Headwater - Self-Guided Walking in Southern Bavaria

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Reviews
  • Dates
  • Exodus

Enjoy centre-based walking in one of Germany's most picturesque regions

Better known for its famous Passion Plays, the 'chocolate box' village of Oberammergau is the perfect base for a week of walking. From exhilarating mountain hikes to strolls through valleys and wetland reserves, Oberammergau’s wealth of well sign-posted trails makes it an ideal walking destination. Choose from easier or harder walks each day, and take advantage of the easily accessible local buses and mountain lifts. You can also relax in the hotel’s sauna or Jacuzzi.

* Centre-based walking in one of Germany's most picturesque regions * Impressive monasteries, regal palaces, onion-domed churches and pretty frescoed houses * Friendly, family-run 3-star hotel with steam bath, sauna and Jacuzzis * Well-signed paths and trails with a choice of walking levels every day * Chairlifts and cable cars leading to panoramic mountain restaurants
* 7 nights 3-star hotel, all rooms en suite * 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day * Choice of routes each day * Altitude max. 1700m, average 1100m * Self-guided holiday. Min age 12 yrs

All buffet breakfasts and 7 dinners are included. Bavarian cooking is hearty and rustic, well-known for its wide variety of wurst (sausages), pretzels (breads), Knodel (dumplings), meat dishes, and of course its world-famous beers. The hotel can cater for vegetarians; please let us know in advance so we can notify the hotel. Before June, some mountain restaurants are open only at weekends.

  • Europe
  • Germany
  • Neuschwanstein
  • Munich
Tour Types
  • Trekking
  • Adventure
  • Walking & Trekking
  • Centre-based
  • Walking
  • Singles
Day 1

A transfer (90 mins) is provided from Munich airport to your hotel in Oberammergau (subject to a minimum of 2 people booked on a departure in total).

Day 2

A perfect introduction to your walking week starts with a short (15 mins) ride on the little red train to Bad Kohlgrub. From here, you walk through the rolling Ammer Valley's string of sleepy farming villages. Unterammergau, in particular, has a splendid Rococo church. Then walk across to the Pulvermoos, a wildlife sanctuary and habitat for 60 bird species including Corncrake, Dipper, Whinchat and Snipe. 2 options: walking time 2.5hr, distance 9km/5.5km or walking time 4hr, distance 16km/10mi.

Day 3

Start with a cable car ride to the top of the Laber (1685m) for panoramic views of Germany's highest mountain - Zugspitze (2962m) - and the Austrian Alps beyond. You then wind your way down through cool pine forests to the village of Ettal. After lunch, visit the amazing 14th Century former Benedictine monastery, an outstanding example of Bavarian Baroque architecture. Return on an easy path along the pretty valley, passing the Barenhohle cave where there's a figure of the resurrected Christ. Walking time 3.5hr, distance 12km/7.5mi or walking time 4.5hr, distance 14km/8.5mi. 2 options: walking time 3.5hr, distance 12km/7.5mi or walking time 4.5hr, distance 14km/8.5mi.

Day 4

Staffelsee is one of the larger of the many picturesque blue lakes dotted around this part of Bavaria. This beautiful stretch of water offers easy walking along the shoreline with plenty of swimming opportunities. Stop off in the attractive riverside village of Uffing (the boat landing station is a fantastic place for lunch and offers magnificent views of the lake backed by mountains). In the afternoon, either relax in the sun on the panorama deck of the little lake cruiser (pay locally), passing hidden coves and the lake's 7 islands (one even has its own tiny chapel), or return on foot along the quiet side of the lake. Walking time 3.5hr, distance 12km/7.5mi or walking time 5hr, distance 18km/11mi or walking time 6hr, distance 22km/13.5mi. 3 options: walking time 3.5hr, distance 12km/7.5mi or walking time 5hr, distance 18km/11mi or walking time 6hr, distance 22km/13.5mi.

Day 5

A day off from walking today. Maybe take the local bus to Mad King Ludwig's fairy-tale castle of Neuschwanstein with its breathtaking setting on a rocky outcrop. Or take the funicular to the top of Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze, and discover a 360 degree panorama of endless peaks spanning Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. Or, if you prefer to stay closer to home, spend the afternoon by the Wellenberg outdoor pool, where there is also a sauna, Jacuzzi and spa.

Day 6

The Kolben chairlift whisks you up to 1270m, from where there's a choice of routes up to the spectacular Sonnenberg ridge. Your route down passes a succession of crashing waterfalls and the reconstructed 19th Century whetstone mill at Schleifmuhle, followed by a pretty path through the meadows. Walking time 4hr, distance 13km/8mi or walking time 6hr, distance 17km/10.5mi. 2 options: walking time 4hr, distance 13km/8mi or walking time 6hr, distance 17km/11mi.

Day 7

Today's walk includes an unmissable visit to Schloss Linderhof, the gloriously over-the-top Rococo palace built by Mad King Ludwig in 1878, inspired by Louis XIV's chateau in Versailles. There are gorgeous French and Italianate terraced gardens and a golden fountain which erupts once every hour with a 30m plume of water. Return to the hotel along a tranquil path which winds back down the Linder Valley, through the village of Graswang with its beautifully preserved old farmhouses and pretty 17th century frescoed church. Walking time 1.5hr, distance 6km/4mi or walking time 3.5hr, distance 13km/8mi. 2 options: walking time 1.5hr, distance 6km/4mi or walking time 3.5hr, distance 13km/8mi.

Day 8

The tour itself ends here after breakfast. A transfer back to Munich Airport is included (subject to a minimum of 2 people booked on a departure in total).

* All buffet breakfasts and 7 dinners * All accommodation (see accommodation section) * Flights from London (if booking incl. flights) * Arrival & departure transfers - subject to 2 passengers traveling * Route notes and maps * Guest card for free local bus travel and discounts on the cable cards, museums and other local attractions

Bavaria at its best.

A spectacularly picturesque area with soaring mountains, lush green valleys, forests, lakes and pretty villages.

Rating: 4


This trip gives you the opportunity and freedom to set your own itinerary, use your own initiative and have more contact with locals. A delightful destination that may be quieter than at first supposed.

Rating: 4


A charming and well organised centre full of alpine houses beautifully painted with frescoes , Oberammergau is ideal for walking and other activities. The abundance of well signposted walking and cycle paths give a huge variety of options. Everything looks immaculately tended and cared for.

Rating: 4


You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability

Touring with Exodus

With over 45 years’ experience of taking people on amazing adventure holidays, Exodus can help you reach some of the most incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across more than 90 countries around the world. All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure, and some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus. But that’s not all. This reputable company is a Which? recommended escorted tour provider and has won many prestigious awards, including Best Activity and Sports Holiday Company at the 2018 British Travel Awards.

Exodus is all about adventure and helping others to achieve their travel dreams by offering a fantastic range of guided group holidays, self-guided trips, tailor-made getaways and escorted tours. So, if you’re looking to discover different countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts or even jungles, the expert team at Exodus can help you plan an unforgettable solo, group or family adventure.

Each tour and adventure has been created to give you maximum value for money, often including authentic activities, as well as flights, accommodation and a tour guide. And as the team has developed one of the very best and most exciting collections of guided-group tours and self-guided holidays, you’re guaranteed the adventure holiday of a lifetime, no matter which one you pick. Trips include everything from family adventure holidays and walking and cycling tours to mixed-activity tours and seasonal getaways. You can also ask Exodus to plan a tailored itinerary from scratch or tweak an existing one, which means you can book a bespoke holiday that is designed just for you.

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Group Size:2 - 40
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Meals:7 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 7 dinners.
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