9 camping destinations around Munich: Sustainable travel
9. June 2022
It’s about time for a road trip! But where to? The term “road trip” is traditionally associated with images of endless roads and coastal landscapes. It’s normal that when we think of traveling, we first think of faraway and exotic places. Yet we often forget that adventure can await just a few miles from our own front door. We all take day trips, but who sets out in a camper to explore their own home? That’s right, we do! Because in times when our wallets are suffering from high fuel prices and our climate is being given the cold shoulder with long-distance flights and car journeys, then it is a blessing to be able to reach your destination without having to make 2 stops for fuel. Therefore, it is our special concern to show you the highlights of our home cities.
The Bavarian state capital of Munich offers an almost unique variety of options for locals and tourists: Hiking in the mountains? Or would you rather paddle across a lake? The nearby Alps and the sun in your back are good prerequisites for a successful vacation. We have selected 9 top destinations in the Munich region, ranging from a cozy café to a fairytale castle.
High up on the Zugspitze - The highest excursion destination around Munich
If you want to go high, you are absolutely right here. At just under 3,000 meters, the Zugspitze is Germany’s highest mountain… And it’s only about a 1 ½ hour drive from Munich. For those who want to climb the giant on foot, there are a variety of hiking routes and even via ferrata. But also for those of us who just want to enjoy the view on top, there is a solution, or rather 2 solutions: a cable car that takes you directly to the peak, as well as a cog railroad, if you are not quite comfortable with the free-floating gondola. The Zugspitze also has a ski area to offer. At the top, modern gastronomy and a 360° panorama await you that you simply have to see!
Sailing paradise at the Chiemsee
Lake Chiemsee is not also called the Bavarian Sea for nothing, after all, it is the largest lake in the Free State and accordingly has much to offer visitors. Particularly worth seeing are the two islands of Herrenchiemsee and Frauenchiemsee, which can be reached by ferry. The fairy-tale king Ludwig II knew about the special location of the lake, which is why he had a castle built on Herrenchiemsee. The Versailles Palace served as a model for this and impresses tourists every day with its magnificent architecture. But the lake itself also offers a whole repertoire of outdoor activities on hot summer days. Whether by kayak, stand-up or sailboat: if the wind and the weather are right, all kinds of water sports can be done here. For the water-shy, you can also take a tour around the lake by bike or simply explore the medieval old town of Wasserburg am Inn or beautiful Rosenheim. Either way, Lake Chiemsee is a top destination for camping in the Munich area.
Time out in the Café Winklstüberl
Another real insider tip from the Oberland. This cozy café attracts guests from all over the world with its typically gigantic pieces of cake. The selection varies almost daily, so there really is something for every taste. Of course, those who prefer heartier fare won’t be left out either. Especially on sunny days, a table in the beautiful outdoor area is recommended. Amidst flower beds and enclosures for rabbits and hamsters, there is also a playground for children. The café already looks back on centuries of tradition and also made its mark on the German pop scene. How is that you may ask? Most Germans have probably heard the song “Aber bitte mit Sahne” before. Fittingly, it originated in the Winklstüberl in Fischbachau. With its location at the foot of the Breitenstein, the café has already tempted one or two hikers on their way home. If you are in the area, a visit is a must.
Excursion to the enchanting Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle is probably one of the most famous castles in the world. And not without reason, after all, with hardly any other castle making the tales told in fairy tales feel as real as here. Again we have King Ludwig II to thank for this building, which is located just under 2 hours’ drive from Munich. You should know right away that the castle can only be visited as part of a guided tour. You can buy tickets online or at the Ticket Center Hohenschwangau. Underneath the Marienbrücke, which leads to the castle, there is also the imposing Pöllatschlucht, and it is definitely worth looking into the depths, at least for those without fear of heights. I don’t think much more needs to be said about this highlight, so we’ll just let the pictures do the talking.
Of course, we also want to give you one or two “insider tips”. The Albert Link hut is located in the mountains of Schliersee and is a station of the Three Lakes Tour. The cozy hut impresses especially with its child-friendly environment and is thus ideal for a family stay. If you feel like it, you can also make use of the hut’s own store, where you can buy homemade bread, smoked cheese and bacon. South of the hut is the Spitzingsee, which is a popular destination for day trippers from Munich. In addition, the Albert Link Hütte is an ideal starting point for mountain tours to the Rotwand area or the Stolzenberg-Brecherspitz area.
Hiking around the Wendelstein
The Wendelstein can be recognized even from afar when traveling from Munich. This is thanks to the weather station on the peak, which stands out particularly from the foothills of the Alps with all its apparatus. With its 1838 meters of altitude, the Wendelstein is perfect for a 2-4 hour hiking tour, depending on the choice of route. Of course, there is a shortcut here as well: a cable car as well as a rack railroad make the way to the mountain station immensely easier. But if you don’t want to miss the nature that the mountain in the Mangfall Mountains has to offer, you’d better take some time, because chamois or marmots can be seen and heard here in summer. Once at the top, the Wendelsteinhaus provides culinary delights with a panoramic view. Halfway up you will also find the Mitteralm, which also offers a place to spend the night. 100 meters above the mountain station is the peak cross as well as an observatory. There is also something special for the kids: at the mountain station, a playground has been specially built under the motto “native animal species in the mountains”.
Bavarian food with a view at Andechs Monastery
Another classic among Munich day trippers is Andechs Monastery. Visible from afar, the Benedictine monastery is located on the “Holy Mountain” on the eastern shore of Lake Ammersee and houses a pilgrimage church and its own brewery. A visit is worthwhile especially as a crowning conclusion to a short hike on hot summer days. Moreover, the ascent is by no means strenuous and therefore easily doable with the whole family. The specially brewed beer can be eaten together with good and inexpensive Bavarian food. Whether it’s a pork knuckle or a snack, if you’re in the mood for Bavarian cuisine, there’s hardly a better setting than in the monastery beer garden. Those who wish can also take part in a guided tour of the church or brewery and climb the church tower to enjoy the view from there.
Excursions to the Bavarian Caribbean at Walchensee
A camper with a roof tent is ideal for a vacation at this idyllic lake in the Bavarian foothills of the Alps. Directly on the shore you will find the campsite Walchensee in a dreamlike location only 1 1/2 hours from Munich. The 75 pitches offer a view over the lake to the mountains in the background. The village of Walchensee is also just a 10-minute walk away. The lake is a real eye-catcher, especially because of its light blue water and is not for nothing also called the Bavarian Caribbean. The best thing to do is to rent a boat at one of the many jetties and cross the lake on your own. If you’ve had enough of beach and water, you’ll certainly be happy to hear that you’re in an ideal position to go hiking in the mountains. The 1731 meter high Herzogsstand can also be quickly reached by cable car. If you are a camping fan, you can’t miss this campsite.
Cozy sleeping barrels at Pilsen Lake
On the road with a camper of course you are also going to visit campsites, so we do not want to withhold this jewel from you. Even if it sounds a bit crazy at first: A night in a sleeping barrel at the Pilsensee campsite is an experience for all camping enthusiasts. With a length of almost 6 meters, the XXL wooden barrels offer space for up to 4 people and are equipped with up to 3 beds, a cool box as well as extendable tables and seating. The campsite is also located right next to the bathing meadow, which overlooks the entire Pilsen Lake and on sunny days you can even see as far as the Alps. Lake Pilsen is somewhat overshadowed by its big brothesr, Lake Ammersee or Lake Starnberg, but that is exactly what makes it so charming. The shore is mostly unobstructed and whether pedal boaters or stand-up paddlers, both have discovered the quiet lake for themselves. Seefeld Castle also towers above the lake and offers its own “Bräustüberl” (brewery restaurant) for refreshments or a bite to eat.
A road trip is guaranteed to be a unique experience with the right destinations, whether with friends or family! You don’t always have to travel hundreds of kilometers to completely change the scenery. Even your own home country offers beautiful places and has one or two surprises up its sleeve. If you connect all the destinations we presented in our article, you’ll be on the road for about 450 kilometers and still have about half a tank of gas available for further exploration! A blessing for your wallet and your own carbon footprint in equal measure. Hopefully we were able to give you a tip or two along the way and nothing will stand in the way of your next road trip!