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Autumn in Bavaria

Enjoy the Colorful Beauty of Bavaria During This Quiet Season

Before it is getting cold, autumn offers some really nice days for visitors of Bavaria. Temperatures are mostly mild, culture is showing itself especially traditional and the landscape is colorful and charming. Moreover, everything is a bit quieter and less hectic in the third season of the year.

The Best Time For Hiking

Moderate temperatures and a gorgeous landscape stir the 'wanderlust'. Benefit from the autumn atmosphere to experience Bavaria away from the loud and crowded places. We recommend you to try one of the many pilgrim paths that run through Bavaria: How about walking on the the traces of Pope Benedikt or parts of the Way of St. James which run through Bavaria. Another autumn highlight – even though the person it is dedicated to was far from being a saint – is the King Ludwig Trail, which leads along the castles and life stations of Swan King Luis.

Whatever trail you choose, you will deeply experience Bavaria, its people, and its traditions. For more hiking recommendations, see our hiking special.

Traditional Festivals

Autumn is a time of celebration. In almost all communities big, traditional festivals and fairs take place. Mostly, they have their origin in the agricultural and religious past of Bavaria. Such as for example the many 'Kirchweih-Feste', the parish fairs. In olden times, each parish had its own 'Kirchweih', taking place on the namesday of a church's patron saint. The official church deemed it inappropriate to offer so many opportunities for celebration. Therefore it introduced a general date for all parish fairs. This is the third Sunday in October, however, some parishes use this rule to hold the Kirchweih twice! Be that as it may, you will find many fairs, parades and markets which trace their origin back to traditional 'Kirchweih' celebrations. Moreover, many inns are offering roasts and other typical Bavarian culinary specialities on Kirchweih-Sunday.

We have listed some of the most important and best-known autumn-fairs here:

08/23 - 09/08 Autumn Fair Nuremberg
08/29 - 09/02 Gillamoos in Abensberg
08/31 - 09/01 Wiking's Market at Walchensee
09/11 - 09/23 Old Town Festival Nuremberg
09/21 - 09/22 Textile Market Benediktbeuern
09/21 - 10/06 Oktoberfest in Munich
09/28 - 10/06 Kirta in Altötting
09/28 - 10/09 Michaelis-Kirchweih in Fürth
10/03 - 10/06 "Herbstzauber" (Magic Autumn) in Bad Tölz
10/11 - 10/14 Gallimarkt Mainburg
10/12 - 10/20 Memminger Jahrmarkt (Fair)
10/18 - 10/22 Kirchweih in Hersbruck
10/18 - 10/23 Dingolfinger Kirta (Fair)
10/19 - 10/27 Kirchweihdult in Munich, Mariahilfplatz
10/25 - 11/03 Kathreinemarkt Kempten
10/26 - 11/03 Autumn Fair in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
11/06 Leonhardi Market in Murnau
11/08 - 11/11 Martinikirchweih in Herzogenaurach

Almabtrieb - Bringing In The Cattle From The Pastures

Another spectacle is the so called 'Almabtrieb' or 'Viehscheid', the procession that takes place when cattle is being brought down from the mountain pastures in September or October. This can be watched in many Bavarian mountain regions, especially in the Allgäu and in Upper Bavaria. The 'Almabtrieb' festivals are often being accompagnied by village fairs or markets. The highlight of the 'Almabtrieb', however, is the arrival of the cattle. If the cows have all been healthy and well this summer, they will be richly decorated. Farmers are very serious about this tradition, so don't be disappointed if the cattle arrives without any decoration. Accidents and illnesses happen, so there is always a chance that the cows arrive without their adornments. One of the best-known events of this kind is the one in Schönau at Lake Königssee. The animals from the two farms 'Saletalm' and 'Fischunkelalm' are being transported via boats as this is the only way the mountain meadows of these farms can be reached. The date for this event is not yet fixed but it usually takes place end of September, beginning of October. For the exact date contact the tourism board of the Berchtesgadener Land.

During the 'Farmers' Weeks' in the village of Mittenwald you can watch several kinds of cattle being brought in from the summer pastures. Starting with 1. September, there will be an 'Almabtrieb' on the first three weekends of the month. First, the goats are brought in, followed by the sheep on 8. September. The next day, there is the 'Viehscheid' which means that the sheep are being given to their respective owners. On 16. September the cows come home, so to speak. Markets, festivals, music and other celebrations accompany this autumnal tradition. More information on the 'Farmers' Weeks' can be found on the website of 'Alpenwelt Karwendel'.

In the Nature Park Altmuehltal you can watch the arrival of sheep coming from the summer meadows. The event is also celebrated with a wool and crafts market. This festival takes place on the 29. and 30. September, starting at 10:00 a.m. in Böhming near Kipfenberg.

There are far more 'Almabtrieb' festivals in Bavaraia than we can name here. A comprehensive list of their dates can be found on the German website

City Tours

The weeks before the big Christmas shopping starts are a good time for a relaxed stroll through Bavaria's cities. The five biggest of them, Munich, Nuremberg, Augsburg, Regensburg, and Würzburg – not to mention the many smaller but nonetheless charming and interesting towns – have so much to offer that visitors will find it hard to decide: shopping, going to a museum, explore history, visit a concert? Anyway, Bavaria's cities are always worth visiting, and not only for a shopping spree!

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