North of Mittenwald, the unequal twin lakes of Walchensee and Kochelsee are connected by a twisting, scenic pass across the narrow ridge of the Kocheler Berge. The 300m difference in altitude between the two has been used to generate electricity since 1924, and there’s a visitor centre at the hydroelectric power station, Erlebniskraftwerk Walchensee (daily 9am–5pm). Walchensee is the bigger and higher of the two lakes, ringed by wooded mountains and with enough wind to ensure it’s a popular spot for windsurfing and dinghy sailing in summer. Kochelsee is altogether less wild, the mountains on its southern shore giving way to a gentle, pastoral landscape to the north.

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