There's certainly a magic that emanates from the southern region of Germany. And no, I'm not talking about the wonder of Octoberfest. Bavaria is surely home to some of the most awe-inspiring scenery that Europe has to offer, complete with resplendent castles; not to mention the smiling locals and the clean, crisp mountain air. If you're looking to make a break from city life for a long weekend escape, this region has it all and I've got the perfect three-day itinerary for you.
Day 1 - Tegernsee
Grab a morning flight to Munich, then pick up a car and head south. Tegernsee is a storybook little town about an hour's drive from the airport complete with chaps in Tyrolean hats and the best Bavarian architecture the region has to offer. Nestled by the lake and overlooked by sleepy mountains, it doesn't come much more picturesque than this. The way of life here has a slower pace, so make time to relax and unwind. Take a drive around the water and explore each of the little villages, and if it's a clear day then a trip up Wallberg Mountain is a must for breath-taking views. Don't forget to gulp in lungfuls of that clean, crisp air.
Stay: Das Tegernsee (rooms from €229/night), with panoramic views this hotel offers a truly luxurious experience. Stay, play and dine here, and be sure to check out the spa.
Eat: Aran, this lakeside café is not to be missed. Order a toasted sandwich, pull up a chair and watch the world [and swans] go by.
Day 2 - Neuschwanstein Castle
The very castle that inspired Walt Disney himself, while you're in the region you'd be crazy to miss the iconic Neuschwanstein Castle. Up close, it is truly a sight to behold yet despite its grand romanticist exterior, the castle is only a third complete on the inside. Constructed over 17 years, it was King Ludwig's castle, a man fascinated with the fantastical and dream-like. Yet his untimely death aged just 42 caused all construction to cease in 1886. The interior of the castle would never be finished. Pay a visit by car but be sure to arrive early and beat the crowds. Come prepped with good walking shoes and a panoramic camera, trust me, the outlook is spectacular. Adults - €12, under 18s - FREE.
Day 3 - Munich
Time to journey on back from the south, but before you fly be sure to spend a day in the heart of Bavaria's capital and check out the majestic Fruenkirche and Marienplatz's famous glockenspiel. Then in the afternoon if time permits, take the underground train a few stops out of the city centre to Nymphenburg Palace, it's a beautiful property steeped in history. Of course, no visit to Bavaria would be complete without a stein or two, so you can take your pick from the many beer halls on offer. Prost!
Stay: Aloft Munich (rooms from €119/night), located right by the central train station this modern hotel provides a convenient base.
Eat: Marais Soir, a European hotspot with plenty of French influence, treat yourself to the tasting menu - €42 for 3 courses.