Like a fiord in the heart of Europe with its alpine waters and green hillsides, Königssee deserves its name. In our travel to Austria and after visiting the lovely Salzburg we went south, crossing the border with Germany, in order to have a trip to the tallest waterfall in Europe (470 m): the Röthbachfall. The only way to get to this waterfall is by crossing all the Königssee from one side to the other using electric boats and then walking for more than one hour, crossing another lake, the Obersee.
Our day began early in the morning. We didn’t want to take a long queue to get the tickets for the electric boats, so it is recommended to be at the ticket offices before 9 o’clock in summer to avoid waiting too much. Sometimes it is normal to wait more than 2 hours to get a boat, so your entire plans for the day could go to the rubbish.
From Salzburg to Königssee you will cross some beautiful towns like Berchtesgaden with its Bavarian mural paintings in their typical alpine houses. But don’t stop in the morning unless you want to lose time in the queues for the boat. Leave it for the afternoon or another day. This region is a place to stay for 3 or 4 days as it has plenty of things to do and visit. We recommend spending one entire day only in Königssee.
The boats are electric just not to pollute the water of this lake, which is considered the cleanest and most beautiful lake in Germany.
You can choose different boat trips depending on how far you want to get. We went as far as we could, directly to Salet, but a stop in St. Bartholomä is worth it! This is a small pilgrim church dated from 17th century which deserves a visit and some photos.
Once in Salet it begins a path towards the Obersee lake and the magnificent waterfall. This is a place to enjoy nature, breath fresh air, being far away from crowds because not many people buy the boat ticket to Salet, and enjoy a sunny summer day. We had some food in our backpacks in order to have a picnic at the foot of the waterfall.
This path is a typical alpine track through a forest. It is not a steep track and only after reaching the Obersee lake you will find some rock carved stairs, a bit slippery, in order to reach the end of the glacier valley and the tallest waterfall in Europe.
The last part of the path is the steepest part. Once at the end of it we had some lunch surrounded by cows that looked at us with curiosity. In front of us the Röthbachfall. After having lunch one cow tried to lick our camera, a funny moment to end our trip and come back to take the return boat.