Stress-free Bavaria road trip – 7 days to Alpine lakes

Bavaria road trip to Walchensee - lake - View with mountains and village in the background
– Travel destination –

Tested Bavaria road trip
to off-the-path & iconic lakes near Munich

– By Ophelie. 5mn reading –

Germany has got a little treasure hidden in its southern corner – Bavaria. If you’re thinking of hitting the road to hidden lakes, cute villages and scenic mountains, I take you with me through my family-tested Bavaria road trip. What to see near Munich? An easy, stress-free itinerary up to 7 days, to explore at a slow pace and quite off-the-path.

Best lakes & places to see in Bavaria and in Munich

Overview
  1. Day 1 – Munich
  2. Day 2 – Kochelsee, Walchensee
  3. Day 3, 4 – Mittenwald
  4. Day 5 – Geroldsee
  5. Day 6, 7 – Königsee

Google map

Day 1 – Munich itinerary in one day

The easiest way to start a road trip in Bavaria is to arrive in the regional capital, Munich. My home since almost 2 years now, this city has its own character. Not only the Bavarian beer, but also chill vibes, the crystal water Isar and many cute places make Munich a cool place to visit.
Munich day trip - Odeonsplatz
Odeonsplatz, Munich
Nymphemburg Palace - One day Munich itinerary - Unepoudredescampette.com
Nymhpenburg Palace

I give you a one day Munich itinerary the must-seen places I don’t want you to miss. But Munich also deserves attention and if you’ve got more time on your Bavaria road trip, don’t hesitate to stay longer!

What to do in Munich in one day

City center: take the metro or tram til Marienplatz and walk from here.

  • Marienplatz and the Rathaus
  • Odeonsplatz: visit the golden decorated Theatine church
  • Max-Joseph-Platz: Royal Residenz with museum and Hofgarten
  • Englischer Garten: take a walk to the surfers’ wave (follow the Isar from the bridge next to the Monopteors, greek style monument on the hill, South part of the Garten)
  • Come back to eat, at one of the oldest breweries: Schneider Brauhaus
  • Enter St Petrus church, go up to the roof to get a view of Munich
  • Nymphenburg Palace: take the tram 16 from Marienplatz. Walk in the peaceful gardens.
  • For the coffee break: go to Universitaet, with its cute streets and huge barock monuments. My fav’ places: Lost weekend, Beim haeuser, Schall & Rauch
  • At night, go out to the most famous Beergarten Augustiner Brauhaus (near the main station), or to the animated Irish pubs Kennedys or Killians. My fav’ bar is the alternative Unter decks, with electro music!

Day 2 – Start a Bavaria road trip at the dreamy Walchensee

City is good, countryside is even better! A Bavaria road trip will take you through the German Alps road, marked with small and bigger mountain lakes. All of them are different. But all of them have in common stunning scenery and clear-blue waters.
Kochelsee is smaller and lays below Walchensee. I hadn’t seen the charm of this lake the first time. On my second road trip in Bavaria, I got to see it early in the morning surrounded by fog. Thanks to my parents, who absolutely wanted to make a little tour around it, I can tell you that it’s worth to go around Kochelsee and look at it with the mountain overviewing the lake.
Bavaria road trip - Lake Kochelsee - Unepoudredescampette.com
Bavarian lake Kochelsee
Your Bavaria road trip will continue up in the mountain. The alpine lake Walchensee, a few miles away, is a beauty. It reminded me somehow of some lakes in Tasmania, Australia. Walchensee has impressive transparent and turquoise waters. Eternal snow and green forest live together on the mountains surrounding the lake.
Bavaria road trip - Walchensee alpin lake
Alpine lake Walchensee

It’s simply a milestone on your Bavaria road trip, because it’s 100% Bavarian countryside and a really authentic place. I hated it in summer though – full of people everywhere. From September until end of October, the autumn gives golden and red colors to the trees. 

Travel tips to Kochelsee and Walchensee

Kochelsee:

  • town to find benzin, supermarkets, accommodation
  • See the lake in the morning, with fog.
  • From the car park: go by foot to the right-hand side of the lake, to get a view of the mountain behind the lake.

Walchensee:

  • Best at low season
  • Hikes, walks around the lake (6hrs to make the full tour)
  • Herzogsbahn: 8,5 euros ppl. 4 mn time to go up. Car park fee: 6 euros + 2 pro additional adult. Park in the village and come back by foot.
  • Take enough cash with you! Some restaurants and the Herzogsbahn don’t always accept credit cards. The cash automat (one in the village) doesn’t always work! Better be prepared than sorry
  •  

Day 3, 4 – Off-the-path at Mittenwald & Leutasch Gorge

Further towards the Austrian border, Mittenwald is the next unmissable stop on a Bavaria road trip. It’s a cute village literally at the feet of the mountains. What to do in Mittenwald? The two photogenic lakes Lautersee and Feechtersee are natural gems, perfect for beginner photographers. Still preserved from the mass of holiday makers, they’re off-the-path places worth to dedicate at least two days.
What to do in Mittenwald, Bavaria
  • Lautersee + Fechtersee: swimming in summer, hiking, nature photography
  • Leutasch Gorge: 5mn by car from Mittenwald. Up to 2hrs to walk to the Gorge.
Backpacker blog unepoudredescampette
Off-the-path Bavarian lake Lautersee

Day 5 – The most quiet and literally off-the-path Bavarian lake of Geroldsee

One of the best Bavarian lakes is a kind of no-man’s land! Geroldsee is tested and approved by myself, as a worthy stop on a Bavaria road trip! Back on the road to Garmisch, it’s a famous lake for doing landscape photography. And it’s above all a place to disconnect from the civilization. 

Photographing-Geroldsee-Bavarian-Alps-panorama-view-lake-with-crocus
Best Bavarian lake Geroldsee

Tips to the Bavarian lake Geroldsee

  • By road: take the path “In Gerold” next to the bus station and the “Simon Pension” sign, a few miles away from Garmisch on the national road E533
  • Take food and water with you. There is nothing nearby.

Day 6, 7 – The fairytale of Konigsee's lakes

If you have time to go to Königsee on your Bavaria road trip, sure you won’t regret it. This iconic Bavarian lake belongs to the national park Berchtesgaden, at the Austrian border. It’s really packed in summer. That’s why it’s best to avoid the tourists in July and August, alike Walchensee.

Königsee is famous for its scenery and hikes around the lake and the Church St Barthelemy, in a pure Bavarian and barock style. Hintersee is another gem, less known and thus more peaceful, near the main lake. The cool thing to do in Konigsee: a boat tour, taking you to the main hiking paths spread out on the lake.

Road trip tips to Königsee

  • Accommodation: book in advance. There are not many.
  • From Munich: 2 to 3hrs by road, via A8 (with tolls) or A94. Stay up to 2 days if possible
  • Boat tour: all year round, but only until mid-october to the lake Obersee
  • Find more detailed info in this blog article dedicated to Königsee
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I am made of photography,stories from the road and a good dose of passion. I am Ophélie, French-born traveler always on the go. My travel photography blog is about my travel experiences, tips and my addiction for adventure. To help you explore countries on your own… as an independent and curious traveller.

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