Skiers in Winterberg, Sauerland, © Johannes Höhn

Winter Sports

Hol­i­days in the Snow

Down the slopes on skis or a snowboard at full speed, through beautiful winter landscapes at one’s own pace, or just trying out something new, such as snow kiting: NRW is a proper winter sports state: In the Sauerland you'll find the largest winter sports area north of the Alps, which is great for skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and, of course, tobogganing. Hobby athletes and pros will love it equally.

Winterberg ski lift, Sauerland, © Johannes Höhn

The Largest Winter Sports Area North of the Alps

Win­ter­s­port-Arena Sauer­land

You don’t need to go all the way to the Alps for skiing. NRW has many options for getting active outside in winter. The Wintersport-Arena Sauerland even is considered the most important winter sports region north of the Alps! More than 120 slopes for skiing, snowboarding, and sledding are available there alone. Two thirds of them are covered in artificial snow at need, provided that the temperatures are below freezing. This has the benefit of clearly increasing the number of snow days as compared to slopes that rely on natural snow exclusively. Winter sports are possible from December to March here in most years. That’s rather unusual for a German low mountain range.

Many slopes in the Sauerland come with another advantage, too: Not only do they offer skiing during the day, but the slopes continue to be operated in the evening, an option made possible by about 60 floodlit ski slopes. Tobogganers will find two dedicated lit tobogganing slopes as well. The concept is so popular that the ski resort auditors declared the Skiliftkarussell Winterberg the best floodlit ski area in an international comparison!

Of course, the Wintersport-Arena, including not only the ski areas in the Hochsauerland and the Olpe district but also some areas in the Siegen-Wittgenstein region in Hessian Willingen, also has something to offer for cross-country skiers. The cross-country ski trails cover more than 400 kilometres and are groomed for conventional and free techniques.

Snowboarders in the Neuastenberg fun park, Sauerland, © Wintersport-Arena Sauerland/ Siegerland-Wittgenstein e. V.

Snow Tubes and Snow­board

Down the Hill at Break­neck Speed

However, it’s also fun to just dash down the mountains on snow tubes. Snow tubes are thick, air-filled tyres that spin during the rapid downhill race. They are not allowed on all slopes in order to avoid collisions between snow tubers and skiers. Dedicated slopes and even rental options can be found, among other places, in Olpe and Medebach, on the Neuastenberg and in the Snow World Züschen.

Neuastenberg also has a paradise for snowboarders in store. The Funpark Postwiese was set up specifically for them. It is intended in particular for advanced and practiced athletes, though it also sports an easy line for beginners. The floodlights come on several times per week here as well, creating a very special atmosphere when snowboarding.

Bobsleigh in the Veltins-Eis Arena in Winterberg, Sauerland., © Bobbahn Winterberg

Winter Sports for Ad­ren­al­in Junkies

Taxi Bob

The taxi bob on the toboggan run in Winterberg goes even faster than traditional winter sports activities. Three people climb into the toboggan with an experience pilot to dash down the ice channel at up to 130 km/h. This particular fun may only last 60 seconds, but the race will surely remain a fond memory for a long time.

At various World Cups, the international sports elite show what they can do on the track in Winterberg. In bobsleigh & skeleton, the participants take to the artificial ice track, which is considered one of the most modern and technically demanding in the world.

Neuss indoor ski run, © allrounder mountain resort gmbh & co

Ski­ing Joy in Any Sea­son

Ski Halls in NRW

Anyone who wants to go skiing in the flat country, too, can get on their boards even in high summer in NRW. Neuss at the Lower Rhine and Bottrop, right in the Ruhr area, offer two ski halls that are open year-round. Its 640-metres-long slope even makes the Alpincenter in Bottrop the world’s longest ski hall!

Both ski halls have beginners’ hills and steep, in part curvy downhill runs for skilled skiers that are even used by German skiing pros. The Alpenpark Neuss also has set up a fun park for free skiers.

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Eifel coloured sandstone route, © Johannes Höhn, Tourismus NRW e.V.

Winter Hikes

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Two hikers in the open air museum Lindlar, © Tourismus NRW e.V.


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