No other city in Germany has such a wealth of mountains, lakes, charming villages and impressive palaces on its doorstep as Munich – a dream destination both for active and relaxation-seeking holidaymakers.
A mist hangs over the lake, sailing boats cruise by, the mountains in the distance are bathed in a blue shimmer: a city-dweller sits on the sun-drenched boardwalk, dangling his legs over the gently babbling water. Just an hour ago, he was in a completely different world. Now he's at the lake. A dip in the water, followed by supper in the beer garden or a cocktail at the beach bar – if you live in Munich, this is something you can easily do after a hard day at the office. Energetic individuals get straight on their bikes and cycle out to Lake Starnberg, Ammersee, Wörthsee, Pilsensee or Wessling. Other lakes such as Tegernsee, Kochelsee, Walchensee or Chiemsee, also known as the 'Bavarian Sea', are ideal for swimming and splashing around, as well as sailing and windsurfing. The fine sandy beaches are the perfect place to chill out and relax. The surrounding mountains can be admired from below or climbed, either on foot or by mountain bike. In the winter, you can whizz back down them on skis or a snowboard. Snowboarders packed into a Munich tube train are as common a sight in winter as a cyclist with a surfboard strapped to the back of his bike in the summer. If you are staying in the vibrant city of Munich in the wintertime, you really should take the opportunity to spend one or two days skiing. Oberstdorf, Garmisch, Berchtesgaden, Spitzingsee, Mount Zugspitze – you'll find a whole range of world-class ski resorts just one hour's drive from Munich, all of which are easily accessible by bus or rail as well. Equipment can be hired from Munich sports shops or in the ski resorts themselves. Golf enthusiasts also don't have to travel far from the city to find magnificent courses set against a magical backdrop of mountains and lakes. After a successful day of teeing off, it's back to Munich in the evening to enjoy the culture and nightlife on offer. Speaking of culture: there's King Ludwig II's fairytale castles and palaces: Herrenchiemsee, Neuschwanstein and Lindenhof, as well as Wieskirche church, the Gabriele Münter House, the Franz Marc Museum, Olaf Gulbransson Museum and Museum of Imagination – all of these highlights offer an unforgettable combination of culture and countryside. Other attractions such as the medieval town of Rothenburg, the Mozart route in Salzburg, and Innsbruck with its Swarovski Crystal Worlds are all just two hours or so from Munich.
Warm, bubbling water and soft, snuggly towels. After so much culture, exercise and fresh air, where better to relax than at one of the elegant thermal baths, spas and wellness resorts nestling amidst the lakes and mountains?