A long weekend of hiking in the Bavarian mountains, visiting historical castles and going to impressive lakes was a much needed break away from city life. My trip to the Allgäu was so much more than I expected, so I decided to share my trip with you, even if you do just flick through the photos 🙂
Arriving in the Allgäu
You’ll need a car if you want to make the most of your trip to the Allgäu. If travelling from Frankfurt, your weekend will start with a 4-hour drive to southern Germany. You can also travel down by train, but once you’re there, a car is a must.
Things to do in the Allgäu
The Großer Alpsee is the largest of the Allgäu’s natural lakes, and is an idyllic location for hiking, cycling and going for a swim. With a circumference of 8.1km, there’s plenty of space to relax by the water and soak in the amazing views. The surrounding mountains are even home to the Europe’s largest Buddhist centre!
We explored the surrounding mountains of the Großer Alpsee by doing an up-hill hike, which lasted for around an hour. It wasn’t too strenuous, but do make sure you wear suitable shoes. We met some friendly cows and horses on our way up, and were greeted by alpacas when we reached the end of the Bärenfalle hiking trail.
In typical Bavarian style, we stopped at the Bärenfalle lodge for German specialties, ‘Spätzle’ and ‘Kaiserschmarrn’. Sehr lecker!
The Großer Alpsee is great for friends and families. The Alpsee Bergwelt has plenty of outdoor play areas for children and is home to Germany’s longest ‘Rodelbahn’ coaster. And there is usually a band that plays traditional Bavarian music! They’ve unfortunately stopped this for a while, due to covid-19, but I look forward to seeing them on my next visit!
Immenstadt is one of the Allgäu’s oldest towns. Small but picturesque, it’s a great place to stop off at for a couple of hours whilst on your travels. My friend from the Allgäu took us to Relax Bar/Restaurant – they make a great Mojito!
Neuschwanstein Castle & Hohenschwangau Castle
Why not sprinkle a bit of magic on your trip to the Allgäu? Neuschwastein castle or “Schloss Neuschwanstein” is not only famous for its breathtaking architecture, but also for its inspiration of the world-famous Walt Disney castle.
Just a brisk 20-minute walk away from Schloss Neuschwanstein stands the Hohenschwangau castle or “Schloss Hohenschwangau”, standing bright in its yellow jacket amongst the green mountain trees.
Both castles are top tourist attractions, and you can only enter if you’re booked onto a tour, so be sure to order your tickets in advance. We tried to book Schloss Neuschwanstein two weeks before going, but it was already sold out, so we opted for Schloss Hohenschwangau instead. Rumour has it that despite Schloss Neuschwantein’s Disney fairytale, the interior of Schloss Hohenschwangau is tad more enchanting. I wasn’t disappointed, that’s for sure.
To avoid confusion, this is now the second “Alpsee” that I’m mentioning in this blog post. The first one was “Großer Alpsee”, which translates as “big Alp lake”, this one is just “Alpsee” (Alp lake), and there is also a “Kleiner Alspee” (small Alp lake), but I didn’t visit this one 🙂
You can visit the Alpsee as part of your trip to the castles; they are all within short walking distance from each other. The tranquil water accompanied by a backdrop of snow-topped mountains was an awe-inspiring sight.
Just a 5-minute drive from the castles, Füssen is a cobbled town located on the German/ Austrian boarder. It’s a pretty place to stop for lunch (and as always in Germany, an ice-cream), and has a rainbow of buildings that will make you smile come rain or shine.
Kempten town has been done up over the years, attracting plenty of young people holiday go-ers to explore its delights. The beautiful gardens, pretty shops, and modern restaurants make for a lovely afternoon during your trip to the Allgäu. I’d recommend NOVA restaurant if you fancy stopping for something to eat.
The Hopfensee was my favourite, and I’ve saved the best ’til last. The only word that comes to mind is ‘breathtaking’. The pictures don’t quite do it justice, so please go and see it for yourself! It was overcast, so we didn’t go swimming, but as the warmest lake in the Alps, I can’t wait to jump in next time!
This was my first trip to the Allgäu. I spent four amazing days in the German Alps and will definitely go back again. If like me, you’re someone who chases the sun, you’ve probably already realised that we didn’t quite have as much sun as we’d hoped for. But don’t worry, there is always something to do – just bring enough stuff for both chilling by the lakes and hiking in the mountains, and regardless of the weather, the views will leave you more than satisfied. Thanks for reading!