The aqua blue alpine lakes are the visiting card of Bavaria. The richest federal land of Germany has over 300 lakes from small mountain reservoirs to the real “Bavarian Sea”. Many of them originated during the ice age. Fortunately, since then it has become much warmer, and today you can enjoy beach recreation, windsurfing, scuba diving or sailing, without leaving the Bavarian region.
“Bavaria is the first step of paradise,” says its Prime Minister Horst Seehofer. Anyone who has ever been to Bavaria is unlikely to argue with him. The Bavarian nature is fresh air of Allgäu, untouched forests of Franconia and endless valleys of Upper Bavaria. But above all, Bavaria is the land of lakes, including mountainous ones.
Sitting on the lake shore in good weather, you can see not only the top of the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany, but also smaller mountains — Karwendel and Benediktenwand.
The most popular lake to visit is Ammersee - this is the third largest lake in Bavaria, as well as one of the warmest and cleanest. Moreover, it is only half an hour drive from Munich. Like other lakes in the Alpine foothills, the Ammersee appeared as a result of glacier melting about 14 thousand years ago. Forested moraines all along the coast are reminding us of that process.
Today Ammersee is a Bavarian Mecca of sailing and windsurfing thanks to a large area of almost 50 square kilometers. Those who don’t care about water sports will find other activities to their liking: there are plenty of hiking trails in the surroundings of the lake, Andechs Abbey of the XV century being among local sights.
"Bavarian Sea" is Chiemsee lake, located in the Chiemgau region, between Munich and Salzburg. Its area is almost 80 square kilometers, and it is the third largest lake in Germany after Lake Constance and Lake Müritz. Local nature is so picturesque that it has more than once served as a source of inspiration for German artists.
Chiemsee has two islands - the Female (Fraueninsel) and the Male (Herreninsel), where the “fairytale king” Ludwig II built himself a luxurious country residence, following the example of the French Versailles.
Another “gift” of the Ice Age is located in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps - the azure lake Tegernsee. The slope of the nearby mountain was chosen by paragliders, and in good weather, their bright domes adorn the sky above the azure waters of Tegernsee. Local attractions include the former Benedictine monastery and its brewery. Throughout the years, many prominent people have lived on the bank of Tegernsee including the ex-chancellor of Germany and the father of the German "economic miracle" Ludwig Erhard, publisher Hubert Burda, and the German millionaire Gunter Sachs.
Today, to own a house near Tegernsee is perhaps the greatest luxury in Germany. Prices for ready-made villas there start from a million euros, and to build your own house you have to wait for permission for months!
Lake Eibsee, located right at the foot of the Zugspitze mountain near the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, is one of the few in Bavaria, which is privately owned. In 1884, it was acquired by Augustus Terne at the auction for ten thousand marks. He was so fascinated by the clear green waters of the Eibsee that he decided to turn it into a luxury resort.
Local authorities laughed at him and didn’t believe in the success of the event. Earlier, Eibsee was popular only among fanatic fishermen - it was too difficult then to reach the lake located at an altitude of almost a thousand meters. However, soon the news about the idyllic corner where the azure sky merges with the turquoise waters spread across Munich, and even on the hottest day, it blows pleasantly cool - and for more than a hundred years there has been no end of tourists.
Even the Dalai Lama left a thank-you note in the guestbook, which means the state of Zen on Eibsee is guaranteed.
Lake Königssee (“King’s Lake”) is one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Germany. It islocated in southeastern Bavaria and belongs to the Schönau am Königssee community. Most of the lake lies on the territory of the Berchtesgaden National Park. Due to the unique nature and picturesque surroundings, the lake is very popular with travelers and tourists.
Königssee is famous for its clear water and bears the status of the cleanest lake in Germany.
Lake Obersee is considered to be the main attraction of the Berchtesgaden National Park - one of the most beautiful national parks in Europe. The lake looks like an emerald among the Alpine rocks and forests. Obersee is so calm that its smooth surface is a perfect mirror! This is a truly secluded area of wildlife in Bavaria, where you can find relaxation for your soul and feel the unity with mother nature. It is a joy for your eyes, with the purest mountain air for your lungs!
There are no settlements, only a small farmhouse and several cows grazing in an alpine meadow.