Skiers in Germany can pick from a choice of Alpine resorts or even combine a Munich city break with a quick run downhill in the nearby mountains.
Granted, if you do a quick Google search for skiing in Germany, you won’t get a list as long as the one for France. However, that’s exactly why hitting the slopes in the German Alps is such a good idea. No high-rise developments and mega skiing. German ski resorts have kept their original character. Everything is a bit smaller, a bit more old-fashioned maybe but also a lot more gemütlich (cosy) with mountain huts and bags full of character.
There’s Garmisch-Partenkirchen, for example, home of the 1936 Winter Olympics, host of the 2011 World Ski Championships and arguably the country’s major winter sports destinations. The Zugspitze, a glacier and Germany’s highest mountain with 2,962 metres, is skiable from early autumn to late spring and together with the Alpspitze has 62 km of slopes. In preparation for the World Ski Championships next year, lifts were modernised and the famous Kandahar downhill run was modified.
Skiing in Germany: cosy mountain huts and bags of character
Berchtesgaden and its surrounding area with 50 km of pistes is less well known internationally but for many who know it a real Alpine gem. The town is situated at the foot of the Jenner mountain and the Berchtesgadener Land region is a good place for family skiing holidays with a wide choice of easy slopes and skiing schools for children. Since 2005, Berchtesgaden also offers something for luxury lovers with the five-star InterContinental Berchtesgaden Resort, calling itself Germanys’ first “Mountain Resort”. Shaped like a horseshoe and providing maximum mountain views with all-round glass on all four room floors, its modern design is not everyone’s cup of tea. For some, however, the luxurious interior including a mountain spa is the fulfilment of their dreams.
Then there’s the Allgäu region in south-west Bavaria as Germany’s largest skiing area with about 500 km of slopes and towns like Oberstdorf and Oberstaufen. Or Oberammergau, the Passion Play village where the Royal Air Force trains every year. Or Ruhpolding, another one of those hidden gems, in the Chiemgau region and three great mountains for skiing. The list goes on.
Last but now least, there’s one specific skiing holiday feature that stands out in Germany: Munich, Germany’s third biggest city, is within easy reach of a number of resorts which means going skiing can be combined with a city break. Garmisch-Partenkirchen , smaller resorts such as Spitzingsee and Schliersee or Oberammergau are all conveniently accessible by car or public transport with special bus or trains offers for some of the destinations. A – by the way, very affordable - day of skiing can be followed up with a night on the town in one of Munich’s many fabulous restaurants and stylish bars. Just another of many Germany skiing ideas.