Skiing in Germany

By Vesi

Skiing has never been more popular in Germany than it is now, where 14.6 million Germans annually enjoy hitting the slopes for fun. Zugspitze, with an elevation of 2962m is an iconic ski area situated close to Austria and makes up part of Germany’s highest peak – its popular ski area being accessible via Austria as well.

There are also plenty of smaller ski areas with family-oriented pistes, many of which can be reached via train – such as Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Feldberg in the Black Forest.

1. Harz

Germans treat the Harz Mountains like their own mini-Black Forest, featuring densely wooded hills with low, rounded peaks, snug valleys and small villages and resort towns that serve as pleasant bases for outdoor activities. This rugged range is famed for its folklore and legends – especially regarding Brocken which towers bare above tree line to an atmospheric summit that makes an apt place for Goethe’s Walpurgisnacht scene from Faust.

Harz is an ideal winter ski destination with its top-of-the-line facilities and slopes suitable for all abilities, making Altenau (including Torfhaus), Bad Lauterberg, Braunlage, Hohegeiss and Sankt Andreasberg major towns equipped with ski lifts.

Ski touring is a popular pastime here due to the diverse terrain and stunning scenery, offering stunning views of snow-covered forests and valleys. Schierke to Brocken is recommended, while those seeking something a little more challenging should consider one of several routes leading up to 1,141m-high Wernigerode.

Harz National Park offers winter hikers a picturesque hiking destination, with over 500 kilometers of trails for exploration. Visitors should keep their eyes peeled for red deer, roe deer, wild boar and the hard-to-spot lynx which was successfully reintroduced back into its habitat in 2000 after successfully being introduced back into its ecosystem.

The Harz is an ideal destination for an unforgettable adventure with friends or your special someone. Not only can you explore its breathtaking landscapes, but there are numerous museums and castles scattered throughout this beautiful region which will open their doors for exploration as well. There are also many events in Wernigerode, such as the Waldviertel Festival and Christmas Market. After your adventures of the day have come to a close, return to your cozy hotel and share local beers with family or friends in an enjoyable stay. Harz in winter offers the perfect setting to make memories that will last a lifetime. For more information about available activities in Harz, contact your local tourist office who can suggest tour operators and accommodations tailored specifically to meet your requirements.

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2. Zugspitze

Zugspitze stands at 2,962 meters (9,718 feet). Situated along Germany’s border with Austria, its summit and surrounding ski area offer stunning wintertime snowscapes – as well as panoramic views spanning four countries! On a clear day.

Skiing or snowboarding on the Zugspitze is a bucket list experience for many skiers and snowboarders, and is especially appealing to experienced athletes. Though the terrain can be steep, there are runs suitable for every level and multiple lifts to help navigate your way around it.

High elevation also contributes to keeping the slopes in good condition, with some runs providing challenging runs for intermediate skiers while others are suitable for novice skiers and children. A Kinderland area featuring gentle slopes is located adjacent to Hausberg train station where there’s also an easy slopes ski school and Kinderlandticket is sold; these tickets include use of both lifts as well as Kinderland.

Adult tickets to the ski area without transportation cost EUR45 for one day; there are family rates as well. A two-day top snow ticket, which includes transport from Garmisch Partenkirchen (Zugspitze and Garmisch Classic), Grainau, Ehrwald and Lermoos is also available.

It may not be huge, but this small area has long been a beloved winter getaway spot. Particularly popular at the start and finish of each ski season when other parts of Germany have yet to come alive with skiing activity, its slopes can often be quiet while providing great opportunities for learning with several ski schools offering English-language instructors available on-site.

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While on the mountain, make sure not to miss exploring the Erlebniswelt Gletscher museum and taking in breathtaking views – plus, don’t forget that one-off beer at one of the restaurants on its summit!

3. Fichtelberg

With the “InterSkiRegion Fichtelberg/Klinovec” lift pass you have access to all attractive ski areas on either side of the German-Czech border – Fichtelberg (1,215) offers 16 kilometers of piste while Keilberg in Czech Republic provides around 29 more. Both areas boast easy-to-moderately difficult slopes suited for families – 2 km family run and 1,8 km toboggan run are particular favourites among children and parents alike!

Saxony is well-known for its beautiful castles and palaces, charming countryside scenery and vibrant state capital, Dresden. However, the federal state also offers plenty of skiing opportunities on reliably snow-covered slopes including its highest peak – Fichtelberg.

From Oberwiesenthal, you can explore Germany’s oldest cable car and a modern 4-seater chairlift to access the Fichtelberg slopes. The area is especially family-friendly with mostly easy slopes and a ski kindergarden; plus there’s also a terrain park and six magic carpets to help beginners learn.

Expert skiers will find both a 1.3 kilometer FIS run and freestyle area at Klinovec, another Czech ski location nearby, while freestylers may prefer Klinovec’s steep and challenging terrain for freestyling.

Cross-country skiers also frequent this area, taking advantage of its well-groomed network of trails to practice both classic and freestyle cross-country skiing, while ice skaters can use the floodlit toboggan run on designated days.

Fichtelberg winter sport area is located two hours from Berlin and boasts an array of slopes. A shuttle transfer service offers convenient pickup from your front door, eliminating traffic issues in the car during this busy time of year. A 10-hour activity allows participants to spend a day skiing without worrying about traffic; professional guides provide expert tips and guidance throughout their trip to ensure an unforgettable experience!

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4. Oberwiesenthal

Oberwiesenthal is situated near the Czech border and is Germany’s highest town. Offering plenty of terrain suitable for both novice and expert skiers alike, Oberwiesenthal makes an excellent destination.

This location is also a family-friendly winter sports destination, providing plenty of equipment rentals and recreational fun on the slopes. Try your hand at cross-country skiing, ice skating or take an exhilarating ride in the Snowcat. Additionally, Altenberg Eis Kanal provides an opportunity to experience Olympic sport firsthand as Germany excels at bob and skeleton racing; here is your chance to witness it for yourself.

Fichtelberg slopes are well-known for being consistently covered in snow, making this region in Saxony an attractive skiing destination. Alpine and cross-country skiers alike visit, with toboggan runs and even snow kite schools being added as extra attractions for more action-oriented visitors.

Winter hiking trails also abound for those seeking a leisurely stroll, with one of the most renowned being Gabriele Kohlisch Tour, which takes you past Oberwiesenthal ski jumps over 12 kilometers long and can either be completed alone or guided.

The town itself is an impressive sight with its old silver mines and beautiful Neo-Gothic Martin Luther Church, as well as several interesting museums in its vicinity such as Zinngrube Ehrenfriedersdorf Mining Museum where visitors can gain an insight into Ehrenfriedersdorf’s rich mining history.

Oberwiesenthal offers ample opportunities for relaxation among its mountainous scenery, such as taking a winter walk on its natural ice rink or enjoying one of many wellness and health facilities in town. Or just spend your time lounging at one of Oberwiesenthal’s thermal spas or sipping champagne at one of its hotels!

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