Traveling to Walchensee on a Monday to avoid tourist crowds with a perfect forecasted sunny weather was the plan. I found out about Walchensee through friends and I remember seeing the photo of the turquoise lake surrounded by the beautiful colored trees, see in the bottom of the article. My thought: I gotta see it ! After waiting for the perfect weather forecast and fitting the schedule, my girlfriend and me made our way to Walchensee with the basic winter everyday life gear: winter jacket and sneakers. Not the best idea !
How to get there ?
There is a couple of options but the simplest from Munich is to catch the train to Kochel but probably the better option in the mountain regions is by car. We bought a Bavarian train ticket for 28 EUR, which was valid for 24 hours. The irregular bus schedule from Kochel am See to Herzogstandbahn makes it quite time consuming because it only runs once every hour. It’s bus 9608 to Walchensee Herzogstandbahn and takes 20 minutes. Check schedule here: Bus 9608. From there (Herzogstandbahn) you have the option to hike to Herzogstand or use the Herzogstandbahn cable car. The train connection to / from Munich runs almost every hour and takes about 70 minutes.
The incredible experience of Walchensee
Sunshine above the clouds
It was almost disappointing arriving at Walchensee first because of the clouds but the sun hit our faces whilst moving up to the Bergstation (cable car arriving point) with the Herzogstandbahn and that feeling was incredible. Everyone knows that kind of feeling of warmth. On the top it was unexpected fully covered in snow but pretty good for the start of the winter season. It was actually so amazing, that I had to FaceTime my parents right away to share it with them whilst they were working haha.
Incredible views from the Herzogstand
The clouds blocked the view of the lake but who needs a lake with this beautiful snowy Alps mountain range ?
Dangerous hike up
The hike was only dangerous because we just wore sneakers to hike up. Not a good idea ! Hiking carefully from the Bergstation (cable car arriving point) to the Herzogstand took about an hour and the views are absolutely stunning. Because of the sneakers I was pretty nervous going up and down.
The lunch view
Halfway to the top, we stopped to fuel up with some energy, to be exact with a salad with feta cheese. The best part: It was just us and the view !
Herzogstandbahn cable car
Herr Fintereisen at the Herzogstandbahn *sponsored* welcomed us very happy. The bahn fits about 15-20 people. On our way up it was just the four including us and the operator. Down we were six people. The Herzogstandbahn worked smoothly and only took 4-5 minutes.
Hot chocolate to warm up
A couple of options throughout the day made us stop to have a coffee and a hot chocolate. I recommend a little coffee called Barbara’s Brotladen right next to Kochel central station. Another option is the hot and cozy chalet Berggasthaus Herzogstandbahn on top of the mountain.
Almost no tourists
All day being there, I assume to have seen about 20-25 people that visited the Herzogstand too. So it was nice and quiet.
Hitchhike to Kochel
At the end of the day we used the cable car to go down when I suddenly got talking to a women from Munich. As we were almost reaching the bottom I told her that we planned to catch a bus to head back to Kochel. She offered us a lift right away and we had a really nice time with her sharing some stories from around the world. She even would have given us a lift all the way back to Munich but she had something else planned. It was very kind of her but her driving skills would have made me decide to catch the train anyways haha.
Yet again I couldn’t leave the opportunity of getting outside my comfort zone and used a couple of meters to get acceleration for the jumping on the icy edge of the mountain. Luckily I didn’t slip off the edge.
I TRAVEL FOREVER’s VIEW & RECOMMENDATION
My recommendation is in my opinion to travel there by car and bring proper hiking boots and warm clothing. Make sure to hike back from the top (Herzogstand) to the Bergstation (cable car arriving point) before the sun leaves and the path gets icy and very slippery. Also don’t miss the last cable car to go down. I recommend to go either in the middle of October to see the turquoise lake and colored leafs. Alternatively in the middle of November to see what we experienced here. Don’t forget to check the bus schedule to make your trip most efficient. Lastly, check the Panorama and live webcam by clicking here to see whats up.
Not the right shoes to hike up the mountain but a nice lunch view.