Southern Bavaria is probably Germany’s most picturesque corner. I’ve heard praises about it, seen several photos of it, and still nothing comes close to having experienced it firsthand. If you love the outdoors and the sports that go with it, this is the perfect place to spend your holiday.
Part of Bavaria’s charm is the Romantic Road. It’s a special highway that links several towns from Wuzburg to Fussen, offering a smorgasbord of castles, churches, mountains, meadows, and everything pretty your eyes can feast on along the way. We didn’t drive through all 350 kilometers of it, just on and off between Landsberg am Lech to Fussen and back, so it’s still not off my bucket list.
You can stop on designated parking areas along the road to enjoy the sights.
Paragliding is popular here aside from biking and hiking. In a day you’d see a mininum of 15 gliders around Tegelberg in Schwangau.
Schwangau and Hohenschwangau
Schwangau, for me, is the quintessential Bavarian town; picture-perfect, laid-back, and quiet. Neuschwanstein Castle is seen sitting pretty on a hill whichever part of this town you to go. It’s very close to the Austrian border. The view of the Alps makes this town even more gorgeous.
We chose to spend our four days in Bavaria in Schwangau because I read it’s so much quieter compared to its busier neighbor, Fussen and the smaller village of Hohenschwangau. Maybe my husband and I are really getting old. “Quiet” is already a requirement in our travels.
Hohenschwangau is maybe just a little village but it’s bustling with tourists. Day trippers from Munich arrive here on buses. People also park their cars here to get to Neuschwanstein Castle on foot.
I fell in love with the churches and chapels in Bavaria. One of my favorites is the Church of St. Coloman in Schwangau. I call it the church in the meadows because that’s how it is -right in the meadows. You’ll notice it right away when you enter the Romantic Road of Schwangau heading towards Fussen.
St. Peter’s Church in the village of Berghof is perched on a hill. If you’re heading to Fussen, you’ll see it to your right as you’re entering the village of Buching.
Stations of the Cross are on the steps towards the church. I guess it’s better to visit the churches early in the evening when most tourists are already heading out to the restaurants for dinner.
This next church is close to our Bed and Breakfast. The churches here, especially the small chapels perched on rolling hills remind me of the ones in Tuscany. The churches are not the only thing Bavaria and Tuscany have in common. Both states or districts definitely offer the best road trips you could have in Europe.
- No highway ticket required in driving around Germany. So generous.
- Haus Martina in Schwangau is a good choice of accommodation. €70 for two already gives you a double bed with balcony and free breakfast buffet. Eggs are cooked per request, I guess. Everyone had them except us.
- Pack a very comfortable pair of hiking shoes.
- Since it’s near the Alps, Schwangau and the neighboring towns are chilly in the mornings and evenings. Don’t forget to bring a cardigan or a warm scarf but please leave your winter clothes at home especially in summer. I saw tourists wearing winter clothes in the middle of the day with Uggs to complete the look. That was just too much.
- Bring or rent a bike. Bavaria has the nicest biking trails I’ve ever seen.
- Some parts of Forggensee are nice for swimming so you might want to bring a swimsuit.
- Stay in Schwangau for a laid back experience, stay in Fussen if you want to be in the middle of the action.
- Lastly, if you’re travelling around the area now, try to stay away from E45, the highway between Ingolstadt and Munich. There are road works going on and we got stuck there yesterday on our way back to CZ for so long without moving an inch.
Two ladies from different cars before us went on the side of the road and peed for everyone to see. I looked around at the people to see their reaction but they only had bored looks on their faces. I guess in Germany, you gotta go when you gotta go. That’s food for thought for you.