Those hiking the Tyrolean long-distance Eagle's Trail may access the Achensee resorts from east or west.
Holidaymakers not travelling on foot will find north and south the only choices. The route of the road between the Inn valley and Bavaria dates back centuries. The original trail transported timber and trade goods between the regions.
The road access is easier these days, although high season traffic can make the journey to Lake Achen a slow one.
Trains and the local bus service link the Achensee villages to the Inn valley with public transport, sometimes free with a reservation.
Those arriving by air will often find the Inn valley the most convenient route to access the lake.
Drivers arriving from the north usually head for Munich and then south. Drivers on the motorway can bypass Munich on the eastern side and drop down to the Holzkirchen exit. Two routes lead from Holzkirchen: south to the Tegernsee and the country roads to Austria or via Bad Tölz and Lenggries to the Sylvensteinsee reservoir.
Drivers coming from Munich city have a third choice: head down the A95 towards Garmisch-Partenkirchen before exiting the motorway at Wolfratshausen and taking the small roads to Bad Tölz.
Those arriving by car from all other directions should use the Inn valley motorway. (Austria charges a motorway toll but they are still far quicker than the normal roads.) The Achensee exit is near Jenbach. Here the B181 climbs to a spectacular viewpoint over the Inn valley. A short climb leads to a flatter section near Eben. The junction at Maurach is where the roads to Pertisau and Achenkirch part ways.
Jenbach is the closest main line train station for the Achensee. The stop on the Inn valley rail line links into the international services between Innsbruck, Salzburg and Munich. Rail enthusiasts can take the steam cog railway up to the lake, but those arriving for the first time will probably want to use the quicker and cleaner local bus service. This bus is free to holidaymakers holding a confirmed reservation in the lakeside villages.
Tegernsee rail station in Germany is the alternative for those arriving from the north. The BOB (Bayrische Oberlandbahn) regional train line from Munich serves the Tegernsee, with onward travel either by twice-daily local bus service to the Achensee or by taxi.
Innsbruck Airport is easily the most convenient airport for visitors to the Achensee. Only 50km from the lake, the airport is on Innsbruck’s western edge convenient for a motorway exit. Car drivers should head down the Inn valley motorway to Jenbach, where the B181 climbs up to Eben.
Salzburg Airport and Munich are similar in distance. With Salzburg, drivers have two choices. The first takes the direct route on the B181 through Lofer and Ellmau (only 125km) while the other is longer (nearly 150km) but usually quicker on the German motorway past Chiemsee lake. Drivers then cut south near Rosenheim to access the Inn valley motorway to Jenbach.
Munich Airport is only 125km away from the lake when taking the shortest route, which uses the motorway south to Holzkirchen before cutting across country to Bad Tölz and the Sylvenstein reservoir. Alternatively drivers can head for the Tegernsee and then can take the road through the Bavarian alpine foothills.
The map below marks the closest international airports to Lake Achen.
Use the controls on the right to zoom in and out. Left-click on the map and drag the mouse to move to different parts of the map. Click on the symbol to see more information about it.