In the heart of Bavaria, among the foothills of the Alps, your base for this self-guided walking holiday 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 level 1 and level 2 walks for all days, using the highly efficient local public transport system so you can explore further afield - all guests receive a Guest Card that gives free transport on certain local buses. You also have the mountain lifts to take the sting out of more challenging ascents.
Your accommodation for the week is the traditional, family run 3* Hotel Alte Post in the very heart of Oberammergau's village centre. About a mile from the hotel is the WellenBerg leisure complex offering indoor and outdoor swimming - ideal if you fancy a day off from walking.
The itinerary is based on level 2 walks. Easier level 1 notes are also provided for your week. All the walks follow well-signed paths, which are, at times, stony underfoot.
Arrive at your hotel in Oberammergau.
You start the day 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.
Today you take the cable car 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 14th century 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.
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.
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 17th century frescoed church.
If you'd prefer a slightly longer holiday, take a look at our 7 night Walking in Southern Bavaria.
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.
NEARBY:The Hotel Alte Post is a family run hotel located within the heart of Oberammergau's town centre. Dating back to 1612, it is one of the oldest inns in the town and has been run by the Preisinger family since the end of the 1900s. It is a traditional Bavarian style building, with white washed walls and beautiful frescoes painted on its outside walls.
Room upgrades and extra nights: Contact us for details.
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.
NEARBY: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.
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 an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
This was our first walking holiday so we were unsure what to expect. We loved the range of walking routes we were given, allowing us day to day choice and some planning for ourselves. Loved that we had to take trains, chairlifts and a cable car to the start of some routes. An absolutely great trip that we want to repeat as soon as possible.
Oberammergau is a stunning location and the walking was lovely (despite some slightly mixed weather). Local public transport was very easy to use to get to and from walks and everything is excellently sign-posted. I was walking on my own and felt very safe at all times. Very good "kaffee and kuchen" available throughout!
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
This 5 night self-guided walking holiday includes:
Single-centre accommodation in a hotel
Buffet breakfast and all evening meals
Management by local hotelier
Route directions and maps
Standard transfers to/from your hotel (if booking inclusive flights)
Guest card for free local bus and rail travel and discounts on the cable cars, museums and other local attractions.
How to book:
We do not currently have departure dates and prices available on-line. The season may have ended for this tour, or we are still in the process of adding these details to our website. Please contact us for further details.
Minimum group sizes
No minimum group size, however transfers are subject to at least 2 people (in total) booked on each departure.
Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided walking Managed locally by hotelier.
Buffet breakfast and all evening meals
You should allow approx 26 euro per person for the use of the ski lifts for the walks.
Before June some mountain restaurants and ski lifts are open only at weekends.
Please note that airport transfers are subject to at least 2 people (in total) booked on each departure.
Transfers can be arranged at a supplement from Munich airport at 15:35, and back to Munich airport at 12:45.