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!
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!
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.
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 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.
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 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.