Germany Travel Tip – Holidays In The Ammergauer Alps

The Ammergauer Alps are located between Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze and the famous castle Neuschwanstein, in the heart of the Bavarian Alps. They stand for an unspoiled mountainous region with a rich cultural heritage and an environmentally development of tourism. The most beautiful time is the autumn season, when the color of the leaves turn red and golden, making you believe you are in the depth of the Canadian woods. The Ammergauer Alps are a snow guaranteed area and you can chose from many options to join in the winter fun. The small town of Unterammergau, is called Kinderlandort since 2004, a quality award for especially children friendly towns. Located next to mountain Steckenberg, it offers fun for the whole family throughout the seasons and proves the well earned quality award.

The Ammergauer Alps, also called Ammergebirge is a mountain range that partly belongs to Germany, Free State of Bavaria and to Austria, federal state Tirol. It is framed by the well-known towns Füssen, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Ehrwald and Reutte. The border between the administrative districts of Upper Bavaria and Swabia, runs from south to north through the Ammergauer Alps. In the snow guaranteed valleys between Unterammergau, Oberammergau, Ettal and castle Linderhof is a wide net of cross-country ski-tracks and on the first weekend in February the annual König-Ludwig-Langlauf, attracts numerous international professionals to this most beautiful location.

Snow fun in the Ammergauer Alps

Alpine skiing can be fun for the whole family, as much as sledding, ice-skating, Nordic walking or snowshoeing. Ok, the latter first feels a bit like walking on tennis rackets with your legs apart, reminding a bit of Django, but once you are off the beaten track, you feel like a trapper in a pristine winter wonder world. The ski areas of the Ammergauer Alps include mount Steckenberg in Unterammergau, mount Kolben in Oberammergau and mount Hörnle in the Spa Town of Bad Kohlgrub. 150 km of cross-country ski-tracks lead you through the Ammergauer Alps with both, the classic and the skater tracks available. If you or your kids are beginners, plenty of schools are nearby to get you started in your new favorite sport.

Steckenberg in Unterammergau

Here you can choose from 7 lifts and 10 slopes with an altitude between 830 and 1,100 meter. From Mondays through Fridays night ski-runs are offered. At the foot of the mountain is a very good learning area for kids and beginners. Join the fun between the middle of December until March daily from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. and in the evenings between 7.00 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Kolben in Oberammergau

This mountain has 1 chair lift, 7 drag lifts and 7 km of ski-runs with an altitude between 874 and 1,276 meter. Mount Kolben has 90 % of blue slopes and 1 km of red slopes, who are convenient located in wide forest aisles. That guarantees a good visibility on snowy days and that the snow stays long.

Laber in Oberammergau

This mountain is the place of the cult chair lift, that can only transport 11 people at a time and the only way down is Germany’s steepest slope, the free riding slope. Adrenaline will pump through your system on this 2.5 km long and very demanding stretch.

Hörnle in Bad Kohlgrub

Here you get up with 1 chair lift or 4 lifts and the 3.5 km ski-run awaits you at the top with an altitude between 900 and 1,400 meter. It can get a bit cold on the 20 minutes way up to the mountain, but 2 beautiful valley slopes, a family friendly ski run and an area; aimed for free riders will warm you up pretty soon. There is also an area with 2 small training lifts, 140 and 350 meter, suitable for kids.

Sledding experiences currently a renaissance, it’s fun and it’s trendy. In the Ammergauer Alps you can choose from options with or without a lift. In Unterammergau you either use the natural toboggan run at the Scherenauer Street, or make your way up to the classic toboggan run on the Forststrasse, it is in fact a street! In Oberammergau you can go up by lift and enjoy the downhill toboggan run with a length of 600 meter. In Bad Kohlgrub the mountain Hörnle offers a thrilling 4.5 km toboggun run, daily between 9.00 a.m. and 4 p.m.. When the ice is thick enough visit the lake Soier, which is the most beautiful location for ice skating and curling. Also in Oberammergau you can try this sport at the Malensteinweg, a street in town, and in Ettal you can skate at the Ettaler mill. Curling is a favorite sport for Bavarians and on the weekends you can watch their teams enjoying themselves and you are not left out. Courses are offered for all guests who want to give it a try. And just when you can’t take all the fun anymore, take your kids to the valley Graswangtal and get in touch with the wild beasts of the region. Actually they are no beasts, just hungry deer. From a nice viewpoint you can watch them one by one stepping out the forest by dawn, a truly winter experience to see these wild animals with their huge antler. A thrilling experience to end a day in the Ammergauer Alps.

This is an example of what you can do in Hohenschwangau while traveling in Germany. If you want learn more about Hohenschwangau we compiled a more comprehensive Hohenschwangau travel guide in collaboration with local residents that provides unique travel insider tips which you can use during you Germany vacation.

Skiing in the Alps – La Tania’s Green Credentials

Whether you’re looking at the buildings, the town centre or the ski chalets, La Tania has, just about everywhere, taken exceptional trouble to ensure that it integrates well with its magnificent natural surroundings.

A tongue-in-cheek comparison

Now we’ve probably all visited certain ski resorts (no names!) in various parts of the world that have all the charm of a bulldozer. Some appear to have been blasted out of the surrounding rocks, and their concrete architectures look as if they had their origin in a 1970s sci-fi movie’s set, with a backdrop of a distant alien penal colony. If you’d prefer to stay somewhere that is a little better integrated into its environment, has some culture, charm and green-oriented ski chalets, La Tania in the French Alps might be the place for you.

From humble origins to enlightened development

The resort is part of the massive “Three Valleys” ski recreation area. It sits at about 1400m altitude between the slightly better-known Courchevel and Meribel resorts. Originally a very modest hamlet, it was perhaps fortunate that it was developed rather later than some other resorts – in fact most of the development took place in the 1980s and it was first officially opened in 1990.

What that means is that by the time it was developed, people understood the need for human-scale and environmentally friendly development and applied those principles to La Tania.

Today it provides only about 4000 beds for the height of the season, meaning that it is more relaxed and crowd-free than many other resorts. Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of the resort, visually, is that the surrounding spruce forests are largely intact. This also means that unlike other local centres, it provides wooded skiing over part of its runs.

In terms of ski chalets, La Tania offers great choice and comfort, as you would expect; however many of the materials used are local and have come from renewable green sources. Their services have also been installed to have a minimal impact on the local surroundings.

The result

La Tania isn’t just a picture postcard resort. It has three runs itself (one each of red, blue and green), superb training facilities and really easy direct ski connection to all the other Three Valleys resorts. It has the great Troika ski lift and training area (well, training and fun!) right in the centre as well. Some other Three Valley resorts may be able to boast more immediately adjacent ski runs, but they will be easily accessible anyway from La Tania. What La Tania offers is close to being unique – a real village feeling surrounded by mountains and some great skiing.

So, if you’re interested in a base that’s a little different and offering some great credentials, while still providing comfortable ski chalets, La Tania is certainly worth a look.