Winter and the SouthWest belong together like two sides of a coin.
Think horse-drawn sleds and frozen lakes, steeply-gabled houses and cozy taverns, pine forests and mountains covered with snow. Throughout the season, traditional festivities range from Christmas markets to pre-Lent Fasnacht, Mardi Gras-like carnivals. There are always plenty of outdoor activities – and plenty of sunshine!
The Black Forest
The Black Forest Highlands region offers more than 170 ski lifts, 150 miles/250 km of prepared slopes, 22 ski jumps, free-ride and powder runs…and more than 1,000 miles/1,700 km of cross-country ski-tracks.
Nearby airports include Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Black Forest Airport Lahr, EuroAirport Basel/Mulhouse/Freiburg, as well as Stuttgart and Bodensee Airport Friedrichshafen allow easy access.
GETTING AROUND – FOR FREE!
When you stay in the Black Forest, public transport is FREE! All guests are given a KONUS Guest Card, a pass providing unlimited access to almost all of the trains and buses in the excellent public transport network.
SAVE MONEY – HAVE FUN
Buy the "SchwarzwaldCard" (Black Forest Card) and enjoy free admission, free rides, and more for three days. The pass covers some 130 attractions in the region, ranging from museums, spa resorts and theme parks to cable railways and ski lifts. PRICE: 32 Euros (adults), 21 Euros (children 4-11), or, for families 99 Euros (parents plus 3 children under 18). Pay a little more to include entry to the Europa Park in Rust: 58 Euros (adults), 48 Euros (children), 199 Euros (families).
DID YOU KNOW….
... that the world's first mass-produced skis and first commercial ski lift were made and established in Bernau in SouthWest Germany? They was Marke Feldberg, made in the 1890s, using Black Forest timber. In those days, skiers balanced themselves with just one pole. In 1908, innkeeper Robert Winterhalder built the world's first commercial ski lift in the Black Forest hamlet of Schollach. It carried skiers 100 feet/30 m uphill, using a 900 feet 274 m long cable supported on wooden towers.
Even if you are not a skier or boarder, it’s easy to enjoy the snow and the sunshine. Pull on snowshoes, zoom down toboggan runs, go curling, or ice skating. As well as the natural lake ice on the Black Forest's Schluchsee, there are dozens of artificial rinks in SouthWest Germany’s cities, such as the Schlossplatz in Stuttgart. A good base in the Black Forest is Freudenstadt, the starting point for miles of cross-country ski trails through the nearby hills. Stay in one of the picture-pretty small villages. Rent first-class equipment when you get there. As for where to go and what to do, just ask a local; everyone loves getting outdoors in winter.
Near Feldberg, this small resort is the home of Olympic gold medalists, such as ski jumping star Dieter Thoma. Not surprisingly, the four-hill ski jump complex is part of the attraction. Other resorts that are popular with alpine and cross-country skiers include Kniebis Mountain, Mehliskopf Mountain and Bühlertal Valley along the "Schwarzwaldhochstraße" - the Black Forest High Road that runs through the northern Black Forest.
The most popular ski destination in the Black Forest is the Feldberg, where Germany's first ski club was founded in 1891. Today, it has 7 ski areas, 31 lifts and 35 miles/55 km of slopes, from easy family runs to the Fahler Loch, a challenging FIS World Cup run. For boarders, there is also a terrain park, with jumps and rails.