Discover Germany, Issue 33, December 2015

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German mountain splendour Breathtaking views, romantic landscapes covered in snow, fairytale castles, as well as enchanting villages and challenging cross-country skiing runs: this and more is what to expect in Germany’s mountain regions.

ness hotels cater for the visitors seeking relaxation. Sweating in the sauna, dipping into a hot tub or enjoying a massage are just perfect to recharge the batteries.

TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS | PHOTOS: © GERMAN NATIONAL TOURIST BOARD

The Bavarian Alps The Alps in Bavaria, featuring Germany’s highest mountain the Zugspitze, are ascended by half a million people each year. At an altitude of almost 3,000 metres, 400 mountain peaks poke through the clouds. Whereas the operators of other skiing regions have to provide artificial snow, there is plenty of dense snow on the Zugspitze for half the year. Ideal conditions for skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing. The slopes are suited for families and beginners as well as professional athletes and are complemented with the highest safety standards.

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In comparison to the alpine areas in Switzerland and Austria, the scenery of the Bavarian Alps appear lower and less rugged. Therefore, the region qualifies for mountain hiking and cross-country skiing: it offers a wide range of beautiful trails, where snow-blanketed meadows and conifer forests can be explored. Tourists, as well as locals, come by when they wish to regain energy or enjoy a good and hearty meal consisting of bread, cold cuts and cheese.The so-called ‘Brotzeit’is part of the Bavarian menu just like pretzels, Weißwurst or dumplings. In cosy alpine cabins, visitors usually stop for a bite to eat and to warm themselves up, while an abundance of well-

Another great feature of the Bavarian Alps are the picturesque villages and towns, such as Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which is one of the premiere alpine resorts. Historic buildings in the typical Bavarian style with heavy, wooden-beam constructions and façades painted with regional or pastoral scenes are almost too spectacular to be true. Another must-see are the fairytale castles commissioned by King Ludwig II.The most famous one is without a doubt the Neuschwanstein Castle, a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau, which served as inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.