Berchtesgaden is located in the south of Germany in the province of Bavaria. Because it is located near the Alps and it is a national park, you can make beautiful walks at Berchtesgaden. Hiking in the Berchtesgaden area is rugged, breathtakingly beautiful, varied, and can be challenging for any type of hiker. The best hikes can be found around the highest mountain in the area, the Watzmann, and Lake Königssee.
In addition to the many activities that can be done in and around Berchtesgaden, hiking is one of the best ways to get to know the area. There are a lot of routes to find, so it can be difficult to find a suitable route that suits you. We stayed 4 days in Berchtesgaden and were able to do some great hikes.
What are the best Berchtesgaden hikes?
There is no such thing as ‘best Berchtesgaden hikes’, as it depends on personal preference. What we can do is share our experience to show you the differences between the routes plus give recommendations which we recommend. We did the below hikes in Berchtesgaden.
- Jennerbahn mountain station
In addition to these routes, we also recommend doing the three routes below. We could not do these routes because they are only open in the months of mid-May to October. When you travel outside this period in Berchtesgaden it is not possible to go high into the mountains because of the snow.
- Almbackklamm and Wimbachklamm
- Kleine Reibn
Use the map below to orientate yourself during the hikes. You can also see where to park the car per hike, where you can stay, and our favorite places to eat.
#1 Jennerbahn Bergstation
We found the hike to Jennerbahn Bergstation near Berchtesgaden the best hike to do. Mount Jenner is one of the larger mountains near Berchtesgaden with a mountain station at the top. From the top, you have a beautiful view of the surroundings. The big advantage is that it is accessible to everyone. You can walk up to the mountain or take the cable car.
Hiking to Jennerbahn mountain station: start the hike at the Königssee parking lot. Here you walk towards the Jennerbahn and after the building, you turn right into the first walking path. Once you are on the route it is very easy, you just have to follow the road. The roads are indicated and during the hike, you see different marks that indicate how long you still have to walk.
With the cable car to Jennerbahn Bergstation: this option is perfect for people who prefer not to walk up the mountain. It’s very easy, you park the car at the parking lot of the Königssee and walk to the Jennerbahn. Here you can buy a single ticket (€24 / $25) or a return ticket (€34 / $35). We took the cable car up ourselves and walked back. The advantage is that this saves a lot of time and is not that though.
The best thing about visiting the Jennerbahn Bergstation is that at the top you have a panoramic view of the Alps at the restaurant Jenneralm. So take the time to have a drink and enjoy the view. During the hike, you will pass some mountain restaurants. We recommend sitting at the top at Jenneralm and skipping the others. The best thing is even to eat something at Jenneralm.
Tip: if you haven’t a lot of time it is best to take the ski lift up and walk back, just like us. If you have the whole day hiking to the top might be a nice option for you. Make sure you leave at 08:00 am when you chose to walk.
Walk up and down to Jennerbahn Bergstation
- Distance: 15.4 km
- Duration: 7 hours
- Ascent/descent: 1180m / 1180m
- Departure and end point: Königssee car park
Walk back from Jenenrbahn Bergstation
Distance: 7.4 km
Duration: 3 hours
Ascent/descent: 1180 m
Departure and end point: Königssee car park
The walk from the village of Ramsau to Hintersee is one of the nicest hikes you can do. During this hike, you will start in the village of Ramsau where you can admire an old church called St. Fabian und St. Sebastiankirche. Because it is located along the river and with the mountains in the background, it is one of the beautiful sceneries you will have in Bavaria.
After you leave Ramsau it is an easy walk to Hintersee. During the hike, you follow the river, from the village the hiking trail Hintersee is clearly indicated. The best thing about the walk is that you cross Zauberwald. This is a dense forest with several places where you cross the river and from where you have a nice view over the region.
When you arrive at Hintersee you will be surprised by the beauty of the surroundings. Many travelers visit Königssee, but it is also worth visiting Hintersee. The difference is that Hintersee is a lot greener because of all the trees around it. In addition, Hintersee is less visited, making the walk itself more authentic.
The advantage is that the hike to Hintersee is not difficult. However, if you are less mobile or have less time, you can also park the car at the adjacent parking lot P4 and buy a day ticket for €7 / $8. If you have a Berchtesgaden Gästekarte you get a 50% discount. We received a Berchtesgaden Gästekarte at our accommodation Hotel Krone.
- Distance: 9.5 km*
- Duration: 3 hours*
- Ascent/descent: 300m
- Departure and end point: Parkplatz Ramsau
*This includes a lap of the lake. If you don’t do this, the distance is 7.4 km and it will take you 2 hours.
This is one of the best hikes you can do in the area. You walk to a cave that is completely covered with ice inside. The hike starts at St. Bartholomä. When you are here, the hike is marked with signs.
The walk is easy in the beginning, you walk through the forest on flat terrain to St. Johann und Paul Kapelle. This is a little church along the river. When crossing the bridge you have to walk uphill for 20 minutes. At the top, all you have to do is follow the river and you will arrive at the cave. Even in summer, you can see snow here which is unique.
Tip: if you travel in periods when there is still a lot of snow, it is not recommended to do this hike. Because the last part of the hike is in a valley, temperatures are lower here, so there can still be a lot of snow. If this is the case, you better turn around. We tried to reach the cave when there was a lot of snow, but only when Cynthia sank to her armpits in the snow did it become dangerous. Normally you can do this hike without any problems but if there is a lot of snow it is better to turn around. As a guideline, mid-May to October are excellent months to do this hike.
- Distance: 15.8 km / 9.8 miles
- Duration: 3-4 hours
- Ascent/descent: 250 m / 820 feet
- Start and end point: pier at St. Bartholomä
The walk to the Watzmannhaus is the most impressive hike you can do, but it is good to know that it is a tough hike. Watzmannhaus is a mountain hut located on the mountain Watzmann which is the highest mountain in the region of Berchtesgaden. This gives you a panoramic view of the area from the Watzmannhaus, which is the reason people walk here. Watzmannhaus is located at an altitude of 1930 meters and therefore means making many altimeters.
The walk starts at Parplatz Hammerstiel, which is located at an altitude of 770 meters. During this route, you pass two mountain huts where you can buy something to eat and drink. At the start of the walk, you mainly walk through a forest and the landscape slowly changes into a rugged mountain landscape. The walk is steep so some fitness is required. Once you have arrived, you can buy something to eat and drink at the Watzmannhaus and enjoy the view. Worth it.
- Distance: 15.2 km
- Duration: 9 hours
- Ascent/descent: 2320 m
- Start and end point: Parkplatz Hammerstiel
#5 Almbachklamm and Wimbachklamm
The Almbachklamm and Wimbachklamm are gorges where a path runs along the river where you can admire several waterfalls and impressive views. It is important to know that both gorges can only be visited from mid-May to October. They are one of the most unique walks you can do in the Berchtesgaden area.
The most popular walk to do is the Wimbachklamm walk, this is because the river and the walk take you through the valley at the foot of the Watzmann mountain. The lesser-known route is the Almbachklamm is a lot easier. If you have to choose between both routes, we recommend the Wimbachklamm because it is more impressive. It is advisable to start early on both walks as there is a narrow path along the river where it can be busy in the afternoons.
- Distance: 7.1 km
- Duration: 3 hours
- Ascent/descent: 400 m
- Start and end point: Parkplatz Kugelmühle
- Distance: 17.2 km
- Duration: 5 hours
- Ascent/descent: 2000 m
- Start and end point: Parkplatz Wimbachbrücke
#6 Kleine Reibn
When you hiked to Jennerbahn Bergstation you can see the mountain range from the top. You can discover a small part of this mountain range while walking, for this, you can follow the small Reibn walk. It is possible to discover a part of this by walking through it. The great thing about this hike brings you to the deepest part of the Alps in the area. However, this walk is only recommended for experienced hikers because the walk rises to a height of 2200 meters. This walk is difficult because you have to bridge a lot of altimeters.
- Distance: 16.8 km
- Duration: 8 hours
- Ascent/descent: 2000 m
- Start and end point: Parkplatz Hinterbrand
How many days do you need for Berchtesgaden?
When you stay in Berchtesgaden you have many options that you can do. As you have been able to read in this article, you can make different hikes in Berchtesgaden. In addition, you can also do other activities such as taking a boat trip to Königssee, visiting the Eagle’s Nest, or taking a day trip to Salzburg. We, therefore, recommend staying at least 4 days / 3 nights in Berchtesgaden.
Hiking in Berchtesgaden independently or with a guide?
You can do all walks at Berchtesgaden independently. All paths and routes are well marked. When you use our map, a hiking map, or the Maps.Me application you can navigate the routes without any problems.
How fit do you need to be to hike in Berchtesgaden?
While you normally need to be very fit to do walks in this kind of area, it is not necessary to have an extremely good fitness level. This is because not all hikes have to be difficult. After all, you can simplify them by using a ski lift.
If we have to rank the level for the hikes and the condition, you can use the overview below for reference:
- Beginner: #1 Jennerbahn Top station (cable car) | #2 Hintersee | #5 Almbachklamm
- Average: #1 Jennerbahn mountain station | #3 Eiskapelle | #5 Wimbachklamm
- Advanced: #4 Watzmannhaus | #6 Little Reibn
Where to stay in Berchtesgaden?
Berchtesgaden can be visited all year round, in winter it is popular for winter sports and after winter it is an excellent place for walking and discovering various sights. This makes Berchtesgaden a popular place, so there are plenty of accommodations to find. The only problem is that the locals also like to travel to Berchtesgaden and because of this it is fully booked very quickly. For Germany in general and especially for Berchtesgaden, booking on time is very important. You may sometimes have to book months in advance, so be on time!
Our personal favorite:
We stayed in Hotel Krone and recommend it 100%! For us, this was the best accommodation we stayed at during our trip through Bavaria. The rooms are neat, breakfast is super good, the owners are nice, it is quietly located, within walking distance of the center and the best thing is that you have a private balcony from which you have a lovely view over the region. We enjoyed our stay at Hotel Krone and rate it a 10.
Location, price and view:
Alpenhotel Kronprinz is similar to Hotel Krone, only this hotel is slightly bigger and therefore they can offer more luxury. This hotel is highly recommended for travelers seeking this. Like Hotel Krone, you can enjoy the Bavarian culture here.
If you are looking for a resort, Kempinski Hotel Berchtesgaden a the place for you to stay.
What do you take with you?
For our packing list, we assume that you will only do day trips, just like us. If you are going to do multi-day trips, you must complete the list below.
- Backpack, hiking boots. walking sticks, water (2 liters p.p.), cash (you can often not pay with a debit card at a mountain hut), mobile, toilet paper, snacks, lunch (only for the long trips, for the short trips you can eat at the mountain huts ), hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, poncho, specific clothing for hot, cold or wet weather.
Tip: check the weather forecast before departure. Bring water-resistant clothing, such as a poncho. The weather can suddenly change in and around the mountain area and surprise you.
Do you need special travel insurance?
Yes, when you go hiking in a mountain area, travel insurance is necessary. Often, regular insurance does not cover unexpected situations that happen during trekking trips at high altitudes.
Now that you’ve read about the best hikes you can do in the Berchtesgaden, use our article about Berchtesgaden to learn more about other activities that you can do. In this article, you can also read how to get to Berchtesgaden, where to eat, and what period is the best time to visit Berchtesgaden.
What do you think of the walks at Berchtesgaden? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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