The walk from the Castles to Füssen and back is a lovely loop through beautiful forests, into the historic town then up to a great viewpoint and down to walk along an alpine lake.
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The Castles to Füssen Loop Walk starts from the tourist information at the central roundabout in Hohenschwangau. You can park in any of the large car parks nearby, all of which have a flat rate of €10 for the day. You have to pay to use all toilets, except those at the castles.
Tips for Castles to Füssen Walk
- This walk can easily be combined with a walk around the Alpsee, just underneath Hohenschwangau Castle.
- When you reach Füssen, check out the Füssen Walking Tour for a more detailed guide to the historic town.
- There are many cafes and restaurants both by the castles and in Füssen.
- You can swim in Schwansee lake on this walk (in summer)
- For a short, easy walk, stroll around Alpsee Lake by Hohenschwangau Castle.
- Stay right by the castles and the start of this hike at the Ameron Neuschwanstein*
- Find other great hikes on our Germany Hiking Page.
Castles to Füssen Loop Walking Route
From the central roundabout of Hohenschwangau, head towards the castle ticket office and Hohenschwangau Castle (the yellow, less famous one). Before the large car park, head up the signed steps to the castle, passing a chapel on the way.
At the castle, check out the views from the gardens and then walk around the back of the castle, through the large archway. Walk along the road a short distance, until the hiking signpost on your right. Head along the path through the woods, then keep right at the next junction. There are a few paths here in the woods, so it can be slightly confusing. Just make sure not to head down to the lake far below (you walk past this on the way back).
There are nice views from this path through the woods. You also pass beneath some large rock cliffs, and the wood itself is very pretty. Continue onwards, and follow the signs towards Füssen Lechfall. The route heads downhill and eventually joins a track leading to a main road. Cross over the road, and you’ll be right at the Lechfall.
Füssen & Lechfalls
The Lechfall is a manmade waterfall on the Lech River. You get the best views from the bridge, but don’t forget to look in the other direction to the deep gorge cutting through the rocks. After the bridge, head up the hill. You can now follow the Füssen Walking Tour until it crosses the bridge at the other end of town, or if you are not interested in exploring the town, stick as close as possible to the river.
It’s about 1 km from the Lechfall bridge until the next bridge in Füssen. When you cross this, you’ll have great views back to large the Sankt Mang complex, a former Benedictine monastery. When you get to the other side of the bridge, turn right to walk along the road for a short distance. There is a wide pavement here.
After about 200 metres, you’ll see a hiking sign on the left, away from the river, and some steps leading uphill by a chapel. Take this path to walk up the Kalvarienberg.
The path from Füssen up the Kalvarienberg follows the stations of the holy cross, with little chapels and crucifixes all the way up. The most obvious is the yellow Marienkapelle in a small open area. Turn left here to continue up the hill.
Eventually, you’ll reach the top of Kalvarienberg, where there are three crucifixes on a manmade stone structure. You can go up the steps to the very top, which is a great viewpoint. From here you can see back down to the town of Füssen, up the meandering Lech River to Austria and across to the two castles in Hohenschwangau.
After the viewpoint, continue onwards and turn right at the signpost, direction Hohenschwangau. The path heads steeply downwards to meet a more gentle track that winds its way down to the valley floor and Schwansee Lake. At the lake, there are some great views of the castle.
Turn left to walk around the edge of Lake Schwansee, and there are even more great views of the mountains and their reflections in the lake. Stay as close to the lake as possible, passing some ponds and walking through some open fields. There are some great views of Neuschwanstein Castle from this section of the walk.
When you reenter the woodland, take the first left along the track, signposted Hohenschwangau. This easy, flat track leads all the way back to the central roundabout in the town, just over 1 km away. This is the end of the Castles to Füssen Loop walk.
Guidebooks to explore more of Germany
As mentioned, you can check the Füssen Walking Tour to explore the town further. You can also walk around Alpsee for more lovely views of the castle and mountains. Check out our Germany Hiking Page for more great hikes nearby and walking tours of the famous Bavarian cities.