Winterberg Ski Jump in Germany

Hotels in Winterberg, Germany

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As its name suggests, Winterberg is a major winter sports resort in the mountainous region of North Rhine and Westphalia called the Sauerland. But beneath the snow-capped ridges of Kahler Asten, one of the highest points, Winterberg has a history spanning 700 years that is barely visible when the snow melts.

Growing out of the cloister of Kustelberg in 1270, Winterberg was deserted and occupied over the next seven centuries as agricultural conditions favoured or drove away its medieval residents. What stands out in the course of its history is its participation in the 16th to 18th century witch hunts (which were quite common in the Duchy of Westphalia), and would have remained buried in history if not for a 1993 memorial dedicated to the victims.

Winterberg Ski Resort

Today, however, Winterberg has a tourist-friendlier appeal. When looking for where to stay in Winterberg there is wide-ranging accommodation in Winterberg, Germany and its natural attributes have made it a prime venue for skiing championships. The hard-to-overlook Skiliftkarussell is both a visitor magnet in winter and summer: The 23-kilometre ski slopes are converted to tracks for downhill biking outside of the December to March skiing season.

There is also a bobsled track at Kappe, the same track that offers venue for ‘skeleton’ competitions wherein downhill rides are made on a small sled with the rider face-down.

Winterberg in Summer

As the ski town is located within the greater Rothaargebirge (Rothaar mountain) nature park, your bed and breakfast in Winterberg, Germany would make a great base to explore the surrounding tracks of the much longer Rothaar Path, a 154-kilometre hiking trail that follows the crest of the Rothaargebirge and passes through Winterberg and several other towns and hamlets before ending in Dillenburg. The trail is unmade almost half of the way but visibly sign-posted. Trail runs and marathons are also regularly held in sections of the path.

If that sounds extreme to you, and downhill biking is likewise beyond your interest or skill, just lace up your boots and huff your way up the 5-kilometre hiking trail to Kahler Asten’s summit.

The Rothaar mountain park, whose east flank is thick with deciduous trees, has also been designated as an important bird area, and recently, was recipient to the reintroduced German bison.

Hotels in Winterberg, Germany also see tourists who come not only for skiing but also for excursions to nearby Bad Berleburg less than 30 minutes southwest. The Rothaar Path connects both towns, which are less than 25 kilometres apart, and the trail leading to Bad Berleburg can be colourfully dramatic come fall. Albeit far off the beaten path, Bad Berleburg is a picturesque destination with history dating from 7th century BC, and curative spas that are thought to ease mental distress.