tips for excursions

Cross-country skiing in the Ammergau Alps

Things don't always have to go downhill – Saulgrub offers you a choice of wonderful cross-country trails

Winter sports in the Ammergau Alps: an overview

- In Saulgrub's immediate surroundings: cross-country skiing

- Winter hiking

- Skiing and snowboarding

- Hiking in snowshoes

- Sledding

- Skating and Bavarian curling

The Ammergau Alps nature reserve is a paradise for cross-country skiers, offering 12 interconnected, circular routes to fans of this endurance winter sport. The network of trails has a total length of 180 km. Every year, Germany's ADAC automobile club inspects all of the country's skiing trails and pistes, and the Ammergau cross-country routes have won a rating of four stars (out of five). ADAC's reasons included the well-tended trails and wonderful view of the mountains.

The "Saulgruber Runde" route is a good choice for beginners and experienced skiers alike. It is 6.9 km long, and you don't need much advance preparation to tackle it. Starting in Achelestrasse, you follow the easy course clockwise around the Altenau fen in the fresh, Alpine air. The route takes a good 45 minutes to complete. One more thing: Saulgrub's cross-country trails are free.

If you need to recharge your batteries afterwards, head to the nature lovers' chalet right beside the trail and enjoy a hearty snack at a good price while you rest.

If you'd prefer to explore the Ammergau Alps during the summer, Saulgrub's wonderful hiking trails are ideal. A good 6 km long, the circular "Schleierfälle Runde" route takes you through the gorge of the Ammer river (protected since 1953), where water cascades over spectacular terraces of moss-covered rocks. For a full day's hiking, choose the route from Saulgrub to Bad Bayersoien. The round trip is 15 km long in total, and you get to walk along some of the Ammergau Alps' "meditation trail". The hike also takes you past Bayersoien's crystal-clear lake, where you can take a dip if you need to refresh a bit. Our tip for you: why not add boating to your day in the great outdoors? You can hire rowboats next to the kiosk located on the southern side of the little lake. The boats are normally available from 1 May onwards. Complete your hike when you return to Saulgrub by walking up to the Fatima chapel. Called after the pilgrimage site in Portugal, the chapel offers a wonderful view of the northern Ammer valley.

Getting here:

It only takes 8 minutes to walk from Saulgrub station to the nature lovers' chalet, which marks the starting point of the cross-country trail. When you leave the station, go left to reach Ammergauer Strasse. Look to the right and you'll see the start of Achelestrasse located almost immediately opposite. Cross Ammergauer Strasse and walk along Achelestrasse for 500 m to the trail's starting point.

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