For most people I know Germany isn’t the first place you’d think to visit in the middle of summer, unless you’re going on a city break to Berlin, Cologne or Munich. However, if you are into skiing then you may have heard of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a Bavarian alpine village popular with fans of the sport in the winter season.
I had a week booked off from work earlier this year and wanted to go somewhere with mountains, maybe in the Alps. After a fair bit of googling and looking at fancy Swiss spa’s (and not being able to afford that type of holiday) we stumbled upon this little town. And so we booked ourselves into a very old looking hotel and rented a car so we could explore Bavaria.
We flew to Munich, and then proceeded to have a very drunken night out with some local friends. Very fun, but ensued a hangover I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. In this bleary state, we made the drive to the mountains.
We arrived in the summer when Europe was having that mad heat wave so first on our agenda for a day trip was Lake Eibsee, somewhere we could cool down! The lake lies at the bottom of Germany’s highest mountain (Zugspitze), and I have really never seen anywhere like it. If you like walking you can walk round the whole lake which takes a couple of hours, stopping off every now and again at different sections for a picnic or a dip…
Serious Jurassic Park vibes..?
In 32 degrees the lake was very welcome.
It’s really worth a trip if you visit Bavaria!
& back to the town of Garmish. Danke…
The streets of Garmish.
View from our hotel, of which was admittedly a little bit creepy (a maintenance man from the hotel kept appearing on our balcony – cue nightmarish daydreaming of me thinking we would be murdered).
The second main place to visit on our list was Mount Wank – yes, you did read that correctly. There is a great cable car that is half the price of the one up Zugspitze with amazing views over Garmisch and the surrounding mountains (German and Austrian I believe). Not one for people who are scared of heights, however I am and I found it even enjoyable at times (just don’t look down too much). You can get off at the top and have a little walk around and a couple of German beers if you’re that way inclined. Very leisurely, also takes the edge off on the way down.
I’d really recommend a visit to this area of Germany in the summer or winter. I imagine it would be such a different experience in winter, and the town is amazing with so many little authentic German places to eat and drink. With the snow it would be even more like a fairytale town. 3-4 nights was enough for us as the town of Garmish itself is quite small – unless you were keen to do lots of day trips I’d say that would be an optimum time to stay.
A fact I learned whilst there is that it’s a personal favourite spot to holiday for the Sultan of Oman, which makes it a very popular place to visit for tourists from the Gulf region. There were lots of Arabic signs and hospitality to welcome these guests. I find it so fascinating to see how these small remote places adapt to the changing landscape of tourism.