Public Tranportation networks
The public transportation network in the Erzgebirge is very sufficient. Buses and Trams run from the cities Dresden, Chemnitz and Zwickau to the towns and villages in the mountains.
If you are planning to visit small towns and villages you better have a close look at the schedules, because these are served by far less frequently.
The network VVO operates in the Eastern Erzgebirge, while the VMS network operates in the Central and Western Erzgebirge. Their tarif system is different, which is quite annoying. You can buy tickets in the buses, though.
Beside the websites I listed below you can also use www.bahn.de for schedules and fares.
Getting to Johanngeorgenstadt
This small place might not be on your road map.
Coming by car, take Autobahn 72 (Chemnitz-Hof) and leave at Reichenbach, drive on federal road 94 southwards. Turn left in Rodewisch on road 169. After 8km turn right towards Eibenstock/Johanngeorgenstadt. After 25km you arrive Johanngeogenstadt. Do not forget winter equipment between November and March!
Trains opperate from Zwickau Hbf (Main Station) every hour to Johanngeorgenstadt.
Getting around by sleigh
Walking in the winter wonder land is great but to avoid wet cold feet why not to do a tour in a two-horse open sleigh? In Johanngeorgenstadt you have the chance to hire a sleigh for a few hours. In the early 1990s I had the chance to have a ride and it was a great experience. I am not sure how much it once was - my parents paid.
The towns in the Erzgebirge mountains are linked by railways with cities at the foot of the mountains (Dresden, Chemnitz, Zwickau). Please note that these railroutes run along the valleys up toward the main crest of the mountains - parallel, but they are not linked with each other once they reach the higher regions. This is done by buses.
However, it is fun to ride the trains of the so called Erzgebirgsbahn (part of the public transportation network) from Chemnitz e.g. along the Zschopau valley up to the mountain towns. These trains run every two hours from Chemnitz to Annaberg-Buchholz and further to the Czech Republic (Veyprty) - on weekends even further to Chomutov (CR). From/to Dresden you have to change trains in Flöha (only a few minutes waiting).
The ride is very scenic - a nice, romantic valley with views of castles in the lower part, more mountain views in the upper part. Recomended stops and short visits along the route are castle Augustusburg, Zschopau (castle + old town), castle Scharfenstein, Wolkenstein (castle + old town), Annaberg-Buchholz.
- Family Travel
You better avoid driving to the Erzgebirge on weekends and during school holidays, especially in winter. Since it is a very popular ski region it tends to be crowded then.
Especially after huge snowfall there is still less parking space available.
As you can see on the picture, I had good luck on a Monday in February ...
A tip for parking in Oberwiesenthal: don't drive into town, take the major road towards the Czech Republic. After a couple of hairpin curves you'll see a chair-lift to the right. Usually you can park your car there.
- Skiing and Boarding
- Road Trip
Mt. Fichtelberg cable car
The most enjoyable way to get on top of Mt. Fichtelberg is taking the cable car. It was built 1924 (thus it is the oldest in Germany) within only 4 months.
The cable car starts in Oberwiesenthal, about five minutes walking time from the railway station/town centre. Length is 1175 m, elevation difference 303 m.
The cable car is used by skiers, snowboarders and xcountry skiers as well, so you should calculate a more or less long line ...
Fare is 4 Euro (one way).
- Hiking and Walking
- Skiing and Boarding