Fascinating mountain landscapes, idyllic lakes and countless trees towering high into the sky – a relaxing vacation in the middle of nature is good for the mind and soul. But we don’t have to get on a plane right away for that, because we can find plenty of beautiful places like something out of a storybook back home, too. The varied nature and the beautiful lakes in Germany inspire not only visitors in this country, but from all over the world. One of the most popular and well-known vacation destinations among nature lovers is the Bavarian Forest. So if you don’t fancy a typical beach vacation or city break this year, but rather a relaxing getaway, then you should definitely read on. In today’s article, we’ll take you on a little trip and reveal the most beautiful places for an unforgettable vacation in the Bavarian Forest!
Table of contents
- Where is the Bavarian Forest located in Germany?
- Vacation in the Bavarian Forest: The Great Arber
- Falkenstein Castle
- Tree top walk in Neuschönau
- Vacation in the Bavarian Forest: WaldWipfelWeg
- Bavarian Forest Glass Route
- Experience the Wild West in Pullman City
- Pure nature: Hiking through the Bavarian Forest
Where is the Bavarian Forest located in Germany?
Whether wildlife watching, relaxing walks or hiking tours – if you want to be close to nature, a vacation in the Bavarian Forest is always the best choice. In addition to all the natural highlights, you can also look forward to countless exciting sights that ensure a lot of fun. The Bavarian Forest includes the districts of Deggendorf, Passau, Regen, Cham, Straubing-Bogen and Freyung-Grafenau. It was founded in 1970 and is the oldest nature park in Germany. Did you know that the Bavarian Forest, together with the Czech Sumava, forms the largest forest landscape in Central Europe? At the southern end of the low mountain range, the Bavarian Forest borders Austria. Idyllic waters, significant natural monuments, fairytale natural landscapes and impressive wildlife await you in this vast area – so it’s the perfect place to experience nature up close and breathe in the wonderfully fresh air!
Vacation in the Bavarian Forest: The Great Arber
An absolute highlight in the truest sense of the word during a vacation in the Bavarian Forest is undoubtedly the “King of the Bavarian Forest”, namely the Great Arber. It is part of the Bavarian-Bohemian border massif and is located north of Bodenmais very close to the Czech border. With an altitude of 1456 meters, the big but is the highest mountain in the Bavarian Forest and is very popular with both hikers and families. The countless hiking trails lead you to the top and the four peaks offer unforgettable views of the surrounding region. And if you prefer something more comfortable, you can take the gondola to the top. The distant view also leaves visitors speechless and with a bit of luck, you can even see as far as the Alps in good weather. In winter, the Great Arber turns into a true winter wonderland and the largest family ski area in the Bavarian Forest. The ski schools, the wide chairlifts and the numerous slopes make the mountain a real paradise for all skiers!
Two particularly beautiful destinations on the Großer Arber, which you should not miss during your vacation in the Bavarian Forest, are the lakes Kleiner and Großer Arbersee. You can find the Kleiner Arbersee between the Großer and Kleiner Arber, which hides behind its big brother with an altitude of 1384 meters. The floating islands at the Kleiner Arbersee provide an excellent view and an idyllic tranquility spreads. The Großer Arbersee is located on the other side, west of the Großer Arber. There you can stroll along the shore via the circular hiking trail or rent a boat. And when the little hunger comes, try the regional cuisine in the Arberseehaus while enjoying the view of the beautiful lake. Are you planning a vacation in the Bavarian Forest with the kids? Then you should definitely visit the fairy tale park next to the Great Arbersee, where you will explore different fairy tales during the tour.
Falkenstein Castle is considered to be the landmark of the Anterior Bavarian Forest and is one of the most important sights that you should not miss during your vacation in the Bavarian Forest. The castle is located on a large granite cone and is surrounded by the second largest nature park in Bavaria, the so-called “castle park”. From the tower you have a wonderful panoramic view over the park, the town and the nature surrounding the castle. However, the building is not only a feast for the eyes from the outside. Within the walls you will find the Falkenstein Hunting Museum, where you can not only explore taxidermied animals and trophies, but also take a tour to learn more about the background of hunting and the connections between culture and hunting. A very special highlight is the Falkenstein Castle Courtyard Games, which take place every weekend from the end of June to the beginning of August. You are tired after the long walk through the castle? Then visit the restaurant Burg Falkenstein and let yourself be princely spoiled with delicious dishes.
Tree top walk in Neuschönau
During your vacation in the Bavarian Forest you have the unique opportunity to visit the longest tree top walk in the world. It is located in Neuschönau and is 1300 meters long in total. The 44 meter high construction tower opens up magnificent views over the dreamlike valleys and the beautiful mountains of the Bavarian Forest. On clear days, with a bit of luck, you can even see the northern main ridge of the Alps. The three ancient beech and fir trees inside the tower give visitors a unique insight into forest development. The treetop path is mainly made of wood and thus conveys an unadulterated natural result. Experience nature from a completely new perspective for once – that is the basic idea of the treetop path in the Bavarian Forest. Numerous rope bridges, balancing beams and wobbly bridges ensure a unique experience for the brave on their way to the “Wipfel”. If you prefer a more relaxed experience, you can take the elevator to the tree top walk. And on your return, you can treat yourself to a delicacy in the “Waldwirtschaft” directly below the tree top walk, while the children play on the playground right next to the terrace.
Vacation in the Bavarian Forest: WaldWipfelWeg
Anyone who looks into the woods from the footbridges, listens to the chirping of the birds and enjoys the tranquility of nature immediately switches into relaxation mode. Stress has absolutely no chance during a vacation in the Bavarian Forest! Experience nature without solid ground under your feet for once and take a walk at airy heights on the WaldWipfelWeg in Sankt Englmar. The path is a whole 2.50 meters wide and up to 52 meters high and is also called “Wipfel der Gefühle” by the locals. The WaldWipfelWeg is also barrier-free and therefore ideal for families with strollers or wheelchair users. From the 52-meter-high construction tower, you have a magnificent panoramic view of the Danube Valley and the entire Bavarian Forest. The more daring of you can also take the alternative route across the suspension bridge at a height of 25 meters. And while you are there, you should visit another highlight in the Bavarian Forest – the house upside down, which is completely on the roof. Your perceptual system will be thrown into quite a spin by the additional longitudinal and transverse slope as soon as you enter. The house comes complete with a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room and children’s room, and the insane perspective is guaranteed to make for super great souvenir photos!
Bavarian Forest Glass Route
Since glass production, glass design and glass processing have always been of great importance in the region, the Bavarian Forest is also called the “Glass Forest”. Look over the shoulders of glassmakers at their painstaking work and visit one of the numerous glass factories. A very special highlight is the 250 kilometer long Glass Route in Eastern Bavaria. It was founded in 1997 and opened by Chancellor Helmut Kohl in the same year. There you have the unique opportunity to admire glass in all its facets. In the glassworks you can even try glass blowing yourself under expert supervision. The Glass Route delights visitors with constantly changing exhibitions, summer festivals and fairytale Advent markets.
Experience the Wild West in Pullman City
A vacation in the Bavarian Forest actually has much more to offer than beautiful nature and mountain landscapes. Just a few kilometers from the Austrian border and located behind Passau, you will find one of the most famous attractions in the Bavarian Forest – the western town of Pullman City. Fearless knife throwers, gunfights, daredevil riders and much more – everything that took place in the Wild West back then and that you (or your partner at least) dreamed of as a child, you can experience there! An absolute highlight for visitors of all ages is definitely the American History Show, which takes place every evening. Cowboys, settlers, Indians, horses and carriages are guaranteed to make you laugh and transport you to another time. And when there is no show, visit the children’s train or the adventure playground. There you can also try your hand at archery, horseback riding, gold panning or poker. Or why not take the Pullman City Express for a little spin through the Wild West? There really is a lot to experience, so you will have an unforgettable vacation in the Bavarian Forest.
Pure nature: hiking through the Bavarian Forest
Are you longing for an active vacation in the Bavarian Forest? Then you should definitely explore some of the countless hiking trails in the region! The challenging routes in the Green Roof of Europe will make the hearts of all experienced hikers beat faster. But families with children will also get their money’s worth, as there are many circular hiking trails that invite you to take a leisurely and relaxed stroll. Sporting challenges can be found in the summit tours that take you to the Großer Arber or other peaks such as Lusen, Osser, Rachel or Dreisessel. Long-distance hikers will not miss out on a vacation in the Bavarian Forest either, as the most important long-distance hiking trails cross the Bavarian Forest mountain range. How about the Goldsteig, for example, which is the longest quality trail in Germany with its proud 660 kilometers and 38 stages? Or romp along the Gläserner Steig, the Pandurensteig or the East Bavarian Jakobsweg – the possibilities are endless!
The fact that you can also discover some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Germany in the Bavarian Forest should really come as no surprise. Near Bodenmais in the district of Regen you will find a natural spectacle of a special kind: the Riesloch waterfalls. They are considered the highest waterfalls in the entire Bavarian Forest. The region is the habitat of various moss species and protected animals and the via ferrata right next to the waterfall offers a magnificent view of the mountain top.