Self-Guided Walking in Bavaria

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Traveller ratings
3.8 / 5 from 4 reviews >
Trip code: 
W07OB
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Adventures
Activity:
Centre-based
Min age:
12
Group size:
2–6

Self-guided walking in rural Bavaria

Better known for its famous Passion Plays, the 'chocolate box' village of Oberammergau is the perfect base for a week of walking. From exhilarating mountain hikes to strolls through valleys and wetland reserves, Oberammergau’s wealth of well sign-posted trails makes it an ideal walking destination. Choose from easier or harder walks each day, and take advantage of the easily accessible local buses and mountain lifts. You can also relax in the hotel’s sauna or Jacuzzi.

Highlights

  • Centre-based walking in one of Germany's most picturesque regions
  • Impressive monasteries, regal palaces, onion-domed churches and pretty frescoed houses
  • Friendly, family-run 3-star hotel with steam bath, sauna and Jacuzzis
  • Well-signed paths and trails with a choice of walking levels every day
  • Chairlifts and cable cars leading to panoramic mountain restaurants

Key information

  • 7 nights 3-star hotel, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
  • Choice of routes each day
  • Altitude max. 1700m, average 1100m
  • Self-guided holiday. Min age 12 yrs

What's included

  • All buffet breakfasts and 7 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers - subject to 2 passengers traveling
  • Route notes and maps

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - compulsory supplement)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Pace:

Leisurely: 3-4km/2-3miles an hour

Terrain:


Low altitude; good paths

Day by day breakdown
Day 216.0km/10.0miles
Day 314.0km/9.0miles
Day 422.0km/14.0miles
Day 617.0km/11.0miles
Day 713.0km/8.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Oberammergau
to
Oberammergau
  • Day 1

    Start Oberammergau

    A transfer (90 mins) is provided from Munich airport to your hotel in Oberammergau (subject to a minimum of 2 people booked on a departure in total).

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Explore Ammer Valley villages; walk to Pulvermoos Wildlife Sanctuary

    A perfect introduction to your walking week starts with a short (15 mins) ride on the little red train to Bad Kohlgrub. From here, you walk through the rolling Ammer Valley's string of sleepy farming villages. Unterammergau, in particular, has a splendid Rococo church. Then walk across to the Pulvermoos, a wildlife sanctuary and habitat for 60 bird species including Corncrake, Dipper, Whinchat and Snipe.

    2 options: walking time 2.5hr, distance 9km/5.5km or walking time 4hr, distance 16km/10mi.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Cable car up Laber; walk down to Ettal village with its Benedictine monastery

    Start with a cable car ride to the top of the Laber (1685m) for panoramic views of Germany's highest mountain - Zugspitze (2962m) - and the Austrian Alps beyond. You then wind your way down through cool pine forests to the village of Ettal. After lunch, visit the amazing 14th Century former Benedictine monastery, an outstanding example of Bavarian Baroque architecture. Return on an easy path along the pretty valley, passing the Barenhohle cave where there's a figure of the resurrected Christ. Walking time 3.5hr, distance 12km/7.5mi or walking time 4.5hr, distance 14km/8.5mi.

    2 options: walking time 3.5hr, distance 12km/7.5mi or walking time 4.5hr, distance 14km/8.5mi.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Follow the shore of Staffelsee; afternoon optional boat cruise

    Staffelsee is one of the larger of the many picturesque blue lakes dotted around this part of Bavaria. This beautiful stretch of water offers easy walking along the shoreline with plenty of swimming opportunities. Stop off in the attractive riverside village of Uffing (the boat landing station is a fantastic place for lunch and offers magnificent views of the lake backed by mountains). In the afternoon, either relax in the sun on the panorama deck of the little lake cruiser (pay locally), passing hidden coves and the lake's 7 islands (one even has its own tiny chapel), or return on foot along the quiet side of the lake. Walking time 3.5hr, distance 12km/7.5mi or walking time 5hr, distance 18km/11mi or walking time 6hr, distance 22km/13.5mi.

    3 options: walking time 3.5hr, distance 12km/7.5mi or walking time 5hr, distance 18km/11mi or walking time 6hr, distance 22km/13.5mi.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day

    A day off from walking today. Maybe take the local bus to Mad King Ludwig's fairy-tale castle of Neuschwanstein with its breathtaking setting on a rocky outcrop. Or take the funicular to the top of Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze, and discover a 360 degree panorama of endless peaks spanning Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. Or, if you prefer to stay closer to home, spend the afternoon by the Wellenberg outdoor pool, where there is also a sauna, Jacuzzi and spa.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Kolben chairlift; various walks along Sonnenberg Ridge available

    The Kolben chairlift whisks you up to 1270m, from where there's a choice of routes up to the spectacular Sonnenberg ridge. Your route down passes a succession of crashing waterfalls and the reconstructed 19th Century whetstone mill at Schleifmuhle, followed by a pretty path through the meadows. Walking time 4hr, distance 13km/8mi or walking time 6hr, distance 17km/10.5mi.

    2 options: walking time 4hr, distance 13km/8mi or walking time 6hr, distance 17km/11mi.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Walk to Linderhof Palace; return via the Linder Valley

    Today's walk includes an unmissable visit to Schloss Linderhof, the gloriously over-the-top Rococo palace built by Mad King Ludwig in 1878, inspired by Louis XIV's chateau in Versailles. There are gorgeous French and Italianate terraced gardens and a golden fountain which erupts once every hour with a 30m plume of water. Return to the hotel along a tranquil path which winds back down the Linder Valley, through the village of Graswang with its beautifully preserved old farmhouses and pretty 17th century frescoed church. Walking time 1.5hr, distance 6km/4mi or walking time 3.5hr, distance 13km/8mi.

    2 options: walking time 1.5hr, distance 6km/4mi or walking time 3.5hr, distance 13km/8mi.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Oberammergau

    The tour itself ends here after breakfast. A transfer back to Munich Airport is included (subject to a minimum of 2 people booked on a departure in total).

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Germany

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Germany

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All buffet breakfasts and 7 dinners are included.

Bavarian cooking is hearty and rustic, well-known for its wide variety of wurst (sausages), pretzels (breads), Knodel (dumplings), meat dishes, and of course its world-famous beers. The hotel can cater for vegetarians; please let us know in advance so we can notify the hotel. Before June, some mountain restaurants are open only at weekends.

Weather

Average temperatures in summer are in the region of 25'C-30'C. The warmest month is usually July whilst the coldest is mainly January. Every month has its share of precipitation on an average of 14 days per month.

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)
Walking throughout this trip is on well-marked paths which are, at times, stony underfoot. Easier options are provided for the week. Anyone looking for a variety of walking, staying at a high quality hotel, with lots of opportunity for sightseeing would be perfect for this trip.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. You are provided with route notes for each day, which begin with an overview of the walk and advice on lunch, followed by detailed instructions. The route notes contain a 24 hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotel is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

 

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

The traditional 3-star Hotel Feldmeier is less than 5 minutes walk to the village centre. All rooms are comfortable and include en suite facilities, satellite TV, radio, hairdryers and have a private balcony or terrace. You also have a Roman steam bath, sauna, Jacuzzis and beauty room at your disposal (pay locally for any treatments). Less than a mile from the hotel is the WellenBerg leisure complex, offering indoor and outdoor swimming - ideal if you fancy a day off from walking!

Room Upgrades:
Room upgrades (Deluxe room) may be available on request for a supplement; prices start from an additional £14 per person per night (based on 2 people sharing) or £98 per person for the week. Please enquire at the time of booking for further details, availability and prices.

All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory supplement for a single room for the tour duration. For a solo traveller there is an additional charge to cover transfer costs.

 

Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

The coast

With a wealth of relaxed walking and cycling itineraries in Europe, our sister company Headwater are experts when it

  • Reviewed September 2014
    Jim Armstrong

    Bavaria at its best.

    A spectacularly picturesque area with soaring mountains, lush green valleys, forests, lakes and pretty villages.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sitting outdoors on top of the Zugspitze (ca. 9000 ft.) enjoying the stunning views and eating Apfelstrudel and drinking Löwenbräu on a gorgeous September afternoon!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A: self guided.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would advise decent walking boots, and poles if you use them, and waterproof jacket and trousers as it can certainly rain here. Take insect repellant and bite cream too. The area is photogenic so a good camera with plenty of memory is a must. I forgot mine!!! Make sure you have the extensive trip notes as the walks can be quite complicated. Due to an oversight we didn`t receive ours and would have been at a loss, but another member of the group who we became friendly with shared hers. This issue has been resolved with Exodus and we still had a wonderful time. The paths are well signposted anyway and, as mentioned in another review, the recommended routes can be customised to suit your own tastes.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I did this trip with my daughter Ruth Keir who has also written a review. We were very lucky indeed with the weather, it was quite hot and we avoided being out in two spectacular thunderstorms. The family-run chalet-type hotel was delightful and typical of the area. The rooms were spacious, comfortable and well-equipped. The hotel provided wi-fi at 5 Euro per device per week. The food was Bavarian in style and had many local specialities. It was mostly delicious with generous portions, although they struggled initially with vegetarian dishes. The hotel staff were all friendly and helpful and most willing to resolve any issues. The walks were varied in terrain and length and we were delighted with the ones we chose. The scenery was always worthwhile and the notes pointed out many extra little detours and places of interest. You were never far from a pub (Gasthof) or cafe or restaurant and most of the staff could understand clear English if not all spoke it, so the longer walks could be broken up with a beer or Radler (shandy) or two. As well as the Zugspitze which was reached by funicular railway from Garmisch-Partenkirchen (say that after a couple of beers!), then cablecar, the other must-see is Neuschwanstein castle. It is simply spectacular outside though not so much inside as it was never finished. It is best photographed from the Maria bridge (Marienbrücke) about 15 minutes walk away. The bridge was mobbed and we didn`t stay one minute longer on it than we needed! The castle is reached by bus from Oberammergau and must be pre-booked either online or at the tourist office a day or two in advance. It was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and we spent the week finding out about his bizarre life. He also owned Linderhof palace which is in one of the walks and is definitely worth seeing inside. The Zugspitze should be visited early in the day as it gets overrun later on. It cost 51 Euro return each from G-P, Neuschwanstein cost 13 each and Linderhof about 9. Oberammergau itself is beautiful with many frescoed buildings. Woodcarving is a local speciality worth investigating. The town has many restaurants but we only ate out once or twice as we were so well-fed at the hotel. I would thoroughly recommend this trip as it is entirely up to you how much walking you do, although you will miss some wonderful scenery if you don`t do any. The local public transport is well-organised and the tourist card you are given at the hotel gets you free bus travel.
  • Reviewed September 2014
    Ruth Keir

    Beer in Bavaria

    A lovely week walking through the meadows and mountains of Bavaria. Local brew went down a treat. Let down by lack of walking notes however....

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Completing a 21km walk round the Staffelsee and having a well earned beer to celebrate! A beer at the top of the Zugspitze (highest mountain in Germany) was also great - can you see a theme emerging here?!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Myself and my Dad did this as a self guided trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I booked this trip as a self guided option mostly owing to disorganisation and there not being much else left for my chosen week. I think self guided has the potential to work really well but we only got a lot out of it by borrowing the extensive walking notes from a Headwater client. This trip is offered jointly with them. All the other people on the trip had booked with Headwater and had excellent notes. The level of detail was impressive but necessary. The Germans are very into outdoor activity and the 'wanderwegs' - walking routes- are well signposted but you need to be able to find the start and know which bus to get etc. On average per 4 hour walk the Headwater notes had 2 full A4 pages of information. They also had 1 or 2 boot notes for different abilities and lots of local information. The Exodus trip notes were as per this website and totally useless! If I was going self guided again I'd be likely to book with Headwater for this reason I'm afraid. The taxi driver collecting us at the airport also had a Headwater sign so look out for this if you don't see an Exodus one. The hotel was a lovely family run place in a traditional Bavarian wooden house which looked like a cuckoo clock. The food was excellent however one of the Headwater clients was a vegetarian and struggled. I think she went some way to furthering the cause of vegetarianism in Bavaria during the trip but bewarned!! The hotel gave provided a tourist card which allowed free local bus travel which was excellent. The tourist information office was very useful too.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The scenery is amazing and we were lucky with the weather. Look out for mossie bites :( We visited Neuschwanstein which was beautiful. Everyone talked about how steep the walk up to the castle was but unless you are very unfit I don't really see what the fuss was about, you're on a walking holiday after all! The tour of the inside was a bit of a waste of time however unless you are really into Wagner inspired wall decoration. King Ludwig's story is interesting and worth finding out about. There is a hair raising bridge round the bad of the castle 'Marienbrucke' which offered fabulous views for classic photos albeit amongst a hellish tourist scrum. Book your visit online at least one day in advance, the tourist info staff will do this for you if you ask nicely. Linderhof palace was worth a visit and part of one of the walks. The church in Oberammergau apparently has amazing interior paintings but we walked by it every day without realising! Zugspitze is worth a look but go early as it gets really busy. Considering adding a couple of days in Munich at the end.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    We would like to thank Ruth for her review. We were very sorry to read that she did not receive her route notes and that she had to borrow some during her trip. We provide our clients with the same standard route notes as our sister company, Headwater, and have investigated why Ruth did not receive these. We were happy to read that Ruth and her father still had a great holiday.

  • Reviewed September 2013
    Anonymous

    WALKING IN OBERAMMERGAU

    This trip gives you the opportunity and freedom to set your own itinerary, use your own initiative and have more contact with locals. A delightful destination that may be quieter than at first supposed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Standing on top of The Kofel and taking-in the stunning panorama. Don’t let the dire warnings in the walking notes put you off - it’s undoubtedly high and a scramble to get to the top but if you do the ‘overtaking manoeuvre’ described in the notes, and you’re reasonably able-bodied and sure footed, it’s well worth the small detour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Consider making use of the local Tourist Information office - they’re very helpful and can book tours for you. We used them extensively including booking our tickets for Schloss Neuschwanstein which, considering the massive length of the queue for un-booked tickets at the castle when we arrived, was definitely a good move and highly recommended. Pre-booking the guided tour enabled us to pick-up our tickets as soon as we arrived at the castle and then go off and look at other things prior to our timed entry. All the walks (we did) were on well signed paths and were easy to find and follow. However, some of the walks described in the walking notes descend over fairly uneven ground with some tricky tree roots at times - walking poles might be advisable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    On our trip the hotelier gave us each a (returnable) Guest Card which gave us free travel in the Ammergau Alps area on RVO-Buses plus reduced entry into many of the local sites (Linderhof for example) plus reduced charges on the mountain lifts. Our excursion to Schloss Neuschwanstein was done on public buses that were entirely free! We used the buses because the train was out of action during our visit due to long running maintenance. The trains were replaced a bus service, but there was a cost to use them - using the public buses provided more flexibility and was free. Have I mentioned the free bus transport?   During our visit (Aug/Sep 2013) Oberammergau was quiet (apart from the afternoons when the excursion coaches seemed to call in). There is no night-life. We wandered into the town for a drink one evening at about 21:30 and the only place open was the posh hotel by the church; this is not a bad thing - just an observation.   If Exodus have organised the transfer from the airport for you, make sure you’ve confirmed where you’ll be collected. We waited at arrivals - our taxi driver waited at the airport exit!
  • Reviewed July 2013
    Anonymous

    WALKING IN OBERAMMERGAU

    A charming and well organised centre full of alpine houses beautifully painted with frescoes , Oberammergau is ideal for walking and other activities. The abundance of well signposted walking and cycle paths give a huge variety of options. Everything looks immaculately tended and cared for.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Schloss Neuschwanstein in all its fairytale glory - like a film set brought into the real world. Riding the Kolben carousel - a cross between a bobsleigh and a roller-coaster, a 2.6 km long thrill ride down the mountain going as fast as you dare!  The intimate splendour of Schloss Linderhof - another of King Ludwig II's fantasy creations.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    N/A - self guided. The hotel owners and staff were always willing to help explain local arrangements.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Schloss Neuschwanstein - 1.6 million visitors a year mean long queues despite the Teutonic efficiency of the guided tour system -  book online before you go or a couple of days beforehand to get a guided tour at a convenient time. I took the direct bus, arrived at the back of the queue for non-reserved tickets at 11:45. 50 minutes later at the ticket counter I was offered a place on the 17:55 english-speaking tour. Fortunately I was on my own, so they squeezed me in on an earlier tour.Don't be afraid to assemble your own route from the parts of the described walks - the frequent and accessible local transport make this easy

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some of the walks are definitely not 'lesuirely' - there are exposed ridges, steep and difficult descents and even Via Ferrata style sections that can be added as options, Stout boots and walking poles are definitely recommended. It was dissapointing that the hotel steam bath, sauna and jacuzzi were being refurbished during my stay - they would ve been really appreciated.Also, note that the Kolben chairlift doue not open until the second or third week in July - this cuts down on some of the options.It's also really easy to arrange your own transfers if flying to Munich - the airport S-bahn, main and local train services take you right into Oberammergau, and Munich is well worth adding a few extra days for sightseeing.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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