Let winter come … enjoy eco friendly winter sports

As soon as the first snow is falling, the skiers among us are full of joyful anticipation and get prepared for their next trip to the mountains. The criticism of skiing is commonly known and luckily the awareness for a more sustainable way of doing winter sports has increased over the last few years. You can make a major contribution to the protection of the environment, if you travel by train instead of car and choose a green accommodation. However, there are also interesting alternatives to the classic downhill ski runs that have less impact on nature or even none at all. The best you find here:

Hiking on snowshoes


A nice way of exploring the winter landscape is using snowshoes. Thus you won’t leave any traces in nature, except for the harmless footprints of your shoes. With guided tours you will get to interesting places and make sure that you won’t intrude on the habitats of wild animals. Snow hiking is comparable though physically less demanding. The hotel Leitlhof in South Tyrol offers five guided tours – ranging from an easy snow hike to a snowshoe hike in alpine terrain. And even if you choose another sport: By staying at the Leitlhof, which is completely climate neutral, you will definitely contribute to the protection of the environment.

Back to the roots


In the 19th century skiing was gradually growing in popularity – ski slopes or lift systems did not exist at the time. Ski tours are a return to this kind of skiing: after having climbed up the mountain, ski tourers descend it on unprepared terrain like in the past. In order not to harm animals and plants, you ought to adhere to markings and existing routes, obtain some information about the habitats of animals and avoid noise and night tours as far as possible. A very popular area for this sport is the valley Schnalstal with the Ötztal Alps in South Tyrol. There, in the historical building of the hotel Josephus you will find an accommodation where sustainable values are lived consistently.

Change of lane


For cross-country skiing you do not need ski slopes or lift systems as well and thus it goes easy on nature. One of the most snow-guaranteed regions in Germany having up to twelve meters of snow per season is the ski area Balderschwang, which is also called “Bavarian Sibiria”. Here, the hotel Hubertus does not only provide a place for sustainable wellness-recreation, but with “Spurwechsel” (“change of lane”) also a special offer for those who want to get some peace by cross-country skiing.

On natural tracks


Sledging on a natural toboggan run may be faster but it is no less environmentally friendly. Whereas artificial runs have to be iced, already icy forest roads or pathways are used for this sport. The natural toboggan run leading from Längenfeld to Brandalm is a nice example, having been a former venue for competitions in this sport. Located directly in Längenfeld, the sustainable nature hotel Waldklause with its furniture made of natural materials is a perfect starting point for this kind of amusement.

A nice diversion: Eisstockschießen


To those who want to try something new, the hotel Lamm Mitteltal in the Black Forest recommends “Eisstockschießen”. This old popular sport is similar to curling and is traditionally played on frozen lakes, ponds or creeks. The nature hotel Lamm Mitteltal is also a suitable accommodation, if you decide for a more classic sustainable sport – there are plenty of possibilities!