Lake Starnberg, or the Starnberger See, is notoriously famous because the body of Bavarian King Ludwig II washed ashore on June 13, 1886. It is also famous because this German lake is a super-awesome watersporting adventure.
Whether you’re in the lake, or just walking along its shores, the Starnberger See is one adventure after another. You can even bicycle around the entire thing on its 46.2km (28.7mi) bike trail.
Even if you’re not a cycling enthusiast, I think you’ll enjoy just being outdoors here in this part of Upper Bavaria. The fishermen out there would probably rather be out on it to catch all the carp, catfish, pike, trout, and whitefish. You just better bring a lot of fishing line since Lake Starnberg is more than 127 meters deep (not all of it, buddy, only at its deepest point).
I guess this is why Lake Starnberg is considered to be one of Germany’s lakes with the most water. That must have been some Ice Age glacier that created this slice of liquid heaven, huh? That would also explain why it takes quite a long time for the lake to get warm. ;-)
Hmm, I wonder if the River Würm (Lake Starnberg’s outlet) is just as cold; and I’m not jumping in to find out.
Oh, in case you’re still wondering the heck Lake Starnberg is, it’s merely 25km south of Munich. (Now you know, right? ;-)
The town of Starnberg is the first hot spot on the Starnberger See and the arrival point for most of Munich’s high society. Here you’ll find lots of yachts and boats, and lovely holiday homes and restaurants dot the shores.
I’d rather be on the shores in the town of Berg (Starnberg), where King Ludwig’s body washed up. An apology is in order — I keep calling him “Mad” King Ludwig. But, no evidence has been shown to say he was crazy — he certainly was a visionary. You’d have to be to create the most magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle.
Anyway, there’s a small votive chapel where Ludwig’s body was found. While you’re here, you might as well check out the Bismarck tower and the art in the Rathaus. If you’re following the Way Of St. James, you’ll already be here; so that’s convenient. And if you’re in the mood for a long-distance hiking trail, this is the starting point for the King Ludwig Trail.
King Ludwig was a big deal around Lake Starnberg. He was a frequent visitor to Rose Island (with his first-cousin, Elisabeth the Empress of Austria). This is why the island is on the Sisi’s Road scenic route (and part of the town of Feldafing). There isn’t any traffic on the island, so walking around its gardens and along its villa is quite lovely. A ferry will shuttle you across to the mainland, and it only takes a few minutes since the island is only 170 meters offshore.
Another must-see stop along the Starnberger See is Bernried, home to the 12th century Kloster Bernried. Belonging to the Augustinian Order, they built the grand Stiftskirche St. Martin in 1122. And the town is also home to a Museum of Fantasy Art. As if the lake isn’t inspiring enough?
The Benedictines didn’t want to be too far from Lake Starnberg, so they built the Kloster Andechs in Tutzing. Because this is about the lake, it’s good to mention that Tutzing has a Museumsschiff (Museum Ship). Theirs is a boat built in the 1930s, and for three seasons a year it’s a great floating bistro.
As you come around to the southern part of Lake Starnberg you might notice something that you didn’t see up north: waterskiing. Yes, the lake has all sorts of watersporting activities, but waterskiing is only done in its southern region, and restrictions apply. However, you’re more than welcome to canoe, sail, windsurf, and SCUBA dive just about all you want.
In Possenhofen (part of Pöcking) there’s a great swimming beach area. And if you’re still into the whole historical thing, Sisi’s Road comes here too.
Being only 25km south of the city of Munich, I can certainly see why so many of the city dwellers take off to Lake Starnberg as soon as they get a chance. They also head off towards the Ammersee, but that’s another webpage. ;-)