Königssee: the gem in Bavaria’s crown

If you could fit in only one daytrip on a visit to Berchtesgadener Land, in the south of Bavaria, it would have to be to the spectacularly beautiful Königssee. Located in the heart of the Berchtesgaden National Park and surrounded by the Bavarian Alps, this 7.7km long and narrow fjord-like lake will leave you in awe.

The beautiful Königssee, Berchtesgadener Land, Bavaria, Germany. (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
The picturesque Königssee in Germany’s Berchtesgadener Land.

Germany’s deepest lake

With a maximum depth of 190m, the Königssee is Germany’s deepest lake and was formed by glaciers during the last ice age. It boasts crystal-clear mountain water which has a beautiful emerald-green colour in the sunlight due to the presence of limestone particles in the water.

The Königssee is very easy to reach by public transport from the small town of Berchtesgaden, which is only a few kilometres away; or from Salzburg, which lies across the border in Austria, about 30km away.

Schönau am Königssee, Berchtesgadener Land, Bavaria, Germany.
The small town of Schönau am Königssee.

The beautiful Königssee, Berchtesgadener Land, Bavaria, Germany. (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)

You will arrive at the small town of Schönau am Königssee from where you can enjoy a quiet electric-powered boat trip to the other side of the lake. Gliding quietly across the waters while being surrounded by very steep mountains that rise up to 2 000m above the lake level is an experience out of this world.

St Bartholomä peninsula

There are only two stops on this boat trip: St Bartholomä and Salet. Both of these can only be reached by boat as the mountains are simply too steep to allow for a path around the lake.

The picture perfect St Bartholomä church at the Königssee., Berchtesgadener Land, Bavaria, Germany. (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
The historic onion-domed St Bartholomä church at Königssee.

The St Bartholomä peninsula is famous for its historic church, which makes for a great photo opportunity and is, indeed, the star on many of the Königssee postcards. Named after Bartholomew the Apostle, the patron of alpine farmers and dairymen, the church was first built in 1134 and then rebuilt in 1697 in its present Baroque style. A good tip is to sit on the right-hand side of the boat on your way to St Bartholomä – this way you will be guaranteed a perfect view of the peninsula and church as you are approaching.

St Bartholomä church at the Königssee.
St Bartholomä up close.

The Königssee echo

A lovely treat awaits you about halfway to St Bartholomä: the boat stops in the middle of the lake and the captain plays a tune on his flügelhorn or trumpet to demonstrate the Königssee’s famously clear echo, which bounces back from the sheer mountain walls. It is said that the echo can be heard to reverberate up to seven times! The boatsman plays along with the returning sounds – making for a stunning ensemble with Nature.

The boatsman plays a tune to demonstrate the Königssee's famous echo. (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
The boatsman plays a tune to demonstrate the Königssee’s famous echo.

Once you arrive and embark at St Bartholomä, you can enjoy a stroll along the edge of the lake, hike along the circular trail in the small piece of forest, grab a bite to eat at the restaurant, which is based at the old hunting lodge next to the St Bartholomä church, or simply sit on a bench and take in all the natural beauty that surrounds you.

St Bartholomä at the Königssee., Berchtesgadener Land, Bavaria, Germany. (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
Arriving at St Bartholomä am Königssee.
The beautiful Königssee, Berchtesgadener Land, Bavaria, Germany. (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)
Lucky ducks who can call St Bartholomä and Königssee their home. See how wonderfully clear the water is!
Take a walk in the forest next to the Königssee, Berchtesgadener Land, Bavaria, Germany.
Go for a stroll in the forest at St Bartholomä.

Start your day early

After stopping at the church, the boat continues for another 15 minutes to the southern end of the Königssee, at Salet, from where you can take a 10-minute walk to a smaller lake, called the Obersee, and marvel at the Röthbachfall, Germany’s highest waterfall.

Röthbachfall, Germany’s highest waterfall. (Photo in public domain)
Röthbachfall, Germany’s highest waterfall.

The Königssee in Berchtesgadener Land, Bavaria, Germany. (Credit: www.grooveisintheheart.co.za)

A visit to Königssee is not something you want to rush, so make sure you leave yourself at least half a day to explore the beautiful surroundings – excluding your time to travel there! In summer, it can get quite busy and you might have to queue for boat tickets, so it’s a smart idea to start your day early!

The boats run every day except the 24th of December, unless the weather is bad or when the lake is frozen. The boats only go out to Salet from April through October. More info about the boat schedule and ticket prices is available here.

This post is linked at:

Weekend Travel Inspiration Linkup

The Weekly Postcard Linkup

20 thoughts on “Königssee: the gem in Bavaria’s crown

    • October 28, 2016 at 10:27 am
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      How I wish I could got back there right now! 🙂

      Reply
  • October 2, 2016 at 4:07 pm
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    That’s a lovely treat indeed for the boat man to play a tune to demonstrate the Königssee echo. Thanks for sharing!#wkendtravelinspiration

    Reply
    • October 10, 2016 at 6:33 pm
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      It was a very special moment … I will always remember being mesmerised by the melody and echos while admiring the beautiful scenery 🙂 Thanks for the visit, Ahila.

      Reply
  • September 19, 2016 at 10:50 am
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    I agree wholeheartedly, one of the best things to do in Bavaria. I love the Konigsee. It’s stunning at any time of the year and the electric boats are wonderful and smooth to ride in. Go!
    Thanks for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration!

    Reply
    • September 19, 2016 at 4:50 pm
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      I would love to see it in winter too. Must be so dramatic! Thanks for the visit, Corinne.

      Reply
  • September 19, 2016 at 5:19 am
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    Königssee looks totally stunning. I really love the Bavarian region, and need to visit here.

    Reply
    • September 19, 2016 at 8:05 am
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      It is something very special. I hope you can visit it some day!

      Reply
  • September 18, 2016 at 6:39 pm
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    I’ve heard about this lake in Bavaria but didn’t know it was so beautiful. I would have made it my goal to visit it. I have relatives in Munich and visit this beautiful part of Germany very often. Next time I’ll go I’ll visit Königssee for sure. It’s definitely a place not to be rushed, like you say.

    Reply
    • September 19, 2016 at 5:04 pm
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      You are lucky to have relatives in Munich and that you can visit this part of the world so often 🙂 Glad you’ll be able to experience Königssee for yourself soon!

      Reply
    • September 18, 2016 at 12:02 pm
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      Oh wow! You are so lucky to have watched the Almabtrieb at Königssee. I would love to experience that too one day. Just had a look at your post and lovely pics. Really special! Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Reply
  • September 18, 2016 at 6:28 am
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    I have heard about this area but didn’t know it was so close to Salzburg. That is great! I visited some parts of Austria recently and fell in love with the beautiful landscapes. I want to see more of the country and I want to discover more of Germany too.

    Reply
    • September 18, 2016 at 9:10 am
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      It is really close by and truly gorgeous. I was so happy to discover this little piece of heaven 🙂 I had also visited Bavaria and Austria/Salzburg-side quite a few times before…so very close…but just NEVER knew about its existence! Hope you get to go soon!

      Reply
  • September 17, 2016 at 5:10 pm
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    you captured it very well. The Konigsee really is unique. and to spend the day doing some, riding the boat, then doing some walking, then stopping at the monastery ann biergarten is a well-rounded day. we actually saw some german kids swimming in the lake while we were there. Thys must be hardy kids — that water is freezing! #wkendtravelinspiration

    Reply
    • September 17, 2016 at 10:25 pm
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      Thank you, Eileen. It really is unique. Ha ha, yes, the water is freezing! I only dipped my feet in the water, but I did get a chance to swim at another lake not too far from there (Thumsee), and, although it was very refreshing on a hot day, I couldn’t stay in the water long…just too cold!

      Reply
  • September 17, 2016 at 2:40 pm
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    Beautiful! I would love to take the boat and explore the area. The waterfall is very impressive. Thanks for joining #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    Reply
    • September 17, 2016 at 4:38 pm
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      It does make quite an impression yes! Thanks for the visit…Glad I discovered your linkup 🙂

      Reply
  • September 17, 2016 at 2:28 pm
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    You’re welcome! It’s far too beautiful not to share!

    Reply
  • September 17, 2016 at 9:44 am
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    Thanks for sharing all this incredible beauty! ♥

    Reply

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