If you’ve got any thought of spending any time indoors once you’ve arrived in the Upper Bavarian town of Bernau am Chiemsee, then you’ve got another thing coming. There’s no way (like it’ll be a cold day in hell) that you’ll even want to after just a glimpse of the Bavarian Alps in the background.
There is one exception. That would be the Church of St. Bartholomew, which is an excellent blend of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architecture. Oh, yeah, and the 19th century chapel in the village of Irschen.
Now the question remains, what to do outside? Sorry, the question is: what isn’t there to do outside?
Bernau lies on the southwestern part of Lake Chiemsee. Sure, it’s pretty to look at. But, add in windsurfing, swimming, and surfing into the mix, and you’ve just made your time here even better.
Another place to swim is in the Strandbad that’s open May to September. It’s got a place to play beach volleyball and beach soccer, has a waterslide, and an Adventure Playground for the kids. Oh, and it’s free (although you will have to pay to park if you drove here).
As great as you’ll find Lake Chiemsee and its environs, there are many hiking, walking, and cycling trails that criss-cross Bernau. The town is lucky enough to meet up with a number of themed cycling routes, that include the Mozart Cycle Path, the Via Julia, the Benedict Trail, and the Way Of St. James.
For the hiking part, there are a few that lead off from the town’s Tourist Info Center — like the Hitzelberg that’s only a 45 minute route, the Bärnsee (2 hours), and the König Ludwig III Wanderweg (which is a doozy at 5 hours).
The outdoor recreational activities don’t end here. Bernau is great in the winter with downhill skiing, snowboarding, and lots of cross-country ski trails. I would, however, wait for warmer weather before taking a hot-air balloon ride, rock climbing, Nordic Walking, and Mountain biking.
In between all these activities is a chance to experience the cultural side of Bernau, from its Alpenhorn players to theater performances, or just exploring around all the farms and moorlands.
Wow, Bernau am Chiemsee is so great to experience outdoors, I wouldn’t be surprised to find you all sleeping out here. ;-)