February 17, 2018

Dream Trips: Driving the German Alpine Road

We all have our vision of a perfect vacation.  In one of my visions is a leisurely drive along the German Alpine Road!

The Bavarian Alpine area is one of my favorite places to visit.  I cannot pass up the laid back atmosphere, rolling green hills, steep mountains, lakes, old world villages full of tradition and charm, castles and serenity this area offers.

Come with me as we discover a journey I dream of taking!

Oberstaufen Germany

Oberstaufen from Oberstaufen Tourismus Marketing GmbH

The German Alpine Road stretches about 280 miles from Lake Constance on the border with Switzerland to Berchtesgaden in the east and very near Salzburg Austria.  The journey very near the Austrian border takes you pass 25 fortresses and castles, 21 mountain lakes and 64 spa towns all while offering some of the most beautiful and serene scenery you can find!

The castles along this route are some of world’s most famous – Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau and Linderhof.  Visits to well known Garmisch-Partenkircken and the Zugspitze plus little ventures off the road to Mittenwald and its painted buildings as well as a trip Prien so I could visit Herrenchimesee castle would be on my list.

But there are many not so well known villages, lakes and mountains to see.  So let’s get a move on, we’ve got a lot of miles to cover!

Harbor of Lindau Germany

Lindau harbor by vauvau, on Flickr

Lindau is a town and island in Lake Constance on the border with Switzerland.  This idyllic village has a maze of streets with a medieval center, a lovely lake side promenade and Bavaria’s only lighthouse.

Immenstadt has that ideal alpine setting we are looking for.  Surrounded by mountains the lake offers many boating activities but there are also beautiful walks in the countryside nearby.  While in Immenstadt make sure to visit the ruins of Laubenbergstein Castle and Schloss Königsegg.

Wieskirche Bavaria Germany

Wieskirche by froutes, on Flickr

While in the area we have to stop at the Wieskirche one of the best examples of Rococo architecture.  The church is truly a masterpiece and worth a stop!

The Benedictine Abbey in Benediktbeuren was founded in 740 and is the oldest in Germany.  It is home to Fraunhofer Glashütte which still specializes in preserving medieval glass.

Picturesque Wallgau is a mountain village that is full of frescoed farmhouses dating back to the 16th century.  Nearby Walchensee is Germany’s biggest mountain lake and its highest alpine lake.  For a panoramic view take the chair lift to Herzogstand.

Tegernsee Germany

Tegernsee by Uli Meier, on Flickr

Tegernsee was founded by Benedictine monks and the monastery was converted into a castle which became the country home for royalty.  A tour of the castle includes the former brewery which still serves beer.  You can also enjoy a steamer trip on the lake or a ride on one of the cable cars.

St. Bartholomew Konigsee Germany

St. Bartholomew in Konigsee by RC Designer, on Flickr

Reit im Winkle is another typical Bavarian village that is known for its magnificent scenery and the many small lakes dotting the countryside.

St. Georg church is right smack in the center of Ruhpolding and one of the most beautiful churches you will see.  The drive from Ruhpolding to Berchtesgaden takes you through lush valleys with great mountain views.

Berchtesgaden Germany

Berchtesgaden Germany by Eric Sorenson

Berchtesgaden is probably most well known for its ties to Hitler but the surrounding area is home to beautiful mountains and a castle that was built in 1410.  This castle was home to the Wittlesbach of Bavaria until the son of the last King of Bavaria died in 1955.  While in Berchtesgaden you can visit salt mines or take the ride up to the Eagle’s Nest for amazing panoramic views. You may even opt for a trip to Konigsee where you could enjoy a motor boat around the lake which is surrounded by steep mountains.

From east to west, the German Alpine Road is a magnificent way to explore this beautiful region.


What is one of your dream driving trips?

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  9. Margret says:

    Awesome place..It’s really stunning to view.I didn’t know that there’s a place like this.It’s mesmerizes me a lot.Thank you for sharing this beautiful photos.

  10. This looks gorgeous – love the pictures and architecture
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  11. Beautiful pictures… How I wish I can visit those places too… Thank you for sharing these pictures!
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  13. Gladys | ByahengBarok.com says:

    i wish i can go to europe, too… that is my dream 🙂

  14. A road trip would be the best way to explore this area.
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  15. Laurel says:

    Beautiful photos! I’ve done part of this route and been to some of them, but not all of them. I’m headed to the Tegernsee later this month for hiking which I’m looking forward to. I’ve always wanted to do the drive along the west coast from Washington to California.
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    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Tegernsee if supposed to be very beautiful and I am looking forward to reading about your impressions of it. I have driven quite a bit of the Washington to California drive (I am only missing the Washington part) and it is indeed very diverse and beautiful!

  16. Grace says:

    Debbie, this is a really cool virtual peek into your dream driving trip. My current dream trip is to drive from San Diego down to Cabo to check out the Sea of Cortez!

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Grace, your drive to Cabo would be a great one! I have only driven to Ensenada on the West Coast and to San Felipe on the Eastern Coast of Baja. I can only imagine how beautiful driving all the way down would be 🙂

  17. Lisa says:

    This looks like a great trip! The view in Konigsee looks amazing!

  18. I have got to take a drive along the German Alpine Road after reading this post and seeing your gorgeous photos! Such interesting history in these places, too.
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  19. Curses to you and your dang photos of Alpine villages!!! 🙂
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  20. gracia19 says:

    there’s nothing that gives me more pleasure than having a road trip. It’s a way to experience the beauty of the country side. Now, if I was in these places, i probably even try biking! Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures!
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  21. jenjenk says:

    As much as i am traumatized by road trips [since i did so many of them as a child], i’d love to do a route 66 road trip! But there’s so many places I’d still love to visit…so much to do, so little time!
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  13. […] you know how much I adore Germany and especially Bavaria! I have shared with you how much I enjoy small Bavarian villages (like Mittenwald), Kind Ludwig’s Bavarian castles, beer and my joy at visiting Bamberg with all […]

  14. […] could easily say my favorite place in Europe is Bavaria. I find myself drawn to this part of Germany time and time again.  But by picking Bavaria, what […]

  15. […] even lakes need lighthouses!  This very photogenic lighthouse guards the entrance to Lindau Harbor on Lake Constance deep in Southern Germany.  Sitting on the border with Switzerland this […]

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