Road Trips

Driving the German Alpine Road But Not Seeing Much

After our three days in the Berchtesgaden Alps, the weather gave us a serious nudge to get going. As the clouds rolled in, we decided to skip the panoramic Roßfeldstrasse drive and got on our way to meander along the scenic Deutsche Alpenstrasse (German Alpine Road) for the next 2-3 days.

READ MORE: Road Tripping around Southern Germany

The German Alpine Road is one of many scenic themed roads across Germany, and takes you along the outskirts of the German Alps. It’s slow travel on country roads with tiny hamlets, pretty little villages and old-fashioned towns every couple of kilometres. Literally.

For the first day, we persevered but as more and more fog moved into sight and more and more mountains moved out of sight, we ended up abandoning our plans and cut this part of our road trip short.

In hindsight, this was a fabulous decision since it gave us more time along the Moselle and Rhine Rivers later on in our trip.

River views in the German Alps
Crossing milky Saalach River


So, here’s a photo summary of our foggy drive…


Our first stop was a whole 15 km away: the tiny village of Ramsau. I can’t even remember why we went there, maybe we just took the wrong turn but in any case we came upon a view that I had seen before. Just not here. I nearly did a back flip (except that my gymnastic days are long gone, and I was never that good with flips…).

Church at Ramsau
Ramsau Parish Church. Please admire the fog in the background. At this stage, it was still tame.
Also Ramsau Parish Church. Except this is a thousand pieces later and in Australia.

Crazy, huh?!

Ramsau is a pretty little village and I can wholeheartedly recommend the local bakery. Well, not from firsthand experience obviously but the husband bought some amazing local sourdough bread (oh so cheap…) and a ginormous piece of strawberry rhubarb tart, for a €1 or thereabouts.

I got kind of obsessed with these round church spires found all over Bavaria…

Somewhere along the German Alpine Road…
Church spire in Mittenwald


And equally obsessed with painted houses…

Basically the whole town of Neubeuern had painted houses. On a side note, we bought ridiculously expensive aspirin here, and by ridiculous I mean €6.50 for 20 tablets (= $9.50); mental note to self ‘take more aspirin when travelling to Germany’.Save


And more painted houses in the town of Bad Tölz


The next day we had a look around picturesque Mittenwald and saw yet more painted houses. I loved the old-style gutters and would have liked to actually see the mighty Karwendel Mountains in the background but no such luck…

Painted church and houses in Mittenwald. I love the historic gutters still running through the town.

And then there were these lovely artifacts of medieval signage everywhere… Including my favourite ever.


We didn’t just stop in towns but when we saw a sign for waterfalls near Oberaudorf, we decided to take a break and go for a quick walk to the Wasserfälle am Tatzelwurm (Tatzelwurm Waterfalls).

I expected to see a piddly little stream of water but no, we encountered a roaring and gushing waterfall, dropping 95m amidst lush greenery!


On a clear, blue sky day taking the Alpine Road should be a panoramic drive but given the weather we experienced, I can’t really say and had to pop it onto our Flop 5 list. Still, I enjoyed pointing out all the imaginary mountain peaks marked on my map to the husband. 🙂

We had planned to go up Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze, but decided to give that a miss since it’s really not worth paying €55 (per person! [$80]) to have a view of… well, nothing.

So it was at this point that we abandoned our plans for the German Alpine Road and took a shortcut through Austria to the town of Schwangau where our next adventure, Neuschwanstein, awaited us.

I’ll leave you with a picture of our least favourite campground at Kochelsee where we stayed on Day 5 of our road trip. I think it’s obvious why I didn’t like it.

Campground Renken at Lake Kochel
Campground Kochelsee


  • InfinitePlaylist
    9 September 2016 at 9:54 AM

    "A thousand pieces later in Austrlia" herrlich xD
    Lustig wie so die Preisunterschiede sind, also dass Brot und Kuchen so billig sein können und Aspirin dafür anscheinend teuer.

  • Kati
    9 September 2016 at 9:57 AM

    Oh, hab deinen Kommentar erst grade jetzt entdeckt! 🙁 Ja, voll krass mit dem Aspirin, ich bin fast vom Hocker gefallen.

    Und bei der Kirche sind mir die Augen fast aus dem Kopf gekugelt – wer haette das gedacht?!!!


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