Skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, winter hiking and much more – that’s what you can expect from the Allgäu in winter. The Allgäu is the most popular region for a winter holiday in Germany, and here, forty ski resorts offer 400 kilometres of perfectly groomed slopes.
The Allgäu is the perfect winter destination, especially for families with children.
I have lived in the Allgäu for 25 years and always look forward to winter. Skiing, in particular, is my passion, but the many other winter outdoor activities remind me how high the leisure value is in the Allgäu.
I want to introduce you to my favourite ski resorts and give tips for the region’s attractive winter activities.
Where is the Allgäu?
The Allgäu is located in the south of Germany and borders the Austrian states of Tyrol, Vorarlberg, and Lake Constance in the west.
My top 5 ski resorts in Allgäu
If you go by the size of the ski area, Balderschwang is my favourite, with 13 lifts and 41 km of piste. Balderschwang is particularly snow-sure and has pistes of all levels of difficulty. Balderschwang is popular with families because, unlike the big ski areas, it is more family oriented and offers attractive family ski passes. The third and every additional child even ski for free here.
Free parking is available directly at the Schelpenbahn.
1-day per adult: 42 euros
1-day per child: 20 euros
6-days per adult: 217 Euro
6-days per child: 92 Euro
Family discount is available on request
The Fellhorn/Kanzelwand ski area is one of the most famous ski areas in the Allgäu.
Here too, you will find 36 kilometres of pistes for all difficulty levels. You can reach the ski area by cable car from Oberstdorf or Riezlern in Austria, which means there are also two great long downhill runs (5.7 and 4.3 km).
There are fun parks for beginners and experts, a speed measuring track, a slalom course and much more.
1-day per adult: 62,90 Euro
1-day per child: 23 Euro
6-days per adult: 311 Euro
6-days per child: 115,30 Euro
Family discount is available
The multi-award-winning family ski area on the Ofterschwanger Horn is easy to reach and offers skiing fun on 18 kilometres of pistes. Down to Ofterschwang, you can try your hand at a real World Cup slope (a ladies’ World Cup slalom and giant slalom have been held here several times). What I particularly like about this ski area is that the beginner slopes are at the summit station so that the whole family can enjoy the wonderful mountain panorama.
Free parking is available at the bottom station
1-day per adult: 53 Euro
1-day per child: 24,50 Euro
Family discount is available
Germany’s first ski lift was once opened here in Oberjoch, and today this ski area still boasts the most modern facilities. Four, six and eight-seater chairlifts and a T-bar lift take people to the summits. On the 30 kilometres of pistes, you will find some very challenging runs, and night skiing with floodlights is offered every Thursday.
1-day per adult: 49,80 Euro
1-day per child: 23,00 Euro
6-days per adult: 252,00 Euro
6-days per child: 110,50 Euro
Grasgehren is a small ski area at the foot of the Riedberger Horn, directly on the highest pass road in Germany. Families and groups feel very much at home in this ski area, which is situated in a high basin. It is clearly laid out with five lifts and 11 kilometres of pistes. It is possible to ski down a blue and red piste from each lift, and at the bottom, you can meet up in the cosy mountain hut. Grasgehren is also the venue for some international ski cross and snowboard cross competitions.
1-day per adult: 33 Euro
1-day per child: 19 Euro
6-days per adult: 154 Euro
6-days per child: 85 Euro
The 3rd child and after that child use the ski lifts for free.
Winter activities in the Allgäu
Cross-country skiing is a lot of fun in the Allgäu. There are cross-country skiing trails of all levels of difficulty where you can enjoy sporting activities in a fantastic setting. Depending on the snow conditions, there are up to 3,390 km of cross-country ski trails in the Allgäu. It doesn’t matter which ski area you are in; you will always find a cross-country trail near you.
Click here, and find a suitable cross-country ski trail.
A visit to the Breitachklamm
In winter, the Breitachklamm gorge near Oberstdorf offers a special spectacle. The impressive waterfalls in the gorge freeze in winter and become a glittering fairytale landscape. A torchlight hike in the dark is an unforgettable experience.
A night in the ice hotel
The Igloo Lodge is probably the coolest hotel in the Allgäu. Here you can spend the night in igloos at an altitude of 2,000 metres. During the daytime, you have a view of 400 mountain peaks, and at night you are very close to the stars. The hotel also offers various experience packages.
Tobogganing in the Allgäu
There are many toboggan runs in the Allgäu, and something for everyone. Many ski areas have designated toboggan runs, and you can get to the top by gondola or chairlift. For the more athletic, there are toboggan runs that you must access on foot. Here, you will find a small selection of toboggan runs.
Deer feeding and horse-drawn sleigh ride in the Schwangau forest
In Brunnen near Schwangau, up to 180 deer are fed every winter, from Christmas until the snow melts. It takes about 30 minutes to get from the car park in Brunnen to the feeding station via a beautiful hiking trail, alternatively a horse-drawn sleigh will take you to the unique nature experience. Learn more in our article about the feeding.
Participate in traditional customs of the Allgäu.
For example, there is the Klausentreiben. In this ancient custom, young men dress up fearsomely on 5 and 6 December to chase away evil winter spirits.
Then there is the spark fire, which is always lit on the first Sunday after Ash Wednesday and is supposed to drive away winter. A witch made of straw is burnt on a large pyre, which is supposed to be a symbol of winter. The spectators warm themselves during the spectacle with mulled wine or similar.
Winter hiking in the Allgäu
Hiking in winter in the Allgäu is just as beautiful as in summer. Landscapes covered in deep snow, icy streams and frozen lakes are in no way inferior to the green flower meadows of summer. There are several designated and prepared winter hiking trails of all difficulty levels. Here, you will find some particularly beautiful hiking trails.
International Balloon Festival in the Tannheim Valley
If you are on holiday in the Allgäu in January, you should check whether the balloon festival is taking place in Tannheim at this time. Numerous balloon teams meet here and launch these air balloons daily between 11.30 and 12.00 am. The romantic balloon glow also takes place on certain evenings. Read more in our article about this event.
Attending international winter sports events
There are several winter sports events in the Allgäu region where you can get up close and personal. The most famous highlight is, of course, the Four Hills Tournament. Every year on 28 and 29 December, around 40,000 spectators cheer on the world’s best ski jumpers in Oberstdorf.
The Ski Flying World Championships and Ski Flying World Cups also take place time and again on the ski jump in Oberstdorf.
The Alpine Ski World Cup also frequently stops in the Allgäu on the World Cup piste in Balderschwang.
The Allgäu has just as much to offer in winter as it does in summer, and there is a wide variety of leisure activities, especially for families. The ski areas are relatively small and manageable, with modern comfort and slopes making it ideal for beginners to experts.