Walking in Bavaria
In the heart of Bavaria, among the foothills of the Alps, your base for this self-guided walking week is the quaint and 'chocolate box' village of Oberammergau. Known for its world-famous Passion Plays, performed every ten years, it is impossibly picturesque; its houses are decorated with elaborate paintings known as Luftmalerei and prettily carved wooden balconies overflow with geraniums. Here, the locals embrace their rich history, where traditional Bavarian dress is often worn in recognition of their heritage and the custom of Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and a generously sized portion of cake) is still an afternoon ritual.
The village is also an absolute Mecca for the walking enthusiast. From exhilarating mountain hikes with amazing views all the way to the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain, to relaxed strolls through lush green valleys and wetland nature reserves, Oberammergau's wealth of well-signed paths and easy-to-follow trails make it a great choice for wonderfully varied walking. We provide a choice of both 2-boot and 3-boot walks for all days, using the highly efficient local public transport system so you can explore further afield. You also have the mountain lifts to take the sting out of more challenging ascents.
You stay as guests of Sabine Feldmeier and her family at the traditional *** Hotel Feldmeier, less than 5 minutes' walk from the village centre. The 31 rooms all offer high comfort levels and Headwater rooms also come with private balcony or terrace, as well as views onto the surrounding Laber and Kofel mountains. You also have a Roman steam bath, sauna, jacuzzis and beauty room at your disposal (payable locally). Less than a mile from the hotel is the WellenBerg leisure complex offering indoor and outdoor swimming - ideal if you fancy a day off from walking.
Day 1 - Arrive in Oberammergau
Arrive at your hotel in Oberammergau.
Day 2 - Villages of the Ammer Valley 9km/6mi/2.5hr or 16km/10mi/4hr
A perfect introduction to your walking week starts with a short (15 mins) ride on the little red train to Bad Kohlgrub. From here, you walk through the rolling Ammer Valley's string of sleepy farming villages - Unterammergau, in particular, has a splendid Rococo church. Then head across the Pulvermoos, a wildlife sanctuary and habitat for 60 bird species including corncrake, dipper, whinchat and even snipe.
Day 3 - Mountains and Monastery Walk 12km/7.5mi/4hr or 14km/9mi/4.5hr
Start with a cable car ride to the top of the Laber (1685m) for panoramic views of Germany's highest mountain - the Zugspitze (2962m) - and the Austrian Alps beyond. You then wind your way down through cool pine forests to the village of Ettal. After lunch, visit the amazing C14 former Benedictine monastery, an outstanding example of Bavarian Baroque architecture. Return on an easy path along the pretty valley, passing the Barenhohle cave where there's a figure of the resurrected Christ.
Day 4 - Staffelsee 12km/7.5mi/3.5hr or 18km/11.5mi/5hr or 22km/14mi/6hr
Staffelsee is one of the larger of the many picturesque blue lakes dotted around this part of Bavaria. This beautiful stretch of water offers easy walking along the shoreline with plenty of swimming opportunities. Stop off in the attractive riverside village of Uffing (the boat landing station is the place for lunch and offers magnificent views of the lake backed by mountains). In the afternoon, either relax in the sun on the panorama deck of the little lake cruiser (payable locally), passing hidden coves and the lake's seven islands (one even has its own tiny chapel), or return on foot along the quiet side of the lake.
Day 5 - Free day
A day off from walking today. Maybe take the local bus to Mad King Ludwig's fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein with its stunning setting on a rocky outcrop; or take the funicular to the top of Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze, to discover a breathtaking 360 degree panorama of endless peaks spanning Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. If you prefer to stay closer to home, spend the afternoon by the WellenBerg outdoor pool (swimming, sauna, jacuzzi).
Day 6 - Sonnenberg Ridge Walk 13km/8mi/4hr or 17km/11mi/6hr
The Kolben chairlift whisks you up to 1270m, from where there's a choice of routes up to the spectacular Sonnenberg ridge. Your route down passes a succession of crashing waterfalls and the reconstructed C19 whetstone mill at Schleifmuhle, followed by a pretty path through the meadows.
Day 7 - Linderhof Palace 6km/4mi/1.5hr or 13km/8mi/3.5hr
An unmissable visit to Schloss Linderhof, the gloriously over-the-top Rococo palace built by Mad King Ludwig in 1878, inspired by Louis XIV's chateau in Versailles. There are gorgeous French and Italianate terraced gardens and a golden fountain which erupts once every hour with a 30m plume of water. Return to the hotel along a tranquil path which winds back down the Linder Valley, through the village of Graswang with its beautifully preserved old farmhouses and pretty C17 frescoed church.
Day 8 - Leave Oberammergau
For a longer tour, why not consider combining this with our Walking in the Leutasch Valley
Where you stay
This single-centre holiday is based at the following hotel. If you'd like to extend your stay here, or upgrade your room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.
Hotel Landhaus Feldmeier, Oberammergau (3 star)
The Landhaus Feldmeier is a family run hotel located within a 5 minute walk of the town centre. It is a traditional Bavarian style building, with white washed walls and beautifully carved wooden balconies bedecked with flowers.
The rooms are all of a good size and en-suite and most rooms have balconies.
The hotel also boasts a Roman steam bath, sauna and jacuzzi. In addition, there is a beauty salon that offers a wide range of treatments including massages.
There is a small garden at the hotel with some chairs and loungers for relaxing outside.
Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.
Extra nights and stop over hotels
If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.
Hotel Opera, Munich (4 Star)
The Hotel Opera is situated in the Lehel district of Munich, the area has a village feel to it, but is just a 15 minute walk to the main centre of Munich and a 20 minute walk to the Englischer Garten, Munich's huge leafy park.
The hotel has a wonderful Romanesque facade, and the building itself dates back to the C19, damaged in the war the building was bought in 1968 by the present owners who took 8 years to painstakingly restore and renovate the building.
Today's hotel is a nice mix of modern and old, with lovely airy rooms and and a relaxing tranquil garden patio. Rooms have all mod cons and some come with balconies, the hotel also owns a couple of superb restaurants close by.
Breakfast is served at your table with a choice of cold meats and cheeses or croissants and fruit and the option to order freshly cooked eggs.
Please call for prices and details
Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.
Transfers included from Munich airport at 15:35, and back to Munich airport at 12:45.
Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange connecting flights.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Reviewed by Mr Andrews on 27/09/2016
We found the Bavarian countryside quite fascinating. Everything was good, the scenery, the walks, the accommodation and food. We also met interesting people who were also on the holiday as we usually do. Earlier this month we had a twenty year re-union with four friends we met on one of your holidays in Corsica.
Reviewed by Mrs Hart on 18/08/2016
Landhaus Feldmeier exceeded expectations- an excellent room with plenty of seating and a balcony. Veggie food better than expected. Excellent and varied walking with options increased by good local public transport (rail and bus). A longish and not especially pleasant taxi ride to/ from Munich (no criticism of drivers). Hotel Opera was rather odd. Service was excellent - there seemed to be almost as many staff as guests. However, the room was rather weird and a bit shabby/ dirty (e.g. stained bright mustard carpet and grubby bed trim) and I found the hotel a bit pretentious. The location was excellent though with easy access to the city centre and the English Gardens.
Reviewed by Mr Clugston on 11/07/2016
We (3, 60 something adults) had a good walking holiday in the Oberammagau area. The walks were varied, well graded and easy to modify as one cared to, and dependent on weather. Also plenty of other places to visit and experience. For eg, we chose one day to go to Zugspitz using the local bus, cog train and cable car and then walk around the Eibsee, about 7km, with spectacular views. An excellent add on. Accommodation at Landhaus Feldmeier was ok. We had upgraded to a deluxe room out the back which was great. Food generally good, certainly plenty of it, but we would have liked side vegetables/salad with the main courses. Some confusion in arrangements: no car to pick us up from Munich airport, and no record at hotel of our upgrading to comfort room: both issues sorted very promptly by Headwater / manager. Gift bottle of good red appreciated. Highest level of excitement was on our way to Oberammagau: 160km/hr in our replacement taxi, a Toyota Prius, with driver fiddling with his phone Sat Nav.
Reviewed by Mis Lee on 01/07/2016
An excellent holiday. Lovely sunshine and masses of flowers in the meadows made it especially beautiful. The walks were very varied and there were some interesting places to visit en route and on any non walking day(s). A very good centre.
Reviewed by Mrs Cross on 28/06/2016
Helpful Headwater staff who made planning and booking our holiday easy. Oberammergau is a wonderful location, Hotel Feldmeier was excellent with friendly, helpful staff. As well as the fantastic scenery and walks there is plenty to see and do in the town. Free bus pass made it easy to get to nearby towns. Also good rail connections from the local station.
Reviewed by Mr Curwen on 12/06/2016
A lovely relaxing holiday in a great location and fantastic walking opportunities.
Reviewed by Dr Hodgson on 08/09/2015
A really lovely holiday: excellent walking, and a chance to enjoy the special culture of the area.
Reviewed by Ms Hancock on 02/09/2015
A great holiday with fantastic walk suggestions that we used in conjunction with the map to explore the area.
Reviewed by Mr Valk on 28/07/2015
Very enjoyable walking in spectacular countryside, along well signed and maintained paths, guided by excellent route notes.
Reviewed by Mrs Stocks on 18/07/2015
A great holiday with varied walking options available, Village had great atmosphere and opportunities for shopping and sightseeing away from just walking. We extended our trip with 3 nights in Munich at the hotel recommended by Headwater which was a super place and gave us chance for a bit of culture and city life after the scenery!
Reviewed by Mr Tribe on 14/07/2015
Very good worth doing, may do it again, great food and beer, watch out for the mountains they are not the same as the hills in Kent.
Reviewed by Mrs Magnier on 07/07/2015
We were very happy with the holiday from the headwater point of view. Accomodation i would not be happy with.Compared to other places we visited in the area the level of english spoken in this hotel was very poor,even when we asked what something was on the menu ,the waitress didnt understand us .Thank you for the bottle of wine which we appreciated very much.the walking was superb and the guides provided for the walking were very good. Beautiful country and people were very friendly and most helpful.
Reviewed by Mrs Wright on 01/07/2015
Walking in Bavaria in June was just amazing. The wild flowers were beautiful to see in the meadows. Oberammergau is ideally situated with easy rail and bus access to the wider area.
Reviewed by Mrs Cockburn on 16/06/2015
Fabulous holiday in great location. Walking was delightful. Accommodation was brilliant - only downside was the food where there was little if any choice and it was not to our taste.
Reviewed by Mrs Newsome on 26/09/2014
Perfect walking area, perfect location of very good hotel - excellent local transport and very varied mix and combination of sightseeing and walking possible. Even had perfect weather - brilliant!
Reviewed by Mr Upton on 24/09/2014
Oberammergau is an excellent place to visit for walking and historical sites, the whole area is beautiful (think the sound of music) we really enjoyed the whole time we were there.
Reviewed by Mr Tucker on 23/09/2014
Good. But the food was uninspired, with too much use of factory-made sauces. The deserts were dull - ice-cream almost every evening. No fruit available at breakfast and the yoghurt was definitely 'off' on one day. Staff nice but their English very limited - it is incorrect to say that the family speak the language.
Reviewed by Pro Winlow on 20/09/2014
Bavaria is very nice and very green because it rains a lot! Apart from that we had a good time, but Oberammergau is a bit isolated and it's best to take your car if you can, although local transport is very good.
Reviewed by Mr Propert on 17/09/2014
The 'superior' accommodation really was very good indeed. The local tax a bit of a surprise at the end of the week - if it is mentioned, then you should emphasise it more. The walks and interest are excellent, and the notes worked well, because the paths, signposts and surfaces are so good. We have usually gone to Italy or France with you - and German food is a bit of a shock, in its solidity and calorie count.
Reviewed by Ms Morrison on 06/08/2014
This was our first holiday with Headwater as we normally organise our holidays ourselves. We will definitely consider another Headwater holiday in the future, as the local knowledge was invaluable, the walks just great (and appropriate for our level), and the hotel was excellent (the request for vegetarian food didn't seem to have reached the hotel but it wasn't a problem, and the chef made up delicious veggie dishes specially each day). We found that the premium that Headwater provides over self-organised holidays is well worth the extra cost: it saved us substantial planning time and made logistics easy, so that we could focus on the more important business of enjoying a great walking holiday. Thank you!
Reviewed by Mrs Jones on 23/07/2014
Excellent holiday. Covered everything, good walking at your own level and pace, good food in the area, and a good few places of interest on your doorstep to mix with your walking or do on their own. Easy to use local transport, train, bus and ski lift - even if your German is very limited.
Reviewed by Mrs Hutchison on 11/07/2014
A reasonably energetic yet wonderfully relaxed walking holiday.
Reviewed by Mrs Ross on 01/07/2014
Very quiet comfortable and clean family run hotel in good location. Convenient for public transport and ice creams after a day's walking. A very good selection of walks, suitable for all abilties. We just needed longer to complete them all!
Reviewed by Mrs Ife on 29/06/2014
Friendly and welcoming hotel, with good food and enjoyable and varied walks.
Reviewed by Mrs Wood on 24/06/2014
Everything went smoothly with travel arrangements on outward and inward journeys.. Standard of food was exceptional for *** hotel. Would have appreciated a kettle in bedroom to make tea/coffee and fill hot water bottle. Very enjoyable holiday. Maps and information all very helpful and accurate.
Reviewed by Mr Burch on 08/06/2014
Our holiday was well organised and the hotel was comfortable and friendly. The walks were well chosen and the self-guiding notes were informative and easy to follow. The only slightly disappointing aspect as the weather; it rained on most days, so I would advise potential travellers to be prepared for wet weather - especially early in the season.
Reviewed by Mr Robinson on 02/10/2013
Oberammergau is a lovely location from which to base a walking holiday. We were fortunate to have sunshine nearly all week (21-28 Sept), and made the most it by doing many of the walks provided in the Headwater literature. The most exhilarating being Sonnenberg Ridge linked to The Kofel - quite possible in a single day, although the advice in the walking notes regarding narrow ledges and cables need to be carefully considered. The local buses, trains and chair lift are all easily accessed and efficient. The hotel owner gave us a discount card for use with the buses and lifts. The food was cooked to perfection, but not very inspirational.
Reviewed by Mr Powell on 18/09/2013
The holiday was everything that we hoped it would be.
Reviewed by Mrs Grosschmidt on 21/07/2013
Fantastic week 5th-12th July 2013 enjoyed all the walks best ones were the difficult route on the sonnenberg ridge, chair lift closed also path to start of walk closed due to cycle race so had to walk to start of walk well worth it.High over the Hornle was also a good walk with fantastic views. Good food all week for the humble vegetarian. Staff at the hotel were very helpful and friendly.
Reviewed by Mrs Larcombe on 19/07/2013
Oberammergau was an ideal location for our walking holiday, every day we walked somewhere different which made it interesting. The public transport was easy to use, particularly the train and the walk from the hotel to the train station was a reasonable difference. The 4 course evening meal at the hotel was very good value and extremely tasty.
Reviewed by Dr Gompertz on 29/09/2012
This was our third Headwater Holiday and we certainly hope for more. Just right for us. Thanks.
Reviewed by Mr Geale on 24/09/2012
A major reason that our holiday only scores 'Fair' overall is we would prefer to walk at higher altitude. We chose Oberammergau when we could not afford our preferred destination without really studying its altitude and that of the walks. Also we were unlucky with both the weather and a stairlift being out commission, which ruled out getting to some of the highest walking readily available. That's not to say we didn't enjoy Oberammergau. We enjoyed being able to walk into town for a drink or a coffee. Not so keen on the woodcarving! The walking is good on its own terms.
Reviewed by Dr Wellings on 29/08/2012
This was my fifth holiday with Headwater and it was just as good as the rest.
Reviewed by Mr Wilkins on 23/07/2012
see comments below
Reviewed by Dr Jarratt on 23/07/2012
Reviewed by Mrs Hinton on 07/07/2012
An enjoyable holiday partially marred by the long travel experiance.
Reviewed by Ms Leitch on 30/06/2012
It was good,but not quite as good as our holiday last year at Gstaad in Switzerland. The language was a bit of a problem, we don't speak any german and communicating with the staff was sometimes not easy. The food was good and tasty but options were a bit repetitive. But we did enjoy it!
Reviewed by Mr Marks on 30/06/2012
Very good indeed
Reviewed by Mr Munday on 23/06/2012
Disappointing, we have previously utilised other walking holiday companies our expectations of Headwater as a leading agent in this field were not realised. We would not consider this holiday to be value for money.
Dear Mr Munday, following on from our conversation last week, I would again like to thank you for taking the time to contact us with your feedback and hope that our discussion has restored your faith in Headwater. As discussed, all points raised have been passed on to the hotel, in order that improvements can be made, where possible. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to look into these matters. To answer the questions within your feedback, for the benefit of future guests, I can confirm that the hotel restaurant is closed on Tuesdays- this can be found on page 11 of our 'Germany notes booklet'. This holiday is managed locally by the hotelier, this information is found on the brochure pages for each holiday - on the 'dates and prices' panel, under 'holiday type'. Herr Feldmeier the hotelier is always on hand to answer any questions you may have. Kind regards, Melanie
Reviewed by Mrs Fisher on 16/06/2012
Reviewed by Mr Hackfath on 16/06/2012
Very positive and enjoyable experience
Departure dates & prices
|May 2017 departures||Tour only|
|June 2017 departures||Tour only|
|July 2017 departures||Tour only|
|August 2017 departures||Tour only|
|September 2017 departures||Tour only|
Self-guided walking, single centre. Managed locally by hotelier.
Saturdays from 20 May '17 to 23 Sep '17, for 8 days (7 nights). Non-standard departures and extra/fewer nights are both possible.
Buffet breakfast and all evening meals.
Starting your tour
Transfers included from Munich airport at 15:35, and back to Munich airport at 12:45.
Enquire about this holiday
Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.