Skiing in Germany? Is that even possible? Hell yes. With Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria probably being the most famous ski area in Germany, it definitely doesn´t mean it is the only place you can do winter sports. We even have small ski places not to far from where we live in northern Germany but a couple of years ago we discovered a really nice place in Bavarian Forest National Park, which we again passed just recently on the way to Slovenia. Back then we stayed in Bodenmais, did some skiing on Großer Arber ski slopes and explored a bit around. Read more about what you can do in Bavarian Forest National Park in winter or in summer in the following lines.
Situated at THE BORDER WITH CZECH REPUBLIC, this wonderful national park was founded back in 1970 and it was the FIRST NATIONAL PARK IN GERMANY. And it is big. In fact, it forms the LARGEST CONTINUOUS FOREST AREA IN CENTRAL EUROPE, together with the neighbouring BOHEMIAN FOREST NATIONAL PARK IN CZECH REPUBLIC. The national park is not in direct proximity of big cities though, it will take you 3hrs from Prague, 4hrs from Vienna, 6hrs form Berlin or 2 hrs from Munich by car to get here. Now trust me, it is all worth it. Now, I´ve been in the are two times in the winter, but I have heard it is awesome in the summer to.
We set base in BODENMAIS for 4 days in a smaller, family-run hotel which also had a SPA. Always feels good to do a bit of sauna & swimming after skiing, don´t you think? Anyhow, the BEST SKIING AROUND HERE is at the highest mountain of the national park, GROßER ARBER (1456m).
Here, you will find 13km OF PISTES, overlooking the mountains and forests in the neighboring Czech Republic. Most of the pistes are easy, but still okay also for experienced skiers. Don´t want to brag but having skied since I´m 3 years old and spending many winter seasons in France, Switzerland Italy & Austria´s best resorts I feel spoilt when it comes to ski slopes. Despite this, I enjoyed it.
The best thing about skiing here? WIDE AND EMPTY SLOPES! I mean don´t get me wrong, there were some people, but still, nothing compared to a weekend in the Italian Dolomites. Also, no big waiting lines at the ski lifts, for a couple of days it was perfect.
For a change, I also tried CROSS COUNTRY SKIING after a while. Here, there are wonderful possibilities for that and trust me, you won´t get bored easily on the 90km of tracks. I have to say though, it is soooo exhausting. I prefer skiing haha.
We were here once when Lu was 3 years old and I have to say it was really NICE FOR CHILDREN. Besides lots of family-run hotels with indoor / outside playgrounds there is also a kids ski area and lots of slopes for SLEDDING and SKI SCHOOLS.
We chose to stay in BODENMAIS, where we were close to the shops, restaurants etc, With all those cute wooden houses and places serving traditional Bavarian meals, accompanied by a cold beer, there is a certain flair to it and we loved it!
Not to be missed here is also JOSKA GLASS PARADISE, the famous glass makers centre in Bodenmais. Glass-blowing has been an important tradition in this parts of Germany, so in Joska´s huge shop you can get a nice local souvenir. Besides the shop, there is also a restaurant, a beer garden, kids playground, exhibition room and more.
Both times I visited the park, we had a great time and I hope I get the chance to come back in the summer one day again. So much you can do here, from SNOWSHOEING, SKIING or CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING in the winter to HIKING, CYCLING & MOUNTAINBIKING, ANIMAL SPOTTING and more in the summer. You can alos RELAX AT GROßER & KLEINER ARBERSEE LAKE. There are also lots of WELLNES opportunities. If you have not yet been to one, you might enjoy the climp up a TREETOP TRAIL. It´s a wooden construction which takes you up to the tree canopies. Quite common all around Germany though, but still, always interesting especially with the kids. So if you happen to live close by or are passing through this part of Germany, do stop at the national park, you won´t regret it in any time of the year.
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