Wies Church, a famous pilgrimage site and the start of the Ammergau Alps Meditation Trail, enchants visitors with the lightness of its Rococo architecture. Yet the start of this trail does not offer much opportunity for reflection as the church is a very popular UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nevertheless, there is enough time along the trail to find peace and, to a certain extent, yourself.
Be close to God and heaven, feel like you again and be at one with yourself: there are many reasons why people want to "set foot on solid ground" again in the truest sense of the phrase. In Bavaria's largest continuous nature reserve, self-discovery and the beauty of nature go hand in hand on hiking routes through the Ammergau Alps, which snake through the charming Ammer river valley, across meadows and paths, reaching heights offering views into the far distance. These vistas unveil unparalleled pre-alpine moors with pine trees and forests where meditative hiking takes on a perceptible mystical appeal. Hikers follow signposts featuring a burning yellow heart to the Lourdes Grotto, one of the most important shrines in southern Germany, and on to the former Augustinian monastery in Rottenbach. They pass churches and monasteries, including Ettal Abbey with its opulent basilica and majestic dome that greets visitors from afar. And go through towns and villages such as Oberammergau, famous for its Passion Play staged just every ten years. Unlike the play, the unique Baroque Lüftlmalerei murals are omnipresent and can be seen on any day. The splendour of Linderhof Palace takes beauty to a whole new level – a dream come true for a king who could never really find a happy medium.
Length of route: approx. 90 km/14 stages
Pilgrim hostels along the route?: Yes
Starts: Steingaden (Wies Church)
Ends: Linderhof (Ettal)
Arrival/departure options: Munich Central Station
About the route: easy route with one moderate stage; hikers can do all but two stages in winter (closed to protect the wildlife)
Day hikes for "novice" pilgrims or multi-day hikes and guided meditation hikes; free "Tourenplaner Ammergauer Alpen" German-language app: