Germany / Travels

Garmisch-Partenkirchen and its Surroundings: a Weekend in the Bavarian Alps

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In October this year I took the whole last week off to make a short trip to South Tyrol, Italy. However, on this week, the German government has announced the second wave of lockdown, and it became clear that going abroad, even if it’s just a couple of hours drive from home, was not the best idea. So, I spent my vacation days at home — the weather in Bavaria was not very nice either — until this sunny weekend came. ‘Whatever, let’s go to the Alps!’ — I said, having in mind our Bavarian part, of course. The hotels in Germany and restaurants were still open on this weekend, and I managed to book a room in a nice resort in the village of Grainau near Garmisch-Partenkirchen for the very same day.

We had a very pleasant drive to Grainau. From where we live it took us about two and a half hours to get there. We checked in the hotel and hurried up outside. It was already past 3pm and we didn’t have much time left before it would become dark.

The most famous tourist attraction in this spot is Zugspitze, the highest mountain peak in Germany. Normally, one can take a cable car to its top and enjoy the view — the scenery looks like on a different planet! However, these days the cable car was not in operation. Luckily, we still had many options for activities which would not require any social contact.

A forest walk along Eibsee

On that day we decided to spend the remaining light hours on a walk in the forest along the lake Eibsee. Framed by mountains, this crystal-clear water lake is truly beautiful! Looking at the photos I took during this walk, I immediately think of the smells of pine trees, fallen leaves and moss, and almost feel the cold fresh air on my cheeks.

After it finally got dark, we drove to the town and had a hearty dinner in one of the traditional inns.

Sunday morning

Next day we had a late breakfast in the hotel and spent some time walking by the small lake Badersee.

Frühlingstraße in historic Garmisch

Our next stop was the Frühlingstraße, the historical street in Garmisch. This street is full of nice alpine houses with mural paintings on the facades. With the dreamy snow-covered mountain peaks in the background, this place is like a living fairy-tale.

In the end of this street we found a Thai restaurant and made a quick stop there for lunch.

Wamberg village

As our next stop this day we picked the village Wamberg. It’s a popular hiking destination, but we cheated and drove there. This alpine settlement located on a high hill is really tiny. It has a church, an inn, a couple of farm yards and a small cemetery.


We also drove to Pflegersee, yet another small lake and a hiking spot. There we overcame the temptation to visit the inn and to have a tea with some calorie-bomb apple strudel. We just enjoyed the view instead.

Ettal Abbey

There were still some daylight hours left, and we decided to explore the village of Ettal. It is famous for its Abbey, but also has a cheese factory and a shop. Through the window in this factory one can watch how cheese is made. We were curious about the cheese factory, but it turned out to be closed. So, instead we had a walk around the abbey and visited the monastery shop offering various local souvenirs and the spirits from the local distillery.

To sum up my impressions of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the surroundings, I truly loved the place. I will definitely return to experience it to the fullest after the pandemic. It will be definitely nice to do some hikes in summer and a snowboarding trip in winter.

Photos taken in November 2020

About Author

Hi, I'm Katja! I'm a computer scientist, who loves photography and traveling. Welcome to the visual diary of my adventures!