Lake Eibsee in Germany: hiking, biking and swimming

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Always thought that for mountain lakes with clear blue water set in a fairytale setting you have to go to Canada? You don’t have to! These lakes are closer than you think. Germany’s Bavaria is home to several beautiful mountain lakes. Popular lakes include Chiemsee, Bodensee and Walchensee. You will find many campsites, hotel facilities and recreational areas on the shores of well-known lakes in Bavaria. A much less known and especially much smaller lake is Lake Eibsee. The shores of Lake Eibsee are for the most part untouched and without buildings.

Lake Eibsee in Bavaria

That Lake Eibsee is less known than the other lakes you wouldn’t say when you walk around. It is incredibly crowded! This is not so much because of Lake Eibsee itself, but because of the Zugspitze that lies next to it. At 2962 meters, the Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany. Lake Eibsee lies at a height of almost 1,000 meters at the bottom of the mountain, 8 kilometers away from the well-known winter sports resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. In winter, the Zugspitze offers plenty of skiing and in summer it is a popular destination for hikers, cyclists and people who enjoy other outdoor activities. Many people “discover” Lake Eibsee when they come to the Zugspitze in a targeted way. They either grab it right away or come back again especially for it. Like us!

Train to the top of the Zugspitze -
The Zahnradbahn takes you to the top of the Zugspitze

Parking can be a “thingy” later in the day. There are very large parking lots next to and behind the station of the Eibseeseilbahn, the elevator that takes people to the top of the Zugspitze. The Zahnradbahn Zugspitze also passes by here; you can also reach the summit on this rack train. It is great fun to take the elevator to the top and then the little train back down. It both gives a nice view of the surroundings, but in a different way. By the way, the trandra train travels a large part through the mountain itself, so you are in the dark for about 20 minutes.

Parking in Grainau

Want to avoid parking in the crowded parking lot and love to hike? Then it’s an idea to park your car at P2 or P3 in Grainau. From Grainau it is a 4 kilometer walk to Lake Eibsee, where the difference in altitude is 250 meters. The time you spend in traffic jams and looking for a parking spot can then be spent in nature!

Hotel Eibsee Beieren -
Eibsee-Hotel on the east side of the lake

Horeca at Lake Eibsee

If you walk from the parking lot to Lake Eibsee you can turn left to the Eibsee-Pavillon. This is a fairly large restaurant with a terrace, which is packed when the weather is nice. So do your best to get a seat! If you don’t want to waste too much time at lunch, it is wiser to bring your own packed lunch and eat it along the lake. A lot more relaxing if you ask me than waiting along waiting for your lunch in the restaurant. Next to the Eibsee-Pavillon is the Eibsee Hotel. The restaurant of this hotel, which has a beautiful waterside terrace, is only open to guests of the hotel.

Check rates and availability at the Eibsee Hotel

Blooming flowers in Bavaria, Germany -

Walking around Lake Eibsee

Our plan was to walk around Lake Eibsee, which takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. The total length of this walk is about 7 kilometers. Unfortunately, due to the enormously long traffic jam, the search for a parking spot ánd lunch, we lose a lot of time and decide to relax on the shores of the lake. Experiences of people who have walked around the lake are very good. Especially early in the day it seems to be very beautiful. You come on this Rundwanderweg do not encounter any facilities, including a shop or sanitary facilities. So we have to go back again after all :-)

Also read: Hiking through the Partnachklamm, must do in Bavaria

Hiking around Lake Eibsee -
Hike around Lake Eibsee

When the husband and children are in the water I walk quite a bit along the north side of the lake. From this side you have a beautiful view of the lake with the Zugspitze in the background. What a backdrop! The further you walk away from the east side of the lake the quieter it gets. Are the “beaches” in the corner near the Untersee overcrowded, further on it seems deserted in most places. Here and there a couple sits along the water’s edge, or you see a boat bobbing in the water.

Bavaria Lake Eibsee -
The Untersee, a small lake adjacent to Lake Eibsee

Swimming in, supping and boating on Lake Eibsee

The clear blue water immediately invites you to take a dip. But beware: the water is freezing cold, as is the case in many mountain lakes. Along the banks it is not too bad, but if you swim more towards the deep end, the temperature drops considerably. If the cold makes you finish swimming soon but you still want to spend time on the water you can rent rowing boats, sup’s and pedal boats, for example at this rental company.

Eibsee -
Canoes, boats and sup’s for rent at Lake Eibsee

Cycling at Lake Eibsee

Do you like mountain biking? Then you can have your fun near Lake Eibsee. There are around the lake several MTB trails, parts of which go right along the lake. Both mountain bikes and e-bikes can be rented at various places in Grainau. If you prefer to bring your own bikes, that is of course also an idea. Good bike carriers for the back of the car or on the roof are available at Rameder.

Bicycle around Lake Eibsee -
Around Lake Eibsee you will find several MTB trails

Eibsee as a stop over on your way to Austria

We stop at Lake Eibsee on our way to Austria, after we visited the beautiful town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. On the way to Italy and/or Austria from The Netherlands, most travellers drive through Bavaria. A stopover in this region is then definitely recommended!

Eibsee Zugspitze route through Tirol and Vorarlberg in Austria -

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