• Angie Kunze

Eibsee Lake, pretty in emerald green, and the towering Zugspitze Mountain: Germany

Updated: Apr 21

Eibsee Lake is located in the Bavarian region of Germany, just 8 miles outside of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It sits at the base of Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain. Spend a relaxing afternoon exploring the lake and the mountain, or make a whole day of it!



walking trail around Eibsee Lake

There's a 4.7 mile idyllic walking trail around the lake, with picturesque views of both the crystal clear blue/green lake, and the towering mountains that surround it. I hear tell that is best hiked counterclockwise. In my excitement, I forgot this detail and marshaled on in a clockwise fashion. As you can see, it was still pretty 😉


As with everything in Germany, the trail is immaculately maintained.

walking trail around Eibsee Lake at the base of Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain in Bavaria.

walking trail around Eibsee Lake at the base of Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain in Bavaria

As you circle around the lake, you will be treated to various vantage point views of the mountains.

Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain in Bavaria


Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain in Bavaria

Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain in Bavaria

The lake sometimes appears blue, sometimes green, but is ever stunning.

Eibsee Lake at the base of Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain in Bavaria


Eibsee Lake at the base of Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain in Bavaria


Eibsee Lake at the base of Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain in Bavaria


Eibsee Lake at the base of Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain in Bavaria

swimming

Take a dip in summer...swimming is permitted.



boat rental

If you would like to get out on the lake, you can rent a boat or take a motorized boat tour. They offer rowboat, paddle boat, and stand up paddle boat rental. Check here for information on renting boats or buying tickets for the boat ride on Eibsee.




boat rental at Eibsee Lake at the base of Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain in Bavaria
photo courtesy of befunky.com


Photo by Alana Harris on Unsplash

lake webcam


If your a dreamer, like me, and can't resist allowing your mind to travel when you can't, check the Eibsee webcam.


dining

There are several options for dining around the lake. We found an outdoor table at the Eibsee Alm. The weather in September was perfect for dining al fresco! for our entire trip actually!


This was our first experience with Flammkuchen, a cracker thin pizza-like crust with toppings (German pizza?) We sampled the traditional version with sour cream, bacon and red onion, and one with tomato, mozzarella, and arugula....delicious!

Flammkuchen at Eibsee Alm restaurant Eibsee Lake at the base of Zugspitze Mountain, Bavaria Germany

and check out the view of the mountain from our table!


Flammkuchen at Eibsee Alm restaurant Eibsee Lake at the base of Zugspitze Mountain, Bavaria Germany

(That's my Spezi on the table. I'm kind of addicted to it. It is one of things I miss the most about Germany. Its the perfect combination of cola mixed with orange. Mezzo is the same thing...try one!)

Flammkuchen at Eibsee Alm restaurant Eibsee Lake at the base of Zugspitze Mountain, Bavaria Germany

Eibsee Hotel

There's a 4 star hotel on the lake. It can be seen there across the lake. At the time of publication, I was unable to access their site. I pray that COVID hasn't forced them to close their doors. Hopefully it is just a technical issue. Check the Eibsee Hotel website for complete visitor information.

Photo courtesy Unsplash

Zugspitze Mountain

At 9717.848 feet in elevation, Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany. At the top, weather permitting, you'll be treated to a 360 degree panorama, with a view of 400 mountain peaks. If conditions are favorable, you'll be able to see 4 countries from up there: Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. Here is information about the glacier (glaciers?) on Zugspitze mountain, and a list of dining options on Zugspitze Mountain.



Getting to the top of the mountain

There are a few options for getting up to the top and back down again, which can be a tiny bit complicated. I broke it down into simple terms for you.


There's a cable car that will take you clear to the summit, or you can opt for a cogwheel train/cable car combination. Mix and match as you please. Purchase your tickets and you can decide later how you would like to go up and come back down.


The website says that you may take the cable car between the plateau and the peak (Gletscherbahn cable car) as many times as you like on the day of your ticket.


See the Zugspitze website for ticket information and opening hours. You may find this parking information helpful.


by cable car:

Sielbahn Zugspitze cable car will take you from the lake all the way up to the summit, and back down again.


Cogwheel train, Cable car combo:

Take the cogwheel train up to the Plateu, and then take the Gletscherbahn cable car to the summit (you'll need to catch a ride down on that same cable car to get back to the train station, if that's how you choose to get down.) More than half of the trip by train is through a tunnel in the mountain. It's not very scenic, but if the thought of taking the cable car makes you weak in the knees, it may be the best option for you.


Just remember you can take any combination of these methods.


Activities on the mountain:


Mountain Climbing- If your feeling really adventurous, you can do a bit of mountain climbing.


Winter options-skiing and sledding are winter options. Find information on winter activities here.


Explore the Glacier.

The website says there are 3 glaciers at the top, although I only see the one on the map. I wonder if only one is accessible?


This map might help put things in perspective.


mountain cable car:


Photo by Christian Englmeier on Unsplash

viewing platform at the top:


Photo by Darko M. on Unsplash

another view from the mountain:

Photo by Inge Kraus on Unsplash

The golden cross marks the highest point in Germany:

Photo by Alana Harris on Unsplash

More webcams!

Can't wait to get your fix? Check out their site to view several webcams on Zugspitze mountain!


More options:



Aspitze Mountain

Alspitze Mountain, the next one over, has some options for you as well. The Garmisch-Classic cable car will get you there and back. See ticket information for Aspitze Mountain here. See the website for summer (hiking, climbing, adventure trails) winter trips, and a restaurant listing.



Wank Mountain

The Wank is a short lift up to Wank Mountain, the mountain opposite Zugspitze and Alpspitze, that offers panaramic views of Zugspitze. At the top, you'll find relatively flat hiking trails, as well as dining options. Here are the prices for getting up Wank Mountain. See their website for information on summer and winter trips, and dining options on Wank Mountain.



getting there:

We drove, but note that the trains from Garmisch will zip you around between these locations (see the map.) The website has information on summer and winter train service.


Parking

If your driving in, and plan to walk the lake and go up Zugspitze, there is parking in front of the Eibseee hotel. THE EIBSEE LOT AUTOMAT DOES NOT ACCEPT CARDS. (pay at the machine BEFORE you leave the lot.)


Here's some information on the other parking lots around Eibsee Lake and Zugspitze Mountain, including prices.




In the area: Ehrenberg Castle and Highline 179 Suspension Bridge


Just 26 miles away, in Austria, are some dreamy castle ruins and for those of you with nerves of steel, one of the longest suspension bridges in the worlds. Check out my post here:

Ehrenberg Castle Ruins, and Highline 179 Suspension Bridge, Reutte Austria


photos from Ehrenberg Castle and Highline 179 Suspension Bridge



Inspiration for this trip, courtesy of Rick Steves "Germany" travel guide. Get the book!!!! Why I love Rick's books: If I could tell you one thing, and one thing only about his books, I would share with you Rick's own words. He "gives you all of the information & suggestions necessary, for wringing the maximum value out of your limited time and money!" and that my friends, is exactly what your goal should be.


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