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TEGERNSEE – The Perfect Holiday Destination
The Tegernsee Valley is located around 50 kilometres south of Munich at the foot of the Bavarian Alps. Whether it’s the all the fun ways to keep fit; a climate that has long been recognised for its curative properties; hot sulphur-iodine springs that were discovered over 100 years ago; a sound framework of high-quality hotels, restaurants, and health and wellness facilities; the region’s wide-ranging event calendar; or a variety of culinary offerings you just can’t find anywhere else in Bavaria, there are myriad reasons to pay us a visit! Indeed, they all make Lake Tegernsee and its surroundings a fantastic destination for active tourists, lovers of culture, health-conscious travellers, and those attending local conferences.
The crystal-clear mountain streams that feed into Lake Tegernsee make it one of the cleanest bodies of water in Germany. Measuring around 6.4 kilometres long and 1.4 kilometres wide, nearly all of the lake’s shores are accessible to the public. It has 11 landing points where passengers can climb aboard one of the vessels operated by the local shipping authority. For those who favour the old traditions, there is also a boatsman who still ferries locals and visitors alike across the lake at its narrowest point – from the town of Tegernsee to Rottach-Egern – for a nominal fee. The Tegernsee Mountains, which make up part of the foothills of the Bavarian Alps, form the western section of the Mangfall Mountains. The area’s most prominent massif, the Wallberg, offers a captivating view of the High Alps and the landscape that encircles Lake Tegernsee. The lake itself, meanwhile, is home to a rich variety of fish species, including whitefish, char, trout, cisco, and crayfish. The mouths of the Rottach and Weißach can be found on its southern shores, and the Mangfall serves as the lake’s outflow in the north. The southwestern corner of Lake Tegernsee also features the Ringsee cove and, just before it, the Ringseeinsel – an island with protected status that is inhabited only by grass and dense shrubbery. The local forests provide an ideal habitat for various birds and mammals, including golden eagles and bats, as well as a number of rare insects.
For centuries, the towns of Tegernsee, Bad Wiessee, Gmund, Rottach-Egern, and Kreuth have retained a signature character that combines their authentic traditions with stylish elegance and the region’s stunning natural surroundings.
Bad Wiessee is a spa town that visitors have come to know as a timeless, yet multifaceted place that has dedicated itself to health and wellness. It owes the “Bad” prefix it received in 1922 (indicating the presence of curative waters) to its hot sulphur-iodine springs, which are the strongest in Germany. The sulphur, iodine, flouride, and sodium chloride found in these natural waters have been used to treat rheumatism, circulatory and respiratory illnesses, as well as eye and skin diseases ever since. Over the years, renowned clinics specialising in orthopaedics, traumatology, sports medicine, internal medicine, and cardiology have also put down roots in Bad Wiessee. Those looking for entertainment, meanwhile, can try their luck at Bavaria’s most successful casino, and the Spiel- und Sportarena – the biggest indoor recreation facility in the Bavarian Oberland region – is loads of fun for both young and old. Winter sport enthusiasts can explore the area’s pristine natural settings on foot, by sledge, or on cross-country skis. Visitors to Bad Wiessee are also welcome to learn more about the fish species native to the region at Bavaria’s largest freshwater aquarium, the Aquadome.
More information on this community is available at www.bad-wiessee.de.
Gmund is located on the northern shore, which is why it is sometimes called the “gateway to Lake Tegernsee”. This is a community that sets great store by its down-to-earth mindset, adherence to traditions, and the Gemütlichkeit (roughly: cosy homeliness) for which Bavaria is known. Gmund, which is home to some 6,000 citizens, is an especially family-friendly place in the region, and one that is primarily known for agritourism. Two cycling paths of note – one that leads from Bodensee to Königssee, and the other from Munich to Venice – pass through the town, and it is also the starting point of an Alpine crossing to Sterzing (Vipiteno), Italy. When travelling this route, which is much more about experiencing nature, culture, and culinary specialities than testing one’s physical limits, it’s possible to arrange for luggage transport and comfortable lodgings in the valley. That means less seasoned hikers and people with minor disabilities can also take the entire tour. Active tourists can also hike along countless other paths, go sailing or cycling, play a round of golf, or even satisfy their need for speed at the summer toboggan run at the nearby Oedberg. Those interested in the region’s past have their choice of places like the Jagerhaus, a museum of local history that also hosts art exhibitions. These events include “gmundart”, which features works by contemporary artists from the Tegernsee Valley and its surroundings. All these highlights aside, Gmund owes its international renown to its two paper mills. Papierfabrik Louisenthal manufactures paper for banknotes used by customers in Germany and countries abroad, while Büttenpapierfabrik has been making some of the most elegant paper in the world for more than 185 years. Even the famous golden envelopes used at the Oscars have been produced there. Gmund has its own train station, where Bayerische Regiobahn trains from Munich arrive on an hourly basis.
Further information is available at www.gmund.de.
In July 2018, Kreuth became just the fourth community in Germany to receive the official distinction of Bergsteigerdorf (“mountain climbers’ village”). Comprising 17 distinct areas that extend from the shores of Lake Tegernsee deep into the mountains, it’s a place that’s synonymous with native traditions and pure, untouched nature. Its location among the Hirschberg, Leonhardstein, Setzberg, and the Blauberge makes it practically perfect for hiking and recharging one’s batteries. Tourists can walk along storied paths around Wildbad Kreuth and perhaps pay a visit to the Herzogliche Fischzucht (ducal fisheries) for a lunch of the freshest fish. Meanwhile, the Leonhardifahrt (horseback procession) is a tradition Kreuth has been practising for more than 500 years, which makes it the oldest of its kind in Bavaria. Slightly more recent is the “Internationale Musikfest Kreuth am Tegernsee”, which drew lovers of both classical and modern music to the foothills of the Alps in Wildbad Kreuth from 1990 to 2015. Since then, it has been held at various venues in the region.
For further information about Kreuth, please visit www.kreuth.de.
The community of Rottach-Egern lies on the southern shore of Lake Tegernsee. Its main boulevard, Seestraße, is lined with first-class hotels, restaurants, and boutiques. Exclusive beauty and wellness facilities, including Europe’s first “beauty farm”, round out the impressive services on offer here. Meanwhile, the town’s two landmarks both invite locals and visitors on a stroll: a leisurely one in the case of the Malerwinkel, which offers a view that has inspired many a painter, poet, and composer; and a rather more demanding hike in the case of the Wallberg, the mountain that towers 1,722 metres above Lake Tegernsee. The latter is also the starting point of choice for paragliders looking to take advantage of the lake’s favourable winds. Fans of the sledging arts can take a cable car up to the top of Germany’s longest natural toboggan run and take an exhilarating ride back down into the valley. While it does feature sophisticated and innovative offerings like these, Rottach-Egern is also steeped in culture and traditions that reflect its history as a village of farmers and fishermen. Cattle are still driven down from the mountains in the late autumn every year, and events centred on horses regularly pop up on the annual calendar, as well. One of them is Rosstag, which is held on the last Sunday of August and features riders on steeds that draw festively decorated carriages through the town.
To learn more about Rottach-Egern, please visit www.rottach-egern.de.
The oldest settlement on Lake Tegernsee also shares its name. It was all the way back in 746 that two noble brothers, Adalbert and Ottokar, founded a Benedictine abbey here. When the abbey truly began to flourish around 250 years later, illuminators, stained glass artists, goldsmiths, metal casters, and many other craftspeople took up residence in the area. This resulted in a unique abundance of art and culture that continues to play an important role in the region today. The Tegernseer Woche, for example, is a week-long event that offers insights into the area’s culture and customs every year. The science days held in the autumn explore various nature- and technology-related subjects, and the Tegernseer Volkstheater brings authentic portrayals of local traditions to the stage. The annual International Mountain Film Festival also draws fans of cinema from near and far to Tegernsee. Like every other place in the area, this is a community where almost everything centres on ensuring a warm, welcoming atmosphere. That’s certainly true of the Herzogliches Bräustüberl Tegernsee, where locals and tourists alike can raise a Halbe (half a litre) or two from the adjacent brewery, which is one of the oldest in Germany. Tegernsee (population: around 4,000) is also home to the only fishery on the lake. Here, whitefish, char, trout, and other delicacies are caught and sold fresh daily at a small store on Schlossplatz. A short stroll southward will bring you to a sport and recreation facility known simply as the “Point”, which boasts a sandy beach and courts for beach volleyball.
For more information, please visit www.tegernsee.de.
Culture and tradition
The way in which local customs are cherished and kept alive around Lake Tegernsee is evident not only in the many traditional events held here, but in the tours offered by the area’s native guides, as well. These locals can tell you all about things like the oldest Leonhardifahrt (horseback procession) in Bavaria, the aforementioned Rosstag (horse festival) in Rottach-Egern, and Tegernsee’s renowned Waldfeste & Seefeste (traditional as well as lakeside festivals). The area’s customs also extend to traditional attire and folk music, of course. Other popular events in the valley include the Magic of Advent, the Tegernseer Tal Montgolfiade (a hot-air balloon festival), the Bavarian International Open Chess Championship, and the International Mountain Film Festival. For some truly refined entertainment, look no further than the programme put on by the numerous cabaret performers and musicians in the Winner’s Lounge at the casino in Bad Wiessee. An array of exciting sporting events also take place around Lake Tegernsee throughout the year.
Those looking to get some exercise while on holiday can take part in a variety of recreational activities against the backdrop of the lake and the magnificent panorama provided by the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. The myriad possibilities include hiking, cycling and mountain biking, water sport, paragliding, tobogganing, cross-country skiing, and much more. The town of Kreuth, which received the official distinction of Bergsteigerdorf in 2018, really does tick all the boxes for mountain enthusiasts: ice-cold brooks that babble through meadows covered with flowers, gently sloping hillsides, spectacular cliffs, and peaks that are best left to the most seasoned climbers. The Tegernsee Valley also offers families a wide selection of excursions and attractions – including indoors for days when the weather isn’t playing along. Local mascot Kraxl Maxl invites children on a series of hiking and cycling tours, and spending a day playing at the Spielarena or climbing all over the Kletterwald is always a fun option. For further highlights, why not take a tour of the paper factory Büttenpapierfabrik Gmund, board a ship to the other side of the lake, hop a cable car up to the top of the Wallberg, or see some of the sights from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage? Apart from skiing and tobogganing, sport enthusiasts can take part in traditional activities like Eisstockschießen (think curling) during the winter months. Hikes around the region’s lovely snow-covered landscape – including on snowshoes – are also very popular.
Health and wellness
The Tegernsee Valley owes much of its outstanding reputation as a destination for the health-conscious to the wide range of resources at its disposal, from its hot sulphur-iodine springs and curative St Quirinus oil to the array of treatments offered by its wellness facilities, clinics, and first-rate physicians and specialists. Thanks to the health benefits afforded by the local climate, the communities around Lake Tegernsee have also been granted the official distinction of Heilklimatischer Kurort. And of course, in a place that features the first “beauty farm” anywhere in Europe, luxurious spas can’t be far away. Guests can choose from several recognised wellness hotels, and the lakeside sauna monte mare in Tegernsee is the ideal place to have a good sweat. As mentioned above, there’s also no shortage of ways to get some exercise in the foothills of the nearby Alps. In addition, the Tegernsee Valley is a partner region of the German Ski Association (Deutscher Skiverband – DSV) and thus maintains an extended network of skiing routes that’s sure to offer the right challenge for every level of ability. For more, check out www.gesundesland.de.
Given its status as the first GENIESSERLAND region in Bavaria, you’d expect the Tegernsee Valley to feature a truly unique level of culinary variety – and you’d be exactly right! Whether you’re in the mood for award-winning cuisine or Bavarian soul food; a gourmet restaurant or a rustic alpine lodge; a beer garden overlooking the lake or the Panorama-Restaurant atop the Wallberg; a quiet wine cellar or a bustling bar, the phrase “spoilt for choice” barely covers it. Within 25 kilometres of Lake Tegernsee, you’ll find the highest concentration of gourmet establishments in all of Bavaria. And this isn’t meant to imply exclusivity in the sense of Michelin stars or Gault Millau toques; it’s more about the focus the region’s restaurateurs place on local products. From time-honoured Bavarian specialities to the finest delicacies – from a hearty Brotzeit to pleasures for the vegetarian palate – those who have a taste for the finer things won’t be left wanting here.
Holidays without barriers
People with disabilities can look forward to spending a relaxing holiday in the Tegernsee Valley and experiencing everything the area has to offer. Along with barrier-free hotels and restaurants, there are numerous recreational activities that are accessible to those with limited mobility. Tourists can explore the region’s natural beauty from Gmund on a handcycle tour, or starting from Rottach-Egern on a circular hiking path that’s perfect for wheelchairs, as well. There’s also the Seerundweg, which leads all the way round the lake. In addition, various museums (like the one dedicated to carriages, wagons, and sledges) and several local swimming pools are barrier-free. Further information on accessibility and a list of barrier-free restaurants and accommodations are available at www.behindertenkompass.de.
The some 650 host facilities near Lake Tegernsee offer a total of nearly 10,000 beds that are sure to satisfy any preference, whether it’s at a luxury hotel with an award-winning chef, a hotel garni, a holiday home or flat, a guesthouse, or even accommodations on a farm. At www.tegernsee.com/gastgebersuche or one of the five tourist information bureaus in the area, visitors can find the perfect place to lay their heads or simply start gathering ideas for their next holiday.
The welcome card is a chip card that all tourists receive from their host upon arriving in the Tegernsee region. It entitles them to discounts on specific services from numerous partners in the area for the length of their stay. The welcome card also serves as a valid ticket on all buses operated by Regionalverkehr Oberbayern (RVO) throughout the Miesbach district, as well as on buses to places like Bad Tölz, Murnau, and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
An extension of the welcome card, the TegernseeCard is issued to tourists by many partner businesses. It gives the holder access to an array of offerings at significantly reduced prices (on top of the benefits provided by the welcome card). These include journeys by ship, train, or cable car; entrance to swimming pools and museums; rounds of minigolf; and many other recreational opportunities.
Lake Tegernsee is easy to reach thanks to its proximity to the A8 autobahn (Munich–Salzburg). From the north, it’s only about 25 kilometres from the Holzkirchen/Tegernsee exit to the town of Gmund on the B318 / B307 highways. From the south, the B472 / B307 highways will take you from the Irschenberg exit to the lake in around 20 minutes.
By public transport
Bayerische Regiobahn (BRB) operates hourly trains that run straight from Munich’s main station to Gmund and Tegernsee. From there, you can take a taxi or bus (the latter is free with your welcome card) to reach any other location in the area.
Munich Airport is 90 kilometres away, or roughly an hour and a half by car. You can also take an S-Bahn train or the airport shuttle straight from the airport to Munich’s main train station. From there, Bayerische Regiobahn (BRB) operates hourly trains to Tegernsee, and normally scheduled buses are also available.
Information and reservations
The friendly staff at Tegernseer Tal Tourismus GmbH will be happy to receive your enquiries and bookings on +49 (0) 8022 927380 or via www.tegernsee.com.
About Tegernseer Tal Tourismus GmbH
Tegernseer Tal Tourismus GmbH is responsible for marketing the Lake Tegernsee region and managing its brand as a holiday destination. It promotes tourism in cooperation with the communities of Gmund, Bad Wiessee, Kreuth, Rottach-Egern, and Tegernsee, as well as with the operators of restaurants, accommodations, and other local service providers. In its marketing efforts, the company focuses on the unique combination of gastronomy, health services, local traditions, and natural beauty that has made Lake Tegernsee a leading location for tourists.
For further information, please visit www.tegernsee.com.