With hundreds if not thousands of routes to chose from, it can be challenging to pick the best hikes in Bavaria. After all, Bavaria with its over 70000 km² and pristine natural areas is a privileged location for anyone who loves the outdoors.
*Note: Detailed guides for each hiking route/region including route maps and GPX files will come soon.
In spite of it being almost impossible to pick just a handful of hikes in Bavaria, they are all incredible in their own way, the following hiking trails in Bavaria have earned a spot on this particular list for the unique beauty of the landscape, the variety of terrains it goes through or for being especially well connected. That being said, hiking in Bavaria is a unique experience which you can tailor to your own expectations with a bit of planning and research, and the following routes are just to get your berglust flowing!
Hiking in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Partnachklamm (Partnach Gorge)
Difficulty: Easy to Medium
This stunning route is easily reachable from Garmisch-Partenkirchen central station by bus Bus nr. 2 to Klinikum, Garmisch-Partenkirchen stops right outside the train station and takes you to the Winter Olympics stadion stop Skistadion, Garmisch-Partenkirchen in about 14 minutes. From there it takes about 20 minutes to the entrance and it costs about 3-5 € to get in. The fee goes to cover the costs of maintaining the paths, which is a plus.
Höllentalklamm (Höllental Gorge)
Difficulty: Easy to Medium
Similar to the Partnach Gorge, the Höllentalklamm Gorge can also be reached by bus or train from Garmisch-Partenkirchen central station. In less than 20 minutes you’ll be walking by a chirpy river through a dense forest to the entrance to the gorge. As in everything in life, there are always several ways to get to the same place, so if your destination is the hut on the other side, and you don’t feel like walking through the gorge, you can always take the alternative route.
However, the gorge is absolutely worth it and the entrance fee is so cheap that you surely have some spare change to part ways with. They don’t take card so make sure to have cash. This one usually closes during the cold months, so it would be best to check ahead of time whether it’s already open or not.
To walk back to the starting point you can either walk back through the Höllental gorge or pick one of the alternative routes. One option is taking the route that takes the bridge you’ll see hanging above the gorge. If you are scared of heights may be a bit of a shock but the route is beautiful and fairly easy if you have a steady foot.
Either way, no matter which route you take, this is without a sombre of a doubt one of the best hikes in Bavaria, thanks to its variety of landscape and route options available.
Grainau to Eibsee
Difficulty: Easy (but uphill)
This one is for those who want to add a bit more walking to their next Eibsee visit and enjoy the area with fewer crowds.
From the quaint town of Grainau, on the way up to the internationally renowned Eibsee, a little path starts. Whether you are a seasoned hiker on the lookout for an easy walk for the day, or a trail runner searching for a quieter path to run, an MBTer who loves a bit of a scenic route or just want to save up the 6.20€ of the train fare to the lake (up to Grainau it is included in the Bayern Ticket) this trail will be for you. And every corner will surprise you with a beautiful sight!
Once you arrive to the lake, you can either take the cable car to the highest mountain in Germany, the Zugspitze. Head back down. Or take an easy stroll around the Eibsee.
Eibsee Round Tour
This is an incredibly popular day trip. Unless you start very early in the morning, chances are there will be some foot traffic. In spite of the number of people flocking to this area, the walk around the Eibsee is one of the most beautiful and scenic easy routes you can walk in Bavaria, with views of the crowning Zugspitze and the little lake islands dotted in the aquamarine waters of the alpine lake.
Fun fact, the Eibsee is a private owned property but it can be used within fair measure. Fans of water sports will find here a spectacular location to practice their favourite activity.
Hiking in the Tegernsee-Schliersee Region
Gmund to Tegernsee Panoramaweg
As recommended by some locals, the super easy Panoramaweg from Gmund am Tegernsee to Tegernsee train station is a great easy route for a walk. It takes about 1.5 hours and the elevation is minimal but the views are simply a treat.
You can easy combine this walk with one of the others around the area and use it as warm up for the rest of the day. And if you pack appropriately, you can finish your hike with a swim in the lake!
From Tegernsee to Schliersee following the Prinzenweg
Difficulty: Easy to Medium
Much like the easy walk from Gmund to Tegernsee, this hike from Tegernsee to Schliersee is a locals’ favourite. The original route dates back to the 1700s and was used as riding path to get to Schliersee. It takes you in about 3.5 hours to your destination through beautiful landscape and varied terrain.
And if you stop by the hut in Gindelamlschneid, you are in for a treat. Highly recommended are the home-made Apfelschorle (with apple juice from their own apples) and the Kaiserschmarrn with apple compote. May take a while to get served as they make them fresh but it is the perfect pit stop for a long day hiking in Tegernsee.
5 Summit Round Tour from Tegernsee
Difficulty: Medium (but long)
This is one of the longest hiking routes on this list but not the hardest. The ways are always well marked and clear. The only difficulty here is getting over the stunning views, and the few steep spots to get up to! Totalling at 21 kilometres, this round tour takes you over 5 summits (unofficially 8!) starting and ending at Tegernsee station.
This is also a great alternative start for the Prinzenweg, as both paths cross. Depending in which direction you start, you will follow the Prinzenweg and then leave it or the other way around visiting Pfliegeleck (1063 m), Kleintegernseer Berg (1106 m), Riederstein (1207 m) , Rohrkopf (1316 m), Baumgartenschneid (1448 m), Kreuzbergkopf (1268 m), Gindelamlschneid (1335 m) & Neureuth (1261 m).
Wendelstein & Soinwand
Difficulty: Medium to Challenging
The Wendelstein in Bayrischzell is one of the most popular peaks in Bavaria (besides the Zugspitze of course). With a cable car and a fully accessible summit with a fully functional observation deck, is an easy day trip for anyone looking to get out of the house and breathe some fresh air.
For those a bit more adventurous, the hike up is quite something. It can be started directly from Bayrischzell train station, or add a bit more of a panoramic bit by getting off the train one stop before, in Osterhofen (also where the cable car is).
If it has rained the last few days, be prepared to walk on a fairly muddy path on the way up!
Once at the Wendelstein hut, if you still have some energy, you can attempt one of the other “smaller” summits around, like the Soinwand, Kesselwand or Lacherspitz. However, these are a bit more difficult to reach and require some hiking experience. If you do go up, take it all in. You’ll probably almost have the place to yourself, and don’t forget to sign the guest book at the summit!
Tatzelwürm Waterfalls and surroundings
This area located in the Bavarian Voralpen is a diamond in the rough. Few people know about it and those who do, don’t willingly share their secret. With several waterfalls along the Auerbach of up to 10 metres, this little corner seems to be taken out of a Brothers Grimm book. The name, Tatzelwurm, is in the Alpine folklore a lizard-like creature with poisonous breath that makes shrieking and/or hissing noises. The stories say, that you should beware where you step for if you fall in the water, the Tatzelwurm will eat you! After all, you can hear it on your way down to the waterfall.
Talking about access to the waterfall, it is well marked and a secured path has been built making it easy to reach.
Hiking in the Tölzer Land (Walchensee)
Hike to the Walchensee-Schlucht
The walk to the Walchensee Gorge is a short easy route perfect to kick start your stay in the Walchensee area. It takes less than 2 hours return but you can take as much time as you feel by stopping at the many beautiful spots along the way including waterfalls.
Walchensee to Herzogstand and Martinskopf
Hiking to the top of the Herzogstand is one of those things you have to do at least once. Many people prefer taking the cable car up but the walk up the mountain through dense forest and open tree-less grass fields as you approach the summit is something worth waking up early for. A great way to make the most of your time in the Walchensee area is to sleepover at one of the guest houses or the neighbouring camping platz so you can start bright and early.
Herzogstand to Heimgarten
Difficulty: Medium to Challenging
From the Herzogstand, if you are feeling a bit adventurous and have some time on your hands, you should close the circle and head over to Heimgarten over the ridge of the mountain. However, this bit is graded red-black so requires a bit of mountain experience.
Hiking in Füssen
Summiting the Säuling
Difficulty: Very Challenging
For the adrenaline seekers with a bit of Alpine experience, the Säuling in Füssen is the place to be. It is considered one of the “easy” summits of over 2000 meters of altitude. With a few spots where climbing is a must, the ascent to the summit will be a bit of a thrill.
The top can be accessed over the German side (the slightly harder route with less secured climbing spots) o the Austrian side (mostly secured climbing spots, slightly easier path). Either way, this hike is only recommendable if you are not terrified of heights, have some hiking experience and your fitness lever is decent.
This is a full day route so start early and make sure to pack a jacket as it can get windy at the summit! If you do end up making it up this way, the views from the top are hard to forget!
Tegelberg Round Tour via the Tegelbergkopf
Most people in the area will go for the comfy cable car to the Tegelberghütte. But the few who decide to go for the hike up, those are in for a treat. This is a route that will take you through a gorge to the impressive waterfall under the Marienbrücke, up to the bridge for the characteristic view of the Newschwanstein Castle and up up up to the ridge of the mountain. With a little bit of climbing, nothing too serious, you will eventually notice more and more people coming in sight. That marks the first stop at Tegelberg.
If you are feeling a bit adventurous and want to summit one of the many peaks in the area, a few minutes away you’ll find the Branderschrofen (1881 m). As it is fairly close to the cable car, during peak season may require a bit of waiting as the only way up is through a bit of a (secure and easy) climb. But once at the top, the views are simply spectacular!
For a bit of an extra, and if you still have some time and energy, you can make it a round tour and summit a couple other peaks along the way. However, the last 4 to 5 km back to the starting point run along a paved road, so this bit of the route is unfortunately thoroughly unimpressive.
Walk up to Kalvarienberg
The way up to Kalvarienberg from Füssen is easy to find and nice after-dinner outing during your next weekend in Füssen. It takes about 30 to 45 min to make it to the top and the views from up there will impress you. If only heading up is too easy for you, you can extend the route a bit to stop by Schwansee on your way back to the city.
As mentioned earlier in this post, it is almost impossible to just pick a few best hikes in Bavaria as pretty much all are incredible one way or another. This list is supposed to inspire you and will be updated as I try more routes. In the meantime, and to help you plan and find your own hiking trails you should check out our comprehensive guide to hiking in Bavaria, where you will find a compilation of all sorts of useful links and resources, which we use to plan our own hikes.