Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Germany's grand old dame of ski towns. Despite the upstart pretensions of rivals such as Oberstdorf, Garmisch Partenkirchen - 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 Olympic games in the 1930s - and is the venue for one of downhill skiing's traditional World Cup 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 ski area and the cog railway to the Zugspitz glacier followed four years later.
Nowadays there are nearly 9,000 beds and around 1,2 million overnight stays and the town markets the winter sports opportunities and ski slopes as 'Garmisch Classic' ski resort.
Those taking a ski vacation at this German ski resort should not be surprised to hear plenty of American English being spoken! The town of around 30,000 inhabitants is also host to a US Army Recreation Area, with dedicated hotel accommodation, facilities and sports instruction for skiers and kayakers.
View of Garmisch Partenkirchen with the Zugspitze
The main ski area is above the town on the Hausberg, Kreuzeck and Osterfelder slopes.
The glacier ski area under Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze, is separated from the lower ski runs and further away and higher in the Wetterstein range.
The main town slopes and lifts are easily accessible by ski bus, train, or even on 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.
More information about Garmisch Partenkirchen in the summer months is available on our sister site: German Sights - Garmisch-Partenkirchen