It was in 1888 when the first train arrived with winter tourists that skiing began to take shape at what has now become one of Europe's most famous skiing centres, thanks largely to the Four Hills ski jumping competition and the FIS Nordic World Cup Ski Championships.
Oberstdorf is Germany's most southerly resort and is located in the beautiful Allgau region in southern Bavria, right on the border with Austria. The resort is so closely linked to the Austrian ski paradise area known as the Kleinwalsertal that they are often mistaken as both being in Austria. Not so but close enough for the skier to try both on the same holiday without knowingly crossing the border.
For although the Kleinwalsertal is on Austrian soil, it is administered as though it was part of German Bavaria and skiers who stay at Oberstdorf often make it a two-resort holiday. Having said that the village and skiing area of Oberstdorf offers more than enough area and pistes for skiers to stay put.
Oberstorf is best known as the venue for the "4 hills ski jumping" but does have 48km of downhill pistes and 24 lifts ranging from 7 gondolas, 7 chair lifts and 10 drag lifts. Germany's longest downhill slope is to be found at Nebelhorn with a length of 7.5km. The biggest cabin cable-car in Germany runs up the Fellhorn mountain. A good family skiing area is to be found on the Sollereck and the majestic Nebelhorn.
There are 5 toboggan runs - one of which is 3,5km in length - and the village has winter guest beds for 29,000. So it is quite large and gets very busy at peak holiday times. January and early February are good times to visit. If you are a cross country skier, then Oberstdorf provides 76km of prepared tracks.