- Follow the Salzalpensteig, a historic salt trail, which winds its way through the Bavarian Alps
- Hike from the turquoise shores of Lake Chiemsee to the alpine glacier lake of Königsee
- Walk through the spectacular and wild Weissbachschlucht gorge
- Discover monasteries, fresco churches and picture-postcard villages, unique to Bavaria
- Relax at the end of the day with a stein of locally brewed beer and delicious Apfelstrudel
Follow the Salzalpensteig trail deep into the Bavarian and Berchtesgaden Alps, discovering the rich history of salt mining which has shaped the region. Off the beaten track you will explore the quieter, idyllic side of Bavaria as you walk through small traditional Bavarian villages steeped in local tradition.
Walk on the inn to inn alpine trail from Lake Chiemsee, Bavaria's largest lake and popular weekend destination for the locals, to Lake Konigsee, a lake buried deep in the Bavarian Alps, where the majestic rock cliffs of the Watzmann Mountain tower over its emerald green shores, offering fascinating scenery.
This trail was voted one of Germany’s most beautiful walking trails and marries panoramic views of the Alps with the wild and romantic Weißbachschlucht gorge, rich local history and the most picturesque German alpine villages, renowned for their beauty.
Day 1: Arrive in Bernau am Chiemsee
Travel via train from Munich (1.5 hour) or Salzburg (45 min) to reach Bernau am Chiemsee, located in the southeastern corner of Bavaria.
Go back in time as you wander the streets of this small traditional German village as you spend your first night at the foot of the Bavarian Alps.
If you arrive early you enjoy a walk along the shores of Lake Chiemsee or take the bus to Prien and explore the island of Fraueninsel. Treat yourself to a coffee and a slice of homemade Strudel on your hotel’s
terrace whilst taking in the view of the surrounding peaks.
Overnight: Bernau am Chiemsee
Day 2: Walk from Bernau am Chiemsee to
After a traditional Bavarian breakfast of homemade bread and locally produced cheese and meats, walk along the shimmering waters of Lake Chiemsee, known to the locals as the Bavarian Sea due to its size and popularity as a vacation destination. Keep your eyes peeled for King Ludwig II’s Schloss Herrenchiemsee, a castle modelled after Versailles, located on the largest island of the lake.
Reach Rottau, where you have a choice of routes, you can take the wooden boardwalk through the moorlands of a nature reserve or you can stay on the forested main trail which guides you past the Rottauer waterfall. Both paths lead you back to Marquartstein, where you will spend a second night.
Walk: 14 km, 200m Ascent, 250m Descent
Day 3: Transfer to Bergen, walk to Ruhpolding
Your day will start with a private transfer from your hotel to the Bergen Hochfelln cable car station. Take in the sweeping views of the Chiemgau, the foothills
of the Bavarian Alps, while the cable car makes its way up to the viewing platform.
Take a moment to admire the spectacular panorama view before embarking on your walk. The trail takes you past sprawling alpine meadows and through the heart of the forest which are akin to the more northernly forests which inspired the Grimm fairy tales, until you reach Ruhpolding, a well known winter sport resort
Walk: 16 km, 400m Ascent, 1380m Descent
Day 4: Walk to Inzell
Today walk from Ruhpolding through the Chiemgau Alps to Inzell. Make your way across farmland, accompanied by the faint sound of cowbells, before reaching the clear blue water of Traubensee where the Rauschberg mountain towers over you. This is a perfect place to plan an al fresco picnic; make sure to pick up some homemade bread from the local bakery in Ruhpolding.
The trail continues deep into the leafy green forest as you follow a well worn track
along the mountain side of the Rauschberg mountain until you reach Inzell.
Walk: 15 km, 450m Ascent, 500m Descent
Day 5: Walk to Bad Reichenhall
Enjoy a varied and rewarding walk as today is a longer day which takes you through the wild and romantic Weißbachschlucht Gorge. Walk past the deep blue Thumsee, spot the 17th century, wooden brine pipes as you go which mark the historic salt
path through the mountains. The brine pipes are considered to be the oldest "pipelines" in the world, the brine was transported via these pipelines to the salt works before being stored and converted into the salt which this region is famous for.
You will reach the alpine spa town of Bad Reichenhall at the end of your day. Enjoy a relaxing evening walk through the Royal Spa Garden, one of Europe's most beautiful landscaped gardens with flowers abundantly present.
Walk: 22 km, 300m Ascent, 250m Descent
Overnight: Bad Reichenhall
Day 6: Walk from Bischofwiesen to Ramsau
Take a short bus ride (15min) to Bischofswiesen where your walk to Ramsau commences. This walk provides a little something for everyone, discover wild streams, lush alpine meadows, and panoramic views of the Berchtesgadener National Park.
This varied walk comes to an end in Ramsau, from here take the bus to Berchtesgaden for an overnight stay (journey time approx. 15 min.). Berchtesgaden gained its wealth due to being rich in salt deposits. Being located at the foot of the Watzmann provides a graceful backdrop to the village, and a picture perfect image. At 2713m the Watzmann is the highest peak standing entirely within Germany and towers magnificently over the village.
Walk: 14 km, 540m Ascent, 550m Descent
Day 7: Walk to Königssee
The ascents and descents make todays walk the toughest, but most rewarding walk of the trip. After a hearty breakfast take a short bus ride (15 min) to Ramsau.
Following the brine pipeline which is transporting salt from the salt mines, along the foot of the Watzmann. Enjoy the magnificent views of the majestic, clear blue Königsee Lake and the Berchtesgaden Alps.
Your walk comes to an end at the shoreline of Königsee Lake, take a boat trip on the lake (payable locally) and visit the iconic 12th century St. Bartholomä church which is known for serving freshly smoked trout.
The local bus will bring you back to Berchtesgaden, where you can Prost to finishing the trail with locally brewed beers and a pretzel before saying good bye
to the wonderful scenery.
Walk: 17.5 km, 1100m Ascent, 1600m Descent
Day 8: Onward Travel
Check out from your hotel after breakfast and bid farewell to the foothills of the Alps. The train will take you to Salzburg (45 min) or Munich (3 hours), the closest cities with international airports.
If you have an extra day we would recommend visiting the Eagle’s Nest (6 hour return walk or take a local bus), sitting at 1834 m it is an iconic mountaintop retreat that was built in 1938 for Adolf Hitler which overlooks the Bavarian and Austrian alps, which now is a restaurant.
Stay 7 nights in carefully chosen properties that are a mix of comfortable 3-4* hotels, 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. We carefully select small and friendly accommodation that offers great value, food and welcomes. The properties we normally use are detailed below, however are subject to availability and therefore alternatives of an equal standard may be offered.
You can add extra nights at either side of your tour in Marquartstein, Berchtesgaden or Salzburg - please contact us for details.
Single Rooms & Solo Walkers
This holiday is available to solo walkers, although a single supplement is payable. If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate your request, a single supplement is payable.
Breakfast is included each morning while lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival, alternatively there are local shops and convenient lunch stops on the way. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby restaurants.
Hotel Weßner Hof - Marquartstein
Enjoy your stay at an authentic Bavarian hotel, set in the centre of scenic Marquartstein. Soak in the local culture and tradition, treat yourself to a massage or a piece of home made cake and schnapps which you can enjoy on the terrace. The hotel has a restaurant attached to it which prides itself on creating mouth-watering traditional dishes.
Alpenhotel Wittelsbach - Ruhpolding
Receive a warm welcome from your hosts Anja and Marcus, the hotel offers Bavarian hospitality in a cozy atmosphere Located in the centre of town and with stunning alpine views, the hotel has all the amenities you may need for a more than pleasant stay, including a delicious restaurant.
Alpinhotel Inzeller - Inzell
Stay at this small family-run hotel in Inzell, situated at the foothills of the Chiemgau. Enjoy a stein on the terrace with panorama views of the Bavarian Alps
Hotel Almrausch - Bad Reichenhall
Relax at this renovated Art Nouveau house from 1902. Decorated in an alpine style, it is centrally located and you are just a stones throw from the city centre and the local thermal baths..
Hotel Bavaria - Berchtesgaden
Stay with Petra and Wolfgang in their traditional hotel in the heart of Berchtesgarden. This family-run hotel boasts 100 years of service. Soak your tired muscles in the hotel sauna and take a dip in their Roman Bath.
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 15– 22km, 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 majority of the trail is easy to walk, there are however some steep uphill and downhill sections. There are a couple of sections along narrow paths which are rocky underfoot and can be demanding. Especially after fresh rain fall these sections can
become slippery and you will need to continue with care. The terrain is alpine, and paths are a mixture of woodland trails, rocky mountain paths, gravel tracks, boulder strewn-paths and faint grassy trails.
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. 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 ncludes 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 Bernau am Chiemsee
By Air: Munich airport is the most convenient airport. From Munich there are regular train connections to Bernau am Chiemsee (1.5 hour) via the Munich main train station. For further information visit the website of Deutsche Bahn for timetables and tickets.
Getting from Berchtesgaden
In Berchtesgaden there is a train station with many connections to various other stations in South Germany and Austria, such as Munich (duration approx. 3 hrs) or Salzburg (duration 45min) where you can continue your journey throughout Europe.
You are best to check your most suitable connections on the Deutsche Bahn website
- 7 Nights in 3 & 4 star hotels, guesthouses and country inns
- 7 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 and German offices
- Travel insurance (required)
- Travel to Bernau am Chiemsee and from Berchtesgaden
- 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 15– 22km, 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 majority of the trail is easy to walk, there are however some steep uphill and downhill sections. There are a couple of sections along narrow paths which are rocky underfoot and can be demanding. Especially after fresh rain fall these sections can become slippery and you will need to continue with care. The terrain is alpine, and paths are a mixture of woodland trails, rocky mountain paths, gravel tracks, boulder strewn-paths and faint grassy trails.
Which is the best airport to fly to?
The closest airport is Salzburg or 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).