It is no wonder that Germany, a country boasting of gold-medalist skiers and bobsledders, would have some of the most spectacular winter sports destinations in the world. From the Harz Mountains in the north to Zugspitze in the south, the country offers endless opportunities for skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, snow hiking, snowboarding, and snow-paragliding for the entire family.
The winter sports season in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen region stretches from October well into spring. The region offers an unbeatable wealth of winter sports – over 110 km of cross-country ski runs, 118 km of downhill skiing, snow hikes past frozen lakes and through snow-covered forests, horse-sleigh tours, snowboarding, sledding, Nordic cruising, and ice skating, plus the Bavarian sport of snow curling. Zugspitze, the highest peak in Germany and the country’s only glacier, is the region’s most loved winter sports resort where thousands of adrenaline-seekers head every winter.
The imposing Harz Mountains are not only one of the most romantic regions in Germany, but also one of the most athletic. Name any winter sport, and this region offers it. Its 500 km of cross-country ski slopes through snow-blanketed forests are irresistible for thrill-seekers. Also, athletes can indulge in snowboarding, snowshoeing, snow hiking, and ice-skating in various locations. Wernigerode is the most popular spot in Harz Mountains for varied winter sports, while Sonnenberg is a famous ski resort. Travelers also get to cheer at ice hockey tournaments and enjoy amazing ice-skating conditions in Braunlage.
Allgäu spoils travelers with breathtaking vistas and wonderful winter sport conditions. The region offers hundreds of kilometers of ski slopes of varying difficulty and fairy-tale forests for snow hiking. The most popular ski resorts in Allgäu are Nebelhorn, Fellhorn, Oberjoch, and Hörnerbahn. Travelers who don’t wish to participate in sports can still enjoy the region with romantic horse carriage rides.
The Lake Tegernsee region is a paradise for toboggan and snow-tube enthusiasts. The area boasts several fantastic sled runs. Among these, Wallberg is famous for Germany’s longest natural sled run. This track is 6.5 km long and 825 meters high and promises 30 minutes of unbeatable thrill. Visitors reach the top of the run via a cable car before embarking on the adventure of gliding down snow-covered forests. Sleds can be hired on the spot.
Sauerland is one of the less touristy but an incredible winter sports destination for the whole family. Head to Bestwig and Meschede for skiing, snowboarding, and sledding, or snow hike along with the incredible landscapes of Bad Berleburg. Beginner skiers can put their skills to test in Brilon while experienced skiers can go cross-country skiing in Medebach. With its snow cannons producing artificial snow, Winterberg ensures that winter fun continues well into spring.
The Ore Mountain range, shared by Germany and the Czech Republic, spoils visitors with the sheer diversity of winter sports it offers. It has some of the most favorable ski conditions in Europe for adults as well as children and exciting cross-country ski trails. Additionally, the Ore Mountains offer endless winter fun in the form of snowkiting, snowboarding, mushing, snowshoeing, and snow tubing. Oberwiesenthal, Germany’s highest town, is a favorite for daredevil skiers while novice skiers head to the Kammloipe Mountain for their reputed ski course. The Altenberg bobsled in the Ore Mountains is one of the largest in the world, and Fichtelberg is known for its artificial snow-making process and snowparks.
The Black Forest
The fairy-tale quotient of the Black Forest reaches its peak in winter. The region appeals to sports enthusiasts with 170 ski-lifts, 250 kilometers of downhill ski slopes, 22 ski jumps, and over 1700 km of cross-county ski-tracks. Feldberg Mountain is the biggest and most popular resort for skiers in the Black Forest. Other winter sports destinations in the Black Forest are Kniebis Mountain, Mehliskopf Mountain, and Bühlertal Valley along the Black Forest Panorama Road (Schwarzwaldhochstraße). The Black Forest also offers winter sports courses for beginners as well as experts.