Geroldsee - A secret place
for photographers in the Bavarian Alps

Author Ophelie Harnichard Blog

Written by Ophelie
Published 2nd March 21
Will take 5mn to read

Are you looking for an unique spot to go? Kind of a secret place, empty of people? I’ve one for you! Geroldsee in the Bavarian Alps is a lake full of peaceful vibes. A gem, for nature lovers and photographers!

A secret place in the Bavarian Alps: Geroldsee


  1. From Munich to Geroldsee – how to get there
  2. Why to go to Geroldsee
  3. Photography tips for beginners

Geroldsee - For who?

  1. Solo travelers
  2. Hikers
  3. Photographers and beginner photographers

How to get to Geroldsee in the Bavarian Alps? Practical tips!

Day trip from Munich to Geroldsee – By train and bus

What is often the hack of secret places? Getting there! But luckily, Geroldsee is quite an exception. Maybe coming back is the tricky part, but more on that in a few lines. This lake is one of the few non-touristy spots in the region of the Bavarian Alps. Making Geroldsee a perfect secret place to go for photographing or hiking!

As a day trip from Munich, it’s easy to organize the journey to the lake. So, how to get to Geroldsee? If you take the train, there are several departures all day – from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It takes circa 3 hours in total to go from Munich to Geroldsee. At Garmisch, you’ll switch for a bus.

How to get to Geroldsee – Day trip from Munich

  • Regional train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen
  • Tickets online on Deutsche Bahn or at the train station
  • Take the Bayern ticket, 25 euros round trip for up to 5 people
  • From Garmisch: bus 9608, to Gerold Abwzw. Krün

My travel tip to Geroldsee: if you plan it as a short trip from Munich, use one of my usual price comparators to find deals on flights and accommodation in Munich! PS: This is an affiliate link.

The bus departs from Garmisch station and will stop 10-15mn later at the bus station Gerold… in the middle of nowhere! Nothing around, just a shield indicating the bus schedule and the existence of a  small church.

Now, coming back to Garmisch can get a little bit tricky… if you don’t pay attention to the time! The last bus to Garmisch is at 7.35 pm. I almost missed it! If no bus, you can still call a taxi. It’ll cost around 30 euros.

How to get to Geroldsee – By car

A day trip from Munich to Geroldsee is of course a bit easier to organize if you have got a car. You can rent one at Munich’s airport – prices starting at circa 60 euros a day. On Maps, Geroldsee is also known as Wagenbruechsee, in Kruen. It’s about 1h35mn away from Munich, on the A95. 

Geroldsee secret place for photography in the Bavarian Alps - Wooden Cabin with mountains in the background

Why to go to Geroldsee? Peace, love and mountains

Geroldsee : one of the few secret places in the Bavarian Alps

Geroldsee has been such an unexpected travel experience that it’s now my favorite secret place in the Bavarian Alps. In my eyes, Geroldsee is the most authentic place of all the lakes I’ve seen near Munich. Visiting and photographing Geroldsee is very inspirational!

The perfect one day trip from Munich – For hikers, photographers and Nature lovers

What to do at Geroldsee? This secret place in the Bavarian Alps is multitasking! Photography, hikes, walks, or just a nice getaway – you should find something for your liking.

For the hikers among us, Geroldsee in the Bavarian Alps is a good starting point for hiking trails towards Barmsee or Grubsee. This blog article will give you detailed info about hiking trails around Geroldsee.

If you’re not a hiking fan, no worries! You can spend time just enjoying Nature without getting bored. I think that Geroldsee is a very representative place of the real Bavarian countryside. The wooden houses and the wildflowers all around the lake make Geroldsee a magical secret place, lost in time… and full of peaceful vibes.

And of course, my favorite activity… go for photographing Geroldsee! It’s a cool place for beginner photographers, among other famous photography places in the Bavarian Alps. Because of its very unique scenery and the absence of tourists you can get nice Instagram-like pics quite easily! Meaning, you’ll feel happy with your work and even more motivated.

Because it’s close to Munich, it’s a perfect getaway for a one day trip or a weekend. Just don’t forget to take your pic-nic, since the only close town is Garmisch. At Geroldsee, there is nothing but the lake!

Photography tips for beginners at Geroldsee, Bavarian Alps.

As a beginner photographer, I found the day trip from Munich to Geroldsee rewarding. The lake is pretty small, which makes it super easy to walk around. And the nice scenery offers plenty of unique items to photograph! I give you more photography tips for beginners below.

Landscape photography at Geroldsee – Spots, time and settings

Landscape Photography tips - What to capture at Geroldsee, Bavarian Alps?

Photographing Geroldsee: peace, love and wooden cabins

Crocus – Geroldsee is famous for the crocus and the little Bavarian wooden cabins. You’ll see often these items in Geroldsee’s pictures. Let’s start with the crocus, these wild pink flowers. You’ll find them either on the hill overviewing Geroldsee, or on the green paddocks beside the walking path.

Photography tips for beginner

  • Don’t hesitate to lay down on the grass. Thus, you get a close view of the crocus.
  • Photograph in contre-plongee. To make the crocus stand out on the foreground.
  • Make the flowers the eye-catcher of your photo, leading the eye into the image.

Wooden cabins at Geroldsee – With no doubt, these little wooden houses are the stars of Geroldsee in the Bavarian Alps! They give to Geroldsee this particularly authentic atmosphere, coming from another century. To practice landscape photography, they are great. Indeed, they are precious elements to create a more dynamic composition to your photos!

Use the wooden cabins at Geroldsee as a strong element to balance the composition. The dark brown color contrasts nicely with the pink crocus, the blue of the mountains and the green of the grass.

Path, mountain, church, and wooden cabin before getting at Geroldsee’s lake – Even before seeing the lake, your eyes might like the scenery! On the path from the bus station to the lake, I already took out my camera. The hiking path on your right is a cool spot to capture – a cabin, a path, and the mountain in the background. The little church with the forest in the background also deserves attention.

travel photography - Geroldsee Bavarian Alps - Unepoudredescampette
Wide-angle views: panoramas of Geroldsee

Panorama of Geroldsee lake – Cool spot: climb the hill on the left-hand side of the walking path, coming from the bus station, just after the sheep padock. I saw photographers there, taking photos with their tripod. Do you want to build your photo gear as beginner? Take a look at my article. 

At late afternoon and golden hour, the sun hangs in the clouds around the mountain in the background. It also gives light from behind the hill towards the lake.

Some photography tips for beginners on how to compose a wide landscape view?

The most difficult might be to limit the number of elements within the frame. Try to choose a main element. And to organize the composition around it. It can be the lake, some flowers, interesting clouds… From there, focus on this item. Integrate other details around if they give balance to the image – renounce to get too many things within the frame! It’ll clutter the picture.

What I did in this image: I tried to render different layers. I chose the three crocus as main element in the foreground. I captured them from below, lying down in the grass. They are the ‘entrance’ into the image of Geroldsee’s lake. The eye continues to travel to the lake, to finish at the mountains and clouds, in the far background. Thus, we have three layers.


Other landscape photography views, from the left-hand side of Geroldsee’s lake – Walk a few minutes further beyond the lake. Following the path towards Barmsee, you’ll climb until a peak. From there, you’ll get another overview of Geroldsee from the top and from the left-hand side.

Photography tips for beginners: settings and lenses for nature photography at Geroldsee

What lens to do nature photography?
Photography tips for beginner
  • 16-35 zoom lens
  • 18-55mm zoom lens
  • 50mm prime lens
  • 70-200mm telelens, to compress distance between foreground and background

If the topic interests you, visit my blog post about what lenses to use for portrait and landscape photography.

Settings to use on the camera

What settings to use when practicing nature photography is one of the first questions you probably ask yourself. And it’s not an easy one to answer! As simple photography tips for beginners, I would recommend starting with Aperture Mode. Note that if you don’t have enough light already, take Manual mode. I use Manual 90% of the time.

Why Aperture or Manual mode? Nature photography is kind of static. The landscape doesn’t move. Aperture Mode is made for immobile subjects. It’ll let you choose the aperture and calculate the speed for you (parameter which is defined in priority for moving subjects). Manual will let you define both.

How to choose the aperture? Usually, landscapes are captured with small apertures. That’s to say, the big numbers on your camera – from f/6 up to f/18 or beyond. The aperture defines the depth of field – the portion of the image you get in focus.

The diaphragm of the lens is like our eye’s iris. It lets come in the light in variable quantity, depending on how wide the iris is open. The lens’ diaphragm will be wide open at wide aperture (small f/numbers). And it will be less open at small aperture (big f/number).

Impact on your nature photography: a small aperture will render a high depth of field. The different areas of the landscape, from the foreground to the background, will be brought into focus. The image will appear with all the objects. On the contrary, a wide aperture will make a little portion of the image stand out – that’s why a wide aperture is used in portrait photography.

Note: F/11 is often mentioned as the ideal aperture to get optimally crisped landscapes’ pictures. For me, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. You need to adjust the aperture to the light, so the shutter speed.

Best time for photographing Geroldsee

Geroldsee gets very nice and powerful orange tints at late afternoon and of course at golden hour. The sun goes down on the side of the mountains behind the lake. At golden hour, the best point for photographing Geroldsee is on the hill overviewing the lake and facing the mountains in the background.

How to start with 

Digital Photo Editing

Author Ophelie Harnichard Blog

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.