The best skiing in Germany is in the Bavarian Alps. Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the highest ski mountain and the largest ski resort in Germany. Garmisch’s Zugspitze, at 9,728-feet, is a glacier with expert ski terrain from bowls to natural, un-groomed chutes. Garmisch hosted the 1936 Olympics, today skiers enjoy 120-kilometres of ski trails.
Schliersee is another German ski resort tucked in the upper Bavarian Alps, an hour from Garmisch, 54-kilometers south of Munich and 111-kilometers west of Salzburg Austria. Schliersee Ski Resort shares its name with the beautiful local Lake, and is home to double gold medalist Olympic skier (1994) Marcus Wasmeier, the German equivalent of Austria’s Hermann Maier and Italy’s Alberto Tomba.
Ski Schliersee offers 25-kilometers of downhill pistes that overlook the stunning emerald-colored Lake. Avid skiers should purchase a “Skigau Oberland” card, which is transferable to five different ski areas in the region: Wallberg, Spintzingsee, Sudelfeld, Wendelstein and Sonnenbichl. Sudelfeld is the oldest continuously operating ski resort in Germany, while Wendelstein has a dramatic cable car ride up to the summit. Wallberg is famous for its Panorama Restaurant at the summit with an expansive sun terrace, plus a crazy 6.5-kilometer sled run down into the valley, the longest sledding in Germany.
Winters in Schliersee are active, and amazingly scenic with the peaks of Kirchbichl and Schlierfbergalm in perfect view. Après ski, the town’s snowy roofed restaurants serve bountiful Bavarian sausage, Emmenthal cheese and hearty pretzels washed down with beer and schnapps served by traditional barmaids and men in lederhosen.
Cross country skiing, skating and sledding in Schliersee are also popular. A 2-hour drive and great day trip from Schliersee is Neuschwanstein’s Castle, this “Swan King’s Castle” built in 1869 by King Ludwig II was the inspiration for Disney’s Cinderella Castle.
Our editors look forward to skiing Germany and reporting on the best ski resorts and hotels for families on ski holiday.