Lake Hintersee as well as the Magic Forest in Ramsau is one of the most idyllic places you can find in the Bavarian Alps. Lake Hintersee is located in the famous Berchtesgaden National Park and is not the largest lake in the area, but the crystal clear mountain lake is captivating with its beautiful turquoise color and gorgeous mountain backdrop. The great thing about this lake is not only its romantic location, the beautiful circular hiking trail, but especially the picturesque boulders in the shore area.
These boulders are not only located directly on the shore of lake Hintersee, but also extend into the nearby forest. Since we were unfortunately only passing through from Salzburg Region to home during our visit to the Hintersee in Ramsau, we were unfortunately unable to accommodate the famous rocks in terms of time. You should not miss this rare combination of rugged rocks and wildly growing trees in between.
The whole scenery offers such a dreamlike sight that the name Zauberwald (magic forest ) was created for the forest bordering Lake Hintersee. But more about that later. Lake Hintersee with its fairy-tale magic forest is thus definitely a must-do in Bavaria for every nature lover.
We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.
Sabrina & Andreas Globetrotters, Travelers, Adventurers
The History of Lake Hintersee and the Magic Forest
Almost 4000 years ago, there was a huge landslide in the area of today’s Lake Hintersee. On a width of almost 400 meters boulders had detached themselves from a mountain massif and fell 1000 meters down into the Blaueistal. This rockslide then created Lake Hintersee, and the run-off water has been flowing through the Zauberwald (Magic Forest) since this rockslide, creating this unique landscape. Some of these boulders can still be seen today in the riverbed and in the forest.
Lake Hintersee in Ramsau
Lake Hintersee in Ramsau in the Berchtesgadener Land is almost 900 meters long and about 180 meters wide. At the same time, Lake Hintersee is almost 800 meters above sea level and the water is only18 meters deep at its deepest point. Despite its shallow depth, the lake reaches a maximum temperature of 16 degrees, even in summer.
This is also due to the fact that Lake Hintersee is fed through underground “holes” with fresh, cold glacier water from the mountains. Nowadays, Lake Hintersee is the destination of many landscape photographers who capture the most beautiful spots of the lake and also of the nearby enchanted forest as motifs on their cameras. In earlier times it was the painters like Carl Rottmann and Wilhelm Busch who painted their dream pictures of alpine romanticism here.
By the way, as a good tip one can pass on that the lake looks particularly romantic early in the morning, because at this early hour there is still light ground fog over the water. Then the surrounding mountains (Hochkalter and Blaueiskar) are also often reflected in the water, standing like great sentinels around Hintersee.
Boating & Swimming in one of the cleanest lakes in Bavaria
On the Lake Hintersee runs in summer a small electric boat: called Annerl, on which you can go to the other side of the lake or also (on request) make a tour of the lake (including explanation about nature). The cost of a crossing is 1,50€ for adults and 1€ for children. For a round trip adults pay 3€ and children 2€.
Due to the constant inflow of fresh glacier water, Lake Hintersee is very clean and even one of the cleanest lakes in Bavaria, but it is also quite cold because of it. Nevertheless, in summer a few brave people always use Lake Hintersee to swim in it. But we wouldn’t recommend it, because it’s just too fresh. If the sun is really burning, then you can of course still cool off with a jump into the cool water, if you are hardy enough.
Hiking at Lake Hintersee in the Berchtesgadener Land
Many hiking trails and mountain tours start at Lake Hintersee, such as the circular trail through the adjacent Magic forest. Ideal for a casual walk around Lake Hintersee is the 2.5 km long Prinzregent-Luitpold-Weg, on which you can completely circle Lake Hintersee in just under an hour.
The Magic Forest at Lake Hintersee
The magic forest in Berchtesgadener Land is rather inconspicuous at first, but unfolds its proverbial magic when you hike along the less trodden paths. Large rocks – left over from an earlier landslide – lie around like forgotten toys, the moss seems to want to swallow the massive trees around us and our dog Schoko can’t get enough of sniffing. And we really can’t get enough of this great forest!
It is the debris of this landslide that creates such a romantic atmosphere here in the magic forest. On and also between the rocks many trees have grown in the meantime, which give the magic forest a very special atmosphere. The magic forest stretches from the southeastern end of Lake Hintersee in an easterly direction to Marxenklamm and is flowed through by the beautiful Ramsauer Ache.
Already in 1896 the footpath through the magic forest was built. However, at that time it did not have this mystical name. It was established thirty years later in the 1920s. And because the Magic Forest is one of the three nature highlights in the Berchtesgadener Land, it naturally also received the seal of quality Bavaria’s most beautiful geotopes. The nature in the magic forest is of course not completely left to itself, but is maintained very close to nature and thus made a nature experience.
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How to get to Lake Hintersee and the Magic Forest
Lake Hintersee in Ramsau is located not far from Lake Königsee and is very easy to reach by various means of transport.
By Car to Lake Hintersee in Ramsau
If you are coming via the A8 freeway (Munich-Salzburg), then you can either exit in Bad-Reichenhall or in Traunstein-Siegsdorf (coming from Munich) and from there take the B306 via the towns of Inzell and then continue on the B305 federal road to Ramsau.
Arrival Hintersee by Train
The nearest train station is in the town of Berchtesgaden. Intercity trains of the Deutsche Bahn also stop there. From Berchtesgaden station you can either take a cab (16 kilometers, 22 Euro) in 20 minutes or the bus (line 846) in just under 28 minutes to get to Lake Hintersee,
By Plane to Lake Hintersee
The nearest international airport is Munich Airport, which is about 185km away and can be reached in 2h. Only about half an hour’s drive away (33km) is Salzburg Airport in Austria.
Parking at the Hintersee in Ramsau
At Lake Hintersee in Ramsau, there are a few paid parking lots. Again, the parking fee can be paid with the Parkster app, which is especially handy if you don’t know exactly how long you wanted to stay. Nevertheless, the daily parking fee is 5 Euro. We find that a bit much, since you can’t buy a ticket for just 1 or 2 hours…. There are 2 more or less large parking lots at Lake Hintersee.
One of them is directly at the magic forest (Google Maps) and should be approached by you if you want to see the magic forest and maybe only a part of the lake. If you drive a little further then there is another parking lot almost on the other side of the Hintersee (Google Maps), which is also closer to the Seeklause* inn, which is majestically enthroned directly on the lakeshore.
Everywhere you will also see cars parked right on the side of the road. Partly because there is hardly any official parking around noon and partly to save the high parking costs at Hintersee. Here you should be careful, because this is of course forbidden and you must expect to be towed. If you are going on a day trip to Hintersee, then you should try to be at the parking lots as early as possible to still have a chance to find a parking space. Try to be there before 10 am.
Hotel Recommendation in Ramsau
If you want to spend the night after a strenuous day of hiking near the Hintersee, then we have the following accommodation recommendation for you: The guesthouse Hinterponholz is a traditional Bavarian pension with beautifully furnished double rooms and unobstructed view of the sea. A rich breakfast is also included in the price. For just under 100 Euro you can stay in a double room with balcony and view of the mountains.
Book the traditional guesthouse Hinterponholz*
Excursions close to Lake Hintersee
There are a lot of excursion destinations near Lake Hintersee in the Berchtesgadener Land. The most famous is certainly the Königssee. In a little more than 30 minutes you are in Schönau am Königssee and can take a boat trip on the lake or experience very special perspectives of the Königsee on the famous Malerwinkel hiking trail.
Are you interested in other destinations in nearby Austria? Check here and we’ll tell you about the best sights in Salzburg Land and Upper Austria: