Kochelsee is one of the two lakes in the lake region near Munich and offers incredible activities, from epic hiking to watersports and relaxation. This is the perfect getaway from Munich.
The Kochelsee is located just 70km from Munich and is easily reached by car or train. Kochelsee and Walchensee make up the two lake region in the southern alps. It is located on the border of Schlehdorf and the rest of the lake is easily accessed from Kochel am See. The Loisach flows into the Kochel.
Why Visit Kochelsee
Kochelsee offers the perfect place to enjoy everything from adventurous hiking and paragliding to relaxing family-friendly walks and watersports. There are even art museums and walks that you can enjoy courtesy of the artist, Franz Marc. It is the perfect destination all year round and there are some great opportunities for skiing and snowshoeing here too. One of my absolute favourite things to do in the lake region is the hike from Herzogstand to Heimgarten. You can read all about my hiking experience here.
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Hiking in Kochelsee
There are some great hiking options at Kochelsee, including family-friendly hikes and more challenging hikes.
Way of St. James
This route is easy and will take you from the Schaftlarn Monastery along the Isar river and the Larsach. You will pass by the Beuerberg monastery and the Benediktbeuern monastery past the Kochelsee and the Walchensee in the Karwendel Alps.
Besides being an easy route to walk it includes great scenery of the alps and lakes as well as beautiful churches, paintings, and altars. If your looking to enjoy some of the local cultures then this is the perfect walk for you.
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There are several family-friendly trails at the Kochelsee, some of them even pram friendly. The Bird nature trail to Lainbach waterfalls. It is the perfect trail to enjoy the beautiful scenery in a way that isn’t too strenuous and easy to do with kids and the elderly.
Another family-friendly trail you can explore starts at the Kochelsee and takes you through wonderful Alpine meadows of the Kohlleite to Pessenbach. This is a great route to hike during the spring, especially when the alpine meadows are blossoming with wildflowers.
You can also enjoy the circular route through the Loisach and the Kochelsee Moors. This route is well suited to prams so it is perfect for the family with young kids.
Enjoy great art and culture on the Franz Marc Art Walk. Franz Marc is a famous artist who used the area as his inspiration to create beautiful artwork. The walk begins at the Kochelsee lookout point, the “Kohlleite” which is a small hill. From there you will walk through a small fishing village which adds to the wonderful charm of exploring the area. From here you can walk to the Hersogstand to enjoy the amazing views. There is an audio guide app which you can download for free on any smartphone. Brush up on your German though, the audio guide is only available in German.
Herzogstand to Heimgarten
Herzogstand to Heimgarten is an amazing hike that will test your abilities and give you some of the most amazing views of the lakes. Take a ride on the Herzogstandbahn to the valley station to Fahrenberg in a few minutes. From there you can enjoy the beautiful routes. You can read more about this wonderful hike here.
This is the perfect day hike and is accessible all year round. Jochberg is located between the Kochelsee and Walchensee and offers amazing views, even in winter. I especially love it in winter when it is perfect for snowshoeing. The mountain is 1567m high and is a popular hike, and one of the busiest near Kochelsee. Compared to the Herzogstand to Heimgarten, the Jochberg hike is easy. The trail starts in Kesselberg and takes you up to the summit where you have beautiful views of both lakes. Expect small steep climbs on the way up, nothing that a moderately fit person won’t be able to manage.
On a clear day, you may even be able to see the Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower). Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see it as it was cloudy when I hiked the Jochberg. You should be able to complete the hike in around 4 hours. If you’re looking for a tougher hike then consider starting from Jachenau or Kochel.
Between the months of May and October, you can stop at the Jocheralm. The Jocheralm is a small farmhouse near the summit where you can enjoy a cold drink and some light meals. It is a popular place for hikers and mountain bikers to stop when descending. The Jocheralm is usually open every day in this period besides Mondays.
Paragliding at Kochelsee
While your up on the trails you will be sure to pass paragliders making their way to launch sites on the summits of Jochberg and Herzogstand. Paragliding is a favourite here and can be done most days of the year. Paragliding is especially beautiful here as it gives you an eagle-eye view of the lakes.
What else to do at the Kochelsee
The Kochelsee is a favourite in summer for swimming. With its wonderful aqua green glacier waters, it’s the perfect place to get your feet wet. You can also find some great beaches around the lake that are perfect for catching a great tan while you relax. You can also take a boat tour out or hire a boat to enjoy the beautiful views from the Kochelsee.
During winter you will find skiing in the area and during the summer you can enjoy camping in the area. You can find out more about what the two lake region has to offer here (the website is in German).
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Where to Stay Near Kochelsee
Top Pick: Gästehaus Seehof
Located on the Walchensee and offering a beautiful garden, the Gästehaus Seehof is a great place to see while exploring the lake region. The rooms and apartments include a TV and a private bathroom and the apartments include fully equipped kitchenettes. Guests can enjoy a daily breakfast buffet and barbecue facilities.
Top Pick: Hotel Sonnenspitz
The Hotel Sonnenspitz offers rooms that are warmly furnished and many of the rooms feature a balcony. Located in Kochel am See, it offers free wifi and a varied daily buffet breakfast. The hotel also offers healthy foods and gluten-free bread. The hotel can arrange for dietary requirements.