Hikes in the German Alps

While I love living in Munich, I firmly believe that the best of Bavaria lies in the Alps.

Hiker in the Ammergau Alps of Bavaria, Germany
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Top Tour Recommendations for the Bavarian Alps

If you’ve only got limited time and are staying in Munich, here are my top tour recommendations for day trips to the Bavarian Alps. They make it super easy and convenient for you to explore my favourite part of the country:

Zugspitze: Visit Germany’s Highest Peak.

It would take you two days to climb the highest mountain in Germany, but you can still reach the 2962 meter peak by cable car. Enjoy a beer at Germany’s highest beer garden. This tour includes pickup from your hotel in Munich.

Partnachklamm – Visit one of the most beautiful gorges in all of Germany.

On this day trip from Munich, you’ll walk alongside a raging river and majestical waterfalls.
It’s one of my favorite hikes in the entire Alps. The dramatic scenery far surpasses the effort. You’ll eat lunch at a mountain hut. Something every traveler to Bavaria should do to experience traditional Bavarian-style hospitality.

Eagle’s Nest – Visit Hitler’s Mountain Retreat.

This tour offers something for both history buffs and nature lovers.
You’ll leave from Munich and travel on one of the most scenic roads in the German Alps to Berchtesgaden. One of only two national parks in Bavaria. The panoramic alpine vistas are among the most dramatic in the country. I’m a huge fan of Berchtesgaden!

Take a helicopter ride for the ultimate bird’s eye view of the Bavarian Alps.

You’ll see Neuschwanstein, Germany’s most famous castle from a perspective few people ever do. AND you’ll get a close-up view of the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in the country. That’s not to mention all the lakes you’ll fly over. A helicopter ride is truly a unique way to experience the Alps!

Spitzingsee is a great area in the German Alps for day hikes

Where To Stay in the German Alps

If you have time, it’s definitely worth spending at least a few days or even a week or longer in the German Alps. Here are my recommendations of where to go and to base yourself.

Berchtesgaden National Park

Berchtesgaden National Park is one of the highlights in the German Alps and one of only 2 national parks in Bavaria

This is one of only two national parks in Bavaria and is home to the famed Lake Königssee. You’ll definitely want to take a boat ride across the lake to St. Bartholomew, visit the Eagles Nest for a breath-aking panoramic view of Hitler’s mountain retreat. You’ll find lots of hiking trails and could easily spend several days here or even up to a week.

Most of the accommodations are in smaller family-run places called “Ferienwohnungen” (vacation apartments). See Airbnbs in Berchtesgaden National Park where you’ll find many Ferienwohnungen”. Airbnb is usually my top choice for stays of 2 or more nights or if I’m travelling with a small group of friends.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen makes a great base for exploring the German Alps.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is one of my favourite places in the German Alps. It’s home to the Zugspitze the highest mountain in Germany that you can reach either by cable car or a very long difficult hike.

You can also find my favourite hike here, the Höllentallklamm (Hell Valley Gorge) mentioned below at the foot of the Zugspitze, and a circular hike up through the Partnachklamm with lunch at one of the restaurants or huts is one of the best hikes where the scenery far surpasses the easy hiking.

You can also easily get to Mittenwald by train from Garmisch-Partenkirchen which I recommend checking out for even more spectacular mountain scenery and the town itself known for its colourful painted houses and violin making which dates back hundreds of years.

I think the best places to stay in Garmisch-Partenkirchen are also Ferienwohunungen (vacation apartments). See Airbnbs in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to find one that’s right for you

My favourite hikes in the German Alps

Keep checking back as I have a ton of hikes that I still need to add this ever-growing list. I hike in the Bavarian Alps almost every weekend and frequently post my photos on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there at @Laurel_Robbins for the latest updates.

What can I say, I hike faster than I write :). I also don’t write about every hike. If it’s just so-so, I don’t write about it.

My very favourite hike is the Höllentalklamm (Hell Valley Gorge) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen!  Take a look at the photos, and you’ll see why!  I also love the Partnachklamm, especially in winter. The huge icicles add to the drama!

The Partnachklamm can be easy if you just decide to hike to the gorge and back. You can make it slightly more challenging if you hike to the nearest hut. Alternatively, you can choose one of the much longer extensions! You can also reach King Ludwig’s Mountain Hut by passing the Partnachklamm. This destination is also available as a tour from Munich.

For views, you can’t beat the Herzogstand to Heimgarten.  It’s a fantastic ridge walk offering great views of the Walchensee. It was a favorite among Bavarian royalty! Warning, this hike is not for you if you’re afraid of heights. Fortunately, it can be modified. You can still hike up to the Herzogstand, and skip the ridge walk to the Heimgarten.

More Day Hikes in the German Alps:

Why You’ll Love Hiking to King Ludwig II’s Palace in the German Alps
Follow in the royal footsteps of King Ludwig II on the Königsweg, (King’s Way) as you hike to his mountain retreat, the Schachen House in the German Alps. 

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Laber Mountain: A Wonderful Hike That Will Make You Wish You Were Here

Laber Mountain is a great hike in Oberammergau, Germany. It offers great views of the Ammergau Alps and the monastery in Ettal.

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Brauneck: The Mountain Where Hikers and Skiers Meet
Brauneck Mountain, where hikers and skiers meet! If you’re a hiker seeing solace, not skiers, as I am, the Brauneck, located near Lenggies, should not be your first choice for a hike. But the views from the top do help compensate for the trail.

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Hoher Kranzberg, Mittenwald: Fantastic Views from a Little Mountain
The Hoher Kranzberg, is a mountain overlooking Mittenwald, Bavaria where a panoramic theatre awaits you! Lakeside dining or swimming is also an option!

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Hut Hiking in Germany: What It’s Really Like
Hut hiking in Germany is not exactly a luxurious experience. It can even be stinky, but I still enjoy it. Find out what it’s really like to sleep in a mountain hut.

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Top 3 Spring Hikes in Bavaria
Here are 3 of my favorite hikes in Bavaria, named so because of the scenery, views, or just really fun hiking/scrambling terrain.

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Partnachklamm: The Winter Jewel of Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Partnachklamm (Gorge) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany is simply breathtaking in winter with its huge dripping icicles and frozen waterfalls.

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Hiking the Jochberg, in the German Alps
The Jochberg is a popular day hike in the German Alps with views of both the Walchensee and the Kochelsee. You should go!

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Hell Valley Gorge – The Best Hike in Bavaria
Hell Valley Gorge, (Höllentalklamm) is the best hike I’ve done in Bavaria, Germany. Located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen it’s also easily accessed from Munich.

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Herzogstand to Heimgarten: Why You Can’t-Miss This Beautiful Hike
Herzogstand is an extra-ordinary mountain summit in the Bavarian Alps. The hike from Herzogstand to Heimgarten is the perfect opportunity to take in stunning views of the Walchensee, the deepest alpine lake in Germany.

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where to hike in the German Alps

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