The Berchtesgadener Land is beautifully situated in the southeastern corner of Bavaria, with the alpine foothills and the idyllic Abtsdorfer See to the north and imposing mountain peaks to the south. The region encompasses such familiar names as Berchtesgaden, Schanau am Kanigssee and Bad Reichenhall as well as practically undiscovered villages and towns such as Anger, Marktschellenberg and Laufen.
The area to the south of Berchtesgaden contains Germany’s only national park to feature actual mountains and the northernmost glacier in the Alps. Rare plants, marmots, chamois and ibex all shelter here. The region’s famous landmark is the Watzmann, at 2,713m the second-highest peak in Germany. This mountain is swathed in myth and legend.
The jewel in the national park’s crown is the famous Lake Kanigssee. Its crystal-clear water is good enough to drink and looks like a Norwegian Fjord, surrounded as it is by steep mountains. The St. Bartholomew peninsula is home to the church of the same name, a place of pilgrimage and a must for any photographer.
In Berchtesgaden, a working historical salt mine demonstrates the thrill of salt water extraction. The Alte Saline salt works and museum in Bad Reichenhall tell of how salt was extracted from this salt water. The well-insulated underground world is animated in an unusual way, with an evening of music from singing bowls in the Salzheilstollen Berchtesgaden salt mineshaft, an event unique in western Europe.
A guided visit into the Schellenberg ice cave is always an experience, however many times you return. This is the only ice cave in Germany that is open to the public, and it is also the country’s largest. At 1,570 metres above sea level, the cave consists of a series of galleries in which geodes and giant icicles are displayed, alongside hoar frost formations.
But to really experience the mountainous Berchtesgadener Land region, you need to reach for the top! A trip in a cable car affords the visitor magnificent views over countless mountain peaks in Germany and Austria. The Jenner cable car climbs to an altitude of 1,874 metres, while the Predigtstuhlbahn is Germany’s oldest cable car still in operation. The famous Eagle’s Nest is also found here, in a true high-alpine setting, with a breathtaking view over the Berchtesgadener and Salzburger Land.
Anyone who travels to Berchtesgadener Land needs to be ready for the pure, fresh air. With wonderful cycle trails in the north and walks and tours in the southern hills, the great thing about this area is the range of activities on offer. Whether you cycle for fun or are an ambitious mountain biker, whether you are an experienced climber or prefer a leisurely stroll, there’s something for you here.
Nature and culture, health and fitness, activity and relaxation are on offer in the Berchtesgadener Land in summer and winter, with inns offering delicious food to sustain you. It really doesn’t get better than this.