Panoramic view of the Berchtesgaden Alps, Bavaria, Germany
Peak winter in the Alps. Berchtesgaden Alps, Germany
Rising out of the Bavarian mists near Germany’s border with Austria are the Berchtesgaden Alps, which surround the market town of the same name. This pristine mountain landscape is popular with mountaineers and hikers, who have plenty of peaks to choose from. Berchtesgaden National Park, established in 1978, accommodates nine mountain ranges over 81 square miles, including the dominant Watzmann, one of Germany’s tallest mountains which reaches 8,901ft (2,713m) at its highest point.
Berchtesgaden is the only Alpine national park in Germany and protects a varied landscape including deep forests, rugged cliffs and glaciers as well as green valleys and pastures – complete with diverse plants and wildlife. Also hidden somewhere beneath that thick cloud lies the emerald-green Königssee, one of Germany’s highest and most photogenic lakes, nestled within steep mountain walls.