Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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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: 16km, 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.


 



 

 

 




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.


Please note that the hotel Gasthof zur Post in Wessobrun will be closed from the 12th-26th of June 2019 for refurbishment. During this time we will book you an additional night in Peiting and transfers from Wessobrun to Peiting and back again the next morning, so you can still walk the trail as planned. There will be a supplementary charge for this of approx. 40 GBP. 


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. 

Good Walk

3

A well organised walking tour with clear direction information and reliable baggage transfer. Hotels varied, some ok and a couple totally unacceptable

Tony Gear

Sandbach

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Amazing

5

My family and I are in love with Bavaria. The KLW trip was one of the best trips we have ever taken. Mac's provided us with all the details we needed. The trip was challenging at times, but rewarding every step of the way. I will remember this trip fondly for years to come. I can't wait to try another adventure.

Kara the Wanderer

Kansas

true

Wonderful relaxing vacation!

5

Having a trip planned for you but still being on your own to explore was the best of both worlds.

CraigTeresa

Sacramento

Amazing scenery in beautiful Bavaria

5

My teenaged son and I, his mother, just walked the King Ludwig Way. We were looking for a hike that would be fun to do together; that would match the walking skills of each of us; and that would introduce us to the sights and sounds of Bavaria up close and personal. We were not disappointed! This was my second Macs Adventure - I walked the West Highland Way last year; and this was my son's first long thru hike, although he is an avid hiker and very fit. We walked for 6 days, with hikes ranging from 8-17 miles per day. Fortunately for us, the weather was perfect, sunny and warm each day, so that we could enjoy the entire walk without fear of rain, and we could stop every few yards to take more photos of the gorgeous surroundings, from the cows in the pastures with their tinkling bells, to the forests and streams, to the mountains in the distance that became less distant as we approached them, to the adorable houses with their colorful window boxes and gardens. We were able to find lunch to eat along the way every day, so we did not have to pack lunches, just snacks and water. We did not meet any other thru hikers, although there were day hikers and bicyclists out, so this walk does not have the community that the WHW does, but that was okay with us, as we got to spend rare time together. English is not well spoken or understood in the countryside, so come with some basics and your Google Translate! The Macs app was wonderful for mapping out each day and providing GPS service so that you know exactly where you are on the map - we were so happy to have it! We needed our hiking poles, but we walked in running shoes and trail running shoes - tall hiking boots were not necessary. The trail has many flat sections, but definitely does have some rough ascents and descents that we took slowly. We are so glad that we picked this walk, and we will cherish these memories forever!

Bmorekind

Baltimore, Maryland

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Bavarian hospitality

3

Very attractive in parts, though not really a "get away from it all" experience. Quite a lot of road/track walking rather than on footpaths. Great hospitality, beer and food from our various hosts though. Plenty of great refreshment stops along the way. Some hotels rather noisy due to adjacent major roads and/or railways. One in particular was said to have most rooms with balconies and views of mountains, but our room was very cramped, hot and noisy, with no balcony and a view only of the main road. After a long day's walking that was rather disappointing. Walking notes and app all excellent. Great way to see the natives at leisure!

Simon

Norfolk

false

Charm and Challenge on the the King Ludwig Way

5

This was a well-planned and well thought out route. It was not unduly difficult, but the few challenging parts were definitely challenging (more later). We really enjoyed the sense of isolation and met few other people while walking. It helped having perfect weather at the end of June and beginning of July 2018. Day 1 Starnberg to Diessen, standouts were Andechs, the ferry trip on Ammersee and Diessen an interesting, picturesque and chilled little town. Day 2 Diessen to Wessobrunnn, standouts were millions of butterflies in the forested part, brilliant views on a clear day and the Gasthof in Wessobrunn (Alte Post) was absolutely first class, the host friendly and engaging, the food and beer very, very good. Day 3 Wessobrunn to Peiting, heading further South, the mountains begin to get closer. The 30km were probably at our limit, and the climb to Hoher Piessenberg was definitely a challenge in the middle of this long day. We soon forgot about this when we met friends in Peiting for dinner. The hotel was welcoming and comfortable Day 4 Peiting to Wildsteig, standouts were the Ammerschlucht gorge and a nice little cafe in Rottenbuch for lunch. Our only two negatives happened on this day : firstly it was Ruhetag at the hotel in Wildsteig, no one was there to welcome us or explain things and my wife's bag had not been delivered, just mine - having said this, a quick call to Abenteuer Reisen resolved this and the bag was delivered an hour later. Restaurant Strauss in Wildsteig was amazing. Breakfast at the hotel was awesome. Day 5 Wildsteig to Buching was another 30km day, but largely flat. Excellent cafes in Steingaden and at the football field in Prem helped greatly. Passed through some really interesting little villages. Day 6 Buching to Fuessen was a brilliant end, via the castles, Schwansee and finally that nasty mountain right at the finish. Sadly, tourists were unavoidable here in Fuessen. The sense of achievement in completion was amazing.

Phil

NSW

true

Great straightforward walking holiday

4

Lovely walking holiday which was taken at a fairly leisurely pace. Quite a bit of the walking was in forest or on roads albeit lovely and quiet. Route notes and app was a great combination and made navigation simple. We were there during a hot spell and some of the hotels had no air con or fans so made sleeping almost impossible. Our favourite hotels were Landhotel and Gasthaus ( lovely room and great food) and the Alpchalet Schwanstein ( great fan and massive room with coffee machine!) Fischerhaus on the first night was also a fab place to start. Bit disappointed with Hotel Sonne ( staff and entrance lovely but room cramped and far too hot with a pathetic desk fan as the only option against the oppressive heat). I realise we were there when it was really warm but I would have expected Hotel Sonne to have had a more effective way of keeping their guests comfortable in high summer.

Scottish Lady

Scotland

true

Wonderful walk in Southern Bavaria

5

Wonderful walk through Southern Bavaria in July. I did this walk as a test to see how I would cope walking day after day with a view to doing a more challenging walk in the future. I found it a pleasant days walk each day however a couple of days too short for my liking and I arrived at the next hotel by 12:00. Can't be helped I suppose as the towns are at regular intervals on the path. Virtually all on good paths with just a couple of bits rough terrain. Not too many climbs required either. As for the negatives I've travelled in Germany quite a bit but never been bitten/annoyed by insects as much as doing this so pack insect repellent.

Fraser the first timer

Reading UK

true

Excellent instructions!

5

The walking instructions were precise and up-to-date. Combined with the app on location, it made my solo walk a breeze whether navigating through forest, towns or a farmers back paddock! I really enjoyed the whole experience in beautiful Bavaria and shall return! Thank you!

Brad

Melbourne

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Lovely scenery

5

A well organised walk making good use of the limited accommodation in the rural areas. Route guidance provided by Macs was spot on and although KLW is signposted some of the signs are not in obvious spots or are covered in vegetation. The scenery (mainly woodlands, meadows and churches) in June was stunning with farms busy getting the hay in. We were lucky as the entire trip was sunny and rain free.The only day with too much pavement walking was the long day from from Wildsteig to Buching but could go at a quick pace so actually for us not a long day. Apart from the scenery the thing that made the trip special was the welcome we received from the locals - all very friendly and helpful. Glad we booked an extra night at Fussen at the end as so much to do in the area and a great way to finish the walk. We were booked into the excellent Hotel Sonne; a proper 4 star hotel in a central location. No fault of Macs as the walk is called the King Ludwig Way but very little about King Ludwig on the route, even the start in Starnberg is 5km from where he died in mysterious circumstances.

NG

Lake District

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The King Ludwig Way

4.5 37

94.4

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