With its gentle moraine mills and rugged mountains created during the Ice Age, peaceful moor lakes and rapid mountain streams, and picturesque towns and villages, the sub-Alpine region of Upper Bavaria is full of natural beauty. This is especially true of Tölzer Land and the Chiemgau, both of which are true havens for holiday-makers. For sports enthusiasts there is skiing, hiking, cycling, and windsurfing in places such as Reit im Winkl and on Spitzingsee. Culture buffs can visit ancient monasteries and Baroque churches, among them Frauenchiemsee and Hohenaschau. !Weekend-trippers have an abundance of excursions to choose from – for example Kloster Reutberg or Tegernsee – and spa-lovers can recuperate and relax in the therapeutic Kneipp water treatments offered at spa towns such as Bad Tölz. From Munich, Tölzer Land and Chiemgau are reached by car via A8 and regional roads B318 and B472; there are also excellent rail and bus links to the region.

Altes Schloss, Chiemsee

Around 1130, an Augustine Canons’ seminary was built on the foundations of an eighth-century Benedictine abbey at Herrenchiemsee. Renovated in the Baroque style, it closed in 1803. Ludwig II purchased the island in 1873, built the Neues Schloss, and converted the seminary into private apartments – the Altes Schloss. An exhibit in the seminary documents the constitution of the German Federal Republic, signed and ratified here in 1948.

The Deutsche Alpenstraße, a panoramic motorway through beautiful landscapes, runs through parts of this region.

Bad Tölz is a relatively new spa; the iodine-rich natural springs were only discovered in 1946.

For information on Reit im Winkl, visit

  1. Bad Tölz

    Located where the Isar River surfaces from an Alpine valley and flows into the sub-Alpine foothills, Bad Tölz is a popular spa and winter resort. On the right side of the river lies the picturesque old town, with its impressive Marktstraße lined with ornate stuccowork façades, mottos, and frescoes. Alpamare, one of Germany’s largest waterparks, is favoured by spa guests and fun-seekers alike. A big annual attraction is the Leonhardifahrt, on 6 November, a procession in honour of St Leonhard, patron saint of horses. It is one of the largest processions in traditional costume in Upper Bavaria.

    Leonhardifahrt procession in Bad Tölz
  2. Kloster Reutberg

    Situated atop a small hill near Bad Tölz, this monastery was founded by the Sisters of the Franciscan Order in the 17th century. The Baroque abbey is open to the public. It is also worth a trip for the spectacular view of the Alps from the monastery’s beer garden. For a pleasant stroll head to the romantic Kirchsee nearby, a good spot for summer swimming.

    • Sachsenkam

    • free

  3. Tegernsee

    Framed by wooded mountains, Tegernsee is one of the largest mountains lakes in Upper Bavaria, with an area of 9 sq km (3.5 sq miles) and a length of 6 km (3.5 miles). Its beautiful setting and easy accessibility – it is only 50 km (30 miles) from Munich – have made the lake one of the most popular excursion and holiday destinations since the notion of taking summer breaks began in the 19th century. Tegernsee, Bad Wiessee, and Rottach-Egern form a picturesque chain of towns on the shores of the lake and attract visitors in both winter and summer. Bad Wiessee is home to one of the few casinos in Bavaria.

    • Bayerische Spielbank Bad Wiessee Winner 1

    • 0 80 22 9 83 50

  4. Schliersee

    Although less famous than Tegernsee, Schliersee, on the edge of the Alps, is just as attractive a lake. Its appeal lies mainly in the beauty of the surrounding mountains. One of the principal sights in the spa town of Schliersee is the St Sixtus church, with its 18th-century frescoes by Johann B Zimmermann. For an attractive country walk, take the 7 km (4 mile) path around the lake.

    Town of Schliersee, viewed from the lake

  5. Spitzingsee

    Wildly romantic, the Spitzingsee (1,100 m/3,600 ft) attracts mountain hikers in summer. In winter, skiers enjoy 30 km (19 miles) of groomed ski runs, serviced by 18 cable cars and ski lifts. This is Germany’s largest continuous ski region.

  6. Lenggries

    Located on the Isar River in the Isarwinkel area, Lenggries is a health and winter resort. It is a perfect departure point for excursions into the mountains, such as to Brauneck’s summit, which can be reached by foot or by cable car.

    On the Brauneck ridge path near Lenggries
  7. Wendelstein near Bayrischzell

    From the summit of the Wendelstein, hikers enjoy one of the most beautiful views in the region. In good weather, the Großglockner is clearly visible. There is a weather station and observatory, and Wettersteinhaus, a traditional mountain inn. Serviced by the oldest rack-railway (1912) in the Alps, the summit has also been linked by cable car since 1970.

  8. Chiemsee

    Popularly thought of as “Bavaria’s Ocean,” Chiemsee is Bavaria’s largest lake, with an area of 80 sq km (31 sq miles). Highlights include the islands Herrenchiemsee, with the Altes- and Neues Schloss , and Frauenchiemsee, with an 18th-century monastery.

    Frauenchiemsee monastery on Chiemsee

    Lake Chiemsee, known as “Bavaria’s Ocean”
  9. Reit im Winkl

    This resort near the Austrian border lies in a snowbelt, and so offers some of the best skiing in the Bavarian Alps. Excellent ski runs are maintained near the Winklmoosalm (1,150m/3,800 ft), home of Olympian skier Rosi Mittermaier.

  10. Schloss Hohenaschau

    Castle Hohenaschau dates from the 12th century. Renaissance (16th century) and late Baroque (17th century) additions are the chapel and the charity house – Prientalmuseum.

    • Aschau

    • Apr & Oct: 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am Thu only; May–Sep: 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am Tue–Fri

    • Guided tours only

    • Adm

Cafés & Restaurants

  1. Gasthof Grünerbräu

    Rustic Bavarian inn serving draught beer brewed in Bad Tölz. Try Gansjung (goose) or the dumpling dishes.

  2. Kloster-Bräustüberl Reutberg

    Bavarian cuisine complemented by monastery-brewed beer. The glorious view of the Alps is an added bonus.

  3. Schlossgaststätte Tegernsee

    Traditional pork roast and cool beer served on the large terrace of the beer garden, with its fabulous view across the lake.

  4. Panoramarestaurant Wallberg

    Opened in 1998, the restaurant lies 100 m (330 ft) below Wallberg’s summit (1,700 m/5,650 ft). Spectacular view of the Alps and Tegernsee.

  5. Landgasthof Reindlschmiede

    Country inn near Bad Tölz. Homemade cakes and Bavarian delicacies.

  6. Berggasthof Obere Firstalm

    Solid Bavarian cuisine at reasonable prices.

  7. Winklmoosalm

    Where downhill ski prodigy Rosi Mittermaier spent her childhood, hikers can now enjoy coffee and homemade pastries on a large, sun-drenched patio.

  8. Inselhotel Zur Linde

    This is a traditional hotel with a 600-year history. It is famous for its homemade cakes and, of course, excellent Bavarian cuisine.

  9. Schlosshotel Herrenchiemsee

    Bavarian and international cuisine, and a glorious view of the Chiemsee.

  10. Gasthof Terofal

    A traditional Bavarian hotel and 500-year-old restaurant located in the centre of Schliersee. Good traditional Bavarian fare. A folklore theatre is built onto the inn.

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