Also known as the Koenig Ludwig Weg or King Ludwig’s Way. The eccentric Ludwig II succeeded to the throne of the then independent kingdom of Bavaria in 1864, as a youth of 18. On 13 June 1886 he and his physician Dr Godden were found dead in the water of the Starnbergersee (Lake Starnberg); the question still remains - Did Ludwig fall or was he pushed? He was a strong swimmer and a post-mortem established that he did not drown. But no one has succeeded in unraveling the mystery. The Koenig Ludwig Weg starts at the Votivkapelle (shrine), which marks the actual spot on the lakeshore ( near the hamlet of Berg) where the bodies were found. The route ends 60 miles away near Ludwig's own fairy tale castle at Neuschwanstein. This walk, which is one of the favourite longer walks in Germany, links places particularly dear to King Ludwig who was himself a keen walker. It is not a mountain walk and much of the route is on farm tracks and country lanes, but the surroundings are delightful, with a host of splendid buildings to admire in magnificent settings and plentiful opportunities to stop for refreshments! The plains surrounding Munich give way to gentle rolling hills that become ever higher as one approaches the great wall of limestone that marks the start of the Alps proper. The route passes two of Bavaria's most scenic lakes and through charming villages of geranium bedecked chalets with typical onion shaped church spires. There are masterpieces of baroque architecture, the Andechs monastery, the wonderful cathedral of Diessen on the Ammersee Lake; the monasteries of Wessobrunn and Rottenbuch, as well as the Wies or 'Meadow' church are on the route. The highest point (988m) on the walk is the summit of Hohenpeissenberg hill, considered by many to be the finest viewpoint in Bavaria. We end our tour at King Ludwig II’s most famous architectural masterpiece- the castle Neuschwanstein and at the nearby castle Hohenschwangau, both in Allgau on the Austrian border, where Ludwig spent most of his childhood. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of King Ludwig II (in 1995), the route was extended to begin at the Votivkapelle in Berg. It is a popular walk so early booking is recommended.
In the Footsteps of King Ludwig
Kaffee und Kuchen (Coffee and Cakes)
Lakes, Gorges and Mountains
7 nights in hotels and guesthouses
Hotels described are our usual choice of accommodation, however if these are not available then alternatives are used (a small supplement may apply). If these are of a different standard and / or a supplement applies you will be informed on confirmation of your booking. Baths/showers: Many rooms with ensuite/private facilities have a shower rather than a bath, usually because of limited space. Some hotels/guesthouses may however have a separate room in the house where a bath is available to guests. In comfortable guesthouses and hotels of various standards. All rooms have private facilities. German hotels do not have to be classified but those that are use the following definitions: 1* - tourist, 2* - standard, 3* - comfort and 4* first class.
Each day stage involves approximately 15 to 25kms (9 to 16 miles) walking, which can be shortened by using taxis or in some cases by the use of public transport. Much of the walk is on gravel tracks or quiet asphalt lanes, but there are also long stretches of footpath. The traverse of the Ammerschlucht (Day 4) can be difficult in wet weather but it can be bypassed by taking an alternative route. At least 50% of the route to be on tarmac road approx.. The rest is mingled between good forestry tracks, wide gravel paths and only occasionally on muddy single trail (the gorge section for example)