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What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

Hello everyone! Today I am bringing you a post about Germany, a country which I am discovering bit by bit and it couldn't have left me more amazed. Later I will describe to you why. We went on this trip at the beginning of July this year, making the most of the national holiday on Friday and... We spent 2 days in Austria and just one in Germany, but I have to say it was really intense. We got up really early to go there, and despite only staying for an hour in our Airbnb in Austria, we decided to make the most of the day 100 per cent. We went to a National Park called Berchtesgaden, which was in Bavaria, next to the Alps. I had been wanting to visit this Natural Park for around a year. The photographs of its landscapes looked incredible so I had it written all over my bucket list. It didn't disappoint me at all, so here I will tell you everything that we saw and did in Berchtesgaden, as well as some information that I think is important to know.

What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

How to get there

As I told you, we went from Sagerer, a small village where our Airbnb was located. I took us an hour and honestly, we had no problem crossing the border, they didn't ask us for a passport or any other kind of documentation the whole time. Once we had entered Berchtesgaden, we were amazed by the scenery. Despite the fact we were heading to a fixed destination, we were wondering whether or not to get out of the car to look at the nature surrounding us. We saw a small route that went through a river of crystal water, there were also signs for a walk through waterfalls and finally, before getting to our destination, we saw a pretty village that was next to the river, with really cute little houses and a church too. Saying that, we knew that what was waiting for us would be even better, so we went straight there.

Useful information

- Firstly, in Germany up until now there is not a toll system nor do you have to pay for road tax, so you can go around its motorways without having to pay a thing. As far as I understand, they are working on creating a new toll system, but the truth is they've been like this for a while now, so I don't know if that's completely true. In any case, right now it is completely free to travel on German roads.

- In second place, the entry to the Berchtesgaden Natural Park is completely free, which is another advantage. The only thing that you have to pay for is parking, but it isn't at all expensive. We had to pay 5 euros for the whole day, and bearing in mind that this was going to be split between 7 people and that we were in Germany... It was a complete bargain.

What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

What to see and do

The village next to the lake

After leaving the car-park, we went directly to the lake, but before that we had to go through a kind of "town", which was quite touristy, where there were cafes and restaurants, but also shops where they sell sports clothes to go hiking. As you can imagine, in Berchtesgaden there are hundreds of hiking routes, as it is enormous. We stopped here to have a coffee because we needed energy to start the morning. It seemed as if the breakfast was not sufficient. The coffee was quite expensive, honestly, 3 euros 50. We started to notice that we were in Germany. Saying that, it tasted delicious and it gave us the strength to begin our journey.

The Konigsee lake

We went down towards the lake, which was a couple of minutes walk from the cafe, and there we saw lots of groups of tourists bunched together, waiting to go on a boat trip on the lake. Before the trip, I had already checked how much it costs, and a single trip was 16 euros so we decided that it wasn't worth it, and we didn't have enough time to do it either. We decided to take a risk and go around Berchtesgaden the difficult way. We like a challenge.

As for this part of the lake, it is the most touristy part. It is surrounded by restaurants, hotels and boats that come and go full of people, disembarking in this small port. Saying that, the colour of the lake amazed us all. The following picture speaks for itself.

What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

In addition, it was full of different coloured ducks that got close to the edge of the shore so we could give them food. We were entertained for a long time until we finally decided to set course on our route for that day.

Hiking route.

We decided to do the following hiking route because it finished at a gorgeous natural pool. Also, we passed through various points of the lake which were incredible. Later, I will tell you the route step by step, with the exact route to get to the pool, which is not at all easy.

Malerwinkel

From the Konigsee port, it took us 20 minutes to get to Malerwinkel. Literally meaning "place of the painters" and this doesn't surprise me, because the view from this viewpoint is very inspiring. We could see the deep blue lake, surrounded by really high mountains.

What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

It is exactly this geography which makes this lake prettier than the others, because it really stands out with such high mountains and its really narrow shape, unlike the others. Malerwinkel is the best point to contemplate Konigsee, which of course means "lake of the King". This place gave off lots of peace and tranquility. It was so tranquil that we asked ourselves what happened in these places during the war, which barely took place 70 years ago.

Rabenwald

From Malerwinkel, we had to go towards Rabenwalkd, walking for 20 minutes again. From here there is a very similar view to the last one, but the point is higher up. I'd warn you that the majority of the route is uphill, but up until this point it is okay for beginners. In fact, we could see people going along with their babies on their shoulders or going with prams for the babies.

It is just here where the adventure starts, as we had to take a route which was closed to pass through a valley. Looking towards the lake, it is situated on the left hand side, slightly covered up by quite a big rock. You can recognise it quite well because there are signs which say it is dangerous to follow this route and thus, everything that happens to you from this point on is your own responsibility. We knew a lot of people who had already done it, so we went for it. I didn't know what I was going to find but I never would have imagined such a quest.

The path basically wasn't a path. There wasn't a marked path, you could hardly see the footprints, or tracks from other travellers anywhere, so we had to improvise and form our own. We had to go over trees, fallen tree-trunks and branches that were completely broken and laid across the ground. The ascent was a necessity in a lot of moments and the route kept becoming more difficult and each step that we did was slower than the last one. In itself, the distance wasn't a lot but all the obstacles that were there made us go along at a snail's pace. Also, some stretches were complicated because the the terrain was very steep and we didn't have any other option but to hold onto the different tree branches or even crouch down, almost sitting. To top this off, in lots of areas the ground was soft, so we were not on firm ground. Finally, when it seemed like we had almost got to the pool, we came across this waterfall.

What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

The waterfall

The truth is that this waterfall was pretty, but it isn't what we were looking for. Saying that, we didn't have the strength to keep going until we came across the natural pool, so we decided to stop here to eat, as we were really tired. We had bought food from home with us. Carbohydrates to get another burst of energy: pasta, beans, etc. What at any other time would have been a pretty mediocre meal, in that moment was absolutely incredible. I enjoyed my tupperware of pasta with bolognese sauce as if it were a feast from the gods. Look at the views we ate to.

What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

The truth is that this it was unbelievable. We could see almost all of Konigsee, as it is so big that I think it is impossible to see absolutely all of it. The colour of the water made the whole walk worth it.

As for the waterfall, which I don't know the name of, I have to admit that it is quite high. And also I would say that it is quite dangerous, as just in the side, the water suddenly comes down from a big cliff which it is better to not get too close to. The water was cold, but the walk had been so intense that we decided to go in for a dip. In that moment, we didn't care that we hadn't found the natural pool because all of this place was beautiful. There were barely any people, the temperature was good and we had shade.

What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

The natural pool.

After relaxing for a bit, we decided to go off, in search of the natural pool again. The truth is that we didn't know where to start because on the way there, we hadn't seen a single diversion that had been higher up than the one that we took, or at least which was viable. Also, we also didn't know whether to go up or down because the top and the bottom of the waterfall didn't resemble the photos that we had seen of them. We later came to the conclusion that it couldn't be downwards because from the pool, from a high point you can see Konigsee, so we decided to go uphill.

Not all the group was motivated to do that, so we split up. We were four people, and the other three people stayed at the waterfall. We did the return walk to see if we could find anything, and we came across a group of teens that were trying to do the same thing as us. We decided to follow them and we had to go through a very steep and rocky terrain that was covered with branches and ground. I am scared of heights so it was quite a critical moment for me and I didn't want anything more than for it to end. Of course, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Apart from it testing my bravery, taking a look down would have been a mistake... I would have turned around and gone back after just a glimpse. Finally, after going up for around 5 minutes, we reached the pool. The picture speaks for itself.

What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

The good thing is that there weren't too many people. Being such a spectacular site, we thought that it would be busier, but as it was so difficult to access, there was only a few people there. We decided to go in the pool and admire the views. To get in, you have to go over the rock wall, which is slippery and works like a slide. Once you are here, you can only stay in for a few minutes because the water is freezing, but the views are breathtaking. Just when I got to the side, I looked down and saw the rest of the group that were still below, bathing in the waterfall. I honestly didn't understand how we couldn't have seen the pool from below, but really, it was so stuck between the trees that it was hardly visible.

The second waterfall

After spending a short time here, we decided to explore the rest of the area and just as we found this pretty waterfall, which was below the natural pool, hardly 20 metres from it. We went in the pool and the water was just as cold, but it was really amazing to be here. If you look at the photo I will put in later, you can see how the sun reflects it's light on the water, I think we visited it at the perfect time. It looked like a magical place, like the ones they talk about in fairy tales and other mythological animals. We spent a long time here until we decided to go as we still had lots of things left to explore.

What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

The way back

Honestly, the way back was a lot easier than the way there. We found a path with much easier access, which was a big relief for me because I didn't fancy doing the route which we had gone up in reverse. It barely took us 20 minutes to get to Rabenwald, which I've already mentioned. I don't know it this is because we now knew the area a bit, but the obstacles seemed to be easier for us to get past, and for some strange reason, we were a lot more competent at it. We stayed in Rabenwald looking at Konigsee, whilst we waited for the rest of the group who had stayed at the waterfall, as there was still a decent trek to reach this viewpoint. Finally, we reunited, and after eating an apple and a fistful of almonds, we finished off the return journey and went on to our next stop.

What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

The rope

It had already started to turn to the night, but we still had energy. We came to this rope attached to a tree which was not very difficult to find, as we had seen it, when we were going down, from hearing the noise of people jumping into the water. We knew that the rope was here, so it was a question of following the trail that surrounded the lake. It was only a complicated task because there were two options: either to take off your shoes and go through the water, or to go over the stone wall which was at the side. I would say that the second option is the easiest one.

Once we were there, the adrenaline was in our bodies as as you can see in the next photo, the rope was quite high up.

What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

To get hold of it, we had to use a really long branch and bring the rope towards where we were. Not all of us jumped, in fact I didn't try it, it was too high up for me. Someone from the group did a belly flop that they will definitely remember for the rest of their life. We were lucky enough to have it on video so that we can always look at it when we feel like having a laugh. While my friends were jumping in, hikers stopped to see the jumps we were doing and to encourage us. They were honestly really nice.

As for the temperature of the water, it was quite cold. A lot colder than the lakes in Austria which we had visited the day before. Even so, it wasn't an excuse for my friends not to jump in.

The end of the day arrived. My white shoes were now black and my fingernails were so dirty. We started to get hungry so we decided to go back to our starting point, the most touristy bit where the restaurants are. We made our way back, it was quite simple, flat and with barely any obstacles. Finally, we arrived at the village.

Hotel Königsee

After going back to check out the different restaurants, finally, we opted for Hotel Konigsee. It had a terrace really close to the lake where we could stay cool, so we thought it was a good option. In addition, the price, seeing as it was Germany, wasn't anything exorbitant. We ate here at 7, like good citizens already adapted to the European timings. I ordered fish with vegetables and potatoes. The waiter, who was Serbian, explained to us that the fish was from the Konigsee lake, so I imagine that it was quite fresh. Angel ordered meat and the others had gnocchi with different types of cheese as fillings. Honestly, the menu was nothing special but as I said before; when you are hungry and tired, any dish is delicious. The best thing: the pasta.

After, we took a look at the desserts and none of them caught our eye, and they were really expensive as well. We decided to go and look for something sweet from the different stalls that were there. I ordered cookie ice-cream which was to die for, and my friends had a waffle with icing-sugar and strawberries. I will leave the photos for you here. How good does they look!

What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

What to see and do in Berchtesgaden, a Natural Park in Germany

I don't know if you know, but ice-creams are really popular in Germany. A German teacher that I had for a semester at university told me that in her city, there were more ice-cream shops than bars. Surprising, isn't it? Here, they had lots of ice cream shops with different flavours, more than the typical ones of chocolate, vanilla, chocolate-chip and strawberry. Sometimes the worst thing is having so many appealing options because you don't know which one to choose... meh.

We sat at the edge of the lake with the ducks, that came over hungry with the hope of being able to eat something. Now the colour of the lake wasn't as clear, more turning dark. Saying that, I was gawking at the colour of the water, as it was discretely camouflaged with the colour of the trees.

The Eagle's Nest

Finally, when it had started to get dark, we went to Berchtesgaden. We went back to the car park when we saw the The Eagle's Nest on a mountain, which formerly was a summer-house that the Nazis used. During the war, the troops had bombed this area but in Berchtesgaden, the clouds covered the top of this refuge, keeping it intact. Thus, nowadays, you can go up to the top of the mountain by cable car, as now this house works as a kind of museum and there is also a restaurant with incredible views. We really liked this visit, but that was enough for that day. As they say, you have to save something for next time.

And that is the post for today. As a conclusion, I think that this Natural Park has been one of the most impressive places that I have ever seen, in terms of nature. It exudes peace and purity, and the scenery that surrounds you is like something out of a story. Without a doubt, I would do it again. I hope that you liked the photos and that I have given you some useful information. Thank you for reading this post, and I'll see you soon for more.


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