Schönau am Königssee in the Berchtesgadener

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I have longed to visit this most beautiful lake in Germany. I’ve heard so much about Königssee. Of course, as I’ve mentioned in my other blog post-Germany indeed is blessed with many beautiful lakes. Each of those lakes has it’s own beauty. Königssee name means “King’s Lake” in German, and once you get here you’ll completely understand why. The Konigssee is located in the region of Schönau am Königsee, near the German-Austrian border in Bavaria. Königssee is unique the emerald green water and the mountains surrounding the lake makes it even more beautiful than ever. Imagine this lake nestled in between several gorgeous Alpine mountains at the foot of Mount Watzmann, a 2713 meters high mountain and Hagengebirge. In the heart of the Berchtesgaden National Park is one of nature’s true gems and with emerald green water all around. The Königssee has a fjord-like character probably because of its shape and the steep mountain walls on its shores.  It is one of Germany’s deepest and cleanest lake with crystal clear water in Germany. Right at the southeast of the lake is a smaller lake Obersee. The Lake can be seen from the highest peak such as Mount Jenner that offers you a breathtaking panorama view. It all depends upon you how you would like to see the King’s lake. Take a boat or Hike on your own. If you fancy seeing the popular destinations the easiest and fastest way available like St. Bartholomä or Salet hop on the electric boat or rent a rowboat.  You can either Rent a paddleboat and enjoy the National Park’s nature in peace or take an electric boat for a group and guided tour.  The boat fleet departs every 10 minutes from the landing stage at the Seelände in Schönau am Königssee. Read below how I planned my 2 days weekend trip to Königssee. Check here for a One Day Trip To Königssee From Munich.

It is pretty much easy to travel from Munich to Königsee either by car or train or from Salzburg to Königssee! From Munich to Königsee is approximately ( 157.2 km ) along the A8. By car, it will take you roughly 2 hours and it can take 3.5 hours by train and bus. 

Using Public transport to reach the nearest town which is Berchtesgaden, takes a little under 3 hours by train. Keep in mind a 6mins transfer time from Freilassing to Berchtesgaden Hbf (BLB S4). From Berchtesgaden, you’ll need to get to Schoenau am Koenigssee which is 6km to 7 km. A standard train ticket coast is somewhere 40€ to 50€ one way. Check out here for the time table.

For such a trip, if you would like to explore fully and would like to hike enjoying the serene beauty of this lake I would recommend starting early at 06:00 am. For hiking lovers with my experienced, I would say one day is not enough. The lake is huge with many hiking trails. I would recommend 2 days or perhaps 03 days to be able to cover mostly everything.

There are many hotels and guest houses in königsee and in case you would like to stay on a budget you could book your accommodation to the close-by town of Königsee.

You have countless options of hotels and guesthouses to choose from. The issue is that most of them are not available they are mostly fully booked during the warm summer weekend and high season in Winter. It’s advisable to book way in advance.

Hotel Garni Landhaus Sonnenstern

Hotel Garni Landhaus Sonnenstern is a small hotel in Schönau plus affordable located 1.5 km away from Königsee. The location is great since there are several different restaurants within walking distance. The Sonnenstern is an ideal starting point for hikes and bike tours through the Berchtesgaden National Park.

Hotel Garni Landhaus Sonnenstern

Hotel Garni Landhaus Sonnenstern is a small hotel in Schönau plus affordable located 1.5 km away from Königsee. The location is great since there are several different restaurants within walking distance. The Sonnenstern is an ideal starting point for hikes and bike tours through the Berchtesgaden National Park.

Apartments Haid

Such a lovely apartment, I would highly recommend it. Apartments Haid is well furnished. Only 3 km from Lake Königsee and the Berchtesgaden National Park and Jenner Bergbahn are 2 km away. Most restaurants and bakeries are also in the immediate vicinity.

Day 1 Königsee Hiking Adventure

We started around 08 am and we were so happy we had such lovely weather that weekend. The drive is easy enough. The route guarantees pure driving pleasure and fantastic views of valleys and mountain peaks. Along the driveway, I was lucky to capture the picture of The Watzmann, Not only is the Watzmann the highest peak in Germany above all its extraordinary shape that makes it so famous and also voted “the most beautiful mountain in the world ” according to Bergsteiger magazine. There is a legendary fairytale story of the Watzmann mountain. Looking at the Watzmann from Berchtesgaden the shape of the mountain range appears to be the so-called “Wife of the Watzmann” and its “Seven Kids”. as interpreted from the ancient legend story of King who was known for his cruelty and who was a hunger for more power. Therefore as a punishment, The king along with his wife and seven kids were turned into stone. You can hike to the mountain peak and what I’ve heard is extraordinary. For details, you can check here

We stopped for breakfast at Berchtesgaden cafe called Cafe Forstner Konditorei. Very easy to find right in the middle of the pedestrian zone at Weihnachtsschützenplatz.To be honest I found the town so quaint and beautiful. We stroll for a while before heading to Königsee. Surrounded by the Berchtesgaden Alps and divine nature, it is the perfect travel destination either in the summer or in winter. The Berchtesgaden is the only German national park in the Alps and part of the UNESCO.  The Berchtesgaden National Park is a natural gem. The most popular gateway to the national park for tourists is a walk to the famous Wimbachklaam waterfalls before entering the park which approximately cost an entry fee of € 2.50  It took us approximately 10 minutes to reach Königsee parking. A day ticket to the parking will cost you 12€. We headed to the ticket counter to take a cable ride car to Jenner. The hikes around the Jenner are in alpine terrain solid and safe footwear, appropriate hiking equipment is recommendable. The ticket cost is 25€ each and an additional 6€ for a small dog.

The Jennerbahn,  cable car at the Königssee, quickly leads onto the mountain. You can enjoy the peaceful, still, the quietness of the surrounding landscape. Halfway below us, it was spectacular to catch the only glimpse of Königssee below us, surrounded in lush green trees and the meadows. There are two stops along the Jennerbahn. We got down at the last stop which is 1800m high. From the station, we walked up to the highest point. We spent about half an hour here taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. For a moment I wondered I wish we could sit here forever and enjoy the picturesque beauty of nature. Indeed a paradise on Earth. So calm and serene. To get to the summit cross you have to hike steeply uphill for another 20 minutes. About 500′ (elevation) walk up to the summit. At 1,874 m, the Jenner is one of the highest mountains in the Berchtesgaden Alps. Oh! before I forget I would recommend if you are hiking you make sure to wear sturdy shoes and comfortable outfit. The lane is narrow with rocks and mud and narrow steps. You need to watch your steps. Here, I’ll let the pictures speak for me because the beauty was just astounding. I felt like we were somewhere amidst and sat in silence for a few moments absorbing the total tranquillity of the place. The time passed by so quickly it was all ready at 1 pm. We decided to hike down and explore the surrounding of the lake. Mind you, the Jenner is a 1,874 meter high. If you love hiking then you could trek both ways otherwise like us we took the cable car up and hike back down to the lake. 

The trails are crisscrossing the mountain, and we’d had high hopes of spending the day hiking. But we did not realise the trail was quite steep and we were concern about falling stumbling into something. Hiking downhill since this is a very steep mountain it’s not so easy. A sturdy hiking shoe is a must. Approximately it can take you 3 to 4 hours hiking back downhill. From the Jenner, we started hiking downhill where we reached Priesbergalm. We stopped here for some water and food. You could also order food and relax here for a while. We wanted to go to the waterfall but unfortunately, we could not find the way. We then headed to Königssbach about 8km distance which leads to Hochbahn. It was almost dark by then and after a few miles of hiking, we finally reach Pletzgraben which is 2 km away to the close enough to the Königssee Parkplatz. 

It took us longer since we were wondering about other routes which were worth it! In case you like to put effort exploring beyond the hiking trail then you need a lot of energy. It will take you at least 4 to 5 hours depending on your pace. The pictures would explain it all why it took us longer. 

In case you have more time and not exhausted you could take a different route to hike to Salet the tour to Salet takes about 4 hours of walking on the left. We were already exhausted we headed straight back to the Schönau Königsee.  

To sum it all up the tour was pleasant and so fascinating to see many cows and farms along the way with lush green trees and meadow. 

Mount Jenner Königsee

The Jennerbahn, a gondola lift, takes hikers and skiers 20 minutes from Schönau am Königssee via the middle station (1185 m) to the 1800 m high mountain station just below the summit. From there a 20-minute walk leads to the summit cross with a good panorama view. A word of advice is that if you are not sure-footed, don’t go all the way to the cross at the top. Steps are steep and slippery on the way down.

The Jennerbahn, a gondola lift, takes hikers and skiers 20 minutes from Schönau am Königssee via the middle station (1185 m) to the 1800 m high mountain station just below the summit. From there a 20-minute walk leads to the summit cross with a good panorama view. A word of advice is that if you are not sure-footed, don’t go all the way to the cross at the top. Steps are steep and slippery on the way down.

Moint Jenner Königsee

The Jennerbahn, a gondola lift, takes hikers and skiers 20 minutes from Schönau am Königssee via the middle station (1185 m) to the 1800 m high mountain station just below the summit. From there a 20-minute walk leads to the summit cross with a good panorama view. A word of advice is that if you are not sure-footed, don’t go all the way to the cross at the top. Steps are steep and slippery on the way down.

Day 2 Königsee Hiking Adventure

We started at about 10 am after a good breakfast. Still exhausted from the previous day hike. But we were determined to hike at least for 5 hours. We thought of taking the boat but we did not want to miss every bit of our hiking adventure. We could always do that the next time. 

We had in mind to also see if we could find the infinity pool. We plan to hike differently this time through the forest basically an unknown path. I must say it was the best experience ever. Into the forest so quiet with the sun above hiding between the tree branches. The forest path consists mainly of wild roots, partly also of rocks. Good walking shoes are recommended here since the path leads over hill and dale, rocky and slippery. After 35 minutes walk through the forest we reached a point where the road meets. We saw a few other hikers. From here about 20 mins uphill with a moderate incline, that leads to Rabenwand. The Rabenwand is the most beautiful vantage point on the tour. One of the highest points, the path ends and offers a direct view of the Königssee with St.Bartolomä on the horizon. When we finally reached this point we could have not asked for more the view was spectacular. This is the most popular point. This beautiful perspective alone is worth the detour. 

Just when the sky is clearing up and the fog slowly disappears as the tiny water droplets.

An adventure through the forest an unofficial path that leads to the hidden gem.

Rabenwand at Königssee offers definitely one of the most stunning views over the lake.

Finding the secret waterfall of Königssee

I was looking forward to seeing the Natural pool at Königsee also known as an infinity pool. I’ve heard so much about this Natural Pool at Kings Lake. With the Instagram hype, it has become so popular and attracted many people to visit this Natural Pool which was once a secret place. The Königssee is a natural jewel without equal in the Berchtesgaden National Park. It plunges 70 meters into the depths over several pools. I was wondering if I should write this Natural Pool at all because the place is dangerous, The waters leading into the Königssee carry a lot of meltwater. To get to the waterfall, you have to go through alpine terrain plus the Government tourism officials now are in the process of closing it down completely. 

Nevertheless, we decided to see it for ourselves after so much hype on Instagram and before it is officially close. So, we followed the noises of the waterfall, which we can hear from afar until after about an hour’s walk we are right in front of the natural pool we are looking for Königsbachfall. The forest path consists mainly of wild roots, partly also of rocks, very slippery and narrow. I would suggest a good walking shoe is recommended. However, we are well equipped with sturdy hiking shoes. For non-experience hikers, I would not recommend it! It’s not a joke, because there had been many accidents that happened. Few who have lost their life.

WARNING:  I want to mention that the path through the forest is not official, not well maintained, and loose at some parts. Walking there is at your own risk & dangerous! Using drones is not allowed. 

After 45 to 50 minutes walk we finally reached the pool. There were already a few people taking pictures and enjoying the scenic beauty.  I didn’t think the natural pool was big or that deep overlooking the Königssee lake. But it sure did! You will find a separate ‘pool’ right next to the waterfall and the two famous nature pools overlooking the lake are located right at the edge. Yes, no doubt about it from the pool it offers a stunningly beautiful, spectacular view of the Königssee. But the water is bitterly cold. The current that runs down the pool is very strong. You have to be extremely careful to get in the pool, or you might slide over the edge and fall over 100 meters down. I found it to be slippery too. We stayed here for a while relishing the view.

Getting back supposedly there are two ways either take the same way back or go downhill taking another unknown path. I saw a few people took the other route too. We took the same way back and headed to Malerwinkel approximate 60 mins from Königsbachfall. The Malerwinkel is another popular vantage point on the Königssee. From here to Königsee lake is about 40 mins. Along the way, we took a shortcut an unknown path going downhill right to the lake. Again slippery and narrow however the hike was worth it! We found a secluded beautiful spot just perfect to take a plunge in the water. We were so happy to finally rest and relax until the sun was about to set. 

We finally reach our destination back at Königssee Parksplatz. What more could you look forward too after this mission. Of course a fresh beer and some good food. The beer was good and the food was delicious. I would recommend this restaurant “The Pizziare Lagos” To sum it all up this was a great hiking adventure. Though we could cover Hintersee, Obersee and St. Bartolomä these are some of the highlights. We will go back for another hike here in the winter. 

WHY IS THE  KÖNIGSBACHFALL (Natural Infinity Pool CLOSE:  September 2020, the administration of the national park wants to work on a ban on entering the area in coordination with the Berchtesgadener Land district office. Failure to comply could result in a fine. The area is closed to protect nature. 

Number one reason: There have been few accidents while hiking to the pool and a few have died falling from the pool. The pathway to the Natural pool is approximately 40 to 45 mins walk from where the officials have placed a chain to prevent people from crossing it over. We follow the noises of the waterfall, which we can hear from afar. There is no proper road, It’s a narrow, slippery, and dangerous path. There have also been a few accidents that happened and some, unfortunately, have lost their life.

Secondly,  people left their trash at this beautiful place, making illegal campfires – and repeatedly rescue operations for visitors in need.  This is another reason for the officials to completely close it down which is good anyways if people are lazy to pick up their trash. 

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More sights of Königssee

Check out More highlights you will find the following sights at Königssee and its surroundings in Berchtesgadener Land, which are especially great for families with small children:

  • Wimmbachklamm: A narrow gorge through which an adventurous 200-meter-long hiking trail leads (entrance fee: € 2.50).
  • Berchtesgaden Salt Mine: Here you can learn a lot about salt mining in the region in a one-hour tour. The mine is a good idea even in bad weather.

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