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Explore your Backyard
The Girls on SUPs are on the road with their inflatable boards all over the world. Whether on the ocean or a mountain lake. But as much as they have already seen - their love for the lakes in the region is at least as great as their passion to explore the unknown far away. And the current pandemic situation makes them realize once again how beautiful it actually is "at home."
Anja made this very cool map where you can see the „five lakes region“ close to Munich, Germany. Their homelake Wörthsee s one of the five lakes. It shows also some of the other lakes nearby.
In this feature Anja and Julia present their favorite SUP spots in the region around Munich: Walchensee, Wörthsee and Pilsensee. All three of them are definitely worth a tour, so definitely you should check out their tips hereafter!
Plus you can win a Fly Air Pocket SUP of your choice, by entering out "Explore your Backyard" Photo Competion!
Anyone who hears about crystal-clear, turquoise, 25-degree water is sure to think of the Caribbean or Hawaii, but not of Upper Bavaria. But that's exactly what our first spot has to offer: Lake Wörthsee, which we affectionately call our Homelake, is also only a good half hour away from Munich. Whether it's for a day trip or just a little after-work round - the drive here is always worth it. We usually start from the Rossschwemme. This launch site on the western shore has a sunbathing lawn, a kiosk and a parking lot right on the lake.
When we spend a whole day on the water, we take some food and drink with us, slather on some good sunscreen and head out. Mostly in the direction of the south. Because there, after a few minutes of paddling, the first revelation awaits - the water gets shallower and lighter. Until at some point it is really turquoise and you could actually get the feeling that you are paddling in the Caribbean. Only that the fish under the board is in doubt a catfish and not a shark.
If you paddle further south, you will pass the so-called mouse island. Here you have to be especially careful, because the island is on the one hand private property and on the other hand nature reserve and so you are only allowed to approach it in a few meters distance. But don't worry about accidentally driving into the area - if you pay attention, you can easily see the red buoys that say so. The water around Mouse Island is simply breathtakingly beautiful. First comes a section that is a bit deeper - that's why the water there is dark blue. But as you round the island at the southernmost tip, the water quickly becomes shallower again, incredibly clear and quite bright turquoise. A beautiful place to have a snack on the board. There is nothing better for us than to escape the crowds at the lido in summer, to paddle in a relaxed way and to have a nice snack alone, in peace. Without crowds at the kiosk.
At the southern end of the Wörthsee you pass a few pretty pontoons, but in summer they are always quite full with bathers. A little tip for those who don't mind getting up early: the piers are the perfect place to watch the sunrise. The sunrises at the Wörthsee are indescribably beautiful and colorful. But be careful: be sure to wear mosquito spray and long clothes - the mosquitoes love the sunrise at least as much as you do. ;)
If you do a lake circumnavigation, you will know at the end what you have done - once around it is about 10 kilometers. A wonderful workout if you want to do the loop sportive - and a great route to do it leisurely with breaks on a nice summer day. And of course it's also worth jumping off the SUP into the water!
You can experience the sunset on the way back from the northeastern part of the lake. Because it is no less impressive than the sunrise. At the bathing place with the kiosk called "Kiosko" you can enjoy a cool Aperol Spritz and a delicious pizza after your "work" is done and let the day end. That's the way we like it the most! :) Even though we've done about a thousand paddling tours on the Wörthsee - it never gets boring and is always worth a visit.
It's not called the "Bavarian Caribbean" for nothing. On one hand, Walchensee is the second deepest lake in Germany and thus dark blue in the deep places, and on the other hand, the water is so clear and turquoise that you can't believe that you're actually in the German foothills of the Alps and only 75 kilometers away from Munich. The water is so clear that you can look 8 - 10 meters deep on average. The lake owes its turquoise-green color to the relatively high percentage of calcium carbonate. Paddling here is truly breathtaking. The first time you paddle on Walchensee, you can't help but be amazed. Not only because of the color of the water - bordered in the north by the mountain massifs of the Herzogstand and Jochberg, the Walchensee in the south gives the view of the summit panorama of the Karwendel mountains. So if you have a whole day to do a SUP tour, you will find everything your water sports heart desires here.
When we go to Walchensee, we start from Munich in the morning, with a picnic and plenty of water in our luggage to take full advantage of the day. There are two perfect starting points for us. One is on the west shore in the village of Walchensee. Shortly before leaving the village, you will find a small parking lot directly on the water on the lake side, where you can wonderfully pump up the SUPs in peace and then start on the water in a northerly direction. You paddle along this arm of the lake for a while, past small wooden boathouses and a chapel, until the whole lake opens up to you with all its beauty. Water as far as the eye can see and these majestic mountains all around. Simply breathtaking! And it really is every time we paddle there. And we have been there many times. If you keep to the right along the shore, you head for a pasture where a herd of cattle usually awaits you. With luck there are also babies. We like to moor there to take a break.
By the way, we always transport towels to sit on and a small cooler bag with the snack in our large 33L Drybags from ION on the boards. Everything fits comfortably in there and stays dry. If you paddle further along the shore, you can make a wonderful tour down to the south shore. Past wildly grown trees, bushes, meadows and the one or other hiker who makes his way. If you paddle down to the south shore and back to the starting point, you'll be on your way for about 10 kilometers. If you have a whole day, you can easily do it - even if you paddle relaxed and take a break. But there is one thing you should never underestimate at Walchensee and especially not ignore in your preparation: the wind! The wind is a big issue here.
The Walchensee is well known among kitesurfers and windsurfers. Because here, the surrounding mountains create a special thermal and when the wind freshens up here, it can be very uncomfortable for standup paddlers. Because especially with an inflatable SUP you have a lot of buoyancy and if the wind comes from the "wrong". Direction, it carries you insanely fast where you do not want to go and you can hardly do anything against it. Even as an experienced and trained paddler, you hardly have a chance to counteract it. If you are lucky, it will come from the side - but then you have to be very secure on the board and have enough power. Small basic rule: If you see that kiters or windsurfers are on the water, that's not the moment you should go out on the SUP. ;) But the most important thing - like before any outdoor activity - is to check the weather. And here especially pay attention to the wind. Because it is not uncommon that it is many hours a day almost windless and then the wind suddenly freshens up. But this can be planned very well with the help of weather or wind apps.
A second great place to start is the south shore. There are over 8 kilometers of small lawns over which you can get in great, or even set up a day base. Just unload everything there, take your camping stove and spend the day on the water. Tip: if you look for a nice place at the eastern end of the south shore (direction Niedernach) you can paddle to the small island called Sassau. But beware: it is a nature reserve! Entering it is forbidden at any time of the year. But just paddling around it, soaking up the beautiful nature and jumping into the clear, cool water in summer is simply priceless. If you paddle from Niedernach and go around the island, you will cover a distance of about 5 kilometers.
Our conclusion: the Walchensee has the nickname "Bavarian Caribbean" quite rightly. Because there is a lot to discover and the watercolor in combination with the mountains is breathtaking. By the way, if you want to spend a day here in high summer, you should start early. Parking is limited. And if you want to spend time on the south shore, you should bring cash - because you can only reach it by car via a toll road - cost: 5 Euros.
For all those who want to do a little SUP round from Munich in the evening after work or maybe want to camp directly at the lake, Lake Pilsen is a cool alternative. Along with the Wörthsee, Starnbergersee, Ammersee and Wesslingersee, it is also part of the Fünf-Seenland and is only a few kilometers away from the Wörthsee. One simply drives the A96 as to the Wörthsee, turns however after the departure from the freeway on the right and not on the left. After about 10 minutes, among other things over a beautiful country road, which is lined by fabulous avenue trees, you arrive at the Pilsensee. Enter "Campingplatz Pilsensee" into the navigation system and you will find the right parking lot. From there it is about 100 - 200 meters to the water. Depending on where you find a parking space.
The Pilsensee is quiet and with a length of 2.7 kilometers and a width of 1 kilometer manageable. If you do a lake circuit you are 6.5 kilometers and pass a small, beautiful wooden hut (SUP rental), a small harbor and beautiful water lilies. And even if it is tempting to take a photo in the middle of the water lilies: please never paddle in. There are a lot of small animals living there, which you will disturb and in case of doubt you will also destroy the plants. Back at the entrance you will find a small restaurant with a terrace that offers a view to the east. Here you can have a snack and enjoy a cold beer or a refreshing Aperol Spritz. AND: you can also watch the sunset super nice from here.