I travelled to Bavaria for two weeks from 6th to 20th of August 2022 with my husband and our sons aged six and 17 months. The first week we spent in Bavaria, Germany, staying in a small place called Bernhaupten (which was a great base from which to explore the area) and the second week we moved on to Obertraun in Austria.
WHY WE CHOSE BAVARIA AND AUSTRIA:
We had been to Austria in 2019 as part of a trip around Switzerland and Austria. We loved exploring the alps, the mountains and lakes provided stunning scenery. It was also very child friendly (in 2019 we had a three year old.) The climate was also perfect, never too hot or cold. This year we have a now 6 year old plus a 17 month old and thought Austria would be perfect for them, paddling in the lakes and exploring. We booked flights from Manchester to Munich and decided that Bavaria would be a perfect place for our first stop. It worked well with timings so we wouldn't be in the car too long between the locations.
WHERE WE STAYED:
In Germany we stayed in a gorgeous house in Bernhaupten it was very luxurious. It had four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a huge modern kitchen/dining/living area. The windows all have stunning views over the surrounding countryside and mountains, as does the garden and terrace.
We chose self catering as we like to pack up picnics to take on trips out and the property we stayed in was so beautiful that we happily cooked in most nights and ate on the terrace looking at the view. Also some nights we ate later than the kids and sat out reading with a couple of glasses of wine, bliss! In terms of facilities it had a fully equipped kitchen, everything you need to cook dinner plus a huge amount of glasses/mugs/crockery/cutlery. It had the welcome addition of a dishwasher plus washing machine and dryer too.
In Austria we stayed at a Dormio resort. We had a 3 bedroom lodge which had a small terrace at the back with lovely views. I would describe it as a much smaller version of Center Parcs. It has a swimming pool, restaurant and bar on site and you can hire bikes. There is also a kids' club which has a lovely laid back vibe and kids can dip in and out of activities. Elliott loved the pyjama dance party and toasting marshmallows around a campfire. The location by the lake is stunning and you can happily spend the whole day hanging out there. We are not really into resort/kids disco type places but this was a really laid back version of it and we would definitely recommend it.
We went self catering her too for the same reasons as above. Also dining out with a toddler (our toddler) isn't that much fun at the moment. We did eat dinner out on three evenings here though as the on site restaurant had a lovely outdoor dining area and a great menu. The kitchen at the lodge had everything you need to cook at home. It had a dishwasher too. Washing and drying facilities were in a shared building and cost six euros per load.
WHAT WAS FAB ABOUT THIS HOLIDAY:
Germany- Bernhaupten is a short walk into the picturesque, small town of Bergen. Here you can find several restaurants and shops plus a great mini golf course, which also doubles as a place to get pizzas, drinks and ice creams. We all really enjoyed it. At the far end of the town is the cable car to the top of Hochfelln. At the mid point station there is a cafe and various walks/hikes you can do or you can continue to the top where there is an eatery with lots of outdoor seating and fantastic views from the top of the mountain. There are lots of paragliders in the area and we got to watch one take off from the summit which was pretty exciting, Elliott loved it.
Bernhaupten is ideally placed to explore Chiemsee, a large freshwater lake. We took a boat across to two of the islands on the lake. Both had great paddling opportunities for the boys and Herreninsel has a palace built by King Ludwig ll which was based on the Palace of Versaille. It was pretty magnificent up close and we meandered arounds the grounds with ice creams.
We also visited Märchenwald Isartal (The Fairy-tale Land) which is an attraction aimed at younger children to around age seven. It has various rides, play equipment, water play, a small farm and a sand area with lots of toy diggers, bricks, sand toys etc. Both of the boys really enjoyed it and it had a much more relaxed atmosphere than similar places in school holidays. Closer to home we went for walks in the evening along the country lanes and found both a tire and rope swing and a stream to paddle in. The country lanes were also good for a run if you are so inclined. Great to have a run straight on the doorstep when you are tag-teaming watching the kids.
Austria- Obertraun is a pretty town on the shores of Hallstattersee lake. The lake is full of families enjoying the sunshine, from little ones splashing in the shallows to older ones and adults paddle boarding and kayaking. There is a lovely play area including swings, roundabout, slides, a climbing wall and volleyball pitch so the kids can play whilst parents/carers enjoy a take away coffee or beer from one of the snack bars/restaurants overlooking the lake. We love our local park but this is a play area in a whole different league! We hired bikes one day, Kieran hired an electric one to give him a boost as he was pulling both Elliott and Noah in a trailer. There is a great cycle path along the river and we had a very enjoyable 3 hours cycling. There are plenty of picnic spots on the way too. We took the boat across the lake to Hallstätt too which is a village across the water. It is filled with shops and cafes amongst 16th century alpine houses and alleyways. It's definitely worth a visit, it does get very busy though so our top tip is, after soaking up the village, walk through the centre to a play area on the shores of the lake for a picnic and paddle in the water.
The kids LOVED it...
Elliott (aged six) when asked what his favourite bit was, said: "Nothing, because I loved everything!" When asked later he said he loved mini golf and the cable car in Germany and the lake and swimming everyday in the pool in Austria. He learnt to swim independently on this trip.
Seveteen-month-old Noah he would definitely say the tractors and 'dig digs" that we saw in abundance!
We would wholeheartedly recommend both places and wouldn't hesitate to return. Though now we can travel again I'm ready to get researching our next trip to explore somewhere new.