Germany's top 5 ski and snowboard destinations

Germany's top 5 ski and snowboard destinations

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

Winter in Germany doesn’t always mean cold, drab and dreary days. After all, when it’s raining in the cities, it’s often snowing in the mountains. Living in this amazing host country affords ample opportunity to get out and enjoy nature’s splendor in all of its snowy glory. Now that the holidays have passed, it’s time to dust off the boots, skis or boards. Here are five of the top winter sport resorts in Germany.

Arber

A lesser-known and more remote ski resort, Arber is an affordable option for beginner and intermediate-level skiers and snowboarders. Located approximately 1.5 hours east of Regensburg, this winter sports area hugs the Czech border. With more than 10 kilometers of well-groomed slopes and six chairlifts, there are plenty of pistes for visitors to explore.

If you’re a novice to the world of skiing and snowboarding, don’t worry — there are plenty of opportunities to learn at the ski school. Arber is incredibly family-friendly, and even recently installed a chairlift with an automatic restraining bar for children.

Feldberg im Schwarzwald

Approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes south of Stuttgart, Feldberg im Schwarzwald is set among the beautiful backdrop of the Black Forest. Situated along the highest summit in Baden-Württemberg, visitors can actually see the peaks of the Alps on a clear day. Sharing the area with eight resorts, Feldberg is the largest connect resort in the area, and is consistently rated as the best outside of Bavaria.

With more than 120 kilometers of pristine trails, 36 slopes and 38 lifts, Feldberg is fantastic for novice skiers and snowboarders. Already have experience under your belt? There are plenty of intermediate and a few expert runs (including one with World Cup fame) to appease your adrenaline. There is also a snow and terrain park with plenty of fun obstacles for boarders to test their limits on. Not quite feeling the downhill? Feldberg has excellent cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails as well.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen Classic

This wouldn’t be a legitimate list without mentioning the ever-popular Garmisch-Partenkirchen Classic ski resorts. Nestled at the foot of Zugspitze — Germany’s highest mountain — there’s good reason that Garmisch is constantly rated at the top of its game. With three different mountains (Alpspitze, Hausberg and Kreuzeck), there are more than 40 kilometers of slopes and 17 lifts to get you up to some of the finest powder in the country.

While there are plenty of opportunities for ski and snowboard instruction, Garmisch-Partenkirchen Classic is designed more for intermediate and expert-level skiers and boarders. After all, it was here in 1936 that Alpine skiing made its Olympic debut. Many World Cup and championship Alpine ski speed events are held on the infamous Kandahar slope — professionals and experts are known to fly down the hill in two minutes. Need a little pick-me-up after a long day on the mountain? The charming village of Garmisch-Partenkirchen has excellent après-ski and nightlife options.

Oberstdorf-Nebelhorn

Equidistant from both Stuttgart and Munich (approximately 2.5 hours from each location), Oberstdorf-Nebelhorn is tucked away high in the German Alps bordering Switzerland and Austria. This small, yet affordable resort is actually the highest resort in the picturesque Allgäu region in southern Germany. With six lifts covering the 2,224-meter-tall Nebelhorn Mountain, it is a great place for intermediate skiers and snowboarders.

Visitors can take their time heading up the mountain, stopping at three different points along the route. When good weather graces the area, take in the breathtaking panorama from the top — one can see more than 400 snow-capped Alpine peaks jutting into the horizon. Once you’ve experienced nature’s beauty, head down one of Germany’s longest downhill slopes. At 7.5-kilometers-long, you’ll be grateful for the lodge and beverages at the bottom of the mountain.

Steinplatte-Winklmoosalm

Situated right on the German-Austrian border in southern Bavaria, it’s easy to overlook this resort. Without the glitz and glam of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Steinplatte-Winklmoosalm is on the outskirts of the charming town of Reit im Winkl. During the winter, this quaint village is well-known for consistent snowfall and fresh powder.

The German resort of Winklmoosalm is connected to Steinplatte on the Austrian side — creating a fantastic area for winter sports enthusiasts. Great for beginner- and intermediate-level skiers and snowboarders, there is truly something for everyone. With multiple snow and terrain parks available, boarders can perfect their skills shredding down the mountain. The resort recently underwent renovation, to include new lifts with weather protection, seat warmers and safety restraints for children. There is more than 42 kilometers of slopes and 13 lifts for visitors to try.

Winter doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors. Even if you’ve never strapped on a pair of skis or given snowboarding a try, Germany is the perfect place to start. Grab your parka, hat and mittens, and head to the mountains. See you on the slopes!

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