Starnberger See is probably one of the most famous swimming lakes in the Munich hinterland. Also known as the “bath tub of Munich”, it’s easily accessible by car and public transport, and located just 20 kilometres South West of Munich. Water enthusiast will find the most beautiful beach area in “Paradies” (means paradise) which can be reached by S-Bahn (S6 Possenhofen, A95 Seeshaupt). Barbecue fans can enjoy their choice of meat here, and restaurants galore arrange for other culinary treats. The big park also lures with a grassed area for visitors to laze in the sun between swims, a direct access to the lake and a children’s playground. Some kilometers further, you’ll find the local recreation area Ambach (A95, exit Seeshaupt) which is the biggest swimming spot at Starnberger See. There is a pebble beach that runs shallowly into the water and is therefore appropriate for children. A mowed grassy area is available for sunbathing and there are numerous trees to provide shade for sun-sensitive day-trippers. With its 20-kilometre-long coast area, which is fully accessible to the public, Starnberger See offers the perfect location for all front-crawlers and beach-posers.
The third biggest lake in Bavaria is situated in the West around 35 kilometres from Munich. One of the most beautiful beach areas at Ammersee can be found on the coast line near Herrsching (S5 Herrsching, A96). The beach attracts with a luxurious sports area, an open-air bar and a swimming dock. Barbecue lovers are allowed to bring everything with them the culinary heart desires – but only in declared areas. In Dießen/Sankt Alban (A96, exit Dießen) there are spacious sunbathing places, big old trees and a generously proportioned lido that provide the perfect hangout for summer lounging for families and day-trippers. Rieder Wald (Rieder forest) (hike from Herrsching in the direction of Breitbunn) is highly recommended to those who long for more silence and intimate togetherness. As the area is only accessible by foot, there is less hustle and bustle than in the parking area hotspots.
One of the cleanest lakes in Germany is also not far away from Munich: Wörthsee. This lake paradise can be reached in only 40 minutes by public transport and in 30 minutes by car. Wörthsee offers numerous bike routes and hiking trails for bathers who love sports. The hungry guests can choose a cosy place from a wide range of beer gardens and restaurants. Having a picnic or barbecue is also allowed here. The declared areas are located right at the lake.
Feldmochinger See, based in the Northwest of Munich, is easily accessible by public transport S-Bahn (S1 to Feldmoching) and U-Bahn (U2 to Feldmoching). On sunny days, the lake is especially popular among Munich locals. Still, there is a good chance water seekers will find a parking lot against a little fee. There is a restaurant and a few small kiosks that offer food and snacks. Those, who would like to get rid off their clothes, can do so – but only in declared areas, of course.
Together with Feldmochinger See and Lerchenauer See, Fasaneriesee forms the lake triangle in the North of Munich. Fasaneriesee is a popular destination of families. This lake is much quieter than the big swimming lakes. There are declared non-swimming areas where children can peacefully splash in the water. Fishing as well as barbecuing is also allowed in declared areas at Fasaneriesee. The lake can be reached by S1 in the direction of Feldmoching. You could as well go by car as the parking situation is very relaxed here.
Located merely 80 kilometres away from Munich, a trip to Walchensee is especially recommended to those who would like to escape from the city trouble for a few days. But the somewhat long ride is worth the trouble either way. As Walchensee is one of the few untouched lakes in Bavaria where the shores are unspoilt and can be easily accessed from everywhere, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else on hot days. Free from the dirt and noise of motorboats, the lake doesn’t only invite to swimming but also to surfing, sailing and diving. Walchensee can be reached by car via the motorway A95 in the direction of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The journey takes about 70 minutes. If you go by train or bus in the direction of Kochel am See, you’ll need about 2:40 hours to reach your destination. Thanks to many charming holiday apartments and a big amount of hotels in various price categories, Walchensee is always worth a weekend trip to escape the summer heat.