Where to ski in Germany ...

28th August 2009, by Chris Gill

We don’t get huge requests for coverage of German ski resorts, but we get a few. So, for the first time Where to Ski and Snowboard has introduced the country to the new edition of the book (out in September).

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the best known German ski resort: the twin-town resort that fills the valley bottom beneath the Zugspitze - the country’s highest mountain. Short transfers from Munich make it a good short-break destination. With the resort hosting the World Championships in 2011, the time seems right to introduce it; so, we have devoted a separate chapter to it. Garmisch’s small ski area, complete with glacier should amuse competent skiers for a couple of days; the long runs to the valley are challenging enough for most experts, particularly the excellent Kandahar downhill race course. A regional ski pass, the Happy Ski card, also covers nearby Mittenwald (a cute town with an epic ski route) and Austria’s Zugspitz Arena. Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a spacious and pleasant enough place, with plenty of good-value hotels and eateries.

But there are lots of small resorts close to the Austrian border, and others further north that you might not have considered. After Garmisch, you may have heard of Oberstdorf? This resort is the main one in the Allgäu, a region claiming over 300km piste (spread over a number of separate areas) and easily accessible from four airports - Friedrichshafen and Memmingen (currently offered by Ryanair) are the nearest. It borders Austria’s Vorarlberg region. Oberstdorf has a good snow record and boasts Germany’s longest piste. South of here you enter the Kleinwalsertal (which belongs to Austria, strangely). Nearby are the Kanzelwand and Fellhorn areas, which together form the largest and most modern German ski area. Or you could try Oberjoch? Pfronten even?

There are some outlying German resorts worth considering for a short stay too, such as Lenggries - again close to Munich. What you may be surprised to read about are the number of areas away from the Alps, in central Germany - lower and wooded mountains with appealing cross-country trails but also modest amounts of downhill. Feldberg in the Black Forest has 28 lifts and 50km/31 miles of piste, for example. For more, get hold of WTSS 2010 ...

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