Ski Resort Guide | Zillertal

The shredding never stops in Austria’s only all-year ski area

Featured image credit: Zillertal Tourism / Tom Klocker

The ski season is, almost without question, the best part of the year. With that in mind, wouldn’t it be nice if it just went on, and on, and on indefinitely? If this endless season dream sounds too good to be true, well… it isn’t. You just need to get yourself to the Austrian valley of Zillertal to make it a reality.

An enchanting and incredibly popular snow sports destination in the winter and playground to the pros in the summer, this sun and snow-blessed valley resort offers non-stop snowsports action – 365 days a year. How? It’s home to the Hintertux Glacier, making it the only all-year snowsports destination in Austria.

But there’s so much more to Zillertal than just year-round skiing. Interest sufficiently piqued? Here’s some key information to help you plan your trip.

“There’s so much more to Zillertal than just year-round skiing”

How To Get There

Surrounded by three-thousand metre peaks, Zillertal is located in the federal province of Tirol, just off the Inn Valley, to the east of Innsbruck. In fact, Innsbruck is only 50km away. If you’re flying from the UK, this is by far and away your best option.

From Innsbruck, you can catch a direct train to Jenbach in a mere 20 minutes and hop on a connecting shuttle to take you to your final destination.

Innsbruck isn’t your only option though. Salzburg is 150km away and Munich is 170km. Both offer direct trains to Jenbach taking an hour and a half, where you can hop on a quick shuttle to your hotel.

You can also take the reliable Four Seasons airport shuttle to get quickly and comfortably to your accommodation in Zillertal.

Credit: Zillertal Tourism / Tom Klocker

Why Go

Whether you’re a complete beginner desperately trying to stay upright on blue runs, or a seasoned freestyler looking to hit the biggest features possible, you’ll find something that suits your abilities in Zillertal.

The Zillertal Superskipass includes four expansive skiing areas – Hochzillertal-Hochfügen-Spieljoch, Zillertal Arena, skiing area Mayrhofen and Ski- & Glacier World Zillertal 3000 – where you can happily find something that matches your skill level and riding style. Make sure to bring a piste map though, because this place is BIG. There are 542km of groomed pistes to be precise, serviced by 180 state-of-the-art cable cars and maxing out at 3,250m above sea level on the Hintertux Glacier.

“Whether you’re a complete beginner… or a seasoned freestyler… you’ll find something that suits your abilities in Zillertal”

Looking for some airtime? The Superskipass also covers eight snowparks, including Betterpark Hintertux, where many pros choose to start and end their season. The park includes huge jumps, an ever-changing jib setup and even a halfpipe. It’s open to visitors from September to December, and again from April to June.

There’s also a large number of SkiMovie and Photopoint stations in the Zillertal skiing areas, and with the Zillertal Superskipass, everything is recorded.  This pass works in conjunction with the ski buses, and will help you get to all the different ski areas.

Credit: Zillertal Tourism / Tom Klocker
Credit: Zillertal Tourism / Tom Klocker

Where To Stay

One of the great things about staying in Zillertal is the accommodation. This corner of the Alps is filled with wholesome family-run hotels, rather than large chains. There’s first-class hospitality wherever you look here, a place to stay to suit everyone. From cozy little Alpine rooms to the luxury of a 5-star establishment, you’ll be well catered for here.

Speaking of being well catered for, the Fügen thermal bath and Mayrhofen adventure pool tick all the right boxes if you’re looking for some additional, visit-enhancing, wellness to go with your choice of accommodation. 

“One of the great things about staying in Zillertal is the accommodation”

Eating And Drinking

There’s nothing like a long day of skiing or snowboarding to turbo charge your appetite, and you’ll be well catered for with the wide selection of first-class eateries in the valley and up on the mountains.

Kristallhütte mountain restaurant is one of the highlights. This fancy hut, located in the heart of Hochzillertal Ski Resort in Kaltenbach, is a luxurious option with stunning mountain views and some of the best food in the area. It has even been awarded the prize for the best ski lodge of the year several times now.

Like the sound of this? There’s more where that came from. The Zillertal ski areas are home to more than 80 huts, restaurants and inns, including the Wiesenalm restaurant located in the Zillertal Arena, which features a sunny terrace, spectacular views and unique creations like the locally brewed Wiesenbier.

For something completely different, why not treat yourself to a gondola breakfast, where you can start the day off right with some top-notch food and a glorious view?

Credit: Zillertal Tourism / Tom Klocker

Other Activities

If you can tear yourself away from the slopes, a visit to Nature’s Ice Palace at the Hintertux Glacier is a must. Take a guided tour and explore the ice cave beneath the ski slopes where you’ll find a glacial crevasse with huge stalactites, sparkling ice crystals and frozen waterfalls.

Hit This Run

Feeling brave? Test your nerve on the steepest groomed slope located in Mayrhofen. The Harakiri is a red-knuckle ride of a run with gradients of almost 80 percent, a vertical drop of 375m and a length of 2,000m. This one’s definitely a challenge, but well worth ticking off your skier’s bucket list (if you’ve got the skills to handle it). 

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