The Magnificent Tegelberg Panoramic Views that Even Bavarian Kings Loved:
For most visitors, the attraction of the Schwangau region is centred on King Ludwig’s fairytale castles. But Schwangau is also situated in the largest nature reserve in the Bavarian region. For a change of scenery away from Ludwig’s castles, we went up to the summit of Tegelberg (Tegel Mountain) for spectacular views of Schwangau and the surrounding peaks.
Tegelberg – A Playground for the Active
Tegelberg is in the Ammer Mountain range and is popular for its summer and winter sports. It’s a hiker’s paradise and paragliding and hang gliding are very popular in the summer months.
There is a huge children’s playground at the foot of the mountain and the 760 metre toboggan run provides fun and activities for the family. During the winter season, the Tegelberg slopes transform into ski and snowboarding runs, whilst at ground level the toboggan run allows both young and old to enjoy the fun of the snow.
Tegelberg is 1,730 m high and it is possible to trek up to the peak. But as we didn’t come prepared for serious hiking, a more relaxing way was to take the Tegelberg cable car from the Tegelbergbahn in Schwangau. The ride to the top takes about ten minutes – much easier than the hours of walking!
Our day started out grey and cold and looking up the mountain, we wondered if we were going to be able to see anything at all through the thick cloud cover. You’re supposed to be able to see Neuschwanstein Castle on the way up, but no such luck for us as it was too foggy. However, we were fortunate as by the time we got to the top of Teggelberg, its peak was sticking above the clouds. To our greatest delight, there were blue skies and it was warm up there. The Panorama Restaurant at the cable car station looked inviting but we thought we should firstly explore the area a bit.
Königsrunde am Tegelberg – The King’s Circuit
There are many walking trails you can take from the top of Tegelberg, but the one that was most interesting for us was the Königsrunde am Tegelberg or the King’s Circuit. According to the information board, King Maximillian II was most impressed by the scenic beauty and historical past of the Fussen and Schwangau regions. Together with his wife Queen Marie and their sons, Ludwig II and Otto, he often climbed Tegelberg. As I was making my way up the gravel slopes, I wondered how the queen, in all her regal gear, managed to get up here as there was no cable car then.
When Ludwig II became King, he used to regularly reside in the royal hunting lodge on Tegelberg during the summer months. In 1868 he wrote to his mother extolling the beauty of the mountains. He said that nothing is as strong for the mind and body than to be in the great outdoors. Up in the mountains the soul is freer and closer to its Creator. His mother however was more concerned that her son’s preference for the countryside was at the expense of his involvement in the government in Munich. The government ministers were not pleased at all at Ludwig’s avoidance of his duties.
Walking in the Footsteps of Bavarian Kings
The King’s circuit is a panoramic walking trail from the Tegelberg cable car station to the Branderschrofenschulter pass and back. It’s an easy walk and is popular with visitors – we even saw a couple of nuns on the circuit. Tony’s video gives a complete coverage of the total landscape and scenery and what it’s like up there.
Along the way the trail passes the “King’s View”, the “Royal Box” viewing platform and a couple of “Viskope” telescopes offer views of the various mountain peaks. If you’re lucky, you might see a family of ibex that has settled on Tegelberg. The only one we saw looked a bit wooden.
After our walk we returned to the cable car station to have a late lunch. Tony noticed a beer garden just down from the main Tegelberg Panorama Restaurant. We had lunch there and enjoyed the magnificent views from the large sun terrace. We didn’t know at the time that Tegelberghaus was actually the hunting lodge of King Max and Ludwig II.
After our relaxing lunch we caught the cable car back down, and this time we did see Neuschwanstein Castle in the grey distance.
We thoroughly enjoyed being on top of Tegelberg and walking in the footsteps of Bavarian kings.
Getting to Tegelberg
From Fussen, bus no. 78 took us right to the Tegelbergbahn station stop. The no. 78 is an hourly service and along the way the bus calls in at Hohenschwangau. The trip takes about 15 minutes and the bus is usually quite full because of the Hohenschwangau stop.