Discover a region of picturesque villages and pastoral countryside scenery
Quaint villages nestle between green-carpeted hills, surrounded by flowering meadows and distant snow-dusted peaks. Cobbled streets wind lazily through towns and rivers gurgle beneath time-worn stone bridges. Bavaria truly is a fairy-tale destination with so many incredible things to do.
- Wander the cobbled streets of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
- Admire the view from Neuschwanstein Castle above the village of Schwangau.
- Head to the shores of Lake Tegernsee.
- Tuck into regional dishes washed down with spectacular Bavarian beers.
In northern Bavaria, you’ll find the German town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It is particularly known for its half-timbered medieval houses that line the cobbled lanes of its oldest parts. Set into the town walls are numerous carefully-preserved gatehouses, as well as towers. A covered walkway above St Jacob’s Church boasts an elaborate, late Gothic altarpiece that was carved by Tilman Riemenschneider. For wonderful views of the area climb to the top of the medieval town hall’s tower.
Head to the south of Bavaria and you’ll find yourself in the village of Schwangau. Unmissably set atop a hill here is the 19th-century grand Neuschwanstein Castle which was built for King Ludwig II. Another 19th-century castle, Hohenschwangau, attracts visitors to its ornately-furnished staterooms from around the world.
The resort town of Tegernsee lies on the shores of Lake Tegernsee to the east of Schwangau. The surrounding alpine valley is crisscrossed with skiing trails and footpaths. High on the Wallberg Mountain the tiny Wallbergkircherl boasts panoramic views of the valley below.
While there are many similarities, there are some parts of the Bavarian way of life and culture that are very different from Germany’s. This is especially notable the further away from the bigger cities you venture. Bavarians are especially proud of their traditions and their traditional dress, or tracht, which is worn often for special occasions. The men don altbayern lederhosen while the women wear dirndl. At these occasions, you’ll be treated to lively folk music that dates back centuries, and you may even get to witness a maibaum (maypole) dance.
And of course, a big part of any visit to Bavaria is going to be the food and drink. If you find yourself at a folk festival, there’s bound to be a beer garden where you’ll be able to enjoy beer by the litre. In fact, they are so serious about their beer that the Reinheitsgebot (beer purity law) was put into place by the Suke of Bavaria way back in 1487. The law stated that only three ingredients were allowed to be included in beer, water, barley and hops. And what better way to enjoy that beer than with a Weißwurst (white sausage)?
Its no wonder why there are so many fairy tales coming from Germany - the Bavarian alps and lakes are the perfect ingredient for any dreamy story. With opulent castles dotted around, tales about the mad King Ludwig come to life here!
Our top Bavaria example trips
Whatever you want your luxury tour or safari itinerary to include, we’ll create something fully bespoke for you… and only you.
Our favourite places to stay in Bavaria
- Chiemsee Chalet$$$$$With a dramatic view of the Bavarian Sea, this charming resort of eight private chalet suites is enclosed by forests and meadows. The individually-furnished suites encompass glass, wood and natural stone, along with living rooms and dining areas, fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, saunas and expansive terraces. Each of the chalets boasts either views out over the lake or the mountains. Choose between the Cuddle chalet suite, Summit Happiness chalet suite, Mountain Meadow chalet suite and Seeleben chalet suite. You can relax further in the main chalet, with a heated outdoor pool, unwind on the main patio or set off in a yacht across the waters. A continental breakfast is served every morning. If you don’t feel like preparing your own meals in your chalet, a small bakery menu is available in the evenings, boasting regional specialities. These are served fresh from the oven direct to your suite. Depending on when you visit, you may even be there for one of Chiemsee Chalet’s popular culinary events, like the traditional Tatar hat dinner, Chiemgau mountain cheese fondue evenings, wine tastings or special menu evenings. And in the warmer months, barbecues are a highlight. On arrangement, romantic private dining or cooking classes can be arranged.
- Ameron Neuschwanstein Alpsee Resort and Spa$$$$$Set on the banks of Lake Alp, enclosed by forest and with enchanting views of the Ammergau Alps, this polished resort offers a soothing setting in which to relax. There are 137 rooms and suites to choose from. The hotel’s decor features soft colour schemes and comfortable furnishings and boast either lake or castle vistas. Upgraded rooms and suites encompass balconies and antique elements. Natural materials like wood, leather and linen combine perfectly with the original fittings of the historic buildings and contemporary design. A complimentary breakfast is available every morning, and guests can choose from three restaurants, with expansive terraces, for the rest of their meals. The other on-site facilities include a refined bar and a café, and guests have access to saunas, a gym and an indoor pool. There’s also a kids’ club.