Schönau am Königssee sits on the edge of the Königssee, framed on all sides by the German Alps. You can come for a few days or a few weeks, but however long you stay you will definitely feel the welcoming pulse of this intimate community.
Of course, Schönau am Königssee may not stay a quiet vacation hamlet for long. Though well-known in Germany, its participation in the 2018 Winter Olympic bid with Munich is gathering it more worldwide attention.
Schönau is partnering with Munich for the 2018 Olympic bid thanks to its skeleton, bobsleigh, and luge tracks. Built in 1968, they are the oldest permanent and artificially refrigerated tracks in the world.
Though it may seem backwards to value old training venues, these have maintained world class standards through constant renovation. You can visit and have a run on the same tracks that produced 2010 luge gold medalist Felix Loch, a native son and the youngest gold medal luge winner in history.
If you want to do something beyond winter sports, Schönau offers outdoor activities year round for all types of interests. You can go for a pleasure cruise on the lake, for example, or you can take in one of the lakeside theater performances.
Hikers may want to schedule a trip to St. Bartholomä’s Church. Built on the Hirschau penisula on the west side of the lake, it has the same floorplan as the Salzburg Cathedral and though beautiful, can be difficult to reach since there are not roads to the church. You can only hike there or take a special ferry across the lake if you want to visit.
Summer and winter climbing events are also popular. Trails and routes are clearly marked, and you will find that a good trip up the mountain will provide you with the just the right appetite to do justice to the local dinners. Blending Austrian and German flavors with locally caught fish, Schönau am Königssee’s evening meals are best enjoyed facing the water.