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The German Alpine Road

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Those ornate castles, picturesque abbeys, and clear mountain lakes don't just exist in fairytales. They live in the Bavarian Alps. Just two hours from Munich, the 300-mile German Alpine Road winds along the Germany-Austria border from Berchtesgarden at Lake Königssee to Lindau at Lake Constance. Meadows, forests, and farm villages set the scene for this region's old and enchanting way of life. Not to mention the 20 mountain lakes and 25 castles, palaces, and abbeys.
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Kampenwandstraße 85, 83229 Aschau im Chiemgau, Germany
Sixteen apartments—plus a library and wine cellar—owned by German furniture designer Nils Holger Moormann sit at the foot of the Bavarian Alps. Inside a 17th-century estate, Moormann’s modern interiors are fashioned from brick, clay, and untreated...
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Innsbrucker Str. 13, 82481 Mittenwald, Germany
Some friends had been hiking in Austria in May and had to cut the trip short because of an unexpected blizzard. After all day hiking in the snow and not prepared for it, we came to a hut that was open to guests run by a woman named Helga. Helga...
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Ballenhausgasse 3, 82481 Mittenwald, Germany
Immerse yourself in Mittenwald’s violin history at the Geigenbaumuseum. On-site luthiers demonstrate violin carving. This appeared in the August/September 2014 issue.
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Wildenauer Str. 26a, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
This region of Germany is near the Austrian border and offers the type of scenery you would imagine for this part of the world: jagged mountain peaks, cows grazing in rolling green meadows, and charming little Bavarian villages and churches. It's...
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82488 Ettal, Germany
Move over Switzerland. The southern part of Germany offers stunning panoramas, Alpine lakes by the dozen, quaint Alpine villages, and the world's largest ice caves. What's more, it's the getaway to the most romantic road in the world. The German...
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Linderhof 12, 82488 Ettal, Germany
Schloss Linderhof might be the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II, but it is nothing short of extravagant. Inspired by France's Palace of Versailles, this "Royal Villa" is the only palace that King Ludwig II lived to see...
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Kreislainenweg, 82487 Oberammergau, Germany
Zipping down the foothills of the German Alps in an alpine coaster, I screamed out of fear and fun. And my husband, Shawn, quickly learned a new German word: Bremsen (brakes)! Seeking an Alpine adrenaline rush in Oberammergau, a tiny town situated...
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Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau, Germany
The most famous castle in Germany—and one of the best known in Europe—Neuschwanstein is renowned not just for its fairy-tale architecture (which directly inspired the Disney Castle) but also for its creator, “mad” King...