A Perfect Holiday in Grainau: Paddling Lake Eibsee

 // by Polina Peskovsky
A Perfect Holiday in Grainau: Paddling Lake Eibsee
Thursday, 27 May 2021

Lake Eibsee is one of the most famous and picturesque alpine lakes. You can walk the circular trail around the lake, here you would discover plenty of small bays for bathing and lying in the sun. On hot summer days a spring in the cool blue water (never warmer than 18 degrees centigrade!) is a very special pleasure. Even when the trails around the lake are very busy on sunny days, on the water you can still enjoy lots of space and quiet. Therefore our tip for today: paddling!

We locals have the pleasure to enjoy the Eibsee at any time of the year. Emerald water or silver ice, breathtaking view of the Zugspitze summit up in the lofty heights, the forest, the sun and the cliffs – once you visit Lake Eibsee, the day will stay forever in your memory. Discovering Lake Eibsee with a kayak is a special experience as well. With its eight islands, each with its own character, the Eibsee offers an opportunity to spend a meditative and versatile day on the water.

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3.30 pm: On a sunny Saturday afternoon we unload our kayaks on the emergency parking lot at the start of the Eibsee circular trail. It's a pity that renting kayaks on site is not possible at the Eibsee boat station. This is an option for those who are able to bring their own boats, or to rent them elsewhere. The start point where you can easily access the water is located behind the boat station.

4.00 pm: At the start of our today's tour we make a round on the Untersee that lies behind the pedestrian bridge. This small lake has basically no trails on its lakeshore, so the divine quiet is only broken by water birds, mainly ducks and grebes. The water is perfectly clear and smooth like a mirror, here and there I notice a trout flashing shortly in the sunlight as it goes under my boat in the deep blue water.

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4.30 pm: Now we paddle in the direction of the Sasseninsel island. The biggest island on Lake Eibsee is covered with thick conifer forest and blueberries. On hot days pine trees give shade and fill the air with a fresh forest aroma. Next, we go further to the rocky Braxeninsel and Schönbichl islands. The picturesque Maximiliansinsel island is flat, here the local registry office organized wedding ceremonies until 2015. Further islands are smaller, in the afternoon they lie partly in the shade, which is a great opportunity to escape from summer heat.

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6.00 pm: After paddling a whole round on the Eibsee we make a stop on the cliffs next to the Sasseninsel island and spend the remaining hours till dusk bathing and lying in the sun. The cool water refreshes and revives the body.

For all those who don't have a kayak but would like to explore the Eibsee with its islands from the water, the Eibsee Boat Station (website in German) offers a choice of various vessels. The actual trend belongs of course to the standup paddleboards. Beside that, you can rent row boats, pedal boats or waterslide boats. Please take care of the environment, keep it clean, and possibly don't land on the islands. 

So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy the hot days at Lake Eibsee - with the Zugspitze always in view.