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Fussen to Berchtesgaden

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Still working on itinerary and need some advice. We have a rental car from Koblenz and we're having some difficulty with the most scenic/interesting way from Fussen to Berchtesgaden. The plan is to leave the car in Freilassing and then continue on to Salzburg, Vienna and Prague. So do we go to Mittenwald, then over the border to Innsbruck and then on to Freilassing or just do the German Alpine Road? Maryhofen looks awesome but so does the Chiemsee - help please.

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    Other than enjoying mountain scenery I prefer the quickest route (take a look at viamichelin.com) so I can get to the towns I am visiting sooner. I have driven the route down the Inn Valley from Reutte but I prefer the road through Garmish and Mittenwald then by Innsbruck. After you are past Garmish it is highway speeds all the way. You will need the €10 Austrian Vignette for your car.

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    The routing below from Fuessen to Berchtesgaden is very scenic and will take you about 4 hours, maximum, leisurely driving. This will help you to decide if you want to take this route, or stay on the A-12 past Oberau (see below) to the Autobahn A-8 in Germany, and east on it to Salzburg, the faster route (except for some major road work just before Siegsdorf).

    Leave Fuessen heading south on the Austrian Route 314 to Lermoos. There pick up the Austrian Route 187 east to Garmisch Partenkirchen. At the border, the route number changes to B-23. Pass through Garmisch and follow the signs to Mittenwald - Innsbruck. The route is B-2. At the Austrian border the route changes to 177. Continue on the road south to Zirl. There pick up the autobahn A-12.

    IMPORTANT: To drive the Austrian autobahns and Schnellstrassen (sort of a junior limited access highway) you need a Vignette. This is a toll sticker that goes onto your windshield. You can buy it at any service station in Germany near the border, or in Austria BEFORE you enter the autobahn. Its costs about $10 (in EUR) and is good for 10 days. DO NOT get on the autobahn without this vignette. The cops are just waiting for you and will require that you pay the $100+ penalty right on the spot. NOTE: if you travel on the German A-8 to Salzburg, the last 5km are on the Austrian autobahn and will also require the Vignette. Get it in any rest area along the A-8

    Take the A-12 east as far as the Oberaudorf exit (#59). This is about 90km from where you get on the autobahn at Zirl. At Oberaudorf, head east on the Austrian 172 to Walchsee , Koessen and Reit im Winkel (in Germany). In Reit, pick up the Deutsche Alpenstrasse (B-305) to Berchtesgaden. Specifically, the road will lead you almost to Ruhpolding, but before R. (shortly after Fritz am Sand) the B-305 makes a sharp right turn. Follow the B-305 to where it merges with the B-306. Stay on the B-305 to Weissbach, Schneizlreuth , Berchtesgaden This whole trip from Oberau is very scenic, along the Wilde Kaiser mountain massif; Reit im Winkel is a picture postcard Bavarian village; and from shortly after Schneizlreuth you will be traveling with great views of the Watzmann mountain on your right. On that stretch, if you look hard straight ahead, you can see near the top of the mountain ahead of you the Kehlsteinhaus, commonly known among Americans as the Eagle's Nest.

    You will enter Berchtesgaden at the railroad station (Bahnhof), which is below the town. To get into the town, you have to turn left shortly after the station.

    All these are good roads and not very challenging.

    There are two alternative ways that are a bit faster:

    (1) Go as outlined above, but continue on the A-12 past Oberaudorf to the Munich- Salzburg autobahn A-8 interchange( Inntal Dreieck). Head east on the A-8 as far as Siegsdorf (exit #112) . Get off there and head to Inzell on the B-306. After 21km it will intersect with the B-305 coming from Reit im Winkel. Continue on the B-305 as described above.

    (2) Stay on the A-8 past Siegsdorf and leave it at exit 115, marked Bad Reichenhall. It is the last exit before the Austrian border. If you miss it, you will need the vignette or, bingo, the cops will get you right across the border. Follow the route south to Bad Reichenhall. Take the B-21 (the Bad Reichenhall by pass, it's marked to Berchtesgaden), and continue on the B-21 to B'gdn. This road will take you directly into the town of B'gdn. .

    Now, if you have lots of time, on both of the above versions, you could make a detour to visit King Ludwig's palace on the Herrenchiemsee Island, in the Chiemsee lake. It will add about 2 ½ - 3 hours to your trip.

    Get off the A-8 at Bernau (exit #106) and head north, toward Prien.(5km) At the first traffic circle (remember, cars in the circle have the right of way!), take the first exit, toward “Chiemsee” and Stock. (about 5km) In Stock, take the boat to Herrenchiemsee, wonderful palace of King Ludwig II, of Neuschwanstein fame. From the boat landing on the island you can take a pleasant 15 min. walk to the palace or ride in horse-drawn coaches. The palace has a snack bar, and where you get off the boat is a newely renovated hotel with outside and inside dining.

    After your return to Stock, reverse your trip back to the A-8, and continue east to Salzburg.

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    I can't believe how specific and detailed your answer was! Getting there for usu is a big part of the enjoyment so fast is not what we are looking for. We are in Germany/Austria for 6 weeks to enjoy it. So it looks like Herrenchiemsee Island detour is worth it! Thanks.

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