The Berchtesgaden area offers diversity and variety

In the Berchtesgaden area Bavaria often looks so idyllically, that you ask yourself: “ Is that for real?” We took a look around and brought back ten tips for a perfect vacation in Bavaria.

Berchtesgadener Land County is located in the south-east corner of Bavaria, ranging wedge-shaped into Austria. In the east, south and southwest, the county border is also the state border to Austria.

The Berchtesgaden area can be divided into three geographic regions: The pre-alpine region around Freilassing, the alpine region around Bad Reichenhall and the high-alpine region around Berchtesgaden. Is highest location is the Watzmann summit at an altitude of 2,713 meters.

In 1990, Germany’s only alpine national park, also known as alps park, was named a UNESCO-biosphere reserve. The emerald-green Königsee with its half-peninsula St. Bartholomew and the hunting castle of the Bavarian kings is also world-famous. Germany’s cleanest lake covers an area of about five square kilometers, is eight kilometers long, up to 1.2 kilometers wide and up to 190 meters deep.

Tradition and culture

Tradition and culture can be found every day, everywhere in the Berchtesgaden area, just as the honest, open, original and down-to-earth mentality of its residents. Being a guest in the Berchtesgaden area means experiencing a feeling of home away from home first-hand. Not many regions are as equally rich in nature and culture as the Berchtesgaden area. Every year on Bartholomew Day, the pilgrimage from Maria Alm to St. Bartholomew takes place. Another passed-down tradition is the famous Christmas and New Year’s shooting.

Onion domes are the landmarks of the Königssee – St. Bartholomew pilgrimage church is world-famous. Its architecture became the landmark of the town of Schönau at the Königssee. Its oldest constructional elements date back to the beginning of the 12th century.

The salt mine near Berchtesgaden is not only an industrial enterprise, it has also been a popular tourist attraction for decades. It’s been continuously  in operation since 1517. Today, a part of the mine can be visited by all who are adventurous.

6 tips and trips for a vacation in the Berchtesgaden area

Tip #1: Königssee

Alpine lakes and rivers feature a particular color: A milky light-blue. However, no water looks as truly blue as the water of the Königssee. The reason for that is calcium carbonate, in short: Lime, namely the lime of which the Alps are mostly made.   135 million years ago, the former deep sea basin folded and lifted the lime shells of prehistoric marine organisms. Lime turns the water acid, nutrient-poor and, therefore, free of algae. The red portions of sunlight are absorbed by the clear water, only its blue color remains visible. The dissolved lime parts brighten it up and voilà: Done is the Königssee.

A tour with a rowing boat can be highly recommended. Boats can be rented in Schönau am Königssee (left of the marina).

Tip #2: Rossfeldhöhenringstraße

Germany’s highest panoramic road (B 999) meanders in serpentines through Berchtesgaden’s mountains to the summit of the Ahornbüchsenkopf. It’s most beautiful at night: Berchtesgaden shines in the west, Salzburg in the east and the stars above. A toll of 8 € is charged between Obersalzberg and Hallein. www.rossfeldpanoramastrasse.de

Tip #3: Alpine sole: Rupertus Thermal Spa

The spa and family resort Rupertus Thermal Spa is full of life and peace at the same time. Enjoying the soothing effect of warm, prehistoric alpine sole from Bad Reichenhall. A unique ambiance, in unison with nature, is waiting for you. With extraordinary offers such as sound and colored light pools, a whirlpool on the balcony, an 850-square.meter sauna scape, a health- and fitness center and much more, Rupertus Thermal Spa lives up to your highest expectations. Get pampered, be fascinated and inspired.

Tip #4: Salt mine Bad Reichenhall

Here, you can follow the salt from the mine into the salt shaker. During the  SalzZeitReise (SaltTimeRide) in the adventure mine, miners take visitors through the  salt world. With a “Glück auf,” the traditional miners’ greeting, the mining railroad takes you deep down into the mountain. Wearing warm clothes is recommended.  Belowground, visitors step into a salt cathedral bathed in light and color. From there, a 34 meter-long wooden slide takes them deeper into the salt mine. In the so-called treasure chamber and the salt laboratory, visitors learn more about the history, formation and function of the white gold from the depths of the Alps. Afterwards, visitors ride on a float across an underground salt lake, the so-called Mirror Lake, impressively staged with lights and sounds.

Tip #5: Obersalzberg

The Obersalzberg, located above Berchtesgaden, has been Adolf Hitler’s vacation residence since 1923. After the takeover in 1933, the Obersalzberg was declared a “Führer” restricted area and systematically developed into the second government seat of the Third Reich besides Berlin. The Obersalzberg documentation center presents the history of the Obersalzberg and National Socialism.

At this historic location, the Obersalzberg documentation center provides an opportunity to critically deal with the history of the Obersalzberg and the history of National Socialism at large. The multi-media exhibition documents the history of the  Obersalzberg in connection with Nazi dictatorship.

The bus stop from which the busses leave for the Kehlsteinhaus, commonly referred to as the Eagle’s Nest, is located only a few meters away from the Obersalzberg documentation center. The house is the most prominent remnant of Nazi architecture in Berchtesgaden.

Tip #6: Trip to Salzburg and Munich

The Berchtesgaden area is located conveniently close to Salzburg which is only 20 miles away and invites you to discover the old town, Mozart’s home, or Salzburg Castle. On the way to Berchtesgaden, it makes sense to stop in Bavarian’s capital  Munich to visit the Allianz Arena, the stadium of FC Bayern Munich, or the Deutsche Museum, one of the world’s largest scientific-technological museums.

Travel information Königssee – Berchtesgadener Land

Route:

The Berchtesgaden Alps are located 150 kilometers away from Munich and about  380 kilometers away from Stuttgart. Take A8 from Munich and then turn onto the Bundesstrasse to Berchtesgaden shortly before reaching the border near Freilassing. Take the train from Munich into the direction of Salzburg. Near Freilassing, continue on with the Berchtesgadener Bahn (www.blb.info).

Photo Credit: Berchtesgadener Land Tourismus GmbH

About the author: Alexander

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