Königssee is a very beautiful glacier lake in Germany, right over the boarder from Austria. It’s about a 40 minute drive from Salzburg, so if you’re staying there it’s an easy day trip and definitely worth it! We visited Königssee when we stayed at the Kinder Hotel Post in Austria recently and we loved it! As you can see from the photos it’s just so pretty there and the views are amazing! The lake is surrounded by steep cliffs like fjords all around. (FYI for my non-German speaking friends See = Lake in German)
To visit the lake you park at the tourist information center and walk through the little village down to the docks. There are a ton of gift shops, sports store and places to eat and get ice cream. Gas powered boats are not allowed on the lake, so you take a tour on an electric boat. It’s the only way to visit the lake as there are no hiking trails or other ways to get in! Königssee is 5 miles long and the boat ride is 30 minutes to the first stop, St Bartholoma’s Church, and then another 30 minutes to the second stop at the other end of the lake.
P.S.- take a look at the crescent shaped cave up in the mountain! We may or may not have told Carter a giant lived up there…
We decided to do both stops so we could see the whole lake. This is a view of the church and restaurant next to it. The restaurant has inside seating and an outside beer garden and was pretty good! There’s also restrooms, a gift shop and some paths to explore. The boat was pretty crowded, but we didn’t have trouble getting a seat at the restaurant because there was so much space!
The second half of the boat ride takes you to the other end of the lake where you get off at Salet. From there you can do a small, very easy and flat hike, to the hidden lake, Obersee. It’s about 15-20 minutes depending on how fast you walk and how many times your kids stop to pick up and examine rocks. The hike itself was very pretty, but wait until you get to the lake!
Obersee is a pristine and still lake tucked away in the mountains. It’s so still and clear so you get a really good reflection of the surrounding mountains off the water! Once you get to the lake there are more trails that go around, but we just stuck to going there and back with Carter. After you’ve had your fill of Obersee, hike back to Salet to catch the boat back or have a snack in the restaurant there! One thing to note is to be sure to check and stick to the boat schedule. There is no other way back out, so if you miss the last boat you will be stuck overnight!
Of course what vacation would be complete without a giant, delicious ice cream Sundae?
It’s really hard to capture the grandeur and beauty of the lake in a photo, so I highly recommend visiting it yourself if you ever get the chance! If you want a few more things to do in the area, you can also visit the nearby salt mines up in the mountains, or Eagles Nest historic site, which was a meeting place of Hitler during the war, and is now a restaurant.
For more information on Königssee, including the timetable, ticket prices and how to get there check out their website! During the winter you can only go on the first half of the boat tour, to the church and back.