Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Germany's grand old dame of ski towns. Despite the upstart pretensions of rivals such as Oberstdorf, Garmisch - with history and sporting achievement on its side - easily maintains its position as the country's number one ski resort.
The town boasts an Olympic history - having held the winter games in the 1930s - and is the venue for one of downhill skiing's traditional downhill races on the vicious Kandahar course.
The two areas - Garmisch and Partenkirchen - were joined (reluctantly) at the time of the Olympics and the tourist development since then has been dramatic.
Bavaria's first cable-car was built in 1929 on the Kreuzeck and the cog railway to the Zugspitz glacier followed four years later.
Now there are nearly 40,000 beds for tourists with a boast of around 5 million overnight stays per year.
The town of around 30,000 inhabitants is also host to a US Army Recreation Area, with dedicated hotels, facilities and sports instruction.
The main ski area is above the town on the Hausberg, Kreuzeck and Osterfelder runs. The Zugspitz glacier area is separated from the lower pistes and further away and higher in the Wetterstein range. The main town runs are easily accessible by bus, train, or even by foot from nearby accommodation - while the glacier needs the train or a combination of car or bus and cable car.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen is easily reached from the rest of Germany with the motorway south from Munich and the improved connections between the end of the motorway (at Eschenlohe) and Garmisch. A good road from the south leads into Germany from Austria via Seefeld and Mittenwald. A regular train service operates from the main Munich railway station.
The most convenient airport is possibly Innsbruck Airport which is just under an hours drive away in good weather. Munich Airport, although further away, has better road connections. Salzburg is also a viable option with the good motorway connections. Car hire is available at all airports.
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