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3 night destination in the Western Alps?

Hi! Greetings from Seattle, Rick's almost hometown!

Hoping to lean on some of you for expert knowledge about where we might choose to stay for 3 night as we transition from a cycle tour finishing in Passau to a cycle tour finishing in Strasbourg. We'll be traveling with our 7 year old, who cycles flat routes with us in a Weehoo recumbent trail a bike.

Background: We've previously visited Bertchesgaden and loved it. What we would do if we decide on Bertchesgaden again: 1) ride the boats 2) hike down from the Jenner, stopping for a beer or so on the way 3) rent bikes, hook up the Weehoo and ride the relatively flat trail to Salzburg, maybe train back.

Seeking: Similar experiences to B'gaden, in a beautiful place farther west so that our driving day to Strasbourg (on a late August Sunday starting in the morning) won't be too long/won't have too much traffic/as a bonus might be scenic.

  • Considering these Austrian/German destinations (please add to or eliminate some): Hall in Tirol, Mittenwald, Obersdorf/Mittelberg, Lech, or just returning to B'gaden

  • We are open to bigger towns or little villages, but after bike touring we want only one hotel for three days. We don't mind having to drive a little (less than an hour) to some hiking or other points of interest.

  • scenic and charming place

  • No Switzerland please. It's just too expensive for us to be able to relax without always making economies.

  • Maybe not so crowded. Thursday, Friday and Saturday night in late August might be unavoidably busy, but we have a car and so can potentially drive to places the train doesn't serve (or that are farther from large population centers) if that might help.

  • a family resort setting could be nice, and/or a hotel with a pool/spa. This is the "vacation from our vacation" part of the trip. We love public pools too so if a good one is on town no need for hotel pool.

  • a great hiking day and an interesting easy bicycle route would be nice.

  • Good food and amenities (if there was one downside to B'gaden the cuisine was a little standard, and the town itself a little uninteresting).

So I now see that's a lot of demands! Can you direct us to some great choices? Thank you so much!

Posted by
4408 posts

Seefeld: Great scenery, awesome swimming complex (water slides!), Leutasch Gorge, Mittenwald nearby, excellent hiking, lake swimming, many fun family trips run by the ski school.

Posted by
129 posts

Vielen Dank Emily, will check it out. :)

Now what else?

I read a very good article about Lech in Summer in The Telegraph (except I'd rather not see Vladimir Putin on vacation).

But I see next to nothing about Lech in travel forums. Is it not as good or charming a place as others in the area? Thank you!

EDIT to say that I'm seeing that Lech is more of a ski-resort than a summer town - we'd like to be in a real town or small city is possible ...

Posted by
3935 posts

Hi, we went to Mittenwald and St. Wolfgang on our trip last year to Germany & Austria. We absolutely loved our time in St. Wolfgang and liked our time in Mittenwald. Mittenwald is charming, and there's some nice hiking in the area. Also, you can take a lift to the mountain. If you go there, the Italian restaurant on the edge of the historical downtown was very good and always busy - great staff there, too.

If you're considering returning to B'gaden, St. Wolfgang is also near Salzburg. Wonderful lake, and you can ride bikes in that area (or take a boat ride) or hike. Also, there's the Schafberg (seen on Sound of Music) to take to the top of the mountain. We really enjoyed this charming town with some nice restaurants. Both of us were sad to leave this town.

Posted by
129 posts

Jean thanks very much. In college my wife spent a summer's month just down the lake from St. Wolfgang and she really loved it. Our issue w/ the Salzkammergut is distance from our next bike tour - we'd like to have a shorter drive to Strasbourg than that. But it's a great area and I'm sure we'd be perfectly happy if it ended up being our choice.

What about Mittenwald didn't equal St. Wolfgang for you, if you don't mind my asking?

Thanks again!

Posted by
4408 posts

For what it is worth, Mittenwald is about a 15 minute drive from Seefeld.

Posted by
2703 posts


While we have stayed five times near Berchtesgaden and love the area, we loved our two stays in Mittenwald. We stayed just outside the village with a view overlooking the village and Karwendelbahn alps. Felt like we could reach out and touch them from our balcony. Nice, "rustic", quiet location, buffet breakfast, patio, and fantastic views. In Mittenwald, the Italian restaurant mentioned previously is called Da Mama Lucia. Very good. Our favorite is "Der kleiner Kartoffelsack" right in the pedestrian zone of Mittenwald. Friendly, fun place for dinner. If your love chocolate, order a "Mohr im Hemd" for dessert or afternoon indulgence.

Seefeld, Austria and Garmisch, Germany are both very close by. What's not to love?


Posted by
784 posts

Maybe the lakes south of Munich: Tegernsee, Ammersee and Starnbergsee?

A little further dip to the south in Austria is the Achensee. Some nice hotels in Pertisau, No old city, but some relativity level roads/trails into the Alpine Park Karwendel. There is a Gondle in Pertisau, and up the Rofan not far away in Maurach. Boats trips available on the lake. Swimming in the lake. Many hiking trails. An assortment of restaurants and cafes.

Posted by
3935 posts

To answer your follow-on question about Mittenwald vs. St. Wolfgang:

The biggest difference was the lake at St. Wolfgang. We took the boat from St. Gilgen so arrived at St. Wolfgang by boat on a beautiful sunny day. Our hotel was also waterfront. The entire time at St. Wolfgang was just a "vacation from a vacation" type of setting - so peaceful and wonderful to be hiking each morning above town and relaxing in the evenings in the small town restaurants.

Our time at Mittenwald was nice - hiked up to a nearby very small lake and took the lift up the mountain. Another day we rented bikes and rode around the area.

Posted by
129 posts

Thanks for the feedback - have broken it down to two choices, will open one more thread soon for help with those!

Thanks again.

Posted by
15 posts

Have you considered Lake Constance? We stayed there and then onto Colmar, south of Strasbourg. We enjoyed the area and the lake. I dont' know about hiking and biking. We did a lake cruise and went to the the Rhine Falls. It is not in the alps; however, they are all towns/villages, we did not run into any other American's there. It is another option to consider.