Achenkirk, Achensee, Bad Wissee, Bavaria, Bavaria Lakes, Bavarian Lake, Deutsche Alpenstrasse, european family travel, Family travel Bavaria, Family travel in Germany, fog Tegernsee, German travel, Germany Travel, Gmund, kreuth, Pertisau, Rottach, Rottach Egern, Tegernsee, Zugspitze
We travelled to the Tegernsee in southern Bavaria over the US Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It was a lovely lake, however we were never able to see more than a few meters of it as the lake itself was shrouded in fog the entire 3 days we were there. Oops. The lake is less than an hour south of Munich and the entire region was socked in by fog for many days around this time due to a weather system that was stuck over central Europe. We saw nothing but fog from the time we hit Munich south to the lake. I should also mention that just two and a half weeks prior to our trip we spent five days at Lake Maggiore in Italy, probably our favorite lake experience ever so this may have shaded our view of the Tegernsee slightly. You can read about Lago Maggiore and Lago Orta here and here.
We stayed on the south side of the lake in a town called Rotach-Egern at a very cute family run apartment – the Gastehaus Maria. This is a delightful little town with lots of upscale shopping, however not name brand upscale shopping like Tiffany’s or Mont Blanc like you might see in larger cities, these were upscale independent boutiques and it really was the place to go if you want your choice of dirndls in all sizes. We were able to drive up above the fog on the Wallberg toll road which began right in Rottach and was a lovely 1.5 mile drive up the mountain. We had great views of the mountains above the fog and on a clear day I can see it would be a fantastic lake view. In the summer and beginning mid December you can take the lift up as well and there is a small restaurant located at the top as well as nice benches to enjoy the views.
Another day was spent over the nearby Austrian border at the Achensee. This is a quieter lake that was higher in elevation by a couple hundred meters, allowing it to be above the fog! (I should note that this was over a week ago now for us and it was the last time we saw the sun. November in Germany can lead to a vitamin D shortage for sure!) We always love Austrian food. It seems so weird to me that in a place literally 15 minutes from the German border and the food is quite different. We have seen this in other locations as well so this is not unique to this area. We had a great lunch in the town of Achenkirk with various cheese courses and soups and vegetables (I love a good bratwurst as much as the next guy but sometimes a big spread of veggies is quite welcome).
The Achensee was very quiet but had some cute little towns and also the town of Pertisau which was entirely closed as far as hotels and restaurants as it was not ski season yet. It was very interesting to us as it was almost 50 degrees fahrenheit at one end of the lake near Pertisau and then at the other end in Achenkirk it was 37 degrees! This was a distance of only about 20 kilometres driving and even less as the crow flies over the lake!
On the way back to Rottach-Egern we decided to take a drive along a part of the deutsche alpenstrasse over to the town of Wallgau. (It was also nap time for our 22 month old so this drive allowed for a nice little snooze). It was a beautiful road in this part that had lots of picturesque pull offs and plenty of places to hike in nice weather. It follows the Isar River down and there are actually fantastic views of Germany’s highest montain – the Zugspitze. We then circled back up and drove along the Walchensee towards Rottach. We thought to ourselves that maybe given how beautiful the sun was in Austria and on the Alpenstrasse maybe it had cleared over the Tegernsee… then we saw the wall of fog in the pictures below. No such luck, but we found a great cheese shop in Kreuth which made it all seem brighter!
We also went to the other towns on the Tegernsee including Gmund, Tegernsee and Bad Wiesse. They were all very nice and well-kept with lots of places to stay and eat. We did however want something other than German food a few times and had no such luck as the few non-German food choices were closed for vacation or other reasons. Overall, it was a very nice trip and a great area for those looking for a very German experience as there was a huge number of great German restaurants offering authentic Bavarian cuisine.