Fresh air, green valleys, snow-capped peaks and breathtaking panoramas: the Alps have so much to offer and not only to the avid hikers. The dramatic mountain range offers incredible diversity across eight countries. But, there are by no means only mountains to be seen – you will find several exciting attractions in the Alps; here are our top 5 picks of the most exciting.
In 1869 the Bavarian King Ludwig II commissioned Neuschwanstein Castle. The king only lived in the castle for a few months before he died, and the complex was completed. Nevertheless, it is one of the king’s most famous castles and is visited by almost 1.5 million tourists every year. Don’t let the crowds put you off, because this fairytale castle is worth it: breathtaking views, an impressive historical interior and the fascinating location make visiting Neuschwanstein Castle simply unforgettable.
Berchtesgaden Salt Mine
Take a look behind the scenes of the oldest active salt mine in Berchtesgaden, Germany. Salt was mined in the plant as early as the 13th century – you can still take the mine train through the ancient factory and don some miner’s overalls. Another highlight is awaiting you even deeper underground: mining slides take you to an underground salt lake – a guaranteed adrenaline rush. The Berchtesgaden salt mine bring the whole family exciting insights into salt mining, bringing history to life with a good dose of action.
While we have so far been in the foothills of the Alps, the next attraction is going up to a lofty 2,128m above sea level. Mount Pilatus is located in Switzerland, south of Lucerne, and offers those who reach it exciting action and relaxation in equal measure. The steepest cog railway in the world leads from Alpnachstad to a breathtaking 2,073m. Adrenaline junkies can practice numerous sports such as paragliding, mountain biking or climbing Mount Pilatus itself. If you prefer to take it a little easier, don’t miss your chance to visit the famous “moon milk hole” or the legendary Pilatussee. On and around Mount Pilatus you will find a perfect mix of action, relaxation and fascinating sights, which makes the mountain one of the most exciting Alpine destinations.
We continue through to Austria. On the outskirts of Krimml in the Hohe Tauern National Park, you will find the Krimml Waterfalls – the highest waterfalls in Austria with a height of 385m. The first tourists came to the waterfalls as early as the 18th century. Today the Krimml Waterfalls are one of the great attractions in Austria. You can explore the surrounding area on foot through various hiking trails and will always be rewarded with impressive views. In the summer months, the waterfall path leads you up close to the mighty waterfalls. Being able to observe this fascinating force of nature up close makes the Krimml Waterfalls one of the top Alpine attractions.
Villa del Balbianello
A famous film set, heavenly garden, with Mediterranean flair on Lake Como – this Alpine attraction is something very special. The Villa del Balbianello can be found in the Italian Alps. It lies at the tip of the Lavedo Peninsula in Lenno. The stately home was built in 1787 and is our insider tip when exploring the Alps. You can visit the beautiful garden with cypresses, oaks, green meadows, but also steep rocky plains from March to October. The Villa del Balbianello was also the location for the films “Summer by the Lake” with Vanessa Redgrave, “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” and “James Bond – Casino Royale”. Feel like a Hollywood star on Lake Como, walk between green cypresses and see the majestic Alps in the background – Villa del Balbianello is well worth a visit.