The Zugspitze is, with 2962m above sea level, the highest mountain in Germany. On its summit, you will find a building with a restaurant, kiosk, a museum and a panoramic terrace offering views of four neighbouring countries. On clear days it is possible to see the Eibsee, the Grossglockner, de Piz Bernina and even the television tower in Munich. Winter season lures skiers and snowboarders to the pistes around the mountain, while the facility of the gondolas makes it easier for active travelers during the summer season.
About the Zugspitze
With an elevation of 2962 meters, the Zugspitze is the highest mountain in Germany. It is located closely to the border of Austrian Tyrol, from whereyou can see impressive peaks such as the Grossglockner on clear days. The first person to climb the peak was Josef Naus on August 27, 1820. However, that might not have been the most impressive feat at the time. At the end of the 19th century, they started building the Muncher Haus, a building just below the summit of the Zugspitze. In 1926, the first gondola to the summit, the Tiroler Zugspitzbahn, was opened. Up to this day, the Tiroler Zugspitzbahn is one of the most modern gondolas in Europe and offers seats to 101 people. The return voyage from Garmisch Partenkirchen costs about 52 euros. From Ehrwald, the Tyrolean side, it’s 40 euros.
The panoramic terrace with restaurant and kiosk is a popular tourist attraction in the region. On clear days, sights of thesgl Grosockner, Piz Bernina and television tower in Munich are not unusual. From this place, it’s a short but technical hike to the actual summit. On the summit, a gipfelkreuz marks the fact that someone has already successfully reached the peak.
Accommodations around the Zugspitze
Garmisch Partenkirchen and Ehrwald are two popular starting points to ascend the Zugspitze. Garmisch Partenkirchen is located on the German side of the Zugspitze, in Bayern. In winter, it is a well-known skiresort, while there are hundreds of hiking trails waiting to be explored in summer. Several hotels offer a base for your holiday, as well as campsites. Alpencamp, Camping Resort Zugspitze and Camping experience Zugspitze are three located just outside the village center. Ehrwald is the village on the Tyrolean side of the mountain, in Austria. The village itself is situated in Lermooser Moos, a place that was once a swamp. If you are looking for fine hotel, these are worth checking out:
Sentido Zugspitze Berghotel Hammersbach” in Grainau. An impressive history connects the “Sentido Zugspitze Berghotel Hammersbach” with its surroundings – the charm of the wild-romantic Alpine landscape, the magnificent Zugspitz massif and the roaring Hammersbach. Elegant country house style characterizes the personal ambience of this gem of Bavarian hospitality.
MyTirol, the urban style hotel with Zugspitzblick. At over 1.000m, between dreamy mountain landscapes of the Zugspitz Arena and the picturesque Tyrolean nature, they are on you and you. Price-conscious vacationers and guests enjoy an appealing and high-quality holiday directly in the Tyrolean Zugspitzarena. In our design hotel, we offer you every season a comprehensive indoor and outdoor offer and an unforgettable active, sports and spa vacation.
Landhotel Garni Grainauer Hof, Located at the entrance to Grainau you will find peace and relaxation in a unique environment in our family-run house. Let yourself be pampered with a service with a heart.
The mountain refuge Wankhaus (1780m) has about 30 beds to accommodate visitors. From Garmisch Partenkirchen, the hut is easily reachable by cable car. Those who hike from the village will need about 2.5 hours to reach it.
The Höllentalangerhüt (1381m) is one of the best places for experienced mountaineers to climb the Zugspitze from the famous Höllentalroute. Even for a family of hikers, the hut is a nice goal to set for a day’s hike. The hut accommodates 106 people starting from 31 euros for a place to sleep.
The Knorrhütte is the perfect starting place if you want to take the easiest route to the summit of Zugspitze. It used to be one of the oldest mountain refuges in Germany, but it has been renovated in the past few years. Located at 2051m, you are on the border of the treeline, and a visit to the hut makes you feel like you are in high alpine territory. Reaching the hut is doable even for people without much experience in hiking, since it only takes about three hours.
High above the Lindertazl at an elevation of 1564m, you wo;; find the romantic August-Schuster – Haus. It is open in the winter and summer seasons, making it a great place to stop for hiking, touring and skiing. Hikes to the Teufelsstättkopf and the Brunnekopfhütte are easily done via this cabin.
The Brunnenkopfhütte is located along the E4, a long distance route across Europe. Starting from the castle Linderhof, it takes about 1h30 min to reach the refuge. Once there, you can enjoy views of the Graswangtal and Ammergauer mountains from the terrace.
The Münchener Haus is without doubt the highest mountain hut in the German Alps as it is located just below the summit of the Zugspitze. It was built in 1897 and has known a few modernizations since then. Anyone who wants to spend the night here will have to book well in advance to avoid disappointment as there are only 36 sleeping places offered. Comfort is not a high standard in comparison to other mountain huts in the area. Fortunately, the view makes it worthwhile. When the last cable car has descended towards the valley at 16.45u, a quiet charm falls over the hut as the huge crowds have left for the day.
Hiking around the Zugspitze
The Bavarian Alps are scattered with long-distance trails, many originally routes used by bandits, cattle drovers and even the military. As you can expect from the Germans, all of them are well organized and carefully signposted. They connect a large network of mountain refuges or alpine huts. This makes it easier for hikers since it allows you to hike without carrying too much gear, or even food.
This trail starts at the AlpspiX viewing platform, so after having looked into its depth, you can hike this Erlebniswege to experience the beauty of the surroundings. The hike down takes about 2 hours and leads from the topstation of the Alpspitzbahn to the Kreuzeckbahn station. Along the way, you will pass the Giant’s Stone Kingdom.
The Konigsweg to Schachen begins at the forest road in Wanderpark Elmau. Along the route, you will see the Royal house on Schachen, called the Swiss House. Wettersteinalm and Schachenhaus make great refreshment stops during this 20 kilometer round trip.
Mount Wak is one of the most popular mountains in the Bavarian Alps as its summit gives you exceptional views of the foothills of the Alps. The route via Esterbergalm to the summit of this peak is less-frequented and therefore more enjoyable. A round trip to the summit takes about 7 hours as you will be ascending a little over 1200 meters.
Circular hike via Wamberg, Graseck and the Partnachklamm
This is a shorter option for those active travelers who wish to enjoy the lush green meadows and shadowy forests of the Bavarian Alps. Wamberg is the highest altitude village in the whole country and is under historical preservation for this reason. It is the first village you will encounter on this circular hike. The old farmhouses and wooden balconies have an enchanting atmosphere, and this romantic setting only gets better as you continue your journey towards the Wamberger Sattel. The Partnach Gorge is a geological highlightfound along the route. This natural monument is a combination of roaring waterfalls and crystal clear pools. The natural swimming pool of the Kainzenbad makes a great refreshing swim when the weather is hot.
Things to around Zugspitze
For those who need a rest day after a hiking trip, there are plenty of options of things to do around Zugspitze. The biggest tourist attraction without doubt is the Tiroler Zugspitzbahn, a cable car leading all the way to the summit of Zugspitze from the villages Ehrwald and Garmisch Partenkirchen. The viewing platform of AlpspiX is another great place to visit if you are looking for panoramic views.
Wandering through the streets of Garmisch Partenkirchen is always a good idea, as the 1936 Winter Olympics has left its legacy in the town. Many of the colorful chalets and buildings you see were built for this occassion. The picturesque half-timberd houses and murals in the Fruhlingstrasse are worth a visit as well. Gashof Husar and Polznkasparhaus are the oldest buildings in the village. The banks of the river Loisach are a great place to walk in an cozy atmosphere.
Hiking with kids
Hiking with kids offers a different experience as children are only occupied with what they see right in front of them. This means that hiking with kids must be done on trails where they can be intrigued by streams, big tree roots or waterfalls at all times. The Wassererlebnisweg “Zugspitz am Gaisbach” is a trail similar to geocaching. Along the route, you will find eight numbers to discover that make a code. At the end of the trail, you will be able to enter the code and see if it’s correct to find the treasure.
Moosles Zauberwald is a trail dedicated to the mascotte of the Bavarian Alps, leading families through his own home: the magic forest. The 4-kilometer trail has nine interactive stations for all ages that will help you discover the password. The password can be entered in the tourist information center in Lermoos where you will be offered a souvenir to Moosle.