With an endless variety of piste and off-piste skiing, renowned après-ski and internationally famous music and comedy festivals, the Mayrhofen ski resort in the Ziller Valley has it all. One of Britain’s favourite ski resorts in the Austrian Alps, Mayrhofen’s winter scene caters to everybody from young children to seasoned experts hoping to conquer the infamous Harakiri Piste. After skiing, enchanting Christmas scenes await you. No need to look further for ideas on what to do this holiday, Mayrhofen has you covered!
What better way to start this post than with one of Europe’s most famous pistes? Austria’s steepest piste, the aptly-named Harakiri – a Japanese term for “suicide” – is on every daredevil’s bucket list. Take the new 3S Penkenbahn gondola up Penken Mountain to arrive at the top of Harakiri, where a kilometre-and-a-half of thigh-burning adrenaline await those brave enough to attempt it. On Fridays, check the photo shoot for evidence of your skills.
The Harakiri piste
If it’s your first time at Mayrhofen, get the best out of your trip by following one of the five suggested tours of the mountain. There is something for everyone, from the scenic Ahorn Family Tour to the daredevil Fun and Action Tour. What a great way to get acquainted with your new favourite spots! For cross-country skiers, check out the ski tours in the Ziller Valley, some of which link back onto downhill pistes. The cross-country option is especially enchanting on a clear, starry night!
When you’re well-acquainted with the mountain, splurge on the Zillertal Superskipass to gain access to the entire Ziller valley, including almost 200 lifts. The pass also entitles you to visit the Hintertux Glacier, so you’re assured of snow even in spring-skiing conditions.
For the powder junkies out there, Wanglspitz and Unterbergalm offer some great off-piste terrain, easily accessible via the lifts. If it’s your first foray into avalanche territory, consider attending a Snow & Avalanche Awareness Camp (SAAC) so you can learn the basics of keeping safe while off-piste. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast and bring emergency supplies! You’ll definitely want to stop by the Lärchwald Infokassa to rent a helmet camera if you don’t have your own, so you can make your family and friends jealous about those fresh tracks!
Freeriding at Mayrhofen
If you’re not quite ready to tackle the wilderness just yet, you can practice your ski or board cross skills on the Ahorn Funslope. Get the hang of the dips and turns and practice until you become a pro. The Funslope is carefully groomed every day and completely separated from the rest of the skiing area in order to offer you the safest possible experience.
The Ahorn Funslope
Whether you’re already nailing those 360s or just trying out the box rails for the first time, the Vans Penken park is the go-to park for perfecting your freestyle technique. Separated into six areas from Beginner to Advanced Jib, the park offers a variety of jumps to satisfy every level of skier or snowboarder.
Snowboarding at the Vans Penken park
A new twist on tobogganing is the Arena Roller Coaster, bringing together the best of theme parks with the beauty of a ski resort! Prices are very affordable so when the kids are getting tired, end the day off right with a rollickin’ good time!
Arena Roller Coaster
At 2000m above sea level, the White Lounge Igloo Village is the ultimate après-ski destination. Choose between enchanting views from the White Lounge Sun Deck or a more authentic igloo experience in the Ice Bar before checking out the beautiful ice sculptures in the Chill Out Igloo. You’ll like it so much you want to stay here overnight, so feel free to indulge in a romantic evening by the campfire and be one of the first on the slopes the next day.
Chill Out Iglu, Mayrhofen
The annual Altitude Comedy Festival in Mayrhofen brings together some of the world’s best comedians; this year’s debut of the Altitude Christmas edition promises to be even better. For more Christmas-themed excitement, there will be an enchanting Advent Forest Festival every weekend starting in late November and lasting until mid-December. In the spring, the Snowbombing Music Festival brings crowds from all over Europe to see some of the best DJs around.
What are you waiting for? Book your holiday in Mayrhofen now!
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!
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