The weekend was predicted to be sunny and all I could think of was a happy getaway among the mountains! So I looked up places closest to Munich and the region of Allgäu caught my eye. Allgäu is close to a two hour drive from Munich. It is an area of sheer beauty in Southern Germany, spilling over to Austria. A place filled with dramatic landscapes, castles, breathtaking lakes and mountains!
We were a group of 5 friends on this trip. We spent two days in Allgäu with a night in Lauben. Here is a summary of our weekend in Allgäu 🙂
Day 1: The hike to Schrecksee
The Schrecksee is a mountain lake (1814 meters above sea level) in the Allgäu Alps having an island of its own! The lake lies entirely in Bavaria, the border with Tyrol, Austria runs almost 300 meters east of the lake.
We rented a car from Sixt and started out around 7:30 a.m. on a Friday morning from Munich. After a few small stops on the way, we reached the parking station at Hinterstein at 10:45 a.m.
To get to the parking place, direct your navigation to ‘Parkplatz “Auf der Höh”, Rauhornweg, Bad Hindelang’ If you plan to visit the place on a weekend, make sure to arrive here at least before 9 a.m since the parking lots are limited. Parking at Hinterstein costs 10 € per day.
During the trek, there is no place where you can buy any food or drinks. Therefore, I would advise you to carry enough food and water. Hiking boots and hiking sticks are advisable. Best time to visit the lake is between April and October. If you visit on a rainy day, walking sticks are strongly recommended due to the slippery rocks.
Before we proceed, please note that camping is not allowed at Schrecksee. The lake and everything surrounding it, is located in a nature conservation area. This means no drones and no kites!
Your hike will begin at the parking lot in Hinterstein but the actual ascent starts about 45 minutes away from the starting point at a place called ‘Kraftwerk Auele’. Follow the signs to ‘Konstanzer Jägerhaus’, which is a traditional inn in the forest. You can also skip this initial walk by taking a bus from the parking lot to the stop at Kraftwerk Auele. We took the bus at 11:15 and reached Kraftwerk at 11:25 a.m.
The ascent starts next to the power plant, Kraftwerk Auele (a white colored building). Go through the fence gate and follow the signs to ‘Schrecksee’. It is a gradual ascent through the forest for the next 1 hour.
During the trek through the forest, you also come across a smaller hut that’s a part of the power plant with an artificial pond next to it. After the climb through the forest is complete, you come across a beautiful valley with incredible views. This valley marks the completion of 40% of the hike.
We took a break at this valley, to eat lunch. At the end of the valley, you see a mountain and Schrecksee is beyond it!
Follow the signs and the rocks with red paint along the way to hike up the mountain. The trail at places is quite rocky and can be challenging. After 1.5 to 2 hours (depending on your pace), you will reach the top of the mountain. A 20 min walk ahead will get you to Schrecksee.
For the descent, follow the same path back. Start your descent at least by 4 p.m. The way back can be very slippery due to the rocks and this is when hiking sticks would prove to be most useful. We reached Kraftwerk Auele around 8 in the night and had to walk the stretch to the parking lot in the dark. If you come early then maybe you can make it to the last bus which is at 6 p.m.
The whole hike (ascent + descent) took us close to 9 hours with an hour at the lake. For a frequent hiker, the hiking time can be cut down to 6 or 7 hours.
Day 2: A hike through Breitachklamm
The Breitachklamm is a beautiful gorge located in the city of Oberstdorf in the Allgäu region in Southern Germany. The gorge was created by the river Breitach over thousands of years by water rushing over rocks, eroding them in the process. Breitachklamm is the deepest gorge of the Bavarian Alps and the deepest rocky gorge of Central Europe.
The second day was predicted to be cloudy with a little bit of rain and therefore we decided to visit this beautiful gorge. Here you find all the important information including opening hours.
We reached the parking spot around 2:30 p.m after lunch. The entry ticket costs just 5 € per person. The hike to the gorge and back to the parking took us 3 hours in total with plenty of breaks in between for countless photos!
The hike to Breitachklamm can also be combined with other subsequent hikes. We took the popular circular trail: The red trail followed by the orange trail.
To follow this route, follow the red trail from the parking spot through the gorge. Enjoy the breathtaking views of unspoiled nature as you walk along the narrow path next to the river. Between the greyish-blue-green water of the raging river, the waterfalls, and the bright green foliage clinging to the rocks above, the view just got better and better. I’ve posted a few photos here, but they don’t even come close to what my eyes have seen!
The gorge is looks equally spectacular in winter with the ice from the waterfalls freezing along the walls of the gorge forming wonderland stalactites.
Continue the path until you find a ticket counter at the top. Once you reach the upper exit, take the steps (orange dotted lines in the map) up to the ‘Zwingsteg’, a bridge that crosses the ravine at a spectacular height. Take a moment to enjoy the view down into the gorge!
Continue on the orange trail. After a short ascent through the forest you will come to a rather flat road from where you have two options:
- Take left (green trail) in the direction of Engenkopf and thus walk to the ‘Alpe Hinter der Enge’ or ‘Müllers Alp’.
- Continue on the direct route (orange trail) via Alpe Dornach towards the parking spot. We took this trail.
The hiking trail from the Zwingsteg via Alpe Dornach to the Parking spot will need about an hour on a distance of about 2 km. This whole walk back is extremely calming and very scenic. Green meadows, peacefully grazing cows and fascinating Alpine panoramas all along the way.
Our initial plan was to finish the visit to Breitachklamm in the morning and chill by the Forggensee in the evening. The hike to Schrecksee on the previous day deserved a nice rest and lazy morning in our AirBnb.
Some of the other lakes to visit in the Allgäu region are the Forggensee and Alpsee. If your stay is longer than a day, then a day trip to the castles Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau is also a good recommendation.