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The King Ludwig Way self-guided walking tour (shown: Neuschwanstein Castle)
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Highlights

  • Walking from beautiful Lake Starnberg to the iconic castles of Füssen.
  • Visiting the fairy-tale castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.
  • A hint of adventure in the Ammer and Pöllatschlucht gorges.
  • Monasteries, churches and picture-postcard villages, unique to Bavaria.
  • Relaxing with a delicious Bratwurst and mug of beer at the end of the day.

Follow the King Ludwig Way, one of Germany’s best known footpaths, through beautiful Upper Bavaria to King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle. The route was featured in Julia Bradbury’s BBC German Wanderlust series and shouldn’t be missed.

Beginning at beautiful Lake Starnberg, within easy reach of Munich, the King Ludwig Way takes you past quaint villages with abbeys, monasteries and frescoed churches. Quench your thirst in world-class breweries and beer gardens along the route. You’ll also enjoy spectacular views from Hoher Peissenberg (3261 ft.), the highest point north of the alps. Stay in charming small hotels and guesthouses and experience the best of Bavarian hospitality on this rewarding trail.

Day 1: Arrive Starnberg

Your journey begins in beautiful Starnberg, by the lake.  We recommend arriving in good time, so you can take the ferry to Berg, and visit the chapel where King Ludwig’s remains were found. 


Perhaps take the ferry back to your charming hotel, or return on foot along the King Ludwig Way, which follows the edge of the lake—the perfect start to your week with the fairy tale king!


Overnight: Starnberg


Day 2: Walk to Herrsching, Andechs Monastery, ferry to Dießen

After breakfast start your walk on the King Ludwig Way, which leads you deep into the heart of Bavaria. Stroll alongside pretty Maisinger Lake on your way to Andechs, where there is a lovely monastery and an excellent small brewery where you can quench your thirst.


Continue on to reach Herrsching, perched on the Ammersee Lake, where you catch the ferry across to Dießen.


Walk: 23km, ascent 320m, descent 370m, 5 hrs approx.


Overnight: Dießen


Day 3: Walk to Wessobrunn

The King Ludwig Way takes you through Dießen, with its charming alleyways and traditional houses, and its imposing Münster; one of the most beautiful baroque churches in Bavaria.


Soon you reach the area of Pfaffenwinkel, which King Ludwig so adored. Emerging from dense forests, catch sight of the first view of the high mountain peak of the Zugspitze, you continue through gentle meadows to the monastery at Wessobrunn.


Walk: 15km, ascent 340m, descent 210m, 4hrs approx.


Overnight: Wessobrunn


Day 4: Walk to Peiting

A hearty breakfast this morning will ensure you’re ready for a day of rewarding hiking. The trail continues passes sleepy villages  to the foot of Hoher Peissenberg (3261 ft).  The welcoming terrace of the Gasthof at Eibenwald is the perfect spot to replenish your energy.


From the summit you can either continue on foot down to pretty Peiting, or take the train (payable locally) which will shorten today’s walk by 6km.


Walk: 20-24km, 640m ascent, 610m descent, 6-7 hrs approx.


Overnight: Peiting


Day 5: Walk to Wildsteig

From Peiting you walk through dense forest and the stunning gorge of the Ammerschlucht, Bavaria’s ‘Grand Canyon’ and one of the absolute highlights of the entire trail.


Pass through the gorge via a network of steps, bridges and short climbs, giving you a real sense of adventure. Follow the path to Rottenbuch with views of your constant companion, the Ammergau mountains. Today’s walk ends in the small farming village of Wildsteig, which is delightfully off the tourist trail.


Walk: 17km, 440m ascent, 350m descent, 4-5 hrs approx.


Overnight: Wildsteig


Day 6: Walk to Buching

Today you can choose between two variants of the King Ludwig Way; a slightly shorter route via the Bavarian villages of the Trauchgau, or a longer walk across moorland and via Steingaden.


Whichever option you choose, start by crossing meadows with views of the Alps, before reaching the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wieskirche, a baroque masterpiece of space and light with magnificent frescoes. From here you choose whether you’d like to continue to Buching on a longer or shorter walk.


Walk: 26-30km, 405m ascent, 455m descent, 5h30 or 6-7hrs approx.


Overnight: Buching


Day 7: Walk to Füssen, Castles of Neuschwanstein & Hohenschwangau

The final stage of the King Ludwig Way is amongst the finest hikes in Germany. Admire the castles of Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwwangau and the huge chasm of the Pöllatschlucht gorge.


Whilst the castles can be visited today, we would recommend booking an extra night in charming Füssen in order to visit the castles, monastery and other attractions in a more leisurely manner. Regular buses and alternative walking routes connect Füssen and the castles.


Walk: 19km, 380m ascent, 320m descent, 5-6 hrs approx.


Overnight: Füssen


Day 8: Onward Travel

If you’ve not booked an extra night in Füssen, then check-out after breakfast and bid farewell to the foothills of the Alps.

Accommodation

You’ll stay 7 nights in carefully chosen properties that are a mix of comfortable 3-4* hotels, traditional guesthouses and country inns.  


The properties we offer are in our opinion the best along the way; close to the path, in pretty settings, and offering an authentic experience of Bavaria.  


A list of our preferred/usual accommodation choices is given below, however these are subject to availability and particularly in peak season can be very much in demand. If unavailable then we will book you into accommodation of the same or a higher standard.  


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo walkers and a supplement is payable as some of the costs are not shared. Single rooms are available should some of your party wish to have their own room and a single supplement is again then payable. 


Meals

7
Breakfasts are included. Packed lunches are available from your
accommodation (order the night before) or you can stop on the way; there
are plenty of biergarten and kiosks to satisfy your thirst and
appetite! Dinners are not included but available at all overnight
accommodation or close by.



 


Accommodation

You’ll stay 7 nights in carefully chosen properties that are a mix of comfortable 3-4* hotels, traditional guesthouses and country inns.  


The properties we offer are in our opinion the best along the way; close to the path, in pretty settings, and offering an authentic experience of Bavaria.  


A list of our preferred/usual accommodation choices is given below, however these are subject to availability and particularly in peak season can be very much in demand. If unavailable then we will book you into accommodation of the same or a higher standard.  


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo walkers and a supplement is payable as some of the costs are not shared. Single rooms are available should some of your party wish to have their own room and a single supplement is again then payable. 


Meals

7
Breakfasts are included. Packed lunches are available from your
accommodation (order the night before) or you can stop on the way; there
are plenty of biergarten and kiosks to satisfy your thirst and
appetite! Dinners are not included but available at all overnight
accommodation or close by.



 



 

 

 




Hotel Fischerhaus

A warm welcome awaits you from Anja, Sophie and the rest of the team at this lovely historical hotel. Located just 150m from peaceful Starnberger Lake, the hotel has all the amenities you may need for a more than pleasant stay!


 

 

 


 

 

 




Bayerischer Hof

An historic hotel, lovingly restored in 2009 but still oozing old world charm. The Bayerischer Hof is very conveniently located, steps away from the trains taking you to Munich and just across the road from the beautiful Starnberger lake.p>


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Maurer Hansl - Diessen



Hotel Maurer Hansl

A small hotel with only 8 rooms, each independently and lovingly decorated to a theme. Breakfast is a real highlight of your stay here, with boiled eggs, avocado, fresh bread and just about anything else you could imagine!


 

 

 


 

 

 



Gasthof zur Post - Wessobrunn



Gasthof zur Post

This lovely hotel dates from 1460 and has a long history. Delight in traditional home-made cakes, tarts and other Bavarian fare in the wood-pannelled restaurant. There is also a sun terrace and lovely beer garden


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Pfaffenwinkel - Peiting



Hotel Pfaffenwinkel

A small hotel decorated in typical Bavarian style. Centrally located in peaceful Pieting, a good night’s sleep awaits you in this simple yet clean and comfortable hotel


 

 

 


 

 

 



Landgasthof Zur Post - Wildsteig



Landgasthof Zur Post

This lovely hotel dates from 1460 and has a long history. Delight in traditional home-made cakes, tarts and other Bavarian fare in the wood-pannelled restaurant. There is also a sun terrace and lovely beer garden


 

 

 


 

 

 



Alpchalet Schwanstein - Buching



Alpchalet Schwanstein

A wonderfully located 4* hotel, quiet, calm and surrounded by a mountain panorama. Renovated in 2012, the hotel has bright and modern rooms, and handy amenities such as a kettle and fridge in your room


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Sonne - Fussen



Hotel Sonne

This 4* hotel has lots of character with individually decorated rooms. Located in the centre of pedestrian-friendly Fuessen and offering a comprehensive breakfast buffet, this is a great hotel to finish your King Ludwig Way adventure!


 

 

 

Availability

This walk is available to start on any day of the week between May and October.


Oktoberfest: If you are planning on travelling between mid-September and the first week of October, please note that availability is usually extremely limited due to Oktoberfest, and it is essential that you book a considerable time in advance.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.This walk is available for solo walkers but we would recommend that you are experienced in walking and navigating alone. If you are travelling solo the holiday is slightly more expensive as some costs are not shared.


Grade & Fitness

This walk is graded moderate and is suitable for all with a good level of walking fitness. Generally there is not much in the way of significant ascents, other than Day 4 with the ascent of Hohen Preißenberg, which you can shorten by train. The route follows good paths and tracks, and each day you’ll be walking for between 16-30km. You can often shorten the walks by taking public transport. The path through the Ammerschlucht gorge crosses bridges, ladders and sometimes rocky ground, so care is needed on this section.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The King Ludwig Way is comprehensively way-marked  with a blue ‘K’ on a white background, all along the trail. We supply you with excellent 1:50 000 maps, and detailed route notes, so you can easily find your way. 


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example proper rain gear, sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. This includes good waterproof gear, walking shoes/boots, and lots of other useful bits and bobs.


Getting to Starnberg

By Air: Munich is the most convenient airport. From Munich there are regular train connections (duration approx. 15-20 mins) with regional trains and the S-Bahn. For further information visit the website of Deutsche Bahn for timetables and tickets.


By Rail: Munich Hauptbahnhof has excellent connections for trains throughout Europe. Again, please visit www.bahn.co.uk for information.  


By Road: Please let us know if you are planning to arrive in Starnberg by car; so that we can inform your first hotel and check as to availability of parking. Please note that there can be a charge for parking your car (if available) at the first hotel for the duration of your walk. It is essential to check this in advance.


Departing Füssen

In Füssen there is a train station and there are many connections to various other stations in South Germany, such as Munich (duration approx. 2 hrs) or Augsburg (duration 1h40) where you can continue your journey throughout Europe or to Munich Airport.

Included

  • 7 Nights in hand-picked 3-4 star small hotels, guesthouses and country inns.
  • 7 Breakfasts.
  • Daily door to door luggage transfers.
  • Ferry from Herrsching to Dießen.
  • Detailed route descriptions with maps and a comprehensive pre-departure information pack.
  • 24/7 telephone support from our German and UK offices.

Excluded

  • Flights and travel to Starnberg and from Füssen.
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Optional ferry journey on Day 1.
  • Taxi transfers or public transportation if you wish to shorten a walk.
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program.

Extras

  • Single room supplement(s) if applicable.
  • Solo walker supplement if applicable.
  • Additional nights during the holiday.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised so that we can secure the best accommodation options for you. If you are considering booking during Oktoberfest, then making arrangements as soon as possible is essential, as this area is extremely popular during September and October.

How fit do I need to be?

This walk is graded moderate and is suitable for all with a good level of walking fitness. Generally there is not much in the way of significant ascents, other than Day 4 with the ascent of Hohen Preißenberg, which you can shorten by train. The route follows good paths and tracks, and each day you’ll be walking for between 16-30km, but can usually shorten the walks by taking public transport. The path through the Ammerschlucht gorge crosses bridges, ladders and sometimes rocky ground, so care is needed on this section.  This tour is suitable for walkers with good physical fitness.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

What equipment do I need?

Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

When is the best time of year?

You can enjoy this tour from the beginning of May, to mid-October. Spring is great as blossoms are on the trees, and we also particularly love later in the season, when the autumn colours of Upper Bavaria are simply stunning. 

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport or a local taxi to continue to your next overnight stop. Your accommodations will be able to help with arrangements, or we are able to assist you from our German and UK office. 

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureThe King Ludwig Way
 
4.5

(based on 22 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun (16)
  • Great accommodations (16)
  • Well organised (16)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (10)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Holiday (14)
  • Relaxation (10)
  • Trying something new (10)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Occasional traveller (9), World traveller (9)

Reviewed by 22 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Amazing!!!

By Allison

from California

About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Relaxation
    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure The King Ludwig Way:

    What an amazing trip! I had the best time. The trip was well organized and the accommodations were very nice. The directions/maps were easy to follow. I (female) went on the trek solo and would not hesitate to do that again.

     
    4.0

    beautifull bavaria

    By yuval, ziv, sagi. gal & amit

    from israel

    About Me World Traveller

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Great Accommodations
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Holiday
      • Trying Something New

      Comments about macs adventure The King Ludwig Way:

      the trip was very well orgenized, accomodation were good and the last hotel in Fussen (hotel sonne) is a real jem. the colours of fall in the forests were ausome. the views gets better as you come closer to the alps. the only complaint is that the trail contains too long sections of walking on asphalt otherwise its a great trail/

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      A challenging walk through gorgeous Bavaria

      By Lisa, the walker

      from Bloomington, Indiana, USA

      About Me Nature lover, Walking enthusiast, World Traveller

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Breweries, Monasteries
      • Great Accommodations
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Orderly, Pristine Bavaria
      • Rolling Hills
      • Shrines and Stations of the Cross
      • Well Organised

      Cons

      • A few lengthy days
      • Challenging hill climbs
      • Slippery bridges through Gorge

      Best Uses

      • Great food and drinking
      • Health and Exercise
      • Holiday
      • Pilgrimage

      Comments about macs adventure The King Ludwig Way:

      My husband and I just returned from our incredible walk through gorgeous Bavaria. Our trail winded through pristine farm and pasture land, tall forests, quaint little villages, a world heritage site and a stunning gorge. While the Alps were off in the distance becoming closer each day, we did a fair amount of climbing as each little village was at the top of a hill. The people were kind, the food and drink were revitalizing and the pristine beauty of Bavaria was breath-taking. And, what a treat to complete the trail with visits to King Ludwig's Castles! A great end to a great trail.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      An Excellent Walk

      By Edward

      from Sydney

      About Me Occasional Traveller

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Great Accommodations
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday
        • Relaxation

        Comments about macs adventure The King Ludwig Way:

        A great walk through a variety of landscapes from slightly challenging in the Ammerschlucht through to wonderful beautiful agricultural scenery from Wildsteig to Hegratsriedsee, without ignoring the beautiful and stunning lakeside scenery of Starnbergersee and Ammersee. Route notes were accurate and easy to follow! The best walk I've done in Germany!

         
        5.0

        Great walking adventure with relatively easy paths/trails.

        By Mahina

        from Oregon

        About Me World Traveller

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fun
        • Great Accommodations
        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
        • Well Organised

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Holiday
          • Relaxation
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure The King Ludwig Way:

          Enjoyed the King Ludwig Way. Very precise directions and maps. Accommodations were nice with good food along the way as well as options to buy food in towns along the way. Walking was relatively easy, with well marked trails. Ammerschult gorge was fun (even on a rainy day), however couldn't see much of the gorge from the trail. Day 5's hike to Buching was a highlight as we headed towards the Alps all day. Baggage transfer and finding our inns each night went smoothly.

           
          4.0

          A well organised holiday

          By Barry

          from London

          About Me Occasional Traveller

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Great Accommodations
          • Well Organised

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Holiday
            • Trying Something New

            Comments about macs adventure The King Ludwig Way:

            We were obviously a little nervous at doing a holiday which involved seven different hotels, as well as taxi rides and baggage transfers all needing to go smoothly. However, everything went as planned and all we needed to concentrate on was enjoying our walking, and all the other stuff just seemed to happen. I expect we'll be back to do another one in future.

             
            5.0

            My husband and I really enjoyed this very challenging hike.

            By MEP

            from Virginia, USA

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Challenging
            • Fun
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Trying Something New

              Comments about macs adventure The King Ludwig Way:

              The accommodations varied, some were very nice and one or two were just ok. But since we were only in our rooms for less a day, it wasn't that big of a deal. Following the maps is half the challenge but there was one instance where we ended up way off track. For the most part, the trails were marked very well. The scenery was absolutely magnificent. Pastures, farmland, forests, and a river gorge. We saw very few people on the trail. All we heard was cow bells and church bells. Wonderful and once in a lifetime experience.

               
              5.0

              This trip was definitely one of the best we have ever done!

              By Bogie & Bacall

              from Tennessee, USA

              About Me World Traveller

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Fun
              • Great Accommodations
              • Well Organised

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Holiday
                • Relaxation

                Comments about macs adventure The King Ludwig Way:

                We have nothing but praise for this well-organized trip that had some of the best accommodations we have ever enjoyed. The King Ludwig Way is exceptionally waymarked and the route notes were perfect. The trail itself is diverse with mountains, fields, lakes, pastures small towns, and beautiful churches.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                King Ludwig Way

                By Sue/Ian

                from Stockport

                About Me Occasional Traveller

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Fun
                • Great Accommodations
                • Well Organised

                Cons

                • One walk needs alternative route

                Best Uses

                • Trying Something New

                Comments about macs adventure The King Ludwig Way:

                Despite the trepidation we felt due to the late upgrade of this holiday from 'Easy to Moderate' to 'Moderate', it was a super trip with all the maps, hotel bookings and route plans working well. A delightful area with lots to look at along every walk although there does need to be an alternative route offered to the 3.5 km of the Ammerschlucht Gorge as the footpaths and ladder bridges have not been maintained well and are dangerous in parts - not for the faint-hearted! Nearly all of the accommodation was in traditional Bavarian inns with only one (Buching) being more modern - still comfortable though.The weather was mixed and we were reluctant but able to resort to public transport on one day of torrential rain. Fussen and its glorious castles were well worth the walk though and the final hotel was a welcome and well-deserved night of luxury.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great holiday with variety of scenery

                By Dave and Louise

                from Wolverhampton (currently sat in Fußen)

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Fun
                • Great Accommodations
                • Looked after
                • Well Organised

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Holiday

                  Comments about macs adventure The King Ludwig Way:

                  We are just sitting in a bar in Fussen having finished the King Ludwig Way yesterday. The change in scenery from the start when the Alps were a distant hazy blue on the horizon to towering over us at the finish shows the variety (and length) of this walk. This has been a great experience, seeing Germany off the beaten track and staying in quiet farming villages to busy tourist towns. Accommodation has included country Gasthofs where we were the only guests to a trendy 4 star hotel at the end to spend our evenings. At the start around Starnberg and particularly the end near Fussen we have seen other walkers and cyclists, but in the middle days we had long periods on tracks and lanes completely by ourselves. On one day there was torrential rain and the gorge we were due to walk through became dangerous. My wife was very impressed that our hotel was phoned at breakfast and arrangements made to drive us around the dangerous part of the walk, this showed the level of care given. In all we have walked over 100 miles and are still smiling but recommend the extra day off to relax at the end!

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