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November 29, 2019 Visit Germany No Comments Email Email

The 9 Best Hidden Gems in the Alps

The Alps region is known for its picturesque scenery at every turn. With scenic roads, winding curves and tunnels connecting the countries of Austria, Germany and Switzerland, the Alps are the ultimate road trip destination. Use this guide to find some of the top hidden gems in the region and truly get immersed in the culture:

1. Take a Lake Königsee Boat Ride

Start your journey just south of Berchtesgaden in Germany at this long, narrow lake that sits 2,000 feet above sea level and is surrounded by towering Alpine mountains and waterfalls. A boat ride to St. Bartholomew’s church, built in 1165 and only accessible by boat or a longer hike, is a great way to soak up the magnificent scenery.

2. Hike Through Hohe Tauern National Park

Next, hop the border to Austria and hike through Hohe Tauern National Park, the largest nature reserve in the Alps, which covers three Austrian provinces. A National Park ranger will help you discover places you would never find on your own and reveal many of the park’s deepest secrets. End your day with a stop at one of the many mountain huts and enjoy local meats, cheeses and home-made Schnapps.

3. An Afternoon in Alpbach

Continue into the Tyrol region and enjoy an afternoon in a traditional Austrian mountain village. Home to just 2,600 people, this quaint town sits on a sunny plateau 3,000 feet above sea level. Its classic wooden Alpine homes with iconic fresh flowers bursting off of the balconies have earned Alpbach the name “flowering village.” It has been voted one of Europe’s most picturesque towns.

4. Adventure Through Partnach Gorge

Jump back into Germany to visit the Partnach Gorge. Declared a natural monument in 1912, Partnach is a gorgeous land of caverns, wild waterfalls, rapids and pristine natural water basins. Adventurers can take a 200‐foot high iron bridge or walk right along the rushing water’s edge at this off-the-beaten track attraction.

5. Cheese Tasting Through the Bregenzerwald Umgang

Venture back to Austria and through the Bregenzerwald Umgang, where old farmhouses jostle with modern buildings, local cheese stores vie with finely detailed craftsmanship and the Bregenzerwald locals surprise with everyday creativity. This leisurely hike will take you through 12 classic Austrian mountain villages and past shingle‐roofed farmhouses that produce some of the world’s best cheeses.

6. Visit a James Bond Filming Location

Take a Hollywood detour at Ticino and Valle Verzasca in the Lake Maggiore Region in Switzerland. The iconic Verzasca Dam was featured in the James Bond film, “Goldeneye.” Additionally, there are stunning hikes and delicious Swiss mountain delicacies to enjoy.

7. Ride The Train

Farther west, the mountain of Schynige Platte is home to a classic cogwheel railroad that will give your tired feet a rest as it makes its way up intense inclines to the beautiful Alpine Garden. In Switzerland’s Jungfrau Region, you’ll find more than 600 different plant species while enjoying magnificent views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks.

8. Tour Charlie Chaplin’s Residence

Another great stop is the town where Charlie Chaplin spent the last 25 years of his life — The Manoir de Ban in Corsier‐sur‐Vevey, located on the shores of Lake Geneva. His house is now a museum where many celebrate his life and his work.

9. Wind Down in Freiburg

The final stop on this whirlwind tour of the Alps brings you back to Germany and into the country’s sunniest and southernmost city, Freiburg. It’s also one of the most historic, boasting charming architecture and the characteristic bächle, or narrow channels of water, that run alongside the pavement. Enjoy a taste of fresh produce and original specialties, such as Black Forest ham, trout and white asparagus, at the city’s daily green market. You can also take a day trip to the enchanting Black Forest, which is only 20 minutes away.

If you want to make a complete loop of your Alps tour, you can start and finish in Munich or Zurich, where you’ll find convenient international connections. The exploration opportunities are endless, and the world’s most fascinating mountains are sure to give you an adventure you will never forget.

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