Whether you’re combining Christmas skiing with trips to the Bavarian markets, want a scenic schussing spot or just need a sterling resort to take the sprogs to – Germany’s ski resorts have a lot to offer at the most wonderful time of the year.
These are some of the most Christmassy spots in Europe when they’re blanketed in snow, festooned in fairy lights and continuing age-old traditions like gingerbread making, carol singing and the legend of St Nikolaus. Some German ski resorts hold their own markets, but for the real Christkindlmarkt experience you can drive or use public transport to visit Mittenwald, Füssen and Munich.
Have a very merry hotel stay in our German ski resorts, whether you want après ski spas and gourmet festive feasting or just a comfortable lodge to call home for the week.
It’s never been known for our ski hotels to let Christmas go unmarked – most put on formal gala dinner for guests on Christmas Eve, when the nation holds its main yuletide celebrations. Spend the 25th gathered around a board game, cosied up by a crackling fire or – our pick – heading out for a session on the slopes.
There’s no denying that the ski areas in Germany aren’t Europe’s most snow sure – when they’re snowy, they’re incredible but on years when December doesn’t get much snow, it’s worth making a list of other things to do so you’re not left at a loose end. More often than not, recent years have seen a good amount of cover, and in those that haven’t, it’s been no struggle to find alternatives to skiing and snowboarding – read our activities section for an idea. When Santa and the snow gods deliver, the conditions come in the form of perfectly white pistes, letting you ski the local mountains to your heart’s content.
Snowy activities abound, from skiing and snowboarding to cross country skiing, sledding and snowshoeing.
Horse drawn sleigh rides are gloriously festive, as are the Christmas markets – often small versions are hosted in the ski resorts, and the transport links to the main markets in the bigger towns and cities are excellent. Many visitors like to spend time exploring the classic Bavarian villages, with their gift shops and cafes.
Some resorts and towns have swimming pools and spa centres if you fancy doing something relaxing indoors.