Lake Magic on Munich’s Doorstep
Some days it glitters merrily in the blazing sunlight, other days it takes on a melancholy air, concealing its vast expanses beneath dense swathes of fog. One way or the other, Lake Starnberg is impressive in any weather. No wonder the people of Munich regularly come here to escape for a few hours from the stresses of big-city life. But to discover the full splendor of this lake of myth and legend, you need to stay a little longer – and indulge yourself in its superb baths and spas.
Lake Starnberg – A Place with a Tale or Two to Tell
Do absolutely nothing, gaze out onto the water and clear all thoughts from your mind: Let the very special magic of Lake Starnberg – with its many myths and legends – cast its spell on you. The Empress Elisabeth of Austria and Hungary (affectionately known as “Sisi”) was raised on its shores, as was King Ludwig II of Bavaria, whose death in the lake is still surrounded by conspiracy theories to this day. Writers and artists from all around the world have discovered the lake for themselves and extolled its virtues in their works. The U.S. Nobel Prize-winning author T.S. Eliot, for instance, wrote: “Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee...”
Actively switching off is child’s play here, too. Germany’s largest lake offers a wealth of activities, including fishing, golf, cross-country skiing, cycling, rowing, ice-skating, sailing and walking (depending on the season, with or without snow shoes). Another four lakes also await discovery nearby, hence the region’s by-name “Five Lakes Country.” After a long day out in the fresh air, visitors can book themselves into a pampering session at any of the wonderful spas here, for example at Seehotel Leoni in Berg.
Seehotel Leoni, Assenbucher Straße 44, Berg am Starnberger See, Tel.: +49-(0)8151/50 60. www.seehotel-leoni.com
Lake Starnberg is also ideal for bathers, of course, even though it takes a little longer for its waters to heat up in the summer due its great depth (up to 128 meters!). The upside of this is that the water temperature drops only gradually in the fall. But even when the season is unsuitable for outdoor bathing, there’s always an alternative at hand in Bad Tölz, where the Alpamare adventure swimming pool has everything from water slides and waves to Europe’s first indoor surf facility. The extensive pool complex also includes a spa area with saunas and a selection of massages as well as the Tölz thermal baths, including one pool with water straight from Alpamare’s own iodine-brine spring.
Alpamare: Ludwigstraße 14, Bad Tölz, Tel.: +49-(0)8041/50 99 99. open daily 9:30am-10pm (some shorter offers available). Admission: depending on time of stay and day, starting at €22 (reduced €20). www.alpamare.de
Photos: mauritius-images, Greune/LOOK-foto, PR (2)