9 days
Duration
Moderate to Challenging
Difficulty
Germany
Location
May-October
Availability

  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.

9 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS From €799 per person sharing*

*Minimum number of participants: 4 people per date. With two participants, there is a transport surcharge to guarantee the tour: €130 pp.
*A single supplement charge will apply for solo walkers.

ACCOMMODATION

3* standard hotels or inns with continental breakfast. All rooms have private facilities.
AVAILABILITY You can start on any Thursday, Friday or Saturday, subject to availability,between May 14th and October 1st.
INCLUDED
8 x nights in selected 3* hotels & inns
8 x breakfasts
Tourist taxes
Luggage transportation from hotel to hotel while you walk
Day 3: transfer from Grassau to Bergen
Day 9: return transfer from Berchtesgaden to Prien
Free parking in Prien (subject to availability)
Chiemgau Card (free access to cable cars & museums)
Detailed info pack with maps and route notes (1x per room)
GPS tracks
Certificate for the successful completion of the SalzAlpenSteig
Service hotline
NOT INCLUDED
Flights & travel insurance
Lunches & dinners
Local buses or trains unless mentioned above
Any other transfers not mentioned above
Transport to and from Prien am Chiemsee
Any other items not mentioned in the program
OPTIONAL EXTRAS
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Single room supplement
DIFFICULTY / TERRAIN The tour is rated moderate to challenging overall. Daily walking distances range from 15 – 22km, with significant ascents and descents. 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 bee 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.
WALKING WITH A DOG It is possible to book this hiking tour accompanied by your dog. We are happy to request dog-friendly accommodation for you (route may vary). Please ask us for a quote and let us know the size and breed of dog.

Please note: Additional costs for your dog (e.g. for public transport or in the accommodations) are not included in the tour price and have to be paid on site.

1

Day 1: Arrival in Prien am 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 am Chiemsee

2

From Prien to Grassau

Distance: 19 km | Ascent: 590 m | Descent: 586 m | Time: 6 hrs approx.

Stage 1 of the SalzAlpenSteig leads you first through the picturesque lakeside towns of Prien and Bernau, with some amazing views of the Alps. You will then climb to moorland and forests above the villages Bernau and Rottau, before reaching your accommodation in Grassau.

Overnight: Grassau

3

Day 3: From Grassau to Ruhpolding

Distance: 16 km | Ascent: 997 m | Descent: 858 m | Time: 6 hrs approx.

After breakfast, you will have a short transfer by shuttlebus to Bergen. Here, you 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 Hochfelln, you will have a glorious hike amid sprawling alpine meadows and fairy-tale forests. Descending steadily, you will hike around the Reitstein (1.250 m) before reaching the forest of Brand with its many caves and grottos. Follow the signs in the direction of Ruhpolding, a popular alpine resort town and your destination for today.

Overnight: Ruhpolding

4

Day 4: From Ruhpolding to Inzell

Distance: 15 km | Ascent: 609 m | Descent: 576 m | Time: 5 hrs approx.

Today’s stage is a varied hike along the salt path between Ruhpolding and Inzell in the Chiemgauer Alps. In the foothills of the Rauschberg (1645 m), you will find the picturesque alpine lake Taubensee. This is the perfect spot to soothe your feet in its crystal-clear waters and enjoy a picnic lunch in idyllic surroundings. Continuing along the slopes of the Rauschberg on lovely forest paths, you finally reach your accommodation in the health resort town of Inzell, located in a wide valley floor.

Overnight: Inzell

5

Day 5: From Inzell to Bad Reichenhall

Distance: 22 km | Ascent: 678 m | Descent: 900 m | Time: 6 hrs approx.

An enormously varied but also quite strenuous day awaits you today. You hike first over moorland and lush meadows to the Weißbach waterfalls. You then follow the course of the Weißbach river through the wild and romantic Weißbach Gorge. You will pass the beautiful lake Thumsee before following the old salt path to the lovely spa town of Bad Reichenhall.

Bad Reichenhall is a traditional center of salt production, obtained by evaporating water saturated with salt from brine ponds. You can unwind in the thermal spas or take an evening walk through the beautiful Royal Spa Garden.

Overnight: Bad Reichenhall

6

Day 6: From Bad Reichenhall to Bischofswiesen

Distance: 16 km | Ascent: 696 m | Descent: 556 m | Time: 5½ hrs approx.

Today’s stage offers a lot of information and sights on the subject of salt, as well as a varied landscape and beautiful views of the Alps. Before leaving Bad Reichenhall, you can take a tour of the beautiful old salt works, which were commissioned by King Ludwig I and are considered to be among Europe’s most impressive industrial monuments.

You will find more ‘salty’ sights along your hiking route today, including ancient old brine pipelines which were used to transport salt to the salt works. Your route takes you past 12th century fortifications at the Hallthurm pass, before traversing the Schwarzgraben and Frechenbach rivers to reach the river Bischofswiesener Ache, which you follow until you reach the village of Bischofswiesen.

Overnight: Bischofswiesen

7

Day 7: From Bischofswiesen to Ramsau

Distance: 19 km | Ascent: 721 m | Descent: 682 m | Time: 6 hrs approx.

You will follow leisurely hiking paths along rivers and streams before steeper ascents lead you to idyllic alpine pastures with panoramic views of the Berchtesgadener National Park. Your destination today is the picturesque village of Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden. Ramsau is Germany’s first certified ‘mountaineering village’ and climbers come from far and wide to scale the legendary east wall of the Watzmann, Germanys second highest mountain.

Overnight: Ramsau

8

Day 8: Ramsau to Königssee

Distance: 17 km | Ascent: 1178 m | Descent: 1220 m | Time: 7½ hrs approx.

Prepare yourself for the toughest, but most rewarding stage of this hiking trip. Follow the brine pipelines in the foothills of the Geröllberg (1162 m) and Söldenköpfl (1022 m) towards Engedey. As you reach the bird sanctuary above Ramsau you will be rewarded with breathtaking views, taking in the Hochkalter (2606m), the northernmost blue-ice glacier in the Alps, the Mittelspitze (2713m), and the Kleiner Watzmann (2307m’).

From Engedey you begin your ascent through the forest to the Grünstein, a renowned panoramic hiking path in the Berchtesgadener Alps. Follow the serpentine forest paths to the Grünsteinhütte, where you can enjoy yet another amazing view over the Berchtesgadener Land. Following the path down into the valley, you arrive in Schönau at the world-famous Lake Königssee. Enjoy this beautiful scenery with the emerald-green alpine lake surrounded by the steep mountain walls of the Berchtesgaden Alps. 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 magnificent views over the lake.

Overnight: Schönau

9

Day 9: 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, and a return transfer is included to take you from there back to Prien am Chiemsee.


Travel to and from Prien am Chiemsee

  Munich airport is the most convenient airport.
From Munich central station there are regular train connections to Prien am Chiemsee (1 hour journey approx.). Check Deutsche Bahn’s website for more information.
If travelling by car, it is usually possible to park your car for free at the first hotel for the duration of your trip.

Departure

The regular local bus will bring you to from Schönau to Berchtesgaden in about 13 minutes, and a return transfer is included to take you from there back to Prien am Chiemsee.
SalzAlpenSteig Bavarian Alps walking holiday
Chiemsee ferry
Chapel on Herreninsel, Lake Chiemsee
Chiemsee landscape
Chapel at the Hochfelln summit
Hiking on the Hochfelln
Hochfelln hiking trail with Chiemsee in the background
Chiemgau landscape, Ruhpolding
The health resort town of Inzell
Hiking in the Berchtesgadener Alps
Weißbach Gorge
Lake Thumsee
Ramsau parish church
The Berchtesgadener Alps
Königssee
Boat on Lake Königssee
St. Bartholomew's church, Königssee
Viewing point over Königssee at the Jenner
Berchtesgaden and Mount Watzmann

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