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Dec holiday with family aged 4-65, Eibsee or Garmisch?

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Singapore
posts: 76
reviews: 10
Dec holiday with family aged 4-65, Eibsee or Garmisch?

Hello, I have read all the forum discussions and trawled the net, but would appreciate advice on choosing a location for a family holiday with a LARGE age range for mid-December.

The chlidren want to see snow and learn to ski, and I understand that snow is not guaranteed in mid-December except for up at the Zugspitze.

The older folk won't ski and are happy to potter around town, maybe an excursion or two to Mittelwand, etc.

Would anyone have an opinion on whether I should:

1) Book a hotel or apartment nearer the Eibsee Cable car, so that the kids can get access to snow more quickly every day (is there anything for the grandparents to do at Eibsee in winter?)

2) Book a hotel or apartment in Garmisch, where it seems that there is a bigger town and more for grandparents but then take the bus/cog train to Eibsee and then the Eibsee cable car everyday with the children (I read somewhere that this could be about an hour each way)

I need to balance the needs of the grandparents and conserving children's energy for skiing. Finally, I prefer not to rent a car, but do you think a car would be useful/necessary for either location to give us flexibility?

thank you everyone for your advice

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland, Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
posts: 12,659
reviews: 28
1. Re: Dec holiday with family aged 4-65, Eibsee or Garmisch?

Hi mumofkids,

If you stayed in Garmisch, you don't need to take the Eibsee cable car; the train runs from the Garmisch train station all the way to the Zugspitze skiing area in about 1h15. The train runs only once an hour.

The Eibsee cable car runs every 30 minutes, and the trip takes about 15 minutes.

There really isn't much to do around the Eibsee -- it's still 3 km from the village of Grainau. There is a bus (the Eibsee bus schedule is available if you google "Eibsee bus," but it comes up as a pdf that I can't link to) that runs about once an hour. The bus links the Eibsee to Grainau in a few minutes and to Garmisch in about 20 minutes. The only thing for non-hikers to do at the Eibsee, really, is to walk around the lake or sit on a terrace and look at the lake and the mountains. They could make excursions to Mittenwald, etc, but they would have to factor in the time to take the Eibsee bus to the Garmsich train station.

I think I would just stay in Garmisch. Strangely, last year the Garmsich ski area opened before the Zugspitze area did -- high winds were blowing all over the Zugspitze ski area and blowing snow off the pistes.

I live in Garmisch, and I don't have a car. I think that the 30 minutes it'll save you in convenience isn't worth the hassle and the pollution.

Have fun as you plan!

s

Karlsruhe, Germany
Destination Expert
for Baden-Wurttemberg
posts: 6,991
2. Re: Dec holiday with family aged 4-65, Eibsee or Garmisch?

As swandav said. (Hi S!) In addition to the points already mentioned: You will want something to do during the long dark evenings. Mid December means sunset at 4.30 p.m. Stay in town to have shopping in the early evening and streets with Christmas illuminations, restaurants and pubs, and some nightlife for the youngsters, within reach, best within walking distance.

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland, Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
posts: 12,659
reviews: 28
3. Re: Dec holiday with family aged 4-65, Eibsee or Garmisch?

Hi B!!

For mumofkids,

Sorry, I forgot to tell you one thing. When you take the cable car from Eibsee to the Zugspitze, it doesn't go to the skiing area; you have to take a second cable car from the observation area down to the skiing area. Sorry, I'm not sure how often they run or exactly how long the journey takes. If you figure it will take an additional 15 minutes overall, that means the total journey time on the Eibsee cable car to the skiing area is about 30 minutes (assuming you don't get to the Eibsee cable car just as one leaves and have to wait 30 minutes for the next one). So that's 45 minutes faster than going from Garmisch on the cogwheel train.

Not sure if a savings of 45 minutes would be worth staying at the Eibsee.

s

Singapore
posts: 76
reviews: 10
4. Re: Dec holiday with family aged 4-65, Eibsee or Garmisch?

Thank you Swandav and BlandineForberg. Great points.

Swandav, thank you for pointing out the two different "end points" for the Eibsee Seilbahn vs cogwheel. If I understand correctly, the cogwheel from Garmisch to the glacier will take us straight to the ski area on Zugspitze? (I looked at the maps and tried to decipher)

BladineForberg, good point about everything being dark by 430!

Swandev and BlandineForberg, can you advise on where to stay in Garmisch? Where is the main shopping/restaurant area (if you give me a street name, I can Google map it)? Or should I stay right by the train station so that it is easy to hop on the cogwheel in the morning with the kids? Would it be a long walk from a hotel like Vier Jahrenzeiten to shops and restaurants (especially if you are a bit older)?

thank you

Garmisch-Partenkirch...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland, Montreux, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
posts: 12,659
reviews: 28
5. Re: Dec holiday with family aged 4-65, Eibsee or Garmisch?

Hi again,

Yes, you have understood it correctly; the cogwheel train ends directly at the ski area.

Look for accommodations using the town's central website

www.gapa.de

From that site, you can look at and book either apartments or hotels. The symbol to look for is a dot inside a circle, indicating the property is in a central location. But in general, you want to look for something near Marienplatz and/or Kurpark (the pedestrian shopping street in town). You should be able to find those on google maps. Also anything on Achenfeldstrasse or Olympiastrasse will be great.

The train station is only about a 5-minute walk to the pedestrian shopping street, so yes the Vier Jahrenzeiten will be a good location for both the train and the "downtown" (lol) area. Additionally, your hosts will give you a card making the town busses free, so if your hotel/apartment is near a bus stop, the grandparents will have no trouble getting all over town.

Do the grandparents have a mobility disability? I ask because I have several friends who are 70 years old and go hiking and walking in the mountains. I am 58 years old and enjoy mountain biking and walking; unless I get a major illness or have an accident, I can't imagine being so limited when I'm 65. I hope you aren't limiting the grannies too much!!

Have fun as you plan!

s

Karlsruhe, Germany
Destination Expert
for Baden-Wurttemberg
posts: 6,991
6. Re: Dec holiday with family aged 4-65, Eibsee or Garmisch?

The centre of action in Garmisch is the area around Kurpark and Marienplatz. Google Maps shows Marienplatz and Am Kurpark as thin lines because these streets are pedestrianized.

Vier Jahreszeiten is not far away from the centre but in a busy street crossing colse to the railway tracks, might be a bit noisy (no idea how good their windows are) and the surroundings are not as pretty as the old centre. Anyway, it's maybe 5 minutes walk, no big deal.

Upon arrival at your hotel each of you will receive a card ("Kurkarte") with their name and duration of stay, and the hotel's stamp and signature. This card gives you, among other benefits, free use of the town buses, so you don't have to walk everywhere. Just present the card to the bus driver when boarding the bus.

Singapore
posts: 76
reviews: 10
7. Re: Dec holiday with family aged 4-65, Eibsee or Garmisch?

thank you so much to you both!

Grannies are healthy but cautious on ice and snow (if we get any!)

bleangarw
posts: 13
reviews: 1
8. Re: Dec holiday with family aged 4-65, Eibsee or Garmisch?

you guys are so helpful and kind you are a credit to everyone from garmisch partenkichen thankyou.

9. Re: Dec holiday with family aged 4-65, Eibsee or Garmisch?

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