Berchtesgaden is the main city of the region Berchtesgadener Land. The district of Berchtesgaden is in the south east part of Bavaria, the most south east state of Germany. It is located close to the Austrian border and was for a long time under the rule of the Salzburg Archbishop and other bavarian bishops. In the 19th century it became after lots of debates again part of Bavaria and this was also the start of tourism in this area. Nowadays tourism is the biggest income of Berchtesgaden. More than half of the obligatory social tax people are working directly or indirectly in the tourism business. Not only in the summer time when hikers, walkers and people that just want to enjoy the nature invade in this area but also in the winter time, when this area has fascinating skiing slopes, tracks for sledges and an even individual winter wonderland that attract tourists. Before christmas the Christmas market welcomes people with typically products, well known also across the territory of the Berchtesgaden land. In the winter time in the nearby Ruhpolding is the world cup for cross country skiing / biathlon held and at the Königssee each year the world cup for sledges and bob sledges in the ice tracks shows the importance of winter sports in this area. This area brings out lots of new sportive talents, also due to special sports’ schools in this area. In the summer time for thrill seekers the area holds climbing tracks, zip lines, summer toboggan runs on the tracks where in the winter sledges drive down and also wild water rafting and canyoning (a walk in wet suits through a canyon and its’ water).
In order to energize people in the winter or summer time, the area of Berchtesgaden welcomes you with nice places to relax, such as the thermal bath called “Watzmann Therme” in the city of Berchtesgaden, or the “Rupertus Therme” in Bad Reichenhall, or many spiritual and powerful nature places in the area. Also the numerous restaurants in the area of Berchtesgaden welcome you with lots of homemade meals and desserts and not to forget the most important thing in Bavaria: the beer! Beer is brewed directly in the brewery of Berchtesgaden, founded in the year 1645 and still an active brewery. Besides the beer, there is also the brewery of Grassl, founded already in the year 1692, to produce schnaps, liquors and brandies with natural ingredients from the area, such as herbs, roots of flowers, etc. But also natural non-alcoholic drinks are produced by the local farmers. It is the best to enjoy these beverages in one of the restaurants in the area of Berchtesgaden and this is the perfect opportunity to interact with locals. Trust me that even if sometimes some people seem to be closed, after some schnaps and beer everybody will be a very open and nice. 🙂 But I can tell you that the locals do not need to drink alcoholic beverages to open up and to be friendly, but just try to talk friendly to them and they will be even more friendly with you.
A must-see is the national park of Berchtesgaden. One of our suggestions is the area at Ramsau and the Hintersee lake as one of the most interesting parts of this national park. You will see crystal clear lakes, waterfalls, rivers and will enjoy the quietness of nature. Fishing is only allowed if you register in the local community and obtain a fishing card. In the eastern part of the Hintersee you will find the so called magical wood and as soon as you are walking through this wood on one of the well-maintained walking path, you understand the name of this forest. The floating water you hear, the nice trees on top of stones or also the magical paths inspire your fantasy.
Another highlight in the national park is the lake of Königssee (the king’s lake). It is placed between the Watzmann and the Jenner mountain and is famous for it’s echo and for it’s deep clear water. It is one of the deepest lakes in the area with over 620ft depth. There is also a famous village, called St. Bartholome: It consists of a smoking area for fish, a baroque church and a restaurant. The most appealing part is that you can only get there by an electrical boat. Another sight of St. Bartholome is a 45 minutes hike to the “ice chapel” (a small cave in which you can see ice formations the whole year around).