Nestling in the southern depths of Germany at the foot of the Alps, Bavaria is easily the largest of Germany's states and its most popular holiday destination.
Nestling in the southern depths of Germany at the foot of the Alps, Bavaria is easily the largest of Germany's states and its most popular holiday destination. Bavaria is blessed with some of the most spectacular and romantic landscapes dominated by, though by no means limited to the immense splendour of the Alps. Quaint villages, picturesque forests and tranquil lakes give visitors a real feel for the roots of southern German traditions. The stereotype of Lederhosen and lively Bierkeller mirrors much of the reality here.
Bavaria has a vast amount of accommodation to offer the visitor, most of which is in the form of holiday apartments and private rooms, but all of which is of very high quality. Many of the apartments are on the edges of the lakes and are very traditional with balconies dripping in beautiful flowers and clad with carved wooden exteriors.
If you are in need of ideas for places to stay, try the quaint town of Fuessen lying on the German side of the Austrian border for a real treat. There are direct and regular rail links to nearby Augsburg and Munich (each approx’ 2 hours away) as well as good connections to all other major cities, often via the high-speed ICE trains.
Fuessen provides a slightly larger centre from which to make excursions perfect for those seeking fresh air and the outdoors. This Bavarian town is surrounded by an abundance of cycle paths and well-signposted routes, as well as swimming and rowing opportunities in the nearby lakes of Plansee, Hopfensee or Froggensee to name but a few. For those not wishing to appreciate the beauty of the surroundings on foot or by pedal-power, bus services more than the railways connect the network of local villages to allow for exploring of places of interest including Schloss Neuschwanstein; the ultimate fairytale castle overlooking the area built by Ludwig II in the nineteenth century.
Possible day trips include those by rail or bus (departing regularly from the station) to Garmisch-Partenkirchen the town lying at the foot of the Zugspitze, the highest point in Germany at nearly 3,000 metres. A special train and a cable car take you to the top of Germany where the most spectacular views (as well as a chilly wind!) await you. This could also form an exploratory visit for a possible comeback during the winter season when Garmisch-Partenkirchen plays host to a vast array of winter-sports enthusiasts with its wonderful snow-covered slopes.
A trip across the border is also worth considering to experience the Austria side of the Alps. Try Innsbruck as one of the closest major Austrian cities or Reutte for Austria’s answer to Fuessen!
It wouldn’t be right to not put in a good word for the Bavarian capital, Munich. Here we find not only Germany's largest university but also the ‘Deutsches Museum’, the world's biggest exhibition of science and technology. The city also boasts numerous historic buildings, famous art galleries and theatres. The Herrenchiemsee, Linderhof and Neuschwanstein castles, built by the 'fairytale king' Ludwig II in the 19th century, are tourist magnets. So too are the towns of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Nordlingen and Dinkelsbuhl with their traditional semi-timbered houses. Music lovers, too, are well catered for in Bavaria such as through the annual Wagner Festival in Bayreuth after the famous Richard Wagner, who lived there from 1872 to 1883.