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Partnach Gorge (Partnachklamm)

From: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

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ABOVE: The Partnachklamm is a whitewater experience that you can enjoy without piloting a kayak. INSET BELOW: A well-maintained path with tunnels leads visitors through the gorge.

The Partnach Gorge, or Partnachklamm, is a "don't miss" attraction on any visit to the Bavarian alpine resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

photoThe gorge, which acts as a natural conduit for the Partnach River, runs 700 meters or 2,305 feet between limestone walls that reach 80 meters (262 feet) high. A series of galleries and tunnels has been carved out of the rock along one side, allowing visitors to walk along the rushing river and duck behind waterfalls.

The Partnachklamm is open year-round except for a short time in the spring when melting snow makes the route impassable.

When to visit:

Summer. In July and August, the Partnachklamm offers a refreshing break from summer heat. If you're ambitious and in good shape, you can continue on for another eight or nine hours to the glacier near the top of the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain. (Follow these directions, and plan to spend the night at an alpine hut along the way.)

Winter. In the cold months, the Partnach Gorge is a magical place of ice and snow formations. You can bundle up in your warmest clothes for a guided torchlight tour through the gorge, followed by a short climb up to the top for a glass of hot spiced wine or a fondue dinner at the Forsthaus Graseck. Afterwards, you descend to the valley by the hotel's private gondola.

How to reach the Partnachklamm:

Walk, drive, or take local bus 1 or 2 from central Garmisch or Partenkirchen to the Skistadion or Olympic Ski Stadium. (If you're staying overnight in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, you can ride the bus free with your Visitors Card. The card will also entitle you to a discount on the modest entrance fee to the Partnachklamm.)

From the Skistadion, follow the signs for the 30-minute walk into the Partnach Gorge. Transportation by horsedrawn carriage is available for a modest fee. You'll also find a refreshment stand near the gorge entrance.

Opening times:

The Partnachklamm is open 7 days a week except during the spring snow melt. For more information, visit www.partnachklamm.eu and download the English-language brochure in PDF format. Another good resource is the highlighted Google satellite-photo map on Partnachklamm-info.de.



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