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Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

european skiing garmisch-partenkirchen germany

Garmisch Partenkirchen is Germany's undisputed 'Winter Sports Capital', located only a short distance from the Austrian border in the country's southwestern corner. Famous for it's annual New Year Ski jumping competition televised all over the world, and as a former site of the Winter Olympics, Garmisch today is a large, cosmopolitan town with plenty to see and do both on and off the slopes.

It is a town that is also rich in history and culture. Local people often dress in traditional styles (without being paid to do so by the tourist board!) and many of the older buildings are decorated with beautiful frescoes - wall paintings that are often centuries old. All around is magnificent mountain scenery, dominated by the mighty Zugspitz to which lifts rise over 2,100 metres (nearly 7,000 feet) from Garmisch - producing one of the world's biggest lift served verticals (although unfortunately it is not possible to ski all the way back down!).

The final string to the Garmisch bow is its status as a health resort, or rather as a "climatotherapeutic training centre" - a program of exercise and complete body management instigated with the help of the Institute of Medical Balneology and Climatology at the University of Munich. The objective is to prevent illness in its early stages by making the body and spirit and stronger, although Garmisch is also a good choice for those seeking to recuperate from existing conditions in the pure mountain air of the resort.

What's Great
What's Not-So-Great

+ The quality of the resort is excellent and the skiing is superb - the best of the German ski areas

+ Garmisch is extremely contemporary and anglicized and the apres-ski is incredible

+ Both the slopes and the off-piste facilities have been well maintained in the German tradition

+ An atmosphere of fun, warm people, terrific food, and sensational skiing

- Unlike St. Moritz or Gstaad, Garmisch is not a trendy resort

- No night-skiing or heliskiing

- Relatively small ski area

- Unreliable snow cover

Learn more about Garmisch-Partenkirchen

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Content on this page by permission from SkiEurope (ęSkiEurope) and "Where to Ski and Snowboard 2001" (ęChris Gill & Dave Watts) The best ski guide ever published. Get your own copy here.

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