When most people think of Europe’s famous alpine skiing, they think of the charming mountain towns of Austria or the mega resorts of France’s Three Valleys. Few travellers immediately think to ski Germany, a country which just pokes up to the soaring glaciers of the Northern Limestone Alps and boasts the highland reaches of beautiful Bavaria. But there are resorts there, and some are certainly worth a look in. Check them out…

Ski Germany
Nebelhorn – Blick von der Dornach Alp | © Polybert49/Flickr

Oberstdorf

Jutting its way into western Austria, just a stone’s throw from the iconic pistes of St Anton am Arlberg, Oberstdorf flaunts the highest elevation of any ski resort in Germany. Topping out at an impressive 2,220 meters, it’s relatively snow-sure across its array of intermediate and beginner groomed runs and 76 kilometers of onetime FIS cross-country tracks. In all, there’s over 120 kilometers of groomed downhill tracks, making this one of the larger resorts for those looking to ski Germany. What’s more, the village of Oberstdorf is a charming affair, nestled deep in its own basin of rugged alpine peaks, surrounded by clutches of fir forests and mountain lakes.


Oberstaufen

Located just along the massifs of the Alps from Oberstdorf, little Oberstaufen is another skiing jewel of Bavarian Swabia. The ski field is actually made up of four separate areas: Going from advanced Hochgrat to the more accessible pistes of Hundle-Thalkirchdorf. The high point is at 1,800 meters, while the snowmaking is top-notch, meaning good conditions from the early season onwards. For beginners, the easy-going greens and nursery slopes of Sinswang are the perfect place to find those ski feet, while the apres here promises hearty Bavarian taverns with a charming Tyrolean vibe.

Ski Germany
Reit im Winkl | © János Korom Dr. >10 Million views/Flickr

Reit im Winkl

Charming little Reit im Winkl is a small village that pokes its way into the Kitzbuheler Alps of northern Austria. Famed for its uber-clean air and curative mountain conditions, the town has also risen in recent years to become one of the top places for winter sportsters looking to ski Germany. Regular record-breaking snowfalls ensure good coverage, imbuing the 42 kilometers of groomed pistes with good enough skiing conditions for a relatively long season (think December to April). The bulk of the runs are intermediate in nature, while modern chairlifts are always being added to improve capacity. Reit im Winkl is definitely one to watch!

Ski Germany
Hoher Göll, Hohes Brett and Schneibstein | © Hardo Müller/Flickr

Berchtesgadener Land

Home to the shimmering Konigsee and the soaring Eagle’s Nest (Hitler’s onetime holiday retreat in the Bavarian Alps), the Berchtesgadener Land is one of the most beautiful areas of Germany’s mountainous south. There are actually several ski resorts peppering the region, going from the gorgeous Jenner Ski Area, with its dramatic panoramas over the Bavarian lakes, to the Gotschen resort, complete with five short and beginner-friendly runs. Closer to the town of Berchesgarten itself, a charming little mountain village of timber homes and Germanic churches, the pistes of Rossfeld and Obersalzberg await.

Bergen

Cascading off the northern reaches of the Chiemgauer Alps, the Bergen region is home to a clutch of good – if small – ski resorts. Inntal and Chiemgau offer a series of small places for those looking to done the salopetes and ski Germany, while it’s the resort of Hochfelln that comes up trumps. With a vertical change of over one kilometer and a smattering of pistes for all levels of skier, the spot has some great facilities. However, perhaps the biggest draw is the site’s accessibility; it can be reached down the autobahn from Munich and Salzburg in Austria across the border.


This guide to the best places to ski Germany is always changing. We’re always looking for better places to add for would-be carvers in the Bavarian hills. If you’ve got any suggestions, please let us know by email or comment!


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