Discover Germany, Issue 55, October 2017

Page 48

Discover Germany  |  xxxxx  |  xxxxxxx

Zollverein ice rink. Photo: © Jochen Tack, Stiftung Zollverein

D E S T I N AT I O N O F T H E M O N T H

Where the cold season equals holiday magic Winter holidays in North Rhine-Westphalia have a great deal to offer: from one of the best snow regions north of the Alps to world famous Christmas markets, through to the certified hiking trails of the picturesque hinterland. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI

The biggest plus and a definitive reason for choosing one of the NRW holiday locations are short distances and spontaneous planning independent of weather conditions. No matter if nature paths, sleighing adventures, skiing and snowboarding or cultural delights are on the wish list, the region offers multiple combinations of activities, making every stay a unique one. Romantic medieval villages such as Monschau and Freudenberg appear even more magical in the winter months, and then there are the natural spectacles. The arrival 48  |  Issue 55  |  October 2017

of Siberian wild geese on the Lower Rhine in November is an event that draws tens of thousands yearly – and winter hiking in the Rothaargebirge mountain range has become even more attractive lately since wild European Bison have been reintroduced to the area. Horse and sleigh rides are a must for the winter season and are on offer in both the Sauerland and the Eifel region. Here is a short overview of the most enticing attractions. Christmas markets Enjoy one of the most-renowned German Christmas markets in Aachen, start-

ing on 24 November. Squares and alleys around the Aachen Cathedral and the Gothic Aachen City Hall turn into a magically enchanted Christmas wonderland – a colourful paradise of glittering lights and tunes as well as enticing smells like those emitted by the renowned ‘Aachener Printen’, the traditional gingerbread of the region. The market has won the European Best Destinations prize in 2015 Winter hike on Waldskulpturenweg Photo: © Tourismus Schmallenberger Sauerland, Klaus-Peter Kappest