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Beneath the Zugspitze

Bavaria – lakes, gorges, castles & high peaks
 
Discover wonderful Bavarian traditions and delightful villages of frescoed houses on this self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking holiday, with luggage transported. The varied routes include the option to walk on the slopes of Germany’s highest peak.
Beneath the Zugspitze. 7 nights
Beneath the Zugspitze. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in southern Bavaria

The mighty Zugspitze – not only the highest peak in the Wettersteingebirge range, but also in the whole of Germany – stands sentinel on the southern border, in the very heart of Europe, commanding views into four different countries. To walk in the mountains here is to discover a region which in many ways feels very Austrian, but what sets it apart are the elaborately decorated villages, whose exquisite frescoes (Lüftlmalerei) depict religious and pastoral scenes, local craftsmen at work, or even fairy tales.
From astonishing gorges to sparkling lakes, high-mountain scenery to sumptuous castles, and scented forests to idyllic villages, this holiday has it all. Starting near the Austrian border, it explores southernmost Bavaria, where jagged limestone peaks provide a splendid backdrop to handsome villages and onion-domed churches. In a week of very varied – and rewarding – walking, perhaps the highlight is the route across the slopes of the Alpspitze, which offers the best views of the Zugspitze.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    The best time for flowers is early July.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 3 5 7 12 16 19 21 21 17 14 8 4
    mm 105 114 145 137 181 203 202 200 158 115 117 120
  • Arrival in Mittenwald
    Night 1: at Gästehaus Franziska or Gästehaus Sonnenheim (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.

    If there is time before dinner, take a stroll through the ancient streets – with its ornately frescoed houses and dramatic mountain backdrop, this famous violin-making village is the perfect introduction to this enchanting corner of Bavaria.
  • Circular walk from Mittenwald: 13km, 5hrs
    This superb circular gorge walk is one not to be missed. The route comprises three discrete sections, starting with a steady climb out of Mittenwald to join the Leitersteig, a path that traverses the lower slopes of the Karwendelgebirge at around 1,200 metres to reach the deep Sulzleklamm. You can cross this by means of the suspension bridge high above the gorge, or take the gentler, lower option. After the drama of the gorge, you descend to the valley floor and amble along flat, wide paths through a nature reserve. The highlight of the walk comes near the end: after crossing the border into Austria, you return to Mittenwald via the Leutaschklamm, a spectacular gorge with a metal walkway and a series of footbridges across the foaming water. If you have time, it's also worth taking the Karwendel cable car up into the mountains for panoramic views, or spending some time exploring the ancient streets of Mittenwald, a famous violin-making village with ornately frescoed houses and a dramatic mountain backdrop.
    Route around Mittenwald © Phil Crean
  • Mittenwald to Grainau: 20km, 5.5hrs
    Leaving Mittenwald, you ascend past the lakes of Lautersee and Ferchensee towards imposing Elmau Castle (now a hotel). From here you walk above the Ferchenbach river, descending into the Partnachklamm, an awe-inspiring gorge which provides an exhilarating end to the walk. Afterwards, you can take the bus into Garmisch-Partenkirchen to have a walk round this attractive town (having previously hosted the Winter Olympics, it remains an important centre for ski jumping, even in summer), or take advantage of the Zugspitzbahn train to head straight to Grainau, a pretty village at the foot of the Zugspitze, for three nights at the Hotel Bergland.
    The Partnachklamm on the route to Grainau
  • Choice of walks from Grainau: 11km to 22km

    Circular walk via Lake Eibsee: 18km, 6hrs
    The first offers good views as it ascends the valley slope, before circumnavigating Lake Eibsee, which sits like a jewel amid a bottle-green forest. (This walk can be shortened using local transport)

    Circular walk via Höllen Gorge: 15km, 5.5hrs
    The second starts with a cable-car ride, then commands outstanding panoramas as it leads beneath the north face of one of the region’s iconic peaks, pyramidal Alpspitze (2,628 metres). It’s a long and, at times, steep descent to the extraordinary Höllen (Hell’s!) Gorge, but its numerous cascades (expect to get wet!) and sheer drama are a just reward.

    Linear walk via Reintal Valley: 22km, 7hrs
    For something really challenging, there is a thrilling third option which starts from the cliffs just below Zugspitze’s 2,962-metre summit before crossing a lunar-like karst plateau and descending into the steep-walled Reintal, a huge glacial valley.

    Circular walk via Badersee (poor weather option): 11km, 3.5hrs
    This fourth route takes you around Grainau on the Höhenrain-Panoramaweg which, as its name suggests, gives panoramic views across the Wetterstein mountain range. Taking in the picturesque centre of Ober Grainau and a circuit of Badersee before traversing woodland and meadows on the Panoramaweg and returning beside the Krepbach stream, this is a good option for if the weather is bad or if you would like a shorter and less strenuous day.

    Climb the Zugspitze
    If you decide not to walk, a final alternative is to take a cable car to the summit of the Zugspitze for a 360-degree panorama from Germany’s highest peak.
    Around Grainau
  • Choice of walks from Grainau to Oberammergau: 12.5km to 19km;

    Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Oberammergau: 19km, 6hrs; shorter option: 12.5km, 4.5hrs
    After a short transfer to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, you walk over the flanks of Kramerspitz and Brunstelskopf, and round a long ridge near Notkarspitze to reach Ettal (to shorten the route, you can catch a bus from here to Oberammergau). This walk feels wonderfully remote but is relatively gentle, as it follows wide, gravelled tracks dotted with hides where you can pause to observe any wildlife that is about. From Ettal you continue over the marshland and underneath Kofel into charming Oberammergau, famed for the Passion Play. Here, you spend your final two nights at the Hotel Turmwirt.

    Griesen to Graswang: 17.5km, 5hrs
    Another option involves a short train ride to Griesen, from where you walk briefly through woodland before following a small river all the way to its source. Here, you enter another valley and descend to Graswang, where you catch a bus to Oberammergau.
  • Choice of walks from Oberammergau: 8km to 12km

    Linear walk from Linderhof: 12km, 4hrs
    The first option is to catch a bus to King Ludwig II’s opulent palace at Linderhof, which was modelled on Versailles, and then walk back.

    Linear walk via Ettal: 8km, 3hrs
    The second is to take the local gondola to a viewpoint commanding some of the best views of the holiday, encompassing the entire Wetterstein chain, the Partnachklamm, Alpspitze and Zugspitze. The vistas are not the only highlight, though: the walk back to Oberammergau leads via Ettal’s sumptuous monastery, a celebration of rococo architecture set around a vast courtyard, making this a superb route with which to end your holiday.

    Circular walk via Unterammergau (poor weather option): 12km, 4hrs
    This third walk is also a superb final option, taking you on a circuit of the Ammertal valley beneath the Laber Mountain. Crossing the Ammer river, you traverse woods and meadows with views over the valley before skirting of the town. Near Unterammergau, you have the option to take a short (460m return) detour to the Romanshöhe Hütte for lunch on its panoramic terrace before desending into Oberammergau. You have the option to drop back down into the town at any time, heading towards the landmark onion-domed tower of the parish church.
    Approaching Linderhof
 

Accommodation

You stay in three welcoming hotels, each one of which has its own special charm.

Occasionally, due to availability, we may offer an alternative hotel, as shown below. You will be informed of any change to the usual hotel (along with any price implication) prior to us confirming your holiday to you. Whichever hotel you stay in, we recommend extra nights in Mittenwald to enable you to do more of our suggested walks.

Please note: most beds in German hotels are normally one large base with two mattresses/duvets. We refer to these as 'Austrian Twins' and they are locally regarded to serve requests for both double and twin bedded rooms. Separate twin beds or traditional double beds with one large mattress are rare and cannot be guaranteed.
 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
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  • 7 nights: 08 June - 01 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    8 - 14 June £895 £255
    15 June - 31 August £945 £260
    1 - 24 September £895 £255
    3rd & 4th person discount -£50
    Single traveller supplement £50

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Gästehaus Franziska (B&B) Double room Single room
    08 Jun - 01 Oct 2019 £70 £80
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Innsbruck, Munich

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Munich. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Innsbruck Charter (contact us) 
    Birmingham - Munich Lufthansa 
    Birmingham - Munich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Innsbruck Charter (contact us) 
    Outward route Airline
    Cardiff - Munich Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Innsbruck Charter (contact us) 
    Edinburgh - Innsbruck (via Heathrow) British Airways 
    Edinburgh - Munich easyJet,  Eurowings,  Lufthansa 
    Edinburgh - Munich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Munich Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Innsbruck Charter (contact us) 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Munich British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Innsbruck Charter (contact us),  easyJet,  Thomas Cook 
    Gatwick - Munich easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Innsbruck British Airways 
    Heathrow - Innsbruck (via Vienna) Austrian Airlines 
    Heathrow - Munich British Airways,  Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Innsbruck easyJet 
    Luton - Munich easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Munich easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Innsbruck Charter (contact us),  easyJet 
    Manchester - Innsbruck (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Manchester - Munich easyJet,  Lufthansa 
    Manchester - Munich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Munich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Newcastle - Munich (via Düsseldorf) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Munich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Southampton - Munich Flybe 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Munich. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Innsbruck

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Innsbruck HB to Mittenwald (1h), walk to hotel (0h05) £12 1700
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Oberau (0h30), rail Oberau to Innsbruck HB (1h40) £40 1330

    Connecting travel options - flying via Munich

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    walk to hotel (0h05) £20 1600
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Oberau (0h30), rail Oberau to Munich Airport (2h15) £40 1330
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 4 dinners
    1 picnic
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • transfer on day 5
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Germany, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The official language is German. The currency is the Euro. German time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 7/18/2019 4:06:21 PM