The Flosslände (raft launch) in Thalkirchen is not only the world's oldest river wave enjoyed by surfers, it is also a green recreational area situated on the banks of the Isar: Here, visitors can kayak, splash in the natural pool, golf and camp.
The road of water sports – that's what you could call the “Zentralländstrasse”, which meanders in parallel with the Isar river in the south of Munich. In addition to several kayak clubs, the Naturbad Maria Einsiedel (outdoor swimming pool) is located here, as well as the oldest surfable river wave in the world. In addition, it is also home to Munich’s last remaining Flosslände.
A Flosslände is a landing stage for rafts, of which there used to be several in the city – both on the Isar and in the city's streams. The only remaining one is found in Thalkirchen. Constructed in 1899, it was not used for very long before the railroad took over from transport rafts. Before that, wood, goods and food arrived in Munich by raft.
Today, the raft launch in Thalkirchen is only used by the tourist rafting industry: up to 600 rafts – some even with a band and beer bench on them – pass through here annually. They all start in Wolfratshausen and can be booked with private providers. The raft launch area is also home to the restaurant Gaststätte Zentrallände, a 19th century villa, as well as the Thalkirchen campsite and the golf club, Münchener Golf Club e.V.
The Thalkirchen campsite is one of the few campsites located in the city and not in the surrounding area. Although it enjoys real popularity all year round, it is especially sought after for the Oktoberfest, when all hotels and hostels are fully booked – just a little insider tip for you. There is often still a spot free here; it is also the cheapest place to stay and is even located in the middle of the countryside. You also have the Isarauen (river meadows) a stone’s throw away, and by heading just a few minutes along the subway U6, you can arrive right at the heart of the city.
The Flosslände wave is a great wave for those new to surfing, as it is not quite as daunting as the Eisbach river wave. In more ways than one, given that spectators rarely loose their way and end up here. This is especially surprising if you know the story: Visitors have been able to ride the wave here since 1972, making it the oldest river wave in the world for surfing – long before the Eisbach.
The scenery though is very similar: The artificial wave is located directly under a bridge from which you have a great view to watch the hustle and bustle. The wave can be enjoyed between the months of May and September and only during certain daytime opening times. The best way to get there is by bus 135 and stopping at Flosslände.
Another highlight in Thalkirchen, which would otherwise not be possible without the Isar, is the Naturbad Maria Einsiedel – Munich's only fully ecological outdoor swimming pool. Following its renovation in 2006, the water found in the natural pools is cleaned with micro-organisms instead of chlorine. This takes place in an underground basin – the water quality is better by the way than you would find in a bathing lake. The highlight, however, is the 400-metre-long (and ice-cold) Isar canal, where you can simply drift across the entire breadth of the pool itself.