Adventure tour: Rafting on the Isar

2. August 2019

A Karwendel adventure of a special kind? Of course our intern Florian wouldn’t say no to that! He got to experience the Karwendel mountains and the river Isar from a new, very exciting side. He hiked to the source of the river and took the easy way out: the kayak. He tells us about his experiences on the blog.

Back to the source: Where the Isar is born

The hike to the source of the Isar leads along the crystal clear waters of the river. The turquoise spring water makes its way from the Karwendel mountains through Munich all the way to the Danube (Donau) river. The small stream will soon grow to be the fourth largest river in Bavaria. Today we get to experience both sides of the river: it’s innocent and tame source that is hidden in the wood. And its wild side with rapids and powerful waters.

Entering the valley by foot …

But before we can do all that, we have to get to the kayak entry point deep in the Hinterautal valley. From Scharnitz you quickly reach the entrance of the valley that was shaped by the river Isar. We will follow the valley for about 10 kilometres all the way to the famous cairns (little towers made of stones) on the banks of the Isar. By the way, you could also do this hike as an e-bike tour.


Before we change to the adventurous means of transport, the kayaks, we first go to the source of the Isar, cool off a little and enjoy the fresh water directly from the spring. Although I come from the region, I am here for the first time and at the sight of the fairytale-like surroundings I wonder why. But now I’m sure it wasn’t the last time!

… and leaving it on the water

In the meantime, the outdoor company Faszinatour brings the canadier rafts (a kayak for two) to the starting point and prepares everything for the most exciting part of the tour.
After a short break we got a detailed briefing with safety instructions. I am getting just as nervous as excited!


Then it’s time to get into the waves of the Isar. In teams of two and accompanied by four guides we ride down the river. We ride through rapids, winding sections as well as calmer, more relaxed sections. While we admire the beautiful, unique nature of the Karwendel and the turquoise water, we try not to go swimming (we prefer to save this part for the end of the tour). For a short moment it doesn’t feel like we are in the Alps, but in the untouched nature of New Zealand. In hardly any other place you can experience these impressions as intensively as in the two-seater Canadian.


A wild journey through the Karwendel later we arrive back in Scharnitz. With a big grin on our faces we go ashore. I am sure of one thing: I will remember this experience for a very long time!

Further links:

Hike to the source of the river Isar

Karwendel Nature Park

Source of the Isar

Tour recommendation: With the e-bike to the source of the Isar

Faszinatour Outdoor Company

Fotos: Lisa Krenkel, Melanie Klotz

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