In 2018 we spent three months in one of the most beautiful regions of Germany: Berchtesgaden. Ranging from impressive mountain structures to enchanting lakes, the south-eastern tip of the country offers a variety of nature highlights for every landscape photographer.
Read this blog to find out our five photographic highlights in this area.
Written by Anskar
The picturesque pilgrimage church Maria Gern is a perfect first spot for your visit in the area of Berchtesgaden. It is located close to the municipality and can be reached easily by car. Your car can be parked directly at the spot leaving you with plenty of time to prepare a good shoot. This location works both, for sunset or sunrise, but often it is less crowded during sunrise.And with a bit of luck you will witness an alpine glow on the iconic mount Watzmann while the fog is still crawling through the valley.
Especially in winter this scenery is very charming but nonetheless it is beautiful during every season. Make sure to look for new perspectives and angles while respecting the private property of the adjoining residents!
You are not a real landscape photographer if you have never seen an image of the beautiful and calm lake Hintersee. Its famous reflections of the trees standing isolated on the boulders are a well known scene. The lake as well as the adjoining Zauberwald (magic forest) actually originated from a mountain landslide.
As it is probably the most photographed landscape in Germany it is very challenging to find new perspectives. But with a beautiful spot like this, it is totally fine to go along with the standard perspective. Don’t forget to take a stroll around this lake! It has much more to offer than just the famous view.
Again, this spot works fine at both, sunset and sunrise, but you will have to reckon on never shooting alone at this location. Only in November we had mornings when the lake was completely abandoned.
Unless you want to hike hours and hours, lake Obersee is only reachable by boat until mid-October (check the schedule before going!). We advise you to take the first boat, preferably on a weekday. Otherwise you will have no chance to shoot on this location without a horde of tourists standing in your frame. Because of their accessibility, both Lake Königssee and lake Obersee are simply the most attractive and popular locations around Berchtesgaden.
But once you made it to the lake it will leave you speechless in an instance. The natural mountain lake in its blue-turquoise colour lies within steep mountain walls and can be seen as a very idyllic place. Take your time to explore the area around the lake. There is another cabin on the back of the lake and the path will also lead you to Germany’s highest waterfall.
Although both of us aren’t the biggest fan of the mass tourism on this lake it is true that both, the iconic (electric) boats as well as the lake itself offer wonderful photographic views.
Same as with lake Obersee, it is advised to take the first boat. Not only is there a chance that the boat is (comparably) empty, but you will also have plenty of time to either explore St. Bartholomä or the area around lake Obersee. Even both is possible on a long day but make sure to take back the last boat!
When shooting the boats, you can play around with the aperture to either focus on the boat itself or on the picturesque surroundings. Other possible motives photographed from the boat are various waterfalls as well as the iconic church St. Bartholomä.
The Klausbach valley might not be very well known in the photographer’s scene but it is for sure one of the most beautiful hikes in the whole national park of Berchtesgaden. Not only is it rather calm and uncrowded, but it is also a very picturesque valley surrounded by impressive mountain ranges. You will walk about an hour to the suspension bridge while you will pass various beautiful motives on the way such as hidden cabins and impressive mountains.
For photography it is a rather secret spot and not as famous as the other ones so you will not have to fight for your position as on Lake Hintersee. But still we preferred to hike through the valley in the early morning hours as especially the suspension bridge can get quite crowded. Also wildlife (which is quite abundant in this valley) is more active in the morning!
Remember that some of these spots are located within national park Berchtesgaden boundaries which is the highest nature protection status in Germany. Make sure to follow the rules, do not leave any trash behind (this counts for every spot of course) and don’t even think about starting your drone! Other than that have fun exploring this beautiful gem.
Have you visited this area? If not, is it on your list and which spot are you looking forward to shoot the most?
Let us know in the comments below!