The King Ludwig Way
- Walk from beautiful Lake Starnberg to the iconic castles of Füssen
- A hint of adventure in the Ammer and Pöllatschlucht gorges
- Monasteries, churches and picture-postcard villages, unique to Bavaria
- Relax with a delicious Bratwurst and mug of beer at the end of the day
- Visit the fairy-tale castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau
ItineraryDay 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!
This traditional hotel is located in the city center of Lake Starnberg, with the lakeside promenade and a boat-going steamer dock right in front of the house.
Hotel Fischerhaus is a small hotel with a personal touch in the heart of Starnberg, located only 150m from the lake. The hotel has 11 individually decorated rooms and is a true home when you are away from home as it combines traditional Bavarian hospitality with elegance and charm just as in the buildings of the famous fairytale king.
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 to reach Herrsching, perched on the Ammersee Lake, where you catch the ferry across to Dießen.
A typical Bavarian family run hotel. This hotel has all the necessary amenities and services for a pleasant and comfortable stay.
This elegant boutique hotel is housed in a building dating from 1580. Hotel Maurerhansl offers rooms with unique furniture that has retained its original features. It is centrally located in Dießen am Ammersee.
Dieses familiengeführte Hotel begrüßt Sie im Herzen von Dießen, nur 50 m vom Ammersee entfernt.
The King Ludwig Way takes you through Dießen with its charming alleyways, traditional houses, and its imposing Münster, one of Bavaria's most beautiful baroque churches.
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 before you continue through gentle meadows to the monastery at Wessobrunn. Depending on availability, you may be staying in Paterzell this evening. Continue on the trail from Wessobrunn through the romantic forest to the hamlet of Schönwag. From here, follow the winding trail and the brilliant KLW waymarking until you reach Paterzell.
Walk to Wessobrunn: 14km, ascent 240m, descent 14 m
Walk to Paterzell: 18km, ascent 240m, descent 70m
You'll be welcomed to the friendly and familiar hotel in the idyllic village of Paterzell. Here between the foothills of the Hohenpeißenberg and Germany's only yew forest you'll find the country inn.
A charming and traditional Bavarian style guesthouse. Friendly staff and comfortable and clean rooms make for a lovely stay. The hotel has an on-site restaurant where you can taste Bavarian specialties.
Your hosts, the Edenhofer family, warmly welcomes their hiking guests with family hospitality. Surrounded by wonderful meadows and mountains, Gasthof zum Löwen is situated in a quiet and sunny location, beautifully embedded between the two villages Zell am Ziller and Kaltenbach.
A hearty breakfast this morning will ensure you’re ready for a day of rewarding hiking. The trail continues passed 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.
If you stayed in Paterzell last night instead of Wessobrunn, today's walk will be 4km shorter (18.5km)
The small and friendly family run Hotel Pfaffenwinkel has been welcoming walkers for many years.
The Alpine-style, family-run Hotel-Gasthof Zum Dragoner is located in the village center of Peiting.
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. Depending on availability, you may be staying in Wildsteig or Pieting for a second night. An included taxi transfer will collect you from Wildsteig, takes you back to Pieting for your overnight, and return you to the trailhead the next day. As a third option, you may be staying in Steingaden, further along, the trail from Wildsteig. In this case, you will continue through the forest and meadows to Steingaden.
Walk to Wildsteig: 14km, ascent, 271m, descent, 117m
Walk to Steingaden: 24km, ascent, 315m, descent, 290m
Landhotel & Gasthof Kirchberger is a traditional rural Inn. Family Bertl and their team give a warm welcome to their guests in this small but very comfortable rural hotel. The rooms have been renovated and redecorated in 2013, now combining traditional charm and modern comfort.
Traditional country guesthouse in the pretty and tranquil village of Wildsteig.
Diese traditionelle Pension begrüßt Sie inmitten der bayerischen Landschaft in Steingaden, einen Katzensprung vom großen Forggensee entfernt. Die gemütlichen Zimmer im familiengeführten Gasthof Graf sind alle mit Holzmöbeln eingerichtet.
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.
If you spent last night in Peiting, a morning taxi transfer will bring you to the trailhead at Wildsteig. If you spent last night in Steingaden, today's walk will be 10km shorter (18km)
A warm welcome awaits you from Philip and Frau Joachim. Rooms are comfy and spacious with traditional alpine décor. Relax in the newly added spa, complete with Finnish sauna, bio sauna, salt stone sauna, infrared sauna and steam room.
A very warm welcome awaits you at this wonderful accommodation. Complete with free wifi and a sun terrace to catch those rays, this hotel offers everything you need for a pleasant overnight. There is also a traditional Bavarian style on-site restaurant serving local specialities.
The final stage of the King Ludwig Way is amongst the finest hikes in Germany. Admire the castles of Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau 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 to visit the castles, monastery and other attractions in a more leisurely manner. Regular buses and alternative walking routes connect Füssen and the castles.
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 begin your Alpine crossing adventure.
The hotel is conveniently located and a great place to finish your adventure. From your room, you will either have a forest- or mountain view. Moreover, the hotel has its own restaurant, bar, and Spa section.
This traditional, 3-star hotel dating from 1908 is set in a grassy valley in the Allgäu region. It is located in front of a beautiful, quiet backdrop in the Allgäu Alps, only a 15-minute walk from the center of Füssen.
If you’ve not booked an extra night in Füssen, then check-out after breakfast and bid farewell to the foothills of the Alps.
Other InformationIs it for me?
If you are going to do one walk in Germany then the King Ludwig Way is probably the one you should choose. Easy to moderately graded walks reward you with the beauty of the Upper Bavarian countryside, including stunning lakes, magical gorges and the spectacle of two world-famous picture-postcard fairytale castles; Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.
Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!
Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.
Solo Travellers, Groups > 10
As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveller this holiday would be suitable for is: 12 Years
This walk is graded easy to 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.
This tour is suitable for walkers with good physical fitness as there are some longer walking days. 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.
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. Please be aware that twin & double rooms in Germany (Doppelzimmer in German) are typically 2 single mattresses side by side in one double bed frame with two separate duvet covers and pillows. 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.
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.
The King Ludwig Way is comprehensively way-marked with a blue ‘K’ on a white background, all along the trail. All of the walks are way-marked, and we also provide you with turn-by-turn instructions for each walk, maps and access to our GPS smartphone navigation app, so you will have no problem finding your way.
- 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 information pack, route notes and access to our navigation app
- 24/7 telephone support from our German and UK offices
- 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
- Additional nights during the holiday
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.
The Alpine foothills are usually sunny during the summer, however recent years have shown that the weather here, as in most parts of the world, is becoming increasingly unpredictable. You should be prepared for all weather eventualities and pack accordingly.
By Air: Munich is the most convenient airport. 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 the parking availability. 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.
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.
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.
The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.
Please be prepared by packing all the necessary items, such as proper rain gear, sun hat, and sunscreen. Your information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. This includes good waterproof gear, walking shoes/boots, and many other useful bits and bobs.
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