This journey takes you from Lake Starnberg, through the Bavarian foothills of the Alps and past royal castles to Füssen, following in the footsteps of a Bavarian king. King Ludwig II was King of Bavaria from 1864 to 1886. During his reign, he planned the construction of several castles that still attract many tourists to Bavaria today. Probably the most famous is Neuschwanstein Castle near Füssen, which you’ll also see up close on this hike.
On the King Ludwig Trail, you hike through parts of the king's former territory. From Lake Starnberg, the route takes you past Lake Ammersee, through the Ammertal Valley and moorland to Lake Forggensee and up to the mountains. The hiking trails are marked by a K with a crown on it. In total, you cover a distance of 133 kilometres (82 mi) over seven days and the stages vary between 13 and 26 kilometres (8 and 16 mi) in length. If you’re interested in Bavarian history and nature and have a basic fitness level, this hike is just right for you.
From April to October, you have the option of combining the first and second stages with a ferry ride and shortening the hike by one day. A ferry leaves from Herrsching am Ammersee to Dießen every six months. In autumn and winter, however, the ferry service doesn’t run, so there’s no way around stage 2. You can find more detailed information on the timetable and prices here: seenschifffahrt.de/en/ammersee/timetable/timetable/.
It's best to travel by public transport so that you don't have to return to the starting point to pick up your car at the end of the hike. From Starnberg, a bus takes you to the start of the hike in Berg. In Füssen, there’s a train station in the city centre with connections to Munich and Augsburg. For more information on prices and exact departure times, visit the BRB (Bayerische Regionalbahn) website: brb.de/en.
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Last updated: February 13, 2023
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At almost 26 kilometers, the stage to Ammersee is one of the longest. Between the two lakes, you can expect a few short ascents and descents through the Maising Gorge and up to Andechs Monastery. The hike begins at the place where King Ludwig II and his doctor died in the lake in 1886 in an unexplained…
The path around the Ammersee to Dießen begins for you at the jetty. The stage, which is around 17 kilometers long in total, runs along the lake shore for most of the time. Only in the south of the Ammersee do you move away from the lake a little, as there is a bird sanctuary near the shore.
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On the 17-kilometer stage from Dießen am Ammersee to Paterzell, you can expect a constant up and down of the path. Also on this route you are mainly on the way between fields and in forests. A very special example is the yew forest, which you cross shortly before the end of the stage.
The first highlight…
On the fourth stage of the König-Ludwig-Weg you hike from Paterzell via the Hoher Peißenberg to the place of the same name. Although this hike is only 13 kilometers long, it involves a few meters in altitude. Right at the beginning, the first climb awaits you in the yew forest.
On your way you pass some…
The fifth stage runs mainly in the forest and on dirt roads. On the 18 kilometers from Hohenpeißenberg to Wildsteig you will meet the Ammer, which you have already crossed on the second stage at the southern end of Lake Ammer and follow it through the Ammer Gorge to Rottenbuch. There you turn in a south…
On the 17 kilometers of the sixth stage, it goes steadily downhill throughout the day until you reach Prem am Lech. The region is characterized by beautiful moorland. After leaving Wildsteig and the neighboring villages, you reach the Illachmoos. This moor landscape is under nature protection. Along…
On the last stage of the König-Ludwig-Weg you come very close to Ludwig II. This route takes you past the castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein and makes a short detour to the Museum of the Bavarian Kings. The two castles are not directly on the hiking trail, so if you want to visit them, you…
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