With almost 500 large and small, natural and dammed lakes, the Free State is also perfect for summer swimming. Especially the south offers a charming combination of bathing lakes and alpine panorama. We show you a selection of lakes that are unreal beautiful:

Walchensee

Lake Walchen is one of the deepest and largest alpine lakes in Germany. It is located 75 km south of Munich in the Bavarian Pre-Alps.

Chiemsee

The largest lake in Bavaria is also called the Bavarian Sea. Among the sights are the New Castle Herrenchiemsee on Herreninsel and the Frauenwörth Monastery on Fraueninsel.

Tegernsee

Lake Tegernsee is located about 50 km south of Munich in the Bavarian Alps. It is one of the cleanest lakes in Bavaria.

Lake Starnberg

The fifth largest lake in Germany is located 25 kilometers southwest of Munich. The lake is also known for the death of King Ludwig II, who drowned here in 1886.

Forggensee

The fifth largest lake in Bavaria and the largest reservoir in Germany in terms of area is located in the district of Ostallgäu near Füssen. The lake got its name from the former flooded hamlet of Forggen.

Alpsee

The 88-hectare lake in the municipality of Schwangau is located in the immediate vicinity of the royal castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein directly at the foot of the Säuling mountain. Two kilometers northwest of the lake is the town of Füssen.

Great Brombach Lake

The Great Brombach Lake is located in the south of Middle Franconia and together with the Kleiner Brombachsee and the Igelsbachsee forms the Brombachsee. It is the largest reservoir in the Franconian Lake District and the largest still water in Franconia.

Great alpine lake

The approximately 2.5 km² natural lake in the northern Allgäu Alps is located in the western town area of Immenstadt im Allgäu. The main inflow and outflow is the Konstanzer Ach.

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Walchensee: Adventure in the Caribbean

Who has seen him once from above, for example, from the easy-to-climb neighboring mountain Herzogstand, he certainly doesn't want to go to the Caribbean again: 27 kilometers of undeveloped shore surround Lake Walchen, Germany's largest and, at just under 200 meters, deepest mountain lake, which is known for its turquoise-green coloring. The high proportion of calcium carbonate in the water is responsible for the exotic color of the clear, fish-rich mountain lake. Visible depths of eight to ten meters attract not only bathers, who refresh themselves during the summer at water temperatures of 17 to 21 degrees, but also divers. Among them, the Walchensee is considered an insider tip: because under water there are aircraft wrecks, car and boat wrecks to discover. Sailors, windsurfers and kitesurfers enjoy the thermal winds and the ban on motorboats on the 800-meter-high alpine lake in the Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen district.

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Chiemsee: Fairytale castle in the "Bavarian sea

It is the largest lake in Bavaria and also has great things to offer: Its surface area of 80 square kilometers is equivalent to more than 11,000 soccer fields, which is why Lake Chiemsee is also called the "Bavarian Sea." On its southern side, the Chiemgau Alps line up like a string of pearls. Shallow shores, small bays and wide moorlands offer a picture-perfect view of a lake landscape with green meadows, forests and mountain peaks. In the middle of the lake are two islands: Fraueninsel and Herreninsel. The car-free Fraueninsel is known for its centuries-old Benedictine convent Frauenchiemsee and for the artists' colony of Chiemsee painters founded in 1828. Within sight is the much larger neighboring island with Herrenchiemsee Castle, the Versailles replica of fairy-tale king Ludwig II. Both islands can be reached by steamers from Prien and Gstadt, but also by sailing, electric or rowing boat. Bathers will find numerous lidos and lakeside meadows around the lake in the Rosenheim district - some with sandy beaches, such as at the Übersee lido on the southeastern shore of the lake. There you will also find one of the most enchanting places for romantic sunsets - in a deck chair at the beach bar.

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Tegernsee: crystal clear water

50 kilometers southeast of Munich lies one of the cleanest lakes in Bavaria: the crystal-clear water of Lake Tegernsee is of drinking water quality. This is due, among other things, to the many inflows and outflows from the surrounding mountains. The high water exchange guarantees refreshing bathing experiences even in the greatest summer heat: The water temperature rarely rises above 20 degrees. The history of the lake, which is 1.4 kilometers wide and 6.5 kilometers long, is closely linked to the Tegernsee monastery, founded in 746, which is also the origin of the famous Tegernsee beer. The brewery is still housed in the monastery buildings directly on the lakeshore and can be visited. The gentrified lakeside promenade also runs along here, behind which luxurious villas are hidden on the mountain slopes. The five lakeside towns of Gmund, Bad Wiessee, Rottach-Egern, Kreuth and Tegernsee all have direct lake access and lidos - including panoramic views of the Mangfall Mountains.

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Lake Starnberg: Summer dreams and chic

The S-Bahn takes you to the bathing paradise in half an hour: Lake Starnberg is also called the "bathtub of the Munichers" because of its quick accessibility from the Bavarian capital. Its scenic beauty with the backdrop of the Alps and the tree-lined shores also contribute to Starnberg's consistently high ranking among places with a particularly high quality of life. Most of the country's millionaires also live there. Even Empress Sisi enjoyed summers at Lake Starnberg, and anyone who sticks their toes in the water at the "Strandbad Paradies" in Possenhofen will understand why. The Rose Island, on which a small castle built by the Bavarian King Maximilian II stands in a romantic rose garden, is clearly visible. It is also interesting for divers. Remains of prehistoric pile dwellings have been discovered at the bottom of the lake and are a Unesco World Heritage Site. If the chic lake is too touristy for you, you will find the quieter Osterseen (19 small lakes) a few kilometers to the south.

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Forggensee: Bathing with a view of Neuschwanstein Castle

Unusual appearance in the Allgäu: The Forggensee was only created in the 1950s as the largest reservoir in Bavaria and is always drained in winter. In summer, the twelve-kilometer-long and three-kilometer-wide lake is a fantastic swimming destination because of its free accessibility everywhere, the unspoiled shores, its good water quality, the water color in intoxicating blue-turquoise and the panoramic view of the Alps. The bathing place "peninsula" is unique: From here you can look at Neuschwanstein Castle! Kitesurfers, sailors, rowers, pedal boaters, canoeists and kayakers also love the glittering lake. Two passenger boats connect Füssen with the villages of Waltenhofen, Osterreinen, Dietringen and Tiefental.

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Alpsee: triple bathing happiness

And because it is so beautiful there, again the Allgäu: There are three lakes under the name Alpsee - the large and the small one between Immenstadt and Oberstaufen, not to be confused with the Alpsee in the Schwangau region. This considerably smaller lake also has a lot to offer: it lies at the foot of the two castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, nestled in a forested mountain landscape. Away from the hustle and bustle, there is an outdoor pool on the western shore, the Alpseebad, where you can rent deck chairs. But you can also relax at the Großer and Kleiner Alpsee, which are located 40 kilometers to the west. The two are only one kilometer apart. The largest natural bathing lake in the Allgäu is surrounded by meadows, forests, hills and mountains and is well frequented, as a campground with a sandy beach is located directly on the lake. On the south side of the lake nude bathing is allowed. On the eastern shore you will find many small bays for your own private bathing spot.

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Großer Brombachsee: wide sandy beaches

You don't need mountains to enjoy swimming? Then the Franconian Lake District is your region - an area in Middle Franconia with many man-made lakes, about 50 kilometers southwest of Nuremberg. In the center, the Great Brombachsee, the Small Brombachsee and the Igelsbachsee are right next to each other, separated only by two dams. Extensive sandy beaches on the northern shore, dense forests, two sailing harbors and a nudist beach give the Great Brombachsee a very casual atmosphere. Of course, a boat trip is not to be missed - for example, how about a tour on a trimaran, a speedy ship with three narrow hulls? You can also easily reach other beaches by bike, as there is a 15-kilometer lakeside bike path around the lake.

Cover photo: The water of the Bavarian lakes glows in promising shades of green and blue - as here at Lake Tegern © fottoo - stock.adobe.com

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