Follow the King Ludwig Way, one of Germany’s most romantic footpaths, from Lake Starnberg and through beautiful Upper Bavaria to the fairy-tale Neuschwanstein Castle. You will pass through small monastery towns, tranquil villages, past idyllic lakes and moors. Enjoy the fantastic panoramic views of the Ammergauer Alps, the Zugspitze summit and the Allgäu mountains just like King Ludwig used to. Stay in charming small hotels and guesthouses and experience the best of Bavarian hospitality.
- Beautiful Lake Starnberg
- Enchanting castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau
- Ammer and Pöllatschlucht gorges
- Monasteries, churches and picture-postcard villages, unique to Bavaria
- Relaxing with a delicious Bratwurst and mug of beer in a beer garden at the end of the day
- Marvellous distant views onto the Alpine mountain chain
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Day 1: Arrival in Starnberg Lake
Your journey begins in beautiful Bernried by the lake. We recommend arriving in good time so you can take the ferry to Berg and visit the chapel where King Ludwig’s remains were found.
Day 2: Andechs Monastery/Dießen | 21 km
The King Ludwig Way leads you through the nature reserve along Lake Starnberg’s banks via the Ilka cave with its stunning view onto Lake Starnberg to the Deixfurter pond. Passing through pretty Bavarian villages with inviting beer gardens, you head to Andechs Monastery with its own brewery where you can quench your thirst. A short bus ride will then bring you to Herrsching, perched on the Ammersee Lake, and a nice boat trip to Dießen across the lake.
- Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 21 km, ↑270m ↓170m
Day 3: Wessobrunn | 13 km
The King Ludwig Way takes you through Dießen with its charming alleyways, traditional houses and its imposing baroque church. Then walk through the peaceful Stiller forest and via hilltops with marvellous views to Zugspitze, until you reach the monastery at Wessobrunn.
- Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 13 km, ↑240m ↓80m
Day 4: Peiting | 20 km
Today you will explore the Alpine foothills, very typical for Bavaria with its sleepy little villages and the remote moor areas. Prepare for a steep ascent to the Hohen Peissenberg mountain, a magnificent spot with breathtaking panoramic views over the Alps from the Großvenediger into the Allgäu region. Continue downhill to Hohenpeissenberg and then walk through forests and across meadows all the way to Peiting. From the summit, you can also take the train (payable locally), which will shorten the walk.
- Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 20 km, ↑410m ↓400m
Day 5: Wildsteig | 14 km
From Peiting you walk through dense forest and the stunning gorge of the Ammerschlucht, Bavaria’s Grand Canyon and one of the highlights of the entire trail. Pass through the gorge via a network of steps, bridges and short climbs, giving you a real sense of adventure. Follow the path to Rottenbuch with its ornate church, enjoying the views of the Ammergau mountains. Today’s walk ends in the small farming village of Wildsteig.
- Walking for the day: 4 hours, 14 km, ↑270m ↓110m
Day 6: Buching | 19 km
From Wildsteig through idyllic moor regions you will reach the famous UNESCO world heritage Wieskirche, a baroque masterpiece of space and light with magnificent frescoes. Then walk via soft hilltops, through forests and meadows covered in colourful flowers and distant views onto the Allgäu Alps and Lake Forggensee to Buching.
- Walking for the day: 5 hours, 19 km, ↑150m ↓220m
Day 7: Füssen, Castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau | 17 km
Passing across nature reserves Lake Hegratsried, you continue uphill admiring the castles of Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau, as well as the impressive Pöllatschlucht gorge. Then walk along the Kalvarienberg into the historic market town of Füssen.
While the castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau can be visited during the walk on Day 7, we would rather recommend booking an extra night in the charming Füssen to have enough time to visit the castles, monastery and other attractions in a more leisurely manner. Regular buses and walking routes connect Füssen and the castles.
- Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 17 km, ↑320m ↓300m
Day 8: Departure
Departure on your own or extension upon request (highly recommended!).
What to Expect
Accommodation is in a mix of 3-star hotels, country inns and traditional guesthouses. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us, and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
Click to view default hotels
Note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel (from the ones pictured above) is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included on all days. Packed lunches are available from your accommodation (order the night before), or you can stop on the way; there are plenty of beer gardens and small shops to satisfy your thirst and appetite. Dinners are available at all overnight accommodations or close by.
Difficulty & terrain
The walking sections require a good fitness level; there are no steep descents and ascents. You walk on walking paths or forest trails as well as on asphalted paths. Daily walking times are not more than 6 hours (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to go
This trip is available from early April till late September. Due to local transport schedules and transfer arrangements, departures are possible on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays only. The climate in the region is continental, cold and temperate. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but, in the June-September period, the daily averages are 20 – 25C. Spring and autumn are cooler with occasional rain.
Click to view travel options
- From Munich, there are regular train connections (duration approx. 15-20 mins) with regional trains and the S-Bahn. For further information, visit the website of Deutsche Bahn for timetables and tickets. Munich is about 10 hours from London by rail (see more details).
- In Füssen there is a train station, and there are many connections to various other stations in South Germany, such as Munich (duration approx. 2 hrs) or Augsburg.
- Free parking is available at the starting hotel. No reservation in advance possible/needed.
- 7 overnight stays as stated above
- 7 breakfasts
- Luggage transfers on walking days
- Boat fare from Herrsching to Dießen
- Detailed route descriptions, travel and tour documents (one set per room)
- GPS-data to use via our smartphone app
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Bus fare from Andechs to Herrsching, approx. EUR 3 per person
- Personal expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Local tourist taxes
- Any items not specifically mentioned in the programme
Options, extras & supplements
- A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights
Delightful moderate walk building up slowly to an interesting climax over the days.
Varied and friendly hotels. Kirchberger in Wildsteig deseerves particaurl mention for its outstanding food by the son of the house (and at a moderate price).