Walking The King Ludwig Way in Bavaria

Waymarking on King Ludwig's Way | Will Copestake
Waymarking on King Ludwig's Way | Will Copestake

Walking the King Ludwig Way

Experienced hiker Ken Harris did a walking tour of King Ludwig's Way in Germany 

To say UTracks Traveller Ken is an experienced walker is a slight understatement; he's walked some of the world's best trails, including England's Coast to Coast and the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) in Nepal, which, at 150 days, is the longest and highest alpine walking track in the world from end to end. 

In this article, Ken shares his personal advice on doing the self guided walking tour of King Ludwig's Way in Bavaria, Germany.

How would you describe walking King Ludwig's Way?

Bearded King Ludwig pointing the way. |  <i>Will Copestake</i>

For the first three days, I was mainly on my own. I only saw 1 or 2 other people hiking the King Ludwig's trail over the entire time. This was perfect for me as I had chosen May to walk it, which is a wonderfully warm and sunny time of year and also avoids any crowds. 
The trail, for the most part, was easy to follow and more signs have been put up. The last two days were spent on sealed paths and cycleways. As you approach both the Weis Church and the Neuschwanstein Castle the crowds start to increase considerably, as you'd expect.

How did you prepare for the King Ludwig's Way trip?

Besides walking the GHT the year before, preparation was walking 5 days a week (8 to 10 km) to get into the routine of multi-day walking.

What was the Bavarian landscape you walked through like?

The landscape changed as you head south towards the Alps. I was unlucky because on some days you couldn’t see down to the Alps because of the weather. As the weather cleared and the skies opened up you could see the mountains and they dominated the skyline. 
Sunflowers on King Ludwig's Way |  <i>Will Copestake</i>
You walk next to a couple of wonderful lakes. Sometimes you even cross over them by ferry. The forests and gorge between Rigilam and Rottenbum on Day 4 of the itinerary are particularly peaceful places, particularly when you are on your own.

What was the overall King Ludwig's Way trip highlight?

The fairytale view of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria |  <i>Skeeze</i>

After 6 days of walking, from the very start at the Monument to King Ludwig on Lake Starnberg, to Fussen at the end of the trail, the sight of Neuschwanstein Castle was the main highlight for me. However, the forests, lakes, farmland and gorges all added to the journey. Plus being able to do the walk with very little German language also added to the trip.

What was your favourite food?

Meal time in Bavaria |  <i>Tim Charody</i>

Besides the great sorbets along the way, the café in Trauchgau has some great food. Plus Pork Knuckle with White Asparagus anywhere is great.

What surprised you the most about the King Ludwig Way walking tour?

Walking through the Beech Forests of Bavaria |  <i>Will Copestake</i>

The lack of walkers on the walk, particularly on the first three days of the walk from Starnberg to Rottenbum. It's such a beautiful walk that it deserves more people to experience it and to explore the great outdoors in Bavaria! The crowds around Weis Church and the Neuschwanstein Castle were expected but there is so much more to Bavaria than simply those architectural marvels.


Any advice for other travellers thinking about hiking King Ludwig's Way?

Walking through fields in Bavaria |  <i>Will Copestake</i>

Make sure you walk up to the King Ludwig Monument at the start of the walk. This is a great walk along Starnberg Lake.

Add an extra day at Fussen at the end of the walk. In Fussen you can explore the Tegelberg, a high-level wonderland for walkers at 1800m which you reach by cable car. There's also more walking trails to see the incredible Alatsee and Alpsee lakes.
Take your time and enjoy the trail. The villages are small and you don’t need to rush to great there early.
Click here to view the King Ludwig's Way self guided walking tour.
Words of wisdom everyone can travel by! Will you be walking King Ludwig's Way? Let us know in the comments section below.
Germany, Bavaria, King Ludwig's Way, Walking, Hiking, Walking in Bavaria

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