Chiemsee - Day Trip from Seefeld by Car
Duration: full day
Chiemsee - Bavaria's largest lake - is well worth a day's drive from Seefeld.
The excursion is best made by car, as there are unlikely to be bus trips offered and it is somewhat difficult to get to via public transport.
The lake is located on the way to Salzburg - in fact, those who arrived via Salzburg Airport may well have glimpsed the Chiemsee from the motorway between Salzburg and Rosenheim in Germany. The drive there will take just under two hours.
Probably the best destination on the lake for the daytripper is Prien am Chiemsee. This town is located on the western side of the lake 15 minutes from the motorway exit and has two distinct parts: the town itself, which is away from the lake but still interesting to look around; and the ferry station, with a big car park and views of the shore and nearby islands, as well as a lakeside promenade.
There is also a steam train which runs the short route between the town and ferry station which is a great tourist attraction for those who have arrived on the main line train from Munich or Salzburg.
The main purpose of a visit however - apart from admiring the stunning scenery of the Chiemsee and its mountain backdrop - is a visit to the two islands close to Prien.
The larger - Herrenchiemsee or the Herreninsel - hosts one of King Ludwig's castles. (Seefeld visitors may already have seen the closer and smaller Linderhof and the equally distant Neuschwanstein by bus or under their own steam.)
Herrenchiemsee was built as a tribute to Versailles and, although it was never finished, its formal gardens, working fountains and interior rooms full of fantasy and ornate decoration draw tens of thousands of visitors daily in high season.
The other island attraction is the much smaller Fraueninsel - with its Benedictine convent of Frauenwörth and small permanent settlement of residents.
The island can be walked around in 30 minutes but it is worthwhile taking the time to relax and enjoy the scenery and ambience which drew artists and writers to this spot in the previous two centuries. There are also plenty of restaurants and even a small brewery to while away some time.
There are other towns on the lake - Seebruck and Chieming, for example - and it is possible to drive a circuit around the lake on the country roads. However these lanes do get overcrowded in high summer and visiting other destinations on the lake is probably best achieved via the ferry.
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