If you’ve never been to Germany or haven’t spent much time there, you may have never heard of Garmisch. Sometimes, the places you haven’t heard of are well-kept secrets. Garmisch, featured today in the 1000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day® calendar, sits under the majestic Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany at 9,714 feet.
The hyphenated full name for this Bavarian town, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, hints at the fact that the present town used to be two separate jurisdictions. In 1935, Adolf Hitler forced the two towns to join to serve as the single site of the 1936 Winter Olympics. While the east and west areas of Garmisch-Partenkirchen to this day remain rather distinct in culture and architecture, they remain as one and are usually referred to simply as Garmisch.
While you may not be interested in visiting Garmisch for an alpine climb up one of the three routes on Zugspitze mountain, you’ll certainly appreciate the views of this jagged behemoth from below, it’s rocky top rising high above tree line. You can even make it to the summit sans the struggle thanks to the Eibsee Cable Car, which shuttles around half a million visitors to the top annually. Skiers can enjoy the Zugspitzplatt ski area come winter, and ogle the most modern ski jump in the world.
Beyond high altitude quests, Garmisch offers much more. Consider their motto: “Discover your true nature.” This is a place where you can see a Bavarian traditional folk dance, attend the June Richard Strauss festival in honor of the late famous composer’s birthday and drink delicious German beer.
Yet amidst history and culture, opportunities to connect with nature exist at every turn. From the Partnach Gorge bursting with invigorating waterfalls, to a viewing station on Alpspitze peak where you can take in the mountainous landscape, outdoor adventures and natural beauty are alive and well in Garmisch.
(Photo from Flickr, credit: Richard Taylor)
If you’re not a skier determined to hit the Zugspitze slopes and you are a beer and German culture enthusiast, there’s really no better time to visit Germany than in the fall during Oktoberfest. Whether you’re enjoying Oktoberfest in Garmisch or at home in the U.S., Beer for All Seasons will help you stay on top of all the festivals and beer events to take advantage of so you’ll never miss out on brews as hoppy and exciting as Zugspitze mountain itself.
Read on for more on 1000 Places to See Before You Die book and calendar line from Workman Publishing and Page-A-Day.