- Discover the baroque Ettal Abbey at the heart of a Benedictine monastery
- Experience the mountain vistas of Bavaria and Austria’s Tyrol region
- Hike around the crystal clear Eibsee, at the foot of Germany’s tallest peak
- Explore charming Alpine towns including Garmisch-Partenkirchen
- Dine on hearty regional specialities like pretzels, local sausage and Kaiserschmarrn
This walking holiday takes you to the foot of the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain at 2,962m. Follow panoramic trails through mountainous scenery and traditional Alpine towns and villages.
Immerse yourself in Germanic Alpine culture; hike from town to town, and enjoy loop walks to make the most of the area’s fantastic hiking opportunities. Your adventure begins in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, and finishes in the Tyrolean town of Ehrwald in Austria.
The walks are varied; walk to the imposing, baroque Ettal Abbey at the heart of the Benedictine monastery. Hike the dramatic 150m deep ‘Hells Valley’ gorge and take a ride on the ‘Zugspitzbahn’ to the scenic Eibsee lake. At the end of the day you can look forward to relaxing in comfortable, hand-picked accommodations with a refreshing Bavarian beer.
Day 1: Arrive Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Welcome to the Ammergauer Alps! Oberammergau is easily accessible from Munich airport by train (approx. 2 hours).The town is well-known amongst outdoor enthusiasts and is a great place to start your hiking adventure.
Day 2: Transfer to Ettal and Walk to Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Today’s hike is a real highlight. Transfer to Ettal and walk to Garmisch, passing the impressive Ettal Abbey on the way. With a dramatic Alpine backdrop, the huge majestic the monastery is worth a few minutes pause to take it all in. Continue through the ‘Giessenbachtal’ valley to Garmisch, where you will be spending the next three nights. A popular skiing resort in winter, the town is also a hiker’s heaven, due to its proximity to the Zugspitze and various other peaks and trails in the area. Considered the Alpine capital of Germany, the town centre is traditional yet vibrant, with lots of restaurants and activities on offer.
Walk: 20.5 km, 680m Ascent, 810m Descent
Day 3: Choice of Walks, Panorama Trail around Vank or Walk through the Höllentalklamm
Panorama Trail: After a delicious breakfast at your hotel, take the cable car to the summit of Vank at 1,780m above sea level. Follow a loop walk around the mountain which offers continuously beautiful views of the surrounding peaks.
Höllentalklamm: Explore the 150m deep gorges of the ‘Höllentalklamm’, or ‘Hell’s Valley’ in English. Follow this adventurous, circular route over paths and bridges passing countless waterfalls and imposing boulders up to the Höllentalanger Hut.
Finish the day enjoying a Bavarian delicacy in one of the traditional mountain huts while taking in views of the Zugspitze and the rest of the Wetterstein range.
Walk: 13.5 km, 270m Ascent, 1280m Descent
Or Walk: 11.5 km, 930m Ascent, 930m Descent
Day 4: Walk to Ehrwald
This morning, begin with an exciting trip on the ‘Zugspitzbahn’ to reach Eibsee, where today’s hike starts. Enjoy a relaxed hike around the crystal-clear waters of the Eibsee lake. An oasis embedded in the dramatic, rocky landscape, it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful lakes of the Bavarian Alps. Continue through varied scenery and cross into Austria and the distinct region of Tyrol. Come to the town of Ehrwald, a small Tyrolean village nestled at the foot of the Wetterstein mountain chain. Located at 1,000m above sea-level and in a sunny basin, it’s a fantastic place to spend the last two nights of your adventure.
Walk: 17.5 km, 580m Ascent, 580m Descent
Day 5: Walk around the pastures of Ehrwald
Your final day of walking explores the scenic Alpine meadows and pastures that surround the town of Ehrwald.
On the sunny side of the Zugspitze; walk from Lähn to Bichlbacher ‘Alm’ (pasture/farm), Grünen Ups and finally to Lermooser Tuftlalm. Enjoy traditional Tyrolean dishes and locally made dairy-products as well as final views to the ever-impressive Zugspitze.
Finish the day enjoying a Bavarian delicacy in one of the traditional mountain huts while taking in views of the Zugspitze and the rest of the Wetterstein range.Walk: 11.5 km, 780m Ascent, 900m Descent
Day 6: Onward Travel
Enjoy a final breakfast in Ehrwald and reflect on your Zugspitze adventure before checking our of your hotel and starting your onward travel.
If you have time to spare, why not add some additional nights to your trip? A trip with the Zugspitzbahn to the summit (2,962m), where you can enjoy views over four countries, is highly recommended (add an additional night in Ehrwald for this activity)
Spend 5 nights in 3 and 4* hotels and guesthouses. All of our accommodations are hand-picked and offer a warm welcome to walkers. You will find an example of the accommodation we normally use below. If these accommodations are not available we will use a hotel of a similar of better standard than those described. Upgraded accommodation is also available, please contact us for more information.
Please be aware that twin & double rooms in Austria and Germany (Doppelzimmer in German) are typically 2 single mattresses side by side in one double bed frame with two separate duvet covers and pillows.
Single Rooms & Solo Walkers
This trip is available to solo walkers but a solo walker supplement is payable. We recommend that solo walkers be experienced Alpine hikers. Single rooms and double rooms for single occupancy are available should someone in your party wish to have their own room, again a supplement is payable.
5 breakfasts are included in the cost of your trip.Breakfast is always buffet-style with various options available. Expect a continental breakfast with bread, jams, pastries, yoghurt and muesli available. Usually there are also local meats and cheeses, eggs and fruit on offer.
Dinners and all lunches are not included so you have the freedom to choose from what’s on offer each day. You may be able to order a packed lunch at your accommodation for the following day, or you can find bakeries and shops in each town to stock up on food for your hikes. There are plenty of options for dinner each night, either at your hotel or in nearby restaurants. Dinner is included at the mountain hut.
Food in Austria and Bavaria is hearty and traditional, with meat and cheese being some of the dominant ingredients! Tiroler specialities include ‘Tiroler Gröstl’, a bacon, onion and potato fry-up topped with a fried egg. In Bavaria, sausage is king so be sure to try one of their specialities like ‘Weisswurst’. ’Käsespätzle’ is a kind of eggy pasta topped with melted cheese and sometimes crispy fried onion– it’s the ultimate comfort food. Bavarian beer is world-famous and for good reason! Enjoy a refreshing ‘stein’ after a day of walking– delicious.
Hotel Schatten - Garmisch
This is a traditional hotel located in the heart of Garmisch. Enjoy genuine Bavarian hospitality with satisfying regional cuisine, bright rooms and a warm atmosphere.
Mair's Landgasthof - Ehrwald
This country inn is in a sunny location offering a fabulous mountain panorama. Rooms are furnished in typical Tyrolean style– each one unique! You’ll no doubt meet your charming host, Claudia, at breakfast.
Time of Year & Availability
You can start your Bavarian adventure on any day between the middle of May and the end of October. Please keep in mind that the weather can be changeable at high altitudes, and cold fronts can occur even in the summer (snowfall in the Alps at the height of summer is not unheard of). Any time during this
period is ideal for walking, mid-July to mid- August is high season and
the towns along the way will be busy with local holiday makers. June and July is the ideal time to catch the Alpine wildflowers in full bloom.
Grade & Terrain
This tour is rated moderate. Distances vary from 11– 20km, and the ascent/descent is considerable, ranging between 300-1,000m each day. To get the most from this tour you should be in good physical shape, be sure-footed and comfortable using cable cars.
Navigation, Route Notes & Maps
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.
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 during the trip
Some walks can be started directly at your hotel, and some require short transfers by local bus or cable car. These transfers are not included in the cost of the trip and are payable locally. The approx. the total cost of public transport during this trip is 40 euros per person.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.
The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.
Getting to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and from Ehrwald
By Air: Fly into Munich airport from where you can take a train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen (approx. 3 hours with one change).
From Ehrwald, simply take the train back to Munich airport (approx. 3 hours with one change)
Train times and more info can be found in English at www.bahn.de/en
- 5 Nights in 3 & 4 star hotels
- 6 breakfasts
- Bag transfer as per the itinerary
- Detailed information pack, route notes, maps and access to our navigation app
- 24/7 support from our UK office
- Travel insurance (required)
- Travel to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and from Ehrwald
- Lunches and Dinners
- Public transport (including cable cars)
- Drinks and snacks
- Personal equipment
- Additional nights before, during or after the walk
- Single Room Supplement(s)
- Solo Walker Supplement
How fit do I need to be?
This tour is rated moderate. Distances vary from 11– 20km, and the ascent/descent is considerable, ranging between 300-1,000m each day. To get the most from this tour you should be in good physical shape, be sure-footed and comfortable using cable cars. The terrain is alpine, and paths are a mixture of woodland trails, rocky mountain paths, gravel tracks, boulder strewn-paths and faint, narrow grassy trails
Which is the best airport to fly to?
The closest airport is Munich Airport which is served by flights from throughout Europe and around the world.
How far in advance do I need to book?
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised. This is a very popular area with holiday makers!
What personal equipment do I need?
You will need good walking shoes/trail shoes with a solid sole and good grip, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers a day pack and hats. Your information pack 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. A detailed kit list is included in your information pack.
How do the baggage transfers work?
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. Simply leave your luggage at the reception of your hotel by 9am and it will be delivered to your next hotel before 5pm.
When is the best time of year?
You can start your Bavarian adventure on any day between the middle of May and the end of October. Please keep in mind that the weather can be changeable at high altitudes, and cold fronts can occur even in the summer (snowfall in the Alps at the height of summer is not unheard of).