Walk the ancient salt paths among steep, jagged peaks, gushing mountain streams and gorges
Enjoy stunning panoramic views from the Hochfelln, the “observation deck of the Chiemgau”
Soothe your feet in the crystal-clear mountain lakes of Taubensee and Thumsee
Explore the wild and romantic Weissbachschlucht gorge
Take a breather and pamper yourself in the health resorts of Inzell and Bad Reichenhall
Hiking the SalzAlpenSteig: self-guided walking in the Bavarian Alps
The SalzAlpenSteig (‘Salt Alps Trail’) is a long-distance hiking route that runs all the way from the “Bavarian Sea”, Lake Chiemsee, to the world’s oldest salt mine in Hallstatt, Austria, where salt was mined as long as7,000 years ago. The route passes several historical salt mining spots along the way, and reveals a wealth of historical treasures and cultural heritage in the regions that became rich thanks to the “white gold”.
On this first section of the SalzAlpenSteig, you will discover the wonderful variety of the Bavarian Alps, as you walk from the romantic shores of Lake Chiemsee to the incredibly picturesque Lake Königssee, in the shadow of the towering Watzmann mountain. One of Germany’s most beautiful hiking trails, the SalzAlpenSteig unites areas of outstanding natural beauty with historic salt mining communities. Along your walk, you will discover incredible and unique landscapes and learn more about the salt springs, the salt deposits as well as about the history of salt mining and production which has shaped the region. As you pass the many mountain lakes, rivers, streams and waterfalls, you will get a keen sense of how important a role water has played in the region’s salt industry. You will walk ancient alpine paths in perfect tranquillity – with only the sound of clanging cowbells breaking the silence – and stay in traditional Bavarian villages in idyllic mountain settings.
|8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS||From €699 per person sharing*
*Discounts available for children sharing with 2 adults.
||3* standard hotels or inns with continental breakfast. All rooms have private facilities.|
|AVAILABILITY||You can start on any Friday, Saturday or Sunday, subject to availability,between May 27th and October 2nd.|
|DIFFICULTY / TERRAIN||The tour is rated moderate to challenging overall. Daily walking distances range from 14 – 21km, with significant ascents and descents. A week rich in variety with hiking tours along the old salt paths with a duration each of up to 6 hours. On some days surefootedness and a head for hights are required. You will be walking in alpine terrain, so appropriate equipment (such as hiking boots, backpack, rain and sun protection etc.) is essential. You should also be in good physical shape and comfortable using cable cars. The walking paths are a mixture of woodland trails, rocky mountain paths, gravel tracks and faint grassy paths.|
Day 1: Arrival at Lake Chiemsee
Welcome to the beautiful Chiemgau area. Enjoy your day at Lake Chiemsee and prepare yourself for the start of your fist hike tomorrow. Chiemsee is Bavaria’s largest lake and is renowned for its natural beauty. If you have time you could take a boat trip on the lake, and perhaps visit King Ludwig II’s Schloss Herrenchiemsee, a magnificent castle located on Chiemsee’s largest island.
Overnight: Prien / Lake Chiemsee
From Prien to Marquartstein
Distance: 21 km | Ascent: 490 m | Descent: 470 m | Time: 5½ hrs approx.
Stage 1 of the SalzAlpenSteig leads you first along the incredibly picturesque lakeside of Lake Chiemsee, through tranquil nature reserves near the reed belt. You encounter a charming landscape with little forest paths and typical Bavarian farm houses dotted around on your route to Marquartstein.
Day 3: From Marquartstein to Bergen
Distance: 17 km | Ascent: 800 m | Descent: 700 m | Time: 5½ hrs approx.
Today prepare for an idyllic alpine pasture tour. After the ascent to the Schnappenkirchlein, where you have the best views of Lake Chiemsee, there are numerous alps inviting you for a break. The route continues past grazing cattle with views to steep summit flanks, then through lush meadows and shady forests to the well-known holiday resort of Bergen.
Day 4: From Bergen to Ruhpolding
Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 150 m | Descent: 1,100 m | Time: 4½ hrs approx.
After breakfast, take the cable car to the top of the Hochfelln mountain, where you will enjoy wonderful panoramic views over the Chiemgau area and the Central Alps from the impressive summit cross.
From the Hochfelln, you will have a glorious descending hike amid sprawling alpine meadows and fairy-tale forests. Follow the signs in the direction of Ruhpolding, a popular resort town in the heart of the Chiemgau Alps.
Day 5: From Ruhpolding to Inzell
Distance: 18 km | Ascent: 110 m | Descent: 990 m | Time: 5 hrs approx.
Today’s stage is a varied hike along the salt path between Ruhpolding and Inzell in the Chiemgauer Alps. You walk first along the river Ache to the picturesque alpine lake Taubensee, which is the perfect spot to soothe your feet in its crystal-clear waters. You then ascend by cable car to the Rauschberg with magnificent panoramic views. The descent leads via alpine pastures and past steep rockfaces, before you walk on forest and rural trails all the way to the climatic health resort Inzell. The typical Bavarian flair and the views onto the surrounding summits are best enjoyed with a cool bavarian beer!
Day 6: From Inzell to Bad Reichenhall
Distance: 20 km | Ascent: 400 m | Descent: 600 m | Time: 5½ hrs approx.
An enormously varied but also quite strenuous day awaits you today. Walk along the path of the brine pipelines and through the idyllic Höllenbachalm, where you can taste fresh dairy products from their own grazing cattle. The Salt Path then leads you above the pretty little mountain lake Thumsee, along forest paths with a view onto Bad Reichenhall. Past the Old Saltworks you reach this beautiful salt health resort, which is a traditional center of salt production, obtained by evaporating water saturated with salt from brine ponds. You can unwind and relax your muscles after a long day in the Rupertus Thermal Spa.
Overnight: Bad Reichenhall
Day 7: Bad Reichenhall to Königssee
Distance: 17 km | Ascent: 1100 m | Descent: 1110 m | Time: 5½ hrs approx.
Your final day begins with a short train ride before you ascend to a glorious and remote forested area. High-altitude paths with incredible panoramic views lead you along the mountainside with the Steinerne Meer mountain range and the two summits Watzmann and Hochkönig in front of you. You then follow a short section along the brine pipeline path, before ascending through the forest to the Grünstein mountain. Glistening deep down below you is the world-famous Lake Königssee, the picturesque finish of your walking holiday on the SalzAlpenSteig. Enjoy this beautiful scenery with the emerald-green alpine lake surrounded by the steep mountain walls of the Berchtesgaden Alps.
Following the path down into the valley, you arrive in Schönau at the shore of Lake Königssee. You can take a boat trip on the lake (payable locally) and visit the iconic onion-domed St. Bartholomä church or take the cable car to the Jenner summit for more magnificent views over the lake.
Day 8: Departure
Your walking holiday on the SalzAlpenSteig comes to an end after breakfast this morning, unless you have booked any additional services with us. would be happy to book additional nights for you in Schönau. The regular local bus will bring you to Berchtesgaden in about 13 minutes. From there, you can catch a train to many destinations in Southern Germany and Austria.
Travel to Prien am Chiemsee
Departure from Königssee
|The regular local bus will bring you to from Schönau to Berchtesgaden in about 13 minutes, from where there are trains to many destinations in Germany and Austria.|
|If you need to return to Chiemsee, the return train/bus journey from Lake Königssee takes approx. 2.5 hours (1x change trains). There is also a return minibus transfer service to Prien every Saturday (min. 2 persons), cost EUR 75 per person. Reservation is necessary, to be paid in advance.|