When you live in Munich, it’s easy to grow complacent when it comes to Andechs. Everyone has been there and yet it still gets incredibly crowded, especially on warm weather weekends. And why not? It’s been a place of pilgrimage since 955. Founded as a Benedictine monastery in 1458 and remodeled in the Baroque style in the 1700s, it remains a site to behold.
Andechs inside and out
While man’s mark on this Holy Hill is remarkable, the natural beauty of the landscape overshadows it. With views of the Alps in the distance and a lush forest surrounding it, one could as easily come here just to walk and enjoy the fresh air.
nature surrounding Andechs
The route up is via the Way of St. James and while a long way from Santiago de Compestela, you are on a pilgrimage just the same, whether it be a religious one or for one of their great world-renowned beers. Brewed by the monks since 1455, they are as much beloved by locals as by tourists who make their way up to enjoy them. Along with the amazing beer, is some very fine Bavarian fare. There is little that goes better with these hearty brews than a pork knuckle or the traditional cheese spread Obazda. It goes incredibly well with their Dopplebock.
Dopplebock and Obazda
While Andechs is a fantastic destination in summer, don’t expect to have it to yourself. If that’s when you’re in town, head there during the week and early in the day at that. I find the winter to be a particular good time for a visit. If you’re lucky, you might have some snow along the groomed route. If not, the light is generally great for photography at the lake on your return. You still won’t be alone but the lines for food and beer are shorter. If you come between November 11th and March 19th, you can enjoy their marvelous Winterbier, a lower-octane dark Zwickelbier. It’s exclusive to the Andechs Bräustüberl so another reason for a pilgrimage. This is indeed a beer worth the walk.
Ammersee in late winter, snowy trail to Andechs and their Winterbier
Details on the hike to Andechs are in my book Beer Hiking Bavaria. If you prefer a guided hike, I’ve been doing this walk since 1997. Have a look at my tours below and enjoy a carefree day in the outskirts of Munich.
Public Tours are open so you can join other travelers/Private Tours are closed so you or your group have it reserved for yourselves.