Stretching west from Germany’s remote southeastern corner to the Allgäu region near Lake Constance, the Bavarian Alps (Bayerische Alpen) form a beautiful natural divide along the Austrian border. The mountains shoot up from the foothills so abruptly and offer an impressive panoramic view on the Alps. The region full of frescoed villages, spas and health retreats, and possibilities for skiing, snowboarding, hiking, canoeing and paragliding.
Surrounded by the magnificent mountain scenery of the Bavarian Alps, the area flits between quaint farming villages and historic towns. Every place has its own history and the plentiful museums enable us to hear their many stories. In particular, in the mountains, the old customs are still cherished, which is reflected in the many festivals throughout the year.
The area is peppered with about 25 ancient castles, monasteries and picturesque palaces, including, of course, the internationally famous royal palaces of Neuschwanstein and Herrenchiemsee. There are also numerous churches and monasteries. The Pilgrimage Church of Wies and the monasteries of Ettal and Benediktbeuren show baroque style at its highest perfection.
Neuschwanstein – The fairytale palaces of King Ludwig II. Neuschwanstein castle is one of the most known palaces in the world. Beside of it is located the castle Hohenschwangau, inspiring the young king to his romantic look upon medieval history.
The town of Oberammergau is one of the best-preserved Bavarian villages with traditional frescoed houses and host of the Passion Play taking place every 10 years, a tradition dating back to the year 1634.
The small palace Linderhof, King Ludwig II favorite palace is worth a short visit, and so is the Benedictine monastery Ettal, dating back to the year 1330, being a landmark in baroque monastery architecture and still housing the Benedictine munches today.
The lake Chiemsee is known for palace Herrenchiemsee on an island within the lake, built by King Ludwig II. The architecture of the palace and its gardens are unique in Germany and reminds of the palace of Versailles. A boat trip on the lake is necessary to get there and can be combined with a visit of the Frauenwörth Abbey on the Fraueninsel.
Crossing the serenely picturesque, emerald-green Königssee makes for some unforgettable memories and once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities. Cradled by steep mountain walls some 5 km south of Berchtesgaden, the emerald-green Königssee is Germany’s highest lake. The small pilgrim church St. Bartholomew at the end of the lake can only be reached by one of the electric boats on the lake.
Not far away from Königssee is the city of Bad Reichenhall, a state bath since 150 years showing the elegance of the imperial time in its buildings. Salt mines, the former gold of the region, are still active and are open for visits.