Whether your planning a visit to Germany or have just moved there, you may be wondering what you can do during winter. But don’t fret …
Germany has a lot to offer in winter, everything from relaxation and hot springs to adventure hiking and skiing. These German destinations will be fuelling your winter wanderlust.
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1. Garmish-Partenkirchen, Germany
Garmish-Partenkirchen is the perfect base to explore Germany’s highest peak, Zugspitze and the Partnachklamm. It is a favourite with many locals and ski lovers from abroad. It also offers great opportunities for snowboarding, winter hiking, and paragliding. You can take one of 40 cable cars to the top and while your there you can also enjoy the perfect views and some great downhill and cross-country skiing.
The Partnachklamm is also one of the great jewels that Garmisch has to offer. This special gorge is open during the winter and who doesn’t want to walk between snow-covered trees, massive icicles and a gorgeous rushing river that runs through. It isn’t a hard hike but it is one that should not be missed. If you’re looking for more adrenaline-pumping action, why not try your hand at ski jumping and the famous Olympiaschanze which is the Olympic ski jump hill. There are also plenty of hiking trails in the area which are great during the winter. Make sure to book early though, Garmish can get pretty busy during peak times. You can stay at the Riessersee Hotel, Hotel Königshof or the moun10 Jugendherberge. Garmish-Partenkirchen is easily reached from Munich.
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2. The Black Forest
The Black Forest covers quite a big area and therefore has just as much to do. Firstly, it is one of the best snowshoeing locations in Germany. The most popular snowshoeing paths start at Baden-Baden, Freudenstadt, and Shönau. There are also routes that leave from Ruhestein Pass and Feldberg Mountain, but you may need to do these as guided tours depending on what your skillset is. Whichever you decide to go with, each of them offers some of the best views in the Black Forest and is well worth the trip.
The Feldberg offers a winter sports centre that has 14 ski lifts and 16 ski runs as well as great alpine skiing and snowboarding. If your travelling with kids then this is perfect as the winter sports centre offers kindergarten services as well as a ski school. Other areas that offer skiing and snowboarding are Kniebis Mountain, Mehliskoph Mountain and Bühlertal Valley. The Knebis Mountain and Baiersbronn even offer some great night skiing which is always fun.
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3. Mosel Valley
The Mosel Valley in the Rhineland-Palatinate is most well-known for its vineyards and is a popular destination with many local and international tourists. Lesser known is the fact that the Mosel Valley has some of the best winter hikes in Germany. You can enjoy everything from thematic trails, short hikes and long-distance hikes. There is something for everyone, whether your an avid hiker or just starting out. Cochem is a great place to stay as a base to discover the surrounding areas. Besides being great for hiking, the Cochem Christmas market is one of the nicest in Germany so is another great reason to visit. During the winter the area is quieter, so are the hiking trails, making for the perfect way to enjoy the snow-covered Valley. While you’re in the area make sure to check out Cochem castle, it is a fairytale in winter.
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4. Harz Mountains
The Harz Mountains offers some amazing winter vacation activities and adventures that can be enjoyed by everyone. You can choose from a whopping 500km of cross-country skiing tracks, beautiful alpine skiing and special slopes for the avid snowboarder. If this isn’t enough to get your blood pumping, there are is also epic night skiing and crazy Toboggan slopes that range in difficulty. What is a winter vacation in Germany without some epic tobogganing to bring our the child in you? The Harz Mountains also offer some great snowshoeing and walking paths that also range in difficulty and length.
You can explore the entire region just by walking the beautiful paths if you choose to. The most popular paths are from Bad Harzburg and from Schierke to Brocken. Bad Harzburg also has some thermal baths so if you’re looking for some relaxation I recommend using this as your start point. Another great aspect of this region is the great forest restaurants and chalets available in the area. So even if your just planning to drive through the area you will have plenty to do and eat on the way.
The Tegernsee is a very popular place for locals to retreat in all seasons. It is close to Munich and is the perfect retreat, especially in winter. There are a number of hikes around the Tegernsee that are easily accessed from several of the surrounding towns. There are also some great Tobogganing slopes and popular cross country skiing. But the best part, in my opinion, is the natural ice rinks that can be found around the lake. There is something beautiful about ice skating outdoors, even if you are inexperienced and may land on your butt a few times. There is something for the whole family and is the perfect winter destination in Germany, especially if you just want to get out of the city for a bit. Tegernsee is located just a 45-minute drive from Munich and just over an hour via train.
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And For a More Relaxing Winter Vacation in Germany
Now if you are a little less adventurous and are just looking for a great way to keep warm in winter while still having that vacation feel then I recommend stopping by one of the many beautiful towns that have hot thermal baths such as Baden Baden. Baden Baden is also located in the Black Forest so is a perfect place to use as a base for some adventure mixed in with relaxation days.