Spend some time in this traditional Bavarian town just a few miles from the Austrian border and enjoy mountain and lake views, Olympic history and authentic wiener schnitzel, says One Magazine’s Jake Tucker

Just over an hour south of Munich, the quaint town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen can be reached via car or train with spectacular mountain and lake views throughout the journey. Bargain hunters can take the option of flying to Memmingen Airport, just over an hour west of Munich, from Stansted Airport for under £60 which, with car hire included, worked out cheaper than the flight alone to Munich! We chose this option as it also gave us the chance to experience the journey down the A7 and through Austria via the stunning Fern Pass and Reutte Natural Park.

We spent the day making our way down enjoying the winding mountain roads and stopping off at vista points. One place not to miss along this route is a stop at Highline 179 – a vertigo inducing 406m long pedestrian suspension bridge that spans the gap across the B179 road below joining the ruins of Ehrenberg Castle and Fort Claudia. Parking is just below and requires a 15-20 minute steep walk up to where you can access the bridge. Make sure you buy your ticket for €8 from the information desk at the car park before you start walking up to avoid a wasted walk!

As you continue along this route it’s worth making a short detour to the mountainous Blindsee Lake. This idyllic beauty spot at such a high altitude means that the lake can stay frozen well into spring, but during the warmest months of summer the water temperature can rise as high as 24C making it perfect for a swim. Grab a drink or a bite to eat at Zugspitzblick just above Blindsee Lake and enjoy your first jaw-dropping view of the Zugspitze – Germany’s highest mountain peak.

You’ll need at least a full day to explore and enjoy the Zugspitze, so plan this in as a day trip once you’ve arrived and settled at your base in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Take the cogwheel train followed by a cable car for a unique experience to the peak of the mountain where you can enjoy snow, sun and mountain air. Get your photo taken at the digital photostop at the summit and enjoy food and drink from the restaurants as you take in the views.

Once at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, you will immediately appreciate the charming sights of this quintessential Bavarian ski town. Traditional wooden-topped ski lodges with three or four floors adorned with pastel coloured scenes set amongst inviting restaurant, bar and shop frontages will keep your interest as you stroll through the town on foot. Now one town, Garmisch and Partenkirchen were both independent towns for centuries until 1935 when the two were forcibly merged under Hitler’s orders for the purpose of hosting the Winter Olympics in the following year. Both parts of the town have distinct personalities – Partenkirchen being older and modestly historic while Garmisch boasts a livelier, more urban atmosphere.

Spend a day learning about the Olympic history of the town which hosted the 1936 Winter Olympics. Marvel at the mighty ski jump which you can even climb to the top of and be sure to take a short drive to the beautiful Lake Riessersee where speed skating and ice hockey games were played as well as being the site of the 1,525m long bobsleigh track which you can still see the remnants of today. Stop here for lunch and enjoy roast pork in a dark beer sauce with dumplings – delicious! Those who want to learn more can take another short trip to Innsbruck, Austria – the site of both the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics.

Other day trips not to miss include a hike through Partnach Gorge, a winding trail through a narrow 262ft valley carved by a mountain stream, or perhaps a longer journey to King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein Castle. Of course there are plenty of activities to get stuck into as well, whether it’s skiing in the winter or walking and mountain biking in the summer.

No trip is complete without sampling the local delicacies. Weisswurst is a must – a white sausage (as the name suggests) made up of veal and herbs which is typically enjoyed with a pretzel and traditional sweet mustard. And of course, what would a trip to Bavaria be without indulging in crispy, golden Schnitzel in all its forms – just don’t end up like me and eat it for all three meals of your day.

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