October 10th 2014

To hike in Bavaria is to plunge into a unique natural landscape. Take the mountain railroad up to the gorgeous alpine village of Grainau, beneath the towering peak of the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain and absorb those views! From the peak, at almost 9,800 feet, the breathtaking view incorporates a panorama of more than 300 mountain peaks stretching into Austria, Italy and Switzerland. Along the trail, richly painted houses, old wooden carvings and fairytale lakes unfold. Among the verdant greenery sits a monument to the fantasies of ‘mad’ King Ludwig II, the ‘Dream King’. Schloss Linderhof is the only one of his dream palaces that he lived to see completed and the one in which he stayed more than anywhere else. Set in a lovely valley, his world of fantasy and flamboyance includes an illuminated artificial grotto surrounding a small lake, complete with a boat shaped like a shell. Linderhof Palace occupies the original site of the Königshäuschen hunting lodge which belonged to Ludwig's father, King Maximilian II. The original wooden exterior was clad with solid stone, which enabled the building to take on the representative character of French palaces. Linderhof Palace The stunning Linderhof Palace parkland echoes the baroque architecture with golden statuary, garden and water parterres, terraces and cascades. And not far away, see the even more fabulous Herrenchiemsee island palace, Ludwig’s Bavarian Versailles. Reach it by boat and learn the tragic and still mysterious tale of how lonely Ludwig met his end. Lodge for the night in the pretty village of Ettal and see how a medieval monastery remains at the heart of the community. Founded in 1330, Benedictine monks still run a brewery, a distillery, a bookstore, an art publishing house, a cheese factory joint venture, several smaller companies and the hotel we stay in! The distillery also produces the glowing green or gold Ettaler herbal liqueur, made from plants and flowers grown in the mountains. And don’t miss the chance to see the lovely, globally famous village of Oberammagau, where for hundreds of years local people have performed the Passion Play once in each decade. Add hearty Bavarian food, pretzels washed down with delicious local beer or wine and hiking in splendid and awe-inspiring scenery and our Walk in Bavaria is a must-do!

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