Kristin Biebl is a ranger in Germany's oldest national park. Even as a child, she learned to appreciate and protect her homeland as a "junior ranger". Here she reveals her insider tips for the perfect weekend in the Bavarian Forest.
Extensive primeval forests, rare animals and fascinating moors: the Bavarian Forest National Park is a world all of its own. In the middle of it lies my home, the small community of Frauenau. It is known for its glass art and as a place of pilgrimage. If you want to follow in the footsteps of glassblowing, then a weekend in the region is just the thing. But if you want to experience nature, you better plan many weeks - there is so much to discover here! For example, the Lusen with its sea of granite blocks, our moors and the many swimming ponds... and much more! Even I, who grew up in the Bavarian Forest and am also professionally at home there, always discover something new. But if it really should be just a weekend, I recommend this program:
To get in the mood, it's best to stop off at one of our rustic inns. For example, in the Zwiesel Waldhaus, the oldest inn in the Bavarian Forest. You can eat really well there. Bavarian cuisine, huge portions! The schnitzel is bigger than the plate, and only the Kässpatzen... a poem! The inn is located in the small village of Zwieslerwaldhaus, just under a fifteen-minute drive from Frauenau.
Get into your hiking boots and climb up to the Kleiner Falkenstein! The climb from Zwieslerwaldhaus to the summit takes about one and a half hours. I like to go up this mountain, because you can see the sunset from the top. When it's a clear day and the sky slowly turns red, it's gorgeous up there.
Do it like me in my spare time: Go hiking! I have three beautiful tour tips in the Bavarian Forest for you. The first tour leads to the "Schachten" between Rachel and Falkenstein. Schachten are something very special here: they are pastures in the middle of the forest. They look really great in late summer and fall when the leaves change color. But they are also worth a visit during the rest of the year. And there is also a high moor there. You can walk across it on a system of boardwalks. A bit eerie, isn't it? But also beautiful and very atmospheric. The round trip to the "Schachten und Filzen" is a real day trip and about 21 kilometers long.
But you can also climb the Lusen! It is the sixth highest peak here in the Bavarian Forest, and the view of the national park from the top is fantastic. A real sea of granite blocks covers the summit, where no trees grow to block the view.
Hiking tip number three would be a tour of the Great Rachel, the second highest mountain in the Bavarian Forest. You don't meet so many people there and can find yourself wonderfully in the silence. I like being on the Lusen, but I like the Rachel even more.
But no matter which tour you choose: Go through the forest with open eyes! Here in the national park, the friendly rule applies that everyone is allowed to pick berries and mushrooms for their own use. Blueberries, blackberries and mushrooms grow in your mouth! You can find them all over the forest, depending on the weather and the season. Only on the paths you should please stay.
As a reward for the active day, treat yourself to a visit to the cocktail bar Ädäm's in Frauenau. There you'll find the best cocktails far and wide, including some really fine creations of your own. The price-performance ratio is also really great.
Today there's local culture! Here in Frauenau, glass has been produced and processed for 600 years. Three glassworks are still in operation here today. One of them, the Eisch glassworks, is directly connected to the Bavarian State Museum of the History of Glass Culture via the so-called "Glass Gardens". There you can learn everything about glass culture, from antiquity to the present day, and then fortify yourself in the museum café with a fine piece of cake. Afterwards, be sure to take a stroll through the "Glass Gardens" around the museum. There you can enjoy glass installations by local and international artists.
If, on the other hand, you don't feel like going to a museum and therefore don't dare to go to the museum café: on Sundays, Ädäm's also serves really good homemade cakes!
This is how you get to Frauenau by train: Plan arrival.
Cover photo: Watching the sunset from a summit: What could be more beautiful? © Bayern.by - Gert Krautbauer
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