Oberstdorf rivals Garmisch-Partenkirchen for the honour of being the top ski resort in Germany.
Oberstdorf is a cosmopolitan ski resort with attractions outside the sport of alpine skiing. Both resorts also have a worldwide reputation for their ski-jumping competitions and are offer a full range of accommodation options.
The town is conveniently located between Munich, Stuttgart and Lake Constance. And while larger Austrian resorts to the south may be close as the crow flies, reaching them by car or train involves a circuitous journey around the mountain ranges in between.
Oberstdorf is also well-known as a "Kur" resort in the summer, and a number of hotels specialise in wellness facilities.
The skiing itself is extensive, especially for Germany, and is split into three main areas, the two largest and most popular of which are described here.
The principal ski area is the Fellhorn/Kleinwalsertal, located a few kilometres outside the town. The runs head from a high bowl on the German side over into the Austrian valley. The Kleinwalsertal is a geographical oddity - a part of Austria that can only be reached from Germany - and those with cars may be tempted to seek out some of the other smaller areas further along the valley.
The closer, but smaller, area is the Nebelhorn, which is reached from a cable car on the outskirts of the town. Skiing at the top is in a single bowl and runs down to the bottom are possible in good snow conditions.
Oberstdorf can be reached fairly easily from Munich and the north via Kempten or Kreuzlingen or from the west via Immenstadt. The roads after the end of the motorway can be busy in holiday periods. The routes from Austria and the south are generally on smaller roads and the routes via Reutte and Bregenz are probably the easiest ones to take. A regular train service operates into the railway station in the centre of the town.
Most visitors would probably arrive through Munich airport, further away than Innsbruck but with distinctly better motorway connections. Innsbruck airport is closer but the roads are more liable to be closed in case of heavy snow and are less pleasurable to drive in poor weather. The smaller Friedrichshafen airport is closer than both its bigger rivals and has become a real option with the flights offered by the budget airlines. Car hire is available at all airports.
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