We haven’t done an awful lot of long distance travel this year (for us anyway!) – a certain tiny person (and a crazy work year for Mr R) have put paid to that. What we have done instead is lots of travel on our doorstep. That’s the beautiful thing about living here – you can just chuck a few bits and pieces in the car and get going to Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Croatia and beyond… But you don’t have to go far in this part of Bavaria itself to feel like you are in another world, and at Eibsee, 100km South West from Munich, you would be forgiven for thinking you had stumbled across some kind of mystical fairy tale land…
Bavaria has some really stunning lakes, Konigsee, Chiemsee, and Bodensee to name a few, but I have to say, I think Eibsee might be my favourite of the lot. The last time we saw it was probably from the top of the Zugspitze during our Iglu expedition a few years ago. Back then it was completely white and frozen, so I had no idea about the crystal clear water that it’s very much famous for. Why yes Bavarian friends, here is a lake that even I would be happy to swim in (I have a bit of a fish phobia and won’t swim in anything that isn’t absolutely see through!)…
The lake is owned by the same family that own the Eibsee Hotel at the water’s edge, and they do a very good job of looking after it, providing a few rest stops for those that undertake the 7.5 kilometre loop around the water’s edge. If you visit during one of the glorious autumn days that Mother Nature is currently treating us to, then don’t be put off by the crowds doing the usual trek. It’s not hard to find your own path devoid of everything but trees, wildlife, the most spectacular views from the lake above, and nine year old children absolutely moaning their heads off about the threat of ticks (having read the stark “achtung zecken” warning that someone had penned upon a sign)…
Thankfully I was able to distract my miniature Victor Meldrew with the promise of an ice cream at the end, and as we hiked up through the forest we spoke about a German Forester called Peter Wohlleben that I had recently heard an interview with, and his book The Hidden Life of Trees. Peter believes that trees communicate through the vast network of roots underground, and through sap and funghi, and at that precise moment in time surrounded by the ancient magnificent forest, it wasn’t that hard to believe.
Eibsee scenery with one of my boys. I would like to say it was a nice quiet moment, but someone had written “achtung – zecken” (warning – tics) on a sign and tics are his biggest phobia so he was freaking out… There’s no filter on this, that really is the colour of the lake in the background…. #bayern #eibsee #instapassport
We pondered what they might be talking about – what the weather was like maybe, who had given them a hug that day perhaps (usually me!), who was up for the chop, and what it might feel like when their leaves fell off. This seemed to distract the Small Boy further until a voice piped up at the back “and they will most definitely speak about the boy who did nothing but moan about ticks and how much his legs hurt ALL the time”, which was of course swiftly followed by a mini fit of sibling rage.
Both were soon placated by a rare sighting of a beautiful slow worm, and the spotting of the most extreme rope swing into those turquoise waters I have ever seen in my life (which we won’t be going on anytime soon!). Thankfully the sense of peace and tranquillity was soon restored…Sorry about that trees.
The baby spent the entire walk contentedly surveying the scene from the comfort of his sling (swapping from front to back from time to time!) happily helping his Dad manoeuvre his walking poles and shouting “dog” at any living creature whether or not they had four legs or two…
There’s just something so special about getting out and about at this time of year in Bavaria when the weather is good, especially when the scenery is like this. Autumn in Eibsee really is stunning…
And at the end of it all (and after an obligatory quick paddle in the beautiful cold lake!) with tired legs, an aching back (for the one carrying the heavy lump of a baby), a memory card full of pictures, and a sense of achievement at the length we had walked – we sat in the nearby biergarten for that promised ice-cream and something a bit more substantial for the grown ups. Well, we had burned off quite a few calories!
Thanks Eibsee. We will be most definitely be back…
- Eibsee is around 100km south west of Munich, 10km or so from Garmisch (which is also really worth a visit!) You can catch a train from Munich, or drive – Parking is quite easy and costs around €3 for the day.
- Follow the signs to the lake, then go against the crowds doing the usual 7.5km loop for the most peaceful walk. Don’t be afraid to follow the quieter paths up through the forest, just be aware of the tick risk, and obviously stick to the paths where there’s a drop to one side;
- Walking shoes are obviously the best idea for a proper hike, although you would get away with trainers if you are just sticking to the loop. Don’t forget to bring a small towel for the absolutely mandatory paddle in the gorgeous clear waters at the end of your walk (there are plenty of little beaches in the shallows). The water is typically around 12 metres deep and at the lake is 36 metres at its deepest, and perfectly clean enough to swim in!
- If walking/hiking/swimming really isn’t your thing, hire a boat or a canoe (or bring a paddle board!) and enjoy the breaktaking views of the Zugspitze from the middle of the lake (in the summer month’s there’s a small ferry for a round trip!);
- Take it all in and appreciate exactly how clever Mother Nature is (and don’t forget to let me know if you hear any trees talking!)…
Oh wow it looks incredible, those lakes are just gorgeous x
They don’t look real do they? Thanks Sonia! (:
If I had beautiful places like that on my doorstep then I don’t think I’d ever go far away at all x x
Thanks Cass! (: xx
The scenery is just stunning. I can’t believe the colours and the water! We’re seriously considering a Summer holiday in Austria or Germany next year, after all your beautiful posts. I have a fear of tics too and wear long trousers on country walks for fear of the blighters. Glad to hear you all survived unscathed ;-)
Thanks so much Kirsty! Do give me a shout if you want any hotel/accommodation pointers. x
Michelle Twin Mum says
Wow, that water looks amazing, I would definitely take a dip, so clear and beautiful. Mich x
Thank you Mich x
Trish @ Mum's Gone To says
How glorious does this look!
Isn’t there a song, “I talk to the Trees”? Clint Eastwood sang it in a film, Paint Your Wagon. He said they didn’t listen to him. Probably because ethey were too busy talking to each other.
ps – We haven’t been abroad since February – all our Easter and summer breaks have been in the UK and it’s been such a joy. x
Thank you Trish. I will have to have a search for it now! :D xx
JuggleMum, Nadine Hill says
Wow – that lake really is something special! I’d love to swim in it too!
I am very particular about lakes that I swim in Nadine! :D
Fiona Cambouropoulos says
How could you think of travelling with this on your doorstep? It looks stunning and no filters on that gorgeous water too! I know what you mean though, Coombe Mill is stunning but I still enjoy travelling and going abroad. Good to know when you don’t there is still so much to do on the doorstep and the most relaxing scenery too.
Thanks so much Fiona! You really have some gorgeous scenery on your doorstep too! :) x
Nikki Thomas says
What a magical place? I can’t believe how beautiful the lake is, it does look like the sea.
Stunning isn’t it? There are quite a few this clear in this part of the world! :) Thanks Nikki!
I was just thinking looking at your instagram how lovely your immediate surroundings are, these pictures really continue that. Lovely send of your family walk too, loved reading this :)
Thanks so much Penny! x
Jen Walshaw says
Woah, that lake is just amazing! I think I would even swim in that too. It looks like a fairytale or a place that could have been written about in fairy tales.
It really does doesn’t it? Thanks Jen! (:
Erica Price says
That water really is crystal clean isn’t it? Stunning scenery to explore.
Thanks Erica! (: