Chiemgau is made up of four sub regions each with it’s own set of unique attractions. In the South East you will find the Chiemgau Alps which a popular area for downhill and cross country skiing as well as a variety of other winter sports.
The town of Inzell not only has an ice rink but also heated indoor swimming pools which are a real treat to escape from the winter cold. If you’d like to take a break from skiing you can take a relaxed afternoon stroll on one of the many winter hiking paths.
Adding to the Chiemgau’s charm, it is not unusual to see locals dressed in traditional attire. Proud of their heritage, young and old alike join in seasonal festivities. From Carnival in February and throughout the summertime there are always celebrations on the go. With such good food, festive spirit and pints of tasty beer, no wonder the locals find any excuse for a celebration.
There is such a wealth of museums, you may have to choose carefully. Almost every town has a Stadtmuseum with a variety of interesting artifacts. A good place to start is the museum in Kirchanschöring which will give you some insight into Bavarian traditions and culture. Another place that piqued my interest was Ruhpolding where you can see one of the few remaining traditional blacksmiths at work.
The Chiemsee in the central region is a beautiful turquoise lake nestled in between towering alpine mountains. The lake shore itself has many resorts catering for families, spa relaxation or that perfect romantic getaway. If you enjoy cruising you can take a leisure boat to several of the small islands.
On one of the islands King Ludwig II built the amazing Königsschloss, based on the design of the Versailles Palace. It looks like something from a picture postcard with the surrounding mountains and lake. On another island is the St Armingard nunnery with its famous gatehouse. Here too are spectacular views and it is well worth a visit.
The northern area in Chiemgau is made up of several smaller lakes and towns. Here you can amble along at a leisurely pace exploring on foot or bicycle. The rolling hills of the Waginger See to the North West have numerous biking and hiking trails. Described as the warmest lake in the region it has many popular beach resorts. It’s also home to many of the region’s cultural festivals.
One of Chiemgau’s great attractions is it’s multi-themes bicycling routes. Suitable for all levels of fitness, you can follow the Mozart or Bavarian route each of which highlights places of historical and cultural interest. For more hard core adventure enthusiasts you can explore some fantastic single track on the many mountain and forest routes. If you like you can even combine several routes to make up a muti-day tour.
In summer time hiking and camping can be enjoyed throughout the region. More recently trail running, in-line skating and Nordic walking have also become popular and are a great way to explore Chiemgau. Horse trails and horse cart tours are available for equine enthusiasts and there’s river rafting and rock climbing for the more adventurous.
With so much on offer year round Chiemgau is certainly one of those destinations you need to visit time and time again.