite you into their holds for a romantic journey. It’s also worth taking a hike through the Wetterstein mountains to view King Ludwig’s hunting castle. Not far from this region you can also visit a bota- nical garden with over 1500 plants and flowers typical to the Alps.
is a lake dubbed the “pearl” of Bavarian lakes. Almost no buildings spoil the shores of the lake, motor boats are not permitted, and you can walk entirely around it. Many famous people decided to drop their anchors and live at the Walchen- see, including King Ludwig, Goethe and the painter Lovis Corinth.
is renowned for its iodine springs, its swamp and its climate, which has been scientifically proven to benefit health. Whether you’re here to take care of your health or to participate in the many sports activities – in Bad Tölz you can find the best options for all. In addition, the Altstadt and its attractive restaurants and shops will make your stay unfor- gettable.
is framed by the Chiemgauer Alps in the south and the Wagninger See in the north. This area may surpise you with its large cultural offerings and sophisticated musical performances. You will also find celebrations in the local costume, theater and other events. Cycling is one of the most beloved sports in this area and you can discover hundreds of kilometers of cycling routes. In the wintertime enjoy the variety of slopes Chiemgau has to offer, and for the more romantic at heart, take a romantic carriage ride or glide onto the frozen lake for ice skating.
This site first became significant as the home of “white gold“ – salt. There are many sights to see in this city including the old market place with the Lowenbrunnen (lion’s fountain), which originated in 1558, and the Hirschenhaus with its beautiful painted facade from 1694. Churches, museums and the spectacular backdrop of Watman mountain and Koenigsee tempt you with their unsurpassed hospitality.
To discover the secret of salt you need to travel down, underneath the castle Gruttenstein. Here you find a large net of galleries where you can learn the complete history of how salt was — and still is — extracted. The museum also gives a fascinating glimpse into the history of “white gold.“
For more information:
although the website is not in English, it has a map of the Alpine Road that can give you a great outline of the towns you’ll find along the way.
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Article by Susanne Hepp. Main photo: pixabay.