Harz Mountains visitors come mostly to enjoy the scenery and to engage in some fun outdoor activities. This northernmost mountain range in Germany is also known for its spa towns, which you might keep it in mind if you want to plan a spa escape. Most of the towns in the Harz Mountains cater to tourists in some way, and while the alpine skiing isn't the best skiing in Germany, the cross-country skiing is excellent. The Harz Mountains ski areas are small by most standards, though there are a few that offer some relatively difficult runs for skiers and snowboarders of an advanced level.
The highest peak in the Harz Mountains is the Brocken. It tops out at 3,744 feet. As for the highest of the Harz Mountains ski areas, that distinction goes to Sonnenberg. Also one of the larger ski areas in the region, Sonnenberg offers seven runs that features something for all levels, and three lifts are in place to get visitors up the mountain. When you're not checking out Sonnenberg on your Harz Mountains winter vacation, you might visit some of the other ski areas to see what they have to offer. All told, Braunlage is the top dog when it comes to the Harz Mountains Ski Areas. You'll certainly find more slopes there than you will at the other ski areas in the region. There are twelve total slopes at Braunlage, with the longest one being approximately one and a quarter miles long.
Cross-country skiing in the Harz Mountains might just be more rewarding than downhill skiing. Miles of cross-country tracks wind their way through this rugged land, and some of the best can be found in the Harz National Park. When you need a break from skiing or snowboarding during your winter trip to the Harz Mountains, there are toboggan slopes to zoom down. Various footpaths in the region also provide an option for things to do regardless of the season. Nordic walking is kind of like cross-country skiing without the skis. The walker has poles in his or her hands. The activity started out as an off-season ski training method and is practiced throughout the year all over Europe.
When winter passes in the Harz Mountains, hiking becomes the main activity. Visiting mines and caves is also a popular thing to do in the region when the weather warms, as is biking, climbing, kayaking, and hang gliding. Regardless of the season, finding a good place to stay in the Harz Mountains shouldn't be too hard. There are lots of Harz Mountains hotels in the region, and for those who are on a tight budget, the best news is that they are mostly very affordable.
When traveling to Germany to do some alpine skiing or snowboarding, the Harz Mountains can be a particularly good place to learn. If you want longer runs, more diverse terrain, and better snow on average, however, then heading further south is recommended. The best alpine skiing and snowboarding in the country is to be had in the Bavarian Alps, with Garmisch Partenkirchen being the top alpine resort in the southern reaches.