Bavaria, Germany. Every trip we’ve managed to go on this year since the pandemic started has felt even more special than usual and brought a new found appreciation for what we’ve been able to do in the years before and none more so than when we landed in Munich to begin our weekend road trip in the Bavarian Alps.
A couple of hours driving south, nearly reaching the Austrian border, we suddenly find ourselves surrounded by towering cliffs, crystal clear lakes and beautiful scenery in every direction. We made a few stops along the way before reaching our hotel for the night in the picturesque town of Füssen.
We were up early for a day of hiking and had perfect weather for it. Füssen was a little bit far from the start of our planned walk so we drove over to the next town and then started our accent on foot to Neuschwanstein Castle. What a stunning building! Completed in 1892 and taking 24 years to build, the castle, with it’s bright white limestone facade and deep blue turrets is said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney. Starting off by walking right up to the main front door, (not inside as we hadn’t booked a slot) you get a real sense of it’s massive scale. Then head over to ‘Mary’s bridge’ for one of the best vantage points of the castle with far reaching views to the town, distant lakes and beyond. Then if you fancy it, continue over the bridge and follow the forest trail up the mountain, it’s quite a challenging incline on rough ground but soon you are very well rewarded with more spectacular scenery, this time from much higher and some amazing views of the alps.
On the descent we were very grateful for our early morning start, after having the place pretty much to ourselves on the way up, every path going back was absolutely packed with people, Mary’s bridge in particular had a queue winding back for as far as we could see! Coming here early is a must.
Once back down we carried on exploring this beautiful place. The neighbouring Hohenschwangau Castle looks over Alpsee lake which has a walking/cycling track that loops all the way around, after having an expensive but tasty lunch in the town, we decided to complete it.
After a lot of walking and some tired legs we headed on to our next stop for the night in the ski resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, this is the result of two ancient villiages (Garmisch and Partenkirchen) merging together and forming one in 1935. This is another area of spectacular beauty, it’s full of traditional bavarian houses and sits right at the base of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany. On what was the last day of our journey, we took the cable car to the top to enjoy the views and did a bit more walking around the crater. Once back down, the cable car exit is right next to Lake Eibsee which is considered one of the most beautiful and purest lakes in the Bavarian alps! This lake also has a scenic path going around it and takes about 2 hours to walk. This is well worth it and nice to take at a leisurely pace with countless spots to photograph and enjoy, just when you think you have seen the best of it, walk a bit further along and you will eat your words. Absolutely stunning and a great way to finish off our trip, we certainly saved the best till last.
See all the photos from our trip below.