The Zugspitze is the highest point in Germany. The only place in the country where you can ski all year round. From the top of the Zugspitze, a wonderful panorama of four countries opens up at once: Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Tourists are taken to the mountain by cable car, and this is still entertainment. You are rushing at a speed of under 10 meters per second, a woman’s screech is in the cabin, and the mountains and the Eibsee lake are passing under you. The beauty!
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How to get there
It is best to start visiting the mountain from the Garmisch-Partenkirchen ski resort. From here, it is easier to reach your destination by rail via Grainau and Eibsee. The road goes along steep slopes, tunnels and gorges. The final station is the Zugspitzplatt. From there, you will be taken to the mountain by cable car.
Another route is through the small town of Eibsee, which is located at the foot of the mountain. You will be taken by cable car in about 10 minutes. Moreover, the first half of the way you rise smoothly, diagonally, and the second – almost vertically.
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The Zugspitze is crowded with skiers and snowboarders. Most tourists come here from November to March, when the “pokatuha” is in full swing. But in other months there are enough extreme sportsmen. Fortunately, the features of the route allow you to operate it constantly.
The total length of all trails and descents is 22 kilometers. Tracks for every taste: for beginners and professionals. For those who first started skiing, there are schools of instructors. It is best to contact them so as not to waste time on fruitless attempts to drive three meters and to save your nerves.
There are special toboggan runs on the mountain, where skiers and snowboarders should not meddle. On the tracks called Brunntal and Weisses Tal there are a lot of bumps, you can really crush your sides.
The main place for skiing on the Zugspitze is located almost at the very top – it is about 3 thousand meters above sea level. These tracks are for seasoned fighters.
If you want to explore the Zugspitze better, then you will need an overnight stay. The most convenient accommodation option is in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Here are simple, solid hotels, such a classic European version. There are more intricate options – for example, hotels located in ancient buildings like castles. Accommodation in a 2-3 star hotel will cost from 60 EUR, 4 stars – from 90 EUR per night.
Cuisine and restaurants
Two types of tourists come to the Zugspitze: the first ones want to ride enough, the second ones just want to wander around the mountain, see the sights and relax in local bars and restaurants. By the way, there are more than 20 of them here. They stand along the ski slopes and beckon with delicious smells. As you know, in the open air, the appetite is brutal, which is what the owners of the establishments use.
At the very top there are two good establishments – Panorama-Bistro and the Gipfelstuberl restaurant. Here you can taste authentic Bavarian cuisine. And, of course, scalding invigorating mulled wine.
There are several shops on the mountain where you can buy souvenirs – with the symbols of the Zugspitze, the Bavarian land. Basically, some little things like key chains and mugs and things necessary for skiers. It is better not to buy large souvenirs, because then it is inconvenient to walk with them or climb to the top.
2 things to do on the Zugspitze:
- Climb the peak of the mountain – it is marked with a golden cross. A path leads to it from the main observation deck. Tourists scramble back and forth like ants. It looks funny until you find yourself on this path. The risk of falling is small, but there is. It is important to choose the right shoes. Here you can really overcome the fear of heights. We climbed the peak – already a hero.
- Feed the birds – if you do not feed the birds yourself, they will take food from you. Birds circle around tourists who dine in a restaurant on the terrace or stand on the observation deck. It is better not to anger them and give them food.
Entertainment and attractions Zugspitze
On the top of the mountain, as well as at its foot, there are sights that are worth seeing to complete the picture – what is the Zugspitze.
On the high plateau of the mountain is the Schneeferner glacier. Its melt water gave rise to the Partnakh River. Water intricately runs over the rocks and goes underground. For several millennia, streams were able to lay a channel, and the resulting gorge was named Partnachklamm.
The gorge is long – 700 meters, with elevation changes up to 80 meters. Framing rocks go up to 90 meters. In places there are peculiar cornices – places carved into the wall of the gorge. Sometimes there are tunnels. It is difficult to walk on them, they are not even one meter wide.
It is best to climb into the gorge in winter, when large ice figures appear here as if from a fairy tale. In the spring, the river overflows in Partny, you can see the elements of the river in full force.
The gorge works according to the schedule, entrance – 5 EUR, for children under 17 years old – 2 EUR. Of course, you can come here after working hours, but then you take all the responsibility.
The observation deck on the mountain looks like a big spaceship. It offers a wonderful view of the Eibsee lake. Nearby is the very cross that crowns the Zugspitze peak.
This lake is located 10 kilometers from Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The Eibsee lies at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level. It has an unusual color, the water surface is covered with islands, and mountain streams run to it. From here you have a panoramic view of the Zugspitze mountain.
There is a bike path around the lake, which you can ride at any time of the year. Along the banks of the Eibsee are small beaches. Even in the heat, swimming in the lake is cool, because it is fed by melted snow from the Alps. But not only daredevils can ride a catamaran.
Also on the shore there are restaurants with Bavarian cuisine and cafes with fast food. Near the lake there is a railway station from which you can go to the Zugspitze.