30 January 2020 from Danielle in Destinations

First tracks in the morning, fresh mountain air and panoramic views... that's how every perfect ski day should start. But those aren't the only ingredients for a perfect ski day. In Tyrol's Zillertal you will also find authentic mountain restaurants, romantic day trips and plenty of action off the slopes. Keep reading for more inspiration for a perfect ski day in the Zillertal.

Hintertux Glacier: jewel of the Zillertal

Skiing in the Zillertal is possible all year round thanks to the Hintertux Glacier. This impressive natural wonder of ice and snow is worth a visit, both with and without skis. From the top you'll also have magnificent views of the Tyrolean Alps, plus 60 kilometres of slopes ready and waiting. Freeriders can let loose here from October to May, and freestylers can tackle the features at the challenging Betterpark from April to early June and again from September to December.

Skiing Hintertuxer Gletscher
(Photo: © Zillertal Tourismus GmbH / Andre Schönherr)

See the Hintertux Glacier from inside

Always wondered what a glacier looks like from the inside? Take a tour inside the 120-metre deep Hintertux Glacier. The Natur Eis Palast lies 25 metres below the slopes and is open all year round. It's rare for a glacier to be accessible, making this a unique phenomenon that only exists because nature wanted it that way. And Mother Nature truly has outdone herself this time with the spectacular cave and lake in the Natur Eis Palast! Sparkling ice crystals, a crystal clear lake and mystical stories about giants: it's a truly magical experience!

Natur Eis Palast Hintertuxer Gletscher
(Photo: © Bildarchiv Hintertuxer Gletscher)

The Zillertal breaks records

Carving, parallel turns, racing and jumping are all possible in the Zillertal, where skiers and snowboarders will find 535 kilometres of slopes for all levels and various snow parks. The Zillertal is also home to a 10km-long descent to Zell am Ziller. This record-breaking valley run in the Zillertal Arena ski area has the biggest vertical drop in Austria  - a real thigh-burner! You might doubt whether or not you should attempt to tackle this run, but other decisions are easier to make in the Zillertal Arena. Which ski pass should you get? Definitely the Zillertal Super Ski Pass, which unites the valley's four ski areas for endless skiing fun.

Authentic and traditional mountain restaurants

A break at a mountain hut is the ideal time to share stories about your skiing adventures and embarrassing falls with friends and family. Of course, all breaks should be accompanied by glühwein or hot chocolate! The ski areas in the Zillertal valley have no less than 80 mountain restaurants, where you can find local delicacies such as kaiserschmarrn and knödels and enjoy special moments in cosy and luxurious sites such as the Kristallhütte, in Hochzillertal. For those who appreciate fine cuisine, a visit to one of the ten award-winning traditional Tyrolean restaurants in the Zillertal is also worthwhile.

Schneekarhütte
(Photo: © Zillertal Tourismus GmbH / Thomas Straub

More than just skiing

If you think that a winter sports holiday is limited to the ski slopes, you've clearly never been to the Zillertal. No less than 16 alternate activity providers are waiting to entertain you off the slopes here - think paragliding or climbing. This is not a destination for people with a fear of heights!

Try something new

So you prefer to keep both feet on the ground - we hear you! It's also possible to climb the mountains using just the power of your own muscles. Try ski touring, which eschews lifts and rewards hard work with unspoiled nature and tracks through virgin powder, far from the crowds. Or, test your speed and skill on one of the nine ice rinks, on the cross-country skiing trails, or one one of the fourteen toboggan runs. The Zillertal also boasts two indoor golf courses, a climbing hall and bouldering walls, and a winter climbing platform for the more adventurous among us. Seasoned climbers, in turn, can attempt to conquer one of the frozen waterfall.

zillertal infographic

The other side of the Zillertal

Had enough of skiing and parties? Get away from it all, strap on your snowshoes and explore more than 460 kilometres of winter hiking trails through untouched nature. Here you'll hear nothing but the crunch of your feet on the snow, while your breath crystalizes before you and you notice your heartbeat calming in response to the stillness around you. For an equally idyllic experience, book a romantic tour through this winter wonderland on a horse-drawn carriage.

Winter hiking Zillertal view
(Photo: © Zillertal Tourismus GmbH / Christoph Johann)

Far, and yet so close

The Zillertal is located in western Austria, just a couple hours from many European capitals. The valley is easily reachable from the airports of Innsbruck (1 hour), Munich (2 hours) and Salzburg (2 hours). Book the Four Seasons airport shuttle service and you can sit back and relax while the driver takes you directly to your accommodation and picks you up at your hotel at the end of your trip. Prefer travelling by train? Take the Eurostar to Brussels and hop onto a Thalys or ICE train to Cologne. From here, the ÖBB NightJet ferries skiers directly to Tyrol. And finally, the Zillertal is also reachable by car. It's a 13-hour drive that passes through Calais and Munich, at which point you'll take the 93 towards Austria and finally the E45 to the Zillertal.

From exciting activities to relaxing moments and typical Tyrolean delicacies, the Zillertal has everything you need for an unforgettable winter sports holiday. What are you waiting for? Gather your friends and family and come to the Zillertal! Get a taste of what the valley has to offer at www.zillertal.at

Selfie Zillertal
(Photo: © Zillertal Tourismus GmbH / Thomas Straub)

Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!