I recently made a trip down to Berchtesgaden National Park, Southern Germany and I was in complete awe while i was there. The beautiful photos i researched online before I went does not compare to seeing it with your own two eyeballs. If you are into nature, enjoy the beautiful sweeping mountains towering over beautiful lakes, or hiking then this is a must to add to your bucket list of places to travel to.
Berchtesgaden is known to be a hiker's paradise or in german "wandern paradise" and from exploring the area, I came across hundreds of trails that would take you to anywhere and everywhere in Berchtesgaden Land. Located in southern Germany bordering Austria and the city of Salzburg about 20 minutes away. It was established in 1978 to protect the landscapes of the alps and is now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve as of 1990.
One of the main attractions of the park is Konigssee which is known as "Kings Lake" and it is considered to be the cleanest lake in all of Germany. I know, I tasted it and it was refreshing. Be sure to make it a point to try the water from the lake. To enjoy a captivating lake experience, take the boat ride which cost 11 euro roundtrip and it will take about 30-minute boat ride through the fjord-like lake. About halfway to St. Bartholomew church, the boat stops and the tour guide whips out a flugelhorn to demonstrate the beautiful echoes known for its clarity. He plays play back the echoes making it sound like there are up to 7 instruments sounding off. It is a skin chilling moment to remember that is for sure.
Once you are dropped off at St. Bartholomew's pilgrimage church, you are set to explore and roam the area. multiple trails lead up the mountains or just a casual stroll along the lake. A cafe and small souvenir store are also there to check out too. Of course going into the church is a must as well.
Archenkanzel is a stunning vantage point that overlooks konigssee and when i looked up photos which I found on Instagram, I saved it and when I finally was there to explore I had to find a way to get there. I ran into some awesome locals the day before at the church and they told me it was an 8-hour hike. Donny doesn't have time for that because there is a lot more to see. So there is app, you may have heard about it, called Google maps. If you do not have it, then nothing can help you I'm sorry. Anyways, I could not find any information on how to get there via hiking or how long it was so I decided to GPS it, come to find out there was a road that led up to a mountain hut and from there it was a 30-minute easy stroll through the pearly white snow-capped mountains. As I was driving up the road I kept seeing signs in german which of course I did not understand but the road was wide enough for two cars so it must be ok to drive right? I pass a group of hikers and I'm pretty sure I got dirty looks from each and every one of them. Oh well suckers, guess ill make it to the top before you will! HA!
The next stop was a gorge with awesome waterfalls called Wimbachklamm. The road I turned onto archenkanzel was the parking lot for this. Of course, you have to pay for parking but I packed my camera and off I went. The entry was closed. so I decided to climb over via ledge because I'm a rebel at heart. I have to say it was well worth the risk because the beautiful waterfalls, moss covering the canyon walls and the turquoise color of the water was absolutely beautiful.
The second night I had time to explore part of JennerBahn. The Cable car to the top that leads to the Eagles Nest was closed which is worth checking out and has a dark history involving Adolf Hitler . I ended up hiking half way to this lake that overlooks the beautiful valley of Berchtesgaden. Set up my grand trunk hammock and just hung for the sunset.
I've always wanted to ride an alpine coaster and while I was in Berchtesgaden, the two coasters close by were closed due to being "in-between seasons." I was on a mission to make this happen before I flew back to California and sure enough, thanks google, there was one an hour away in Austria called Maiskogel Alpine Coaster. It is a Ski resort as well but there was no snow and a beautiful sunny 70 degrees out. Perfect for alpine coastering. Check out the video below.
Hintersee is in the tiny village of Ramsau that is about 15 minutes from the town of Berchtesgaden. A small lake that you can walk around in an hour or so but while I was there during sunset, the mountains towered over the lake and the colors of the lake made me want to stay there and just enjoy the view forever. This is definitely worth checking out if you have some extra time to explore.
On a side note, my time in Germany is coming to an end and I will be heading back to the great state of California which an amazing road trip planned this summer as well as a trip to Florida and possibly Costa Rica and New Zealand. Stay tuned for some more articles in the near future.
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All photos were taken with a Sony Alpha 7 with a kit lens, I can't wait to upgrade to a Zeiss lens for even better image quality.