A cycle and cool lake swim in the badesee- in Bavaria, Germany

July 8, 2010 by  

If you’re visiting Bavaria as we are, you may enjoy swimming in one of the many fresh-water lakes or badesee that are dotted around the countryside here. They’re very popular locally with all ages and often have facilities like small cafes, picnic tables and swimming platforms.

Heather at the swimming lake near Altotting in Bavaria, Germany

Heather at the swimming lake near Altotting in Bavaria, Germany

Today we decided to hire bikes from the small town of Altötting, where we’re staying – the rest of our party decided to take a coach trip to nearby Salzburg to do some sightseeing but we fancied something a little more relaxing on a hot, sunny day. We set off after lunch armed with a map from the cycle shop and headed off on fairly busy roads, through a town landscape until we reached the River Inn (with a few stops to check directions).

Once we crossed the river we followed the cycle path beside it for about half an hour until we came across the swimming lake that the man in the shop had pointed out to us on the map. I’d expected something a little more commercial but in fact it was in a very natural surrounding, fringed with reeds and trees and surrounded by a grassy meadow with wildflowers and shady trees where numerous people had parked their bikes, laid out their towels and were swimming and sun-bathing.

Swimming lake near Altotting in Bavaria, Germany

Swimming lake near Altotting in Bavaria, Germany

We ventured in for a swim in the milky, green water, only hobbling a bit on the stony bottom and swam out into the sunshine. Further up the shore there was a swimming platform in the middle of the lake and we could see a cafe and boathouse on the other side. The fresh water was silky and refreshing after our cycle ride but there’s something about putting your foot on a squelchy, muddy bottom that I find a bit off-putting although my husband would prefer this kind of out-door swimming to any other.

After our swim we relaxed for a while in the shade and then cycled around to the cafe for a coffee and enormous slice of creamy peach cheesecake. On this side there was a car park and so there were far more people, especially families who had moved in with sun loungers and children splashing around with inflatable toys.

We only stayed long enough to have our Café und Kuchen then decided that we’d run out of time to return via a forest path that we’d spotted on the map and instead returned the same way we’d come. If you’re sightseeing in Bavaria or Southern Germany, do look out for these swimming lakes – it’s a great thing to combine with a cycle ride and you’ll understand why the Germans love to get back to nature in such a beautiful rural setting.

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Comments

11 Comments on "A cycle and cool lake swim in the badesee- in Bavaria, Germany"

  1. Sean on Thu, 8th Jul 2010 6:01 pm 

    Beautiful. Your pictures capture how peaceful and fresh the day was. I feel the same way about “squelchy, muddy bottoms”, but might be persuaded to try one of those lakes after reading this. Thank you for sharing this adventure with us :)
    Sean´s last blog post ..Vigo- Spain- Sean’s Perfect Vista

  2. Anil on Sat, 10th Jul 2010 6:43 pm 

    The weather in Germany is so wonderful this time of year. So steady and not too hot…such a difference from the east coast of the US right now :P

  3. Edmund on Mon, 12th Jul 2010 7:27 pm 

    Great photos! They take me back to my own summer in Germany. There are just so many little seas and untouched forest areas that it almost feels as if you’re not even in a mega-industrial country sometimes. And it’s not just Bavaria, nor lower population areas. You can find the seas and lakes even in little cities throughout the country.
    Edmund´s last blog post ..Blue Duck Tavern

  4. Barbara at Hole in the Donut Travels on Mon, 12th Jul 2010 9:50 pm 

    One of these days I’m going to get up the gumption to take a bicycling tour. Germany seems ideally suited, but I worry about being able to go the distance. Maybe if I can find an essentially flat route like the one you describe above, I’ll actually get out there, but I always just end up walking, which I love!
    Barbara at Hole in the Donut Travels´s last blog post ..Visit Mexico Announces New Tourism Campaign – Rutas de Mexico

  5. Sherry Ott on Tue, 13th Jul 2010 1:47 pm 

    It sounds like a perfect way to spend a summer day! The lake looks beautiful – but I agree with you – I prefer swimming pools to rocky or muddy bottoms!
    Sherry Ott´s last blog post ..signs

  6. Painted houses and wood carving at Oberammergau – in Bavaria, Germany | Heather on her travels on Fri, 16th Jul 2010 7:24 am 

    […] A cycle ride and a cool lake swim in the badesee Passion, music and drama at Oberammergau in Bavaria, Germany Tips for seeing the Oberammergau Passion Play […]

  7. Bavarian food from Germany | Heather on her travels on Wed, 21st Jul 2010 8:09 pm 

    […] We bought a large punnet of raspberries in the market at Altötting for a picnic lunch before our cycle ride to the badesee,  but the dark, glossy cherries looked the most beautiful. If I’m honest, I found that when […]

  8. Review of Hotel Zur Post at Altötting | Heather on her travels on Fri, 23rd Jul 2010 9:00 pm 

    […] sauna and had packed my costume in anticipation of a trying it out. In the event we did get some swimming in the badesee (swimming lake) nearby but the early starts meant that we didn’t get the time to try out the […]

  9. Pilgrimage and the Black Madonna at Altötting | Heather on her travels on Thu, 5th Aug 2010 2:44 pm 

    […] A cycle and cool lake swim in the badesee- in Bavaria, Germany A Comfortable Bavarian Gasthaus at Hotel Zur Post in Altötting Tips for seeing the Oberammergau Passion Play […]

  10. Oberammergau Passion Play and Altötting in Bavaria - Podcast | Heather on her travels on Sat, 7th Aug 2010 2:25 pm 

    […] around Altötting with many stories and anecdotes about the religious sites there and our afternoon cycling to the swimming lake or badesee. I’ll tell you about the painted houses of Oberammergau and wood carvings, with […]

  11. Where Heather travelled in 2010 | Heather on her travels on Sun, 2nd Jan 2011 9:08 am 

    […] the Black Madonna in the town square, as well as the many other beautiful churches in the town, and hired bikes to seek out the badesee or local swimming […]

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