Red, yellow and purple trails, 30 stages.
Bavaria is the only state in the Federal Republic of Germany to share a part of the Alps. The last ice age left behind a hilly landscape with numerous lakes and moors. At the southernmost tip, however, mighty mountain ranges emerge, such as the impressive Watzmann in Berchtesgaden or the Zugspitze in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which with 2,962 m represents the highest peak in Bavaria and Germany.
Thus Bavaria offers a very diverse landscape and an extraordinary level of service industries, which is evident at the huts provided by the Deutscher Alpenverein (German Alpine Club) as well as in the inviting guesthouses and hotels in the valleys.
Culture, Nature and Enjoyment are spelled with capital letters on Bavaria’s Via Alpina. The history of the Bavarian kings, Maximilian II and his son Ludwig II, appear to come back to life. The natural beauty of the Königssee, the Ammer-mountains and the Allgäu-Alps unite to proffer a rich offering of culinary specialities, which are also presented at the huts as part of the project “So schmecken die Berge” (The Taste of the Mountains).
Bavaria is made accessible mostly through the Purple Trail of the Via Alpina. Here you will follow almost entirely in the footsteps of Emperor Maximilian II along the so-called Maximilian’s Trail. At the Steinernes Meer (Stoney Sea) one crosses the border between Austria and Germany and submerges in the untouched natural landscape of the Berchtesgaden National Park. From St. Bartholomä wonderful comfortable boating trips across the Königssee are available. The Chiemgau presents the two most beautiful lookout peaks, the Hochgern and the Hochfelln. Here guided tours with luggage transport are available on the Via Alpina as part of the project “Chiemgauer Wanderherbst”, which let you experience the Chiemgau it all its beauty (www.wanderherbst.de).
Continuing over the Mangfall-Mountains and Bavaria’s foothills to the Alps you will arrive at the Olympic city of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The next highlight, Castle Linderhof, built under the reign of the legendary Bavarian king Ludwig II is just around the corner. Passing the Ammer-Mountains you will reach Schwangau and Füssen, where particularly the Castle Hohenschwangau and the “fairytale castle” Neuschwanstein attract thousands of visitors every year.
Passing Burg Falkenstein, Germany’s highest-situated castle-ruin, you will arrive in Pfronten and, after a short detour into the Austrian Tannheimer Valley, at the mountainous world of the Allgäu Alps. In Oberstdorf the Purple, Yellow and Red Trails meet. However, while the Purple and Yellow Trails come to an end here, the Red Trail merely comes to a resting point on its way to Monaco.
All interested long-distance hikers can find on the website www.wanderkompass.de a series of further attractive trails in Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein.
The Team “Via Alpina Germany” wishes you a wonderful, diverse and interesting walking along the Via Alpina!