Saturday, May 15, 2010

Skiing in Mayrhofen (Austria)

guest post by Nick Lewis

Mayrhofen in Austria sits at the base of the Zillertal Valley skiing area and has built up a great reputation for being one of the top ski resorts in Austria. It sits between the Penken and Horn mountains and is near the Hitertux glacier, which means that skiing is available all year round in the region.

The local skiing takes place on the Penken and Horn plateaux. Both are superbly well groomed and well covered by the spraying snow cannons. Penken is the larger of the two and features the famous ‘Devil’s Run’ linked to the Horborg mountain – one for advanced skiers only. By contrast, Ahorn is fantastic for beginners due to its ample nursery slopes, while the shape of the slopes offers plenty of opportunity for intermediates to explore.

Connected to the Zillertal skiing region, Mayrhofen offers access to an immense 625km of skiing, alongside the local skiing on the Penken and Ahorn plateaux which offer 146km between them. Not only that but the area lift pass provides access to the neighbouring resorts of Zell am Ziller, Gerlos, Koningsleiten and the Hintertux glacier; all in all, a tremendous variety of ski terrain to entertain even the most die-hard skier.

It’s not just skiing in Mayrhofen , as it is home to the Burton board park which is located right in the centre of the resort. It’s full of kickers and rails as well as featuring an excellent half-pipe. Although this should provide plenty of entertainment for the snowboarder in you, Kaltenbach is only a short hop away and is something of a secret – so if you do go, you’ll likely find yourself boarding on untracked snow.

What is often said about Mayrhofen is that it has some of the best apres ski you can find. The village has a lively atmosphere and is filled with bars, clubs and restaurants. If you go during April, you might find yourself lucky enough to catch the Snowbombing Music Festival which features world-class headlining acts and takes place right in the mountains, providing stunning scenery and the opportunity to go skiing when you tire of the music.

Although there is a bustling apres scene, if you’re out on a family ski holiday it is easy enough to avoid the noise and Mayrhofen offers fantastic children’s amenities such as highly regarded kindergartens, a fun pool and a special children’s area.

Austria is justifiably famous for its skiing, and Mayrhofen is one of its premier resorts. It’s a traditional Tyrolean village that still retain its charm despite having expanded into a fully fledged resort that offers excellent skiing for all levels of ability. And with some of the best apres available, there’s plenty to do besides indulging in your favourite winter sports. There really are few better places to go on a group ski holiday.

Nick Lewis is a skiing enthusiast who wrote this post on behalf of Eclipse Ski - group ski holidays.

Photo Credits: mountain view, ski area, ski lift, backflip, carve


BarbaraW said...

Austria. It's where I want to start my next European trip, but I think my visits to the slopes will be limited to looking at the pretty mountain scenery, since these knees of mine can't handle skiing any longer.

Footsteps said...

Year round skiing?! Nice.

Border Jumpers said...

great post, we love to ski! terrific photos! Best, Dani and Bernie (aka BorderJumpers)

Vera Marie Badertscher said...

Barbara W beat me to my comment. Not a skier but I love looking at mountains.

Shannon said...

My thighs hurt just thinking about trying to ski again. I sure would love to check out the apres ski activities in Austria, though!

Johnny said...

There are many places for Ski/boarding. Mount Buller or Bor Bor in Melbourne, now you have got Club Med in the Alps lots more.

Mark H said...

@BarbaraW: Austria is a superb country. Email me before you go with some suggestions.

@Footsteps: Skiing in summer sounds a strange idea to me but it is excellent that it is available.

@BorderJumpers: Welcome onboard.

Mark H said...

@vera: The European Alps are stunning indeed.

@shannon: Don't hurt yourself just thinking about skiing...

@Johnny: There is something wonderful about skiing in Europe.

Heather on her travels said...

My teenage sons would love this place - they're snowboard made and not adverse to a bit of aprez ski either

Mark H said...

@heather: Sounds like Mayrhofen is your family's kind of place.

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