BootsnAll Travel Network

Berchtesgaden and Lake Kognissee, Germany


May 24, 2009 – Berchtesgaden is a small town situated in the Alps about an hour from Salzburg (it’s actually across the border in Germany). It’s a beautiful little village known for the Eagle’s Nest, the summer lodge built for Hitler on top of one of the mountains (in actual fact he spent little time here – Hitler had vertigo and didn’t like heights much). Berchtesgaden is also supposed to have an interesting war museum. We got to see neither of these sites though – the Eagle’s Nest opens in mid May because of snow conditions high up, and we just didn’t have time to see the museum.

Below: Eagle’s Nest with high zoom from lake

We were here to visit Lake Kognissee in the Berchtesgaden National Park. The lake is 8 km long and was carved by glaciers – they advertise it as a German “fjord”, surrounded by mountains and waterfalls.

An hour by train from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden, then a bus from the Bahnhof to Kognisee (5km – not far, but the bus doesn’t come by often so you have to plan it well). It’s a beautiful trip all the way, full of green fields with yellow flowers, streams, and mountains.

Kognisee is a tourist town, a kitshy ensemble of souvenir stores and cafes and bars leading to the dock where there were also a few hotels and guesthouses. At the dock are electric boats used to take tourists down the lake. The town is kitshy, but still cute. And surrounded by beautiful nature.

Below: Town of Kognissee (and stuff for sale)


We took a boat, descended the lake up to St. Bartholema (the main stop on the lake, known for it’s small church). There we had lunch and also had a small walk along the shoreline of the lake. Unfortunately we didn’t have much time – we got back on the boat, circled the end of the lake (more mountains and waterfalls), then came back to Kognisee.


Knowing what I know now, I would have organized a night or two here. There’s plenty of hiking and some interesting sites in nearby Berchtesgaden – good for at least 2 or 3 days. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I would have stayed here and visited Salzburg as a day trip instead of the other way around. Unfortunately our visit was short and we made our way back to Salzburg after spending just an afternoon here. We don’t regret it though, was a fun day in nature.


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