Breathe in, breathe out. With each step, your thoughts pass by like clouds. This path takes you on a meditative hike through the Ammergau Alps. Parallel to your physical journey through the pre-Alpine landscapes, you embark on a journey through your mind. It's not always easy, but it's definitely worth it if you persevere.
The 85-kilometres (52.8 mi) long meditation trail takes you from the imposing rococo décor of the Wieskirche UNESCO World Heritage Site, through the Ammertal Valley to the fairytale-like Linderhof Castle in the Graswangtal Valley. These two magnificent buildings are among 15 stops on the Meditation Trail.
You can tackle each stage in a day, or you can divide the itinerary up as you see fit. A possible division into six days would be, for example: Wieskirche - Rottenbuch - Bad Bayersoien - Saulgrub/Bad Kohlgrub - Unterammergau - Ettal/Graswang - Linderhof Castle.
The path leads to several churches and chapels, which are calming places to visit even if you aren’t religious. Meditation gives you an opportunity to explore your own spirituality and look inward. Along the trail, you find many beautiful, quiet places to reflect. You can also meditate whilst hiking. This adventure is all about being in the moment and noticing what’s going on around you and inside of you. You can find some suggestions for meditation exercises here (in German): meditationsweg.bayern/brennendesherz-ammergau/Der-Weg2/Meditationsuebungen
The route mainly runs through the hilly foothills of the Alps and through its mountain valleys. It’s not technically difficult and there aren’t many climbs, aside from the ascent of the Hörnle peak, which you can skip if you prefer. The climb isn’t passable from December to March, but otherwise the trail is suitable year-round. I take you along the alternative route in the seventh stage. If you’d like to walk the meditation path in winter, poles and snowshoes are necessary.
To get there, it's best to use public transport: take the bus from Garmisch-Partenkirchen or Füssen to the bus stop at the Wieskirche. Directly in front of the gates of Linderhof Castle, you can then get back on a bus at the end of your hike, which takes you to the train station in Oberammergau.
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Last updated: May 10, 2023
Right at the beginning of the meditation path you can look forward to one of the highlights: The starting point of the hike is right next to the famous Wieskirche, whose opulent rococo style hardly anyone can get enough of. The building attracts many visitors, so it can be quite busy at times. If you…
After you got to see a lot on the last stage, the goal of this section is more about the feeling: after more than ten kilometers in hiking boots, your feet can feel nature up close.
From Rottenbuch you hike down to the Ammer and cross the water. On the other side you hike up the wooded bank slope and…
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The bunting will be your companion until the next station on the meditation path. It flows here through a narrow valley whose slopes are wooded. To reach the river, you leave Bad Bayersoien to the west and after a short time you descend to the water.
You cross the Ammer and hike up on the other side of…
From the Scheibum you hike uphill through the forest to the east. At the top you can stop off at the Acheleschwaig tavern and fortify yourself with hearty treats. There is a chapel on the site, which you can visit afterwards.
You hike across picturesque meadows and then briefly back into a forest, on…
On the way down to Saulgrub you have a great view over to the Hörnle. It's also worth looking back to admire the Fatima Chapel once more from its elevated position.
In Saulgrub you have several options to stop off and shop. You can also find several accommodations for the night here. You can also take…
On the Rochusfeld you reach a high moor with an educational trail. Here you can step into a moor lake to tread water and make yourself comfortable on a wooden lounger - perfect for a meditation exercise.
Leisurely downhill you get to Bad Kohlgrub, which provides hikers with food, sleeping accommodation…
This section is the most challenging on the meditation path. While there is otherwise only a little uphill, you climb the Hörnle on the seventh stage and enjoy wonderful views over the foothills of the Alps and the Ammertal.
The ascent starts right at the Kappel and mostly leads over easy-to-walk farm…
This stage covers the descent from the Hörnle back into the valley. On the way you will now also climb the Vordere and Hintere Hörnle with wonderful views of Lake Staffelsee and the Zugspitze. It is therefore a few meters uphill again before you face the big descent.
The path leads you steeply in parts…
The next station on the meditation path is just outside of Oberammergau. From the Passion Theater you walk a bit through the town center. Here you can stock up on provisions before you continue.
Past the town hall you will find the banks of the Ammer, which you follow for a few hundred meters. Beautiful…
This short section takes you below the mighty Kofel. From the Crucifixion group you hike a little further uphill and then enter the forest that covers the steep slopes of the Kofel.
The beautiful Grottenweg awaits you there, which you follow between rocks and trees on wonderful paths. In the back part…
On this section you penetrate even further into the mountains. From Döttenbichl you walk down to the banks of the Ammer, which you cross on the left on the next bridge. On the other side you follow the bank upstream for a short distance and then change to the edge of the forest at the foot of the mountains…
On the last few stages, the Ammer has often accompanied you on your journey. Sometimes it flowed bubblingly and quickly between rock faces, sometimes it moved more leisurely through its wide bed. Now you can find out where it originates, because this section will lead you to one of its sources.
This section shows you even more of the beauty of the Graswangtal. At the foot of the mountains you always hike eastwards along the edge of the forest. So you have a wonderful view over the picturesque landscape with its isolated wooden huts and only a few farms. Take a little time and look up at the…
The last few kilometers of the meditation path lead you into a true fairytale land. But first you hike through a forest area that takes away the wide views for the time being - and thus increases the excitement.
So enjoy the view over the landscape again before you disappear between the trees. But the…
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