I grew up in northern New York and lived so close to Canada having six to seven months of snow was just a part of life. I have always loved snow ~ not the cold, but the snow! Some people fear both, the frigid months that drag on and have massive white landscapes with very little hope for warmer days. The experience of S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) it’s a real thing, can put a damper on even the best positive thinker. To me, it seems like every year right about the time I’ve reached the “I’m done with winter” phase, it’s just about the time I see the crocuses bloom.
Winter doesn’t last forever and when you’re here in Germany, all I can say is, you should embrace it. Most Europeans believe, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” I believe this too. Here are some things I do to enjoy the season.
Towns to see ~
- Lake Titisee – winter, spring, summer or fall, I love Lake Titisee, popular all year round this Black Forest lake is pretty close and quintessential Germany. Even snuggling up on a covered boat ride around the lake it’s beautiful. A great day trip for anyone. Known for their winter day spas – rest, relax and enjoy the BATHS!
- Feldberg – has 36 ski lifts and is so close by ~ The highest peak in the Black Forest, this semi “stay-cation” for those of us near Stuttgart also has over 60 kilometers of hiking trails. Toboggan trails, hiking trails, Black Forest cake demonstrations, with so much to do and so close to Stuttgart, it’d be a shame not to visit at least once this winter.
- Winter offers – Downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ski schools and more
- Todtnau – also another beautiful town in the Black Forest with a plethora of winter sports to do, including an ice rink- CHECK it out!
SO, if you are heading to the Black Forest this winter one of the GREAT SAVINGS is the Black Forest Tourism card! Seriously, look into this ~ a lot of places include your ski rental fees, or have ski lift discounts, hotel, restaurants and other business discounts (140 businesses.) This card can be purchased on-line or through any “I” information tourist center anywhere in the Hochschwarzwald. It is an annual card ~ but you can probably ask if it’s discounted since its’ season runs April 1st to March 31st. My German friends swear by it!
The whole month of February is Fasching month in Baden-Württemberg. This fun, energetic, interactive festival takes place in almost every town in the Black Forest and several in Swabia. Check out my blog early this month on local Fasching favorites and this family-fun tradition that dates back to the middle ages.
Things to do
- X-country skiing – the best I’ve found close by is in Baiersbronn, Kneibis, it’s affordable and beautiful.
- Hiking – lots of hiking trails throughout Baden-Württemberg, plus in my new E-book I talk about all my favorites, parking, trails and good eats! Everyone of them are close by to Stuttgart and an easy day trip!
- Snow shoeing – I found this website to be the BEST ~ Schwarzwaldregion- Belchen, although I haven’t done it yet this year, I will soon and add pictures here. I can’t wait! Although this location is in the southern Black Forest, your chances of good snow are better.
Towns to see ~
- Oberammergau – one of my favorite towns close to GP (Garmisch-Partenkirchen) without all the hoopla is Oberammergau. If I’ve ever had a conversation with you in person about Bavaria, this town has come up. I love it’s location, stuff to do, shopping and restaurants, YUM! This past summer solidified any questions I had about the town during our stay while hiking the Zugspitze. In the winter, there is even more to do and see!
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen – An American favorite this town is emblematic for a visit if you are stationed in Germany. Every season is peak season in GP but winter is especially pretty and colorful. Be careful of steeper prices in Gasthaus’ if you don’t stay at the lodge. A huge bonus for being right in GP is the wonderful Olympic skating arena and the ski-lift center. This town is easily accessible to all things winter sport in Bavaria.
- Tegernsee – this precious town on a little lake in Bavaria is close to the Austrian border. Be sure to come back and visit the blog because I’m heading here soon and will be traveling by train to get there ~ I’ll post updates and pics too! Tegernsee is known for a winter holiday with sports and spas. Ahhhh ~ I’m ready
- Bayerischzell – further east in Bavaria but better known for snowtubing and Skikinderland, Bayerischzell also has beautiful lakes, gorgeous hotels and more. With very few AirBnb’s available you might want to look in Fischbachau and Schliersee these nearby towns are easily accessible to all regions winter activities.
Things to do
- Downhill skiing –
- Snowtubing – INFO here!
- Hot Air Balloon rides over the Alps!
- Winter chalet with spas –
Other skiing fun ~ Austria!!
Thanks Heather Stoner but helping me add to this list~ you are AWESOME! This is a compilation of her recent trip to Austria.
Heather visited the Tirol region of Austria where you can ski the Zugspitze, Ehrwald and Lermoos. She stayed in Ehrwald at the Haus Brabant, they stayed in an apartment with a kitchenette, double bed, pull-out couch, and single bed roll away, little breakfast eat-in area and balcony. A major bonus was you could order fresh bread to be delivered to your door every evening! Ski bus stops about a block away from the hotel if you don’t want to drive to the slopes.
Places to eat – Holzerstubn in Ehrwald, but you do need to make a reservation. Heather recommends the Toast Peter…yum! Rated number one by TripAdvisor this is a keeper.
One of the neatest things she did was the “night sledding!” There’s a discount when you buy your ski lift ticket ! Lermoos was where her crew liked the best to ski, the ski lift ticket is good for all three places, the Zugspitze, Ehrwald and Lermoos. On her recent trip, there was about 20″ of snow in ONE DAY!!
Make sure you have at LEAST an ALL-WHEEL drive vehicle. Snow tires are GREAT! You don’t need to go through the Fernpass but you do still need to travel through mountains.
Visiting for an extended period? Maybe five to seven days ~ here are some day trips around the Tirol
- Highline 179 – longest suspension bridge for pedestrians in the world
- connecting Ehrenburg Castle to the Fort Claudia
- Linderhof and Neuchwanstein Castles
If you are having the winter blahs ~ no worries, we have all been there. Europe has a lot to offer during these cold, blue months, whether it’s hopping on the slopes, trying out some snow shoeing or relaxing in a hot tub for health restoration. Go for it ~ there’s no time like the present.
It’s always an adventure when you ©Travel with Wendy!