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Ski Austria

Mayrhofen Resort Reviews

Visitor reviews for Mayrhofen Ski Resort



  • November 11, 2013
    m.chapple from United Kingdom

    Skied Mayrhofen this year and enjoyed most aspects of what it had to offer. It was a family event. Firstly, the accommodation was a 65m2 apartment; 3 bedrooms, for 5 people which was a joy. The town is indeed picture postcard with plenty going on off the slopes; swimming/water park is great. The skiing itself is not door step for sure, but away from the busy times this was not a problem. The runs are varied with excellent mountain cafes along the way. Yes, this resorts ticks plenty of the right boxes and it must be half the costs of its Swiss and French counterparts. Booked to go to Mayrhofen for Feb 2014.

  • Mayrhofen Ratings

    Based on 16 votes. Vote

    Access: 4.6

    (1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Mayrhofen.

    Public Transport: 4.8

    (1) There are no buses or taxis to Mayrhofen, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.

    Scenery: 4.7

    (1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

    Accommodation: 5.0

    (1) No places to stay in/near Mayrhofen, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.

    Cheap Rooms: 4.4

    (1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.

    Luxury Hotels: 4.4

    (1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Mayrhofen.

    Ski in/Ski out: 3.7

    (1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.

    Childcare: 4.5

    (1) There are no child care facilities at Mayrhofen, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.

    Snowsure: 4.5

    (1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Mayrhofen is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.

    Snowmaking: 4.7

    (1) Mayrhofen relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.

    Snow Grooming: 4.8

    (1) There are no snow groomers at Mayrhofen, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Mayrhofen are groomed daily.

    Shelter: 4.1

    (1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Mayrhofen is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.

    Nearby options: 4.9

    (1) If snow conditions are poor at Mayrhofen, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.

    Regional rating: 4.2

    (1) Mayrhofen usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.

    Lift Staff: 4.7

    (1) The staff at Mayrhofen are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Mayrhofen are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.

    Crowds/Queues: 3.7

    (1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.

    Ski Schools: 4.6

    (1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.

    Hire and Repairs: 4.9

    (1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.

    Variety of pistes: 4.6

    (1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Mayrhofen has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.

    Beginners: 3.7

    (1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.

    Intermediates: 4.8

    (1) No intermediate terrain at Mayrhofen, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

    Advanced: 4.6

    (1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.

    Snow Park: 4.8

    (1) Not even a kicker at Mayrhofen, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.

    Off-piste: 4.1

    (1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.

    Cross-country: 4.2

    (1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Mayrhofen, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.

    Luge/Toboggan: 4.3

    (1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Mayrhofen has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.

    Mountain Dining: 4.6

    (1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.

    Eating: 4.8

    (1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.

    Apres-Ski: 5.0

    (1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.

    Other Sports: 4.6

    (1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.

    Entertainment: 4.2

    (1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.

    Winter Walks: 4.5

    (1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.

    Ski Pass Value: 4.8

    (1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.

    Value (National): 4.3

    (1) Overall, Mayrhofen is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.

    Value (Global): 4.6

    (1) Overall, Mayrhofen is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.

    Based on 16 votes. Vote

  • October 04, 2012
    partygirl from United Kingdom

    Me and my mates were in Mayrhofen last winter and had an absolute wild time. We are 6 female snowboarders from Bristol and we partied hard, real hard. We boarded around the VANS park and the Penkon, then started to party at 3.30 up top, before going to the Ice Bar by the Penkon lift. Now that place has an atmostphere with some cool people. We liked the Schlussel later, about 10.30 where the more mature guys treated us girls.

    Brill hol and back for more in Feb 2013. Rocknroll

  • March 02, 2012
    JIM CLARK from United Kingdom

    Hi, just skied 2 weeks in Zillertlal. Tell you what..awesome.

    Ok, maybe a good winter, but we skied powder and lush snow every day. The variation is brilliant.

    Mayrhofen..powder..park..apres!..Gerlos..powder and more..Hintertux..mega..party on.

    What more can I say!

  • February 16, 2012
    gerhard from Austria

    Another 55cm powder snow this morning down in village today. Trying to get my car out this morning with difficulty, no work today so going skiing instead ,snowsville.

    [note from the editor: if you are able to submit regular snow reports to the website, please do write to the Help Desk :
    help@snow-forecast.com)

  • February 06, 2012
    Jane,from,kent from United Kingdom

    Hello, returned yesterday (come down blues :( ) from a mixed ski holiday to the resort of Mayrhofen in the Austrian Alps. There were 18 in total staying in 3 different accommodations.
    Usually we get a large group chalet in France, but decided on a change of scenery this year. What a pleasant surprise I got and so did the majority of the group.
    The accommodation was great, spacious, private (no chalet bores) and felt upmarket compared to the cramped French chalets. The skiing was also a surprise: plenty of reds and blues and some harder stuff for the boys who also were raving about it. However, it was the town itself I most enjoyed. What a great party town.

    Overall, good skiing, superb apres, brill hotel food, spa and jacuzzi and it was voted in on the last night, unanimously to return in 2013. Can't wait.

  • January 22, 2012
    gerhard from Austria

    Back again in the Sport Hotel. Fantastic conditions this morning with another 50cm of fresh snow up top and 30cm still in the village at 630m.

    Working this afternoon but just did first lift up this morning and had some brilliant off-piste powder skiing. You could ski everywhere and anywhere and the mountain was quiet. What a season, probably one of the best for 20 years.

  • December 31, 2011
    gerhard from Austria

    Sitting in the Sport Hotel watching the 3rd straight day of snow and 40cm in the village. Going to be a great season. New bars this year along with further new lifts and mountain restaurants. Impressive resort........... and that's from an Innsbruck resident and regular St Anton skier.

  • November 28, 2011
    John G from United Kingdom

    Why is the Zillertal valley excellent? Forget the crowded Penken lift and go to the one near Hippach. Easy to get up & down and less busy.
    Then take a 15 minute train ride to Zell am Ziller and do the runs to Krimmel. Awesome. Then try the Kaltenbach area (just a little further by train) and you have another super resort. Why anyone could fault the Zillertal Valley I have no idea? We're going back for the fourth time next year.
    Oh, and the Zillertaler bier ist auch sehr gut!

  • June 20, 2011
    seasonaire26 from United Kingdom

    I have just completed a season in Mayrhofen, in mid April. The town is beautiful, with real heart, unlike Val or Verbier (my last 2 resorts). Ok, ski-wise not as prolific, but if you look around there is some fantastic skiing to be had.

    Real people, real community and very friendly and accommodating. Superb for families.

    Great apres/night life to suit all pockets and life styles.

    The reviewer who complained of the lift queues, yes, agree but only at the highest part of the season from the Penkon. The Horberg lift or Finkenburg lift, accessible by ski bus, to the same area is about 10 mins away and never queues.

    Hintertux glacier must be the best in Europe. Superb powder from Oct/May. Many lifts now linked in throughout the Zillertal and great resorts, each one different (Kaltenbach, Zell, Fugen, Lannersbach Gerlos).

    Basically, if you want masses of pistes/off-piste/ignorant people and with no charm and to get fleeced of all your money, go to Val d'Isere/Tignes/Verbier/Courcheval etc, etc. If you want a real ski experience, real people and value try Mayrhofen.

  • March 21, 2011
    fatboyslim from United Kingdom

    Who's doing the Snowbombing this year?
    Glastonbury on snow.
    snowbombing com
    Don't listen to the ol fuddy duddies, Mayrhofen rocks all year.
    We just came back from a week at the Stoanerhof. Best park in Europe with outrageous off-piste under the cable car. Top banana.
    See you in April when the town becomes partyville.

  • February 28, 2011
    Joshua O'looney from United Kingdom

    Mayrhofen is a great resort! The town has it all... everything you want for your ski trip. Although, in my opinion, it is better to stay outside of Mayrhofen, simply because morning lift queues in the town itself are notoriously horrendous in the mornings. I would recommend Hippach/ Schwendau as a base for easy access to the Penken-Rastkogel ski area... the Horbergbahn, which leaves Hippach, is a high speed gondola which does not suffer from the same horrible queues as Mayrhofen's lifts simply because it is located away from where most people stay for a holiday in the valley. What you will find is that this lift brings you out in a more central part of the resort on the mountain, plus is very speedy!

    The resort itself offers a great mixture of terrain, with gentle cruising runs, intermediate runs, more tricky, and the steepest manicured piste in Austria! The link to Eggalm gives you access to some great tree lined runs too, which descend into nearby Lanersbach and Vorderlanersbach.

    The scenery around Mayrhofen is unsurprisingly breathtaking.... Hintertux glacier one side, forests below, huge open bowls and lakes in the distance. it really is a beautiful spot.

    For those willing to vary there visit more somewhat, trying the other nearby resorts is a must! The Zillertal arena offers a large playground of slopes once again, with great views, great mountain restaurants, and lovely little towns and villages. It truly is a very good area!

    Hochzillertal-Hochfuegen is an equally varied area with some great off piste and delightful restaurants. All in all, well worth a trip to.

    Another great thing about the Zillertal is, excluding Mayrhofen, access to the slopes. I know the Zillertal is hardly France at offering "easy" access to ski areas, however the transport links in and around the valley are exceptionally good. You have the option of taking ski buses or trains to access the resorts up and down the valley and all of these services are included on your "Zillertal super ski" ski pass! It really allows you to make the most of the area.

    When I last stayed with my family, we had amazing powder conditions, which I know isn't always the case! However, the valley does have an excellent snow record and the majority of the valleys runs are located at modest altitude, which usually means good snow cover!

    Hope this helps guys!!!!!!

  • February 27, 2011
    Hepe from Finland

    Hi,
    Just got back from Mayrhofen. We spent there a week with our friends and family. We had a couple of days of excellent weather, it was just brilliant, but then also two days of snowing and really bad visibility.
    I have been skiing now for some 20+ years and visited in many resorts in Austria and France. Mayrhofen is a nice resort but not quite on my top-three-list.
    This is mainly because of a couple of things: first, there is only one very crowded ski lift from the village to the main ski area, Penken. It was an agony to queue in for 30 - 40 minutes even if you were in line at 8:30 in the morning. And then same thing again in the afternoon when coming back to village. I must say that I have never seen like that before anywhere else. I have understood that the current gondola has been there for only a couple of years, but still they should do something to make sure that there are not these awful queues already from 8:30 in the morning.
    Second, there are three separate ski areas, Penken, Ahorn and Hintertux. The only way to move e.g. from Penken to Ahorn is to use a free ski bus.
    I skied only at Penken area and it was OK. A lot of different runs from Harakiri being the steepest run in Austria to easy going blue runs. Enough restaurants to get some lunch and drinks during your skiing.
    The Mayrhofen village itself is a nice and cosy, real Austian style. There are a lot of different hotels and apartments to choose and are easy to reach even from Munchen Airport as we did. Good restaurants with reasonable price level, good shopping facilities.
    Should I go to Mayrhofen again? - maybe. I have been lucky to be able to spend two weeks in the Alps for the past couple of years. Should a week in Mayrhofen be the only week on snow in the year, I would rather go elsewhere, but as second week on snow, then yes.

  • December 16, 2010
    woof woof from United Kingdom

    What can you say about the Hofen. Decent slopes, very friendly, and getting better every year.

    Mayrhofen are doing it right.

    For years they had that single cable car leaving from the village. That's all changed. High speed gondolas and every mountain lift is the fast modern type.

    This resort has been in fashion, gone out of fashion, and now is at the top table for the 'in crowd'. Music, fun, great skiing and the cooool place to be.

  • March 14, 2010
    Philip from United Kingdom

    Now in my 38th year visiting this wonderful resort (Mayrhofen) ...have tried the rest, this is the best for all round enjoyment.
    The Ahorn is thoroughly recommended for skiers of a certain age, I'm 67 next month, and anyone wanting a relaxing day away from busy slopes.
    The Ahornhutte is great and the staff will look after you with true Austrian hospitality.
    Why not join the Silver Skiers for a day in the sun...see you there. The Penken is great too, but pick your time.

  • February 14, 2010
    Dawn Husemann from Austria

    14th February 2010, got back last night, big bout of holiday come down blues. Our 6th trip to Mayrhofen, all staying at the Strass. An awesome week. We keep trying other resorts but just can't better this one as an all round resort. Great hotel (but yes it can be noisy outside), amazing spa, great food, spacious rooms, great location, friendly staff. Amazing atmosphere on the slopes at Mayrhofen, great bars, yep, cheezy music but no one seems to mind when we are all singing rather loudly before catching the last lift down. In fact this year has been so good we are booking to go back for another week late season. Can't wait!

  • February 11, 2010
    Angela feb 10 from United Kingdom

    What a difference the snow conditions make! 6th visit to Mayrhofen and at New Year the pistes were compacted and icy and a bit tricky to say the least! But, first week of February, after quite a bit of snow and the pistes were fabulous. Had some of the best skiing we've ever had there. Going back again in a couple of weeks and it should be even better after all the snowfall of late. Even the Ahorn run down could be tackled by a couple of timid intermediates... Maybe..!!!

  • January 28, 2010
    simon from United Kingdom

    Booked in for the 'Snow Bombing' week again in April at Mayrhofen.

    Like Glastonbury but without the mud. In fact our hotel, last year had a spa area that made the mud at Glastonbury seem light years away.

    Basically Mayrhofen is a top Austrian skiing resort with everything for a great week. Great slopes and board park, top bars, girls and cheapish drinks.

  • January 18, 2010
    kev from United Kingdom

    26 of us into Mayerhofen in Jan of 2010 for the first time. We stayed at the Hotel Strass. Excellent position next to the Penken lift, out the door of the hotel and 2 minutes later on the lift (queues allowing). The hotel was very clean, food excellent with extra portions if asked for. All our rooms were clean and spacious. The big downside was the noise of people exiting the bar/nightclub! The noise started at midnight and finished around 4am. No noise from the club just the people leaving! This alone will prevent us from returning to the hotel. Skiing was good at Mayrhofen with slopes well maintained and on-slope prices for food very reasonable.

  • January 13, 2010
    Mark H from United Kingdom

    Myself and two friends went to Mayerhofen in Feb 2009 - we had a brilliant week. Loads of runs to take on, including the Harakiri, which is Austria's steepest run. We stayed in the Landhaus Noal, which, for a 2 and a half star, was excellent and close to the Penken and Ahorn lifts. On the Ahorn side you can ski from the highest point down to the village. You will also find the White Lounge up there, a bar cut into the ice, which is fantastic. Nightlife in Mayerhofen is excellent too, with Scotland Yard being the best bar and the Speak Easy club being very lively. Will definitely be back to Mayrhofen soon.

  • November 24, 2009
    cines from United Kingdom

    Another new year in Mayrhofen.
    That will be the 3rd consecutively. May not sound much but I have always skied and partied at new year in a ski resort for many years and tried most, and Mayhofen is top of the list and will remain there.
    The skiing is great. We ski a few days on the Penken and then take on the glacier if the weather is kind. The run from top to bottom will test even the most fit skier and is a decent of 1700 metres.
    With Gerlos, Koiniglieton and Kaltenbach (the home of Steffan Eberharter) all on the same lift pass you don't get bored.
    Go and see the topless girls in the Rumdum (downstairs) on Friday and Saturday, but don't take the wife.
    Great all round resort, and some of the best value left in the Alps.

  • November 03, 2009
    Philip from United Kingdom

    38th year in Mayrhofen coming up. That's how good it is as an all-round package. There is good skiing over a wide area (the whole valley and a glacier if you want it), friendly people, good food and atmosphere. I've over 20 other results on my skiing CV but this is the best. It's my second home now. But plan your days and avoid peak times, get onto the Penken before the ski schools, do a few runs, and then switch to the Ahorn which has a run down to the village or take the free train and try Kaltenbach, Zell Am Ziller, etc.
    Don't miss the Happy End, the hub of it all. Don't miss the Ahornhutte. Don't miss skiing of all standards at Mayrhofen.
    We fly to Innsbruck with EasyJet, take a bus from the airport to the Bahnhof, then take a train to Jenbach where we change to the Zillertalbahn. It doesn't take long and costs around 15 Euros (bus to station, single railfare).
    Much better than an expensive taxi, providing you travel relatively light.
    See you there in December, January or March.

  • April 13, 2009
    Andy G from United Kingdom

    Returned home yesterday (13th April 09) after another great week in Mayrhofen. In spite of the very warm temperatures over the last couple of weeks the dump of snow the resort has had this year is still holding up really well. The season officially ends over the next couple of weeks but all the runs on the top are still in great condition. Take the 150 Tux lift and get away from the crowds. Watch out for the sunburn though.

    Failing that just take the bus and hit the glacier, conditions up there are great.

  • January 18, 2009
    enics from Afghanistan

    Just returned from 2 weeks skiing in Mayrhofen.

    Wow, what an international resort Mayrhofen has turned into.

    I used to be your regular British skier going to Mayrhofen and then had 5 years off. What a transformation. Literally all the lifts are high speed state of the art stuff and the snowboard park is now the best in Europe.

    Spent the new year evening sledging at Lannersbach. What a night. Then watched the international horse racing in Mayrhofen on new years day.

    Without doubt with the new connections to Rastkogel and Ahorn 150 cable car lifts, as well as the normal glacier at Hintertux and the rest of the Zillertal stuff, Gerlos, Kaltenback and Fugen, now Mayrhofen is only just behind St Anton as Austria's best resort. Better value by miles too.

  • December 30, 2008
    Alan from United Kingdom

    Just back from Christmas in Mayrhofen.
    We stayed in the Gasthof Monika about 50 yards from the Penken lift. Great location, but a bit noisy when the bars close in the middle of the night. Might be worth staying a little further away from the main street. Other than that we had a great time and would recommend Mayrhofen without hesitation. Thanks to Tony for the advice.

  • December 14, 2008
    jimmy from United Kingdom

    Went to Mayrhofen early on the 06/12.08 and it cost £200 B&B for a week at the Pension Steiner. Lovely, cute guest house and the couple that run it couldn't have been any nicer. Wicked snow and great slopes. I am an intermediate snowboarder and loved it. Off-piste was up to my waist and amazing on most runs, red 27 being out of this world for fresh tracks all day long. The night life at Mayrhofen was excellent. New Scotland Yard is a must as well as Mo's and Aproco. If you are a boarder then just go and remember red 27. If you get a lucky dump, you will never forget the super fast floaty powder; it's what dreams are made of.

  • March 10, 2008
    samuel from United Kingdom

    Very good location, great snow and I thought the vans snowpark was very challenging as well as harakri. A bit icy but very entertaining. The night life is also very good considering Im 14 lol. buBt overall, a very good ski resort and had some great off-piste skiing there. Very rocky in the off-piste which made it that much better. I went from the 26th of Jan and came back on the 2nd of Feb. The transfer was not long at all (under 2 hours) so you can hit them slopes soon as you get there but not the best place for beginners unless in ski school.

  • February 03, 2008
    Martin Johnston from United Kingdom

    Just got back form Mayrhofen 2 Feb 08 , first time to Austria, this was a great holiday. The weather was fantastic, once we got used to the bus system and found out where the best skiing was we skied every day and all day covering many miles. Staying in the Strolz Hotel, just on the fringes of the town was not a problem, the bus services stopped 100yrds from the hotel and dropped us off out side the Penkenbahn .
    The town is fantastic, good night life, busy bars such as Sport bar that is really busy, but a great atmosphere. Mo's bar was another great place to sit and enjoy a great atmosphere with great bar staff.
    For a smaller bar try the Piccadilly, good beer and a good place to wide down after a long day skiing.
    I will be returning next year. Never got the time to travel up to Hintertux Glacier.
    If you are a beginner try the Ahorn mountain; very good easy blues and one good red otherwise if you are a more advanced skier stay on the main ski runs up on the Penkenbahn.
    Best weeks skiing I have had. Be aware of a long transfer from Salzburg that takes 3 hours. Don't let that put you off.
    Have a great time in Mayrhofen.
    Martin and friends.

  • January 24, 2008
    Tony H from United Kingdom

    I have just returned from my 4th visit to Mayrhofen, so you can work out for yourself what I think of the place. I have spent time in Mayrhofen in early Jan (2006 and 2008), late Feb (2007) and Christmas (2006). On each ocassion we were able to get in plenty of skiing, irrespective of how good or bad the conditions were, because the ski area is some 1200m above the village, and they do look after the slopes very well.
    If you want to avoid queues at the Penken gondola lift in the morning, get down there between 8 and 8.15, or leave it until 9.30, but for me the idea of a ski holiday is to max the time on the slopes, so we were often up the top well before 8.30. Alternatively, take the free ski bus round to Finkenberg and take the gondola up from there, it is never busy.
    Once at the top, the place is huge. I like to take the chair up the top, and ski down the front on red 1 or 11 a few times to warm up, and then head over the back into the bowl. Red 3 and 5 are lovely wide open but challenging runs down into the valley, from where a variety of chairs will take you in different directions. The Schneekaar chair takes you to the top of the Horberg, where red 27 is best first thing in the morning as it tends to get busy and cut up later on, and red 7 is a long and varied run back down into the bowl, with a good and popular cafe half way down. This is one of the best reds in the region, in my opinion.
    The 150 man cable car, which you can get to by skiing through the board park, thus avoiding another chair and a drag, takes you to Raskogel, and it's much quieter over here, as well as usually being in the sun all day. The slopes are wide and long, reds and blues, and lovely cruising runs. If the conditions permit you, take the run all the way down to the track, red 2, which will lead you to the Vogelnest restaurant at the bottom of Eggalm, from where the chair takes you to the top of another quiet but spectacular ski area. There are some awesome reds to blast down here, and then you can make your way to the bottom of the blue, and back up Rastkogel on the gondola. However, the only other way back to Penken skiing, if you don't take the 150 man cable car back down, is on red 16, which is notoriously hard and busy. It's known as The Ridge, and in 3 trips I have had 2 accidents on here: once when a border went over my tips and sent me crashing into a woman who had stupidly stopped right in the middle of the slope on the dark area which is often icy and never sees the sun, and this year, when an out of control skier snapped my ski pole in half, lucky it wasn't my leg. You need to be confident and a good intermediate skier to make it over red 16. Beginners should stay well away from it, as it's always busy and steep in patches, with lots of bumps of moguls. Having said that, it's a good feeling to get to the bottom again, and then take the chair back up over the Hara Kiri, from where I strongly recommend a run down towards Finkenberg on a mix of reds and a black. Testing but not hard, but a long and slow 2 man chair back up (Katzenmoose).
    Over on Ahorn, the new 8 man chair which replaced the 2 T-bars has opened the place right up. The blues are lovely for a warm up cruise, or for beginners, and this place never seems to get busy. The 160 man cable car up offers some great views of the valley.
    Further down is the spectacular and enjoyable Ebbenwald, a red because in places it is very steep. It has a tendency to ice up in the afternoons when the sun goes and I have seen a number of beginners tackle it unsuccessfully, but it's wide enough to traverse if you get into trouble. The 2 man lift back up is not the quickest, but isn't too long.
    At the end of a day on Ahorn, take the red (which really should be a black), Abfahrt, off the mountain. It's very challenging but well worth the effort, provided it isn't too icy or too warm, as conditions have to be good to make this doable. It brings you back to the bottom of the cable car.
    This year we took the train 2 stops down to Zell, where there is a good ski area, for the first time, but sadly it was too windy to take the link to Gerlos. It's nice for a change for a day, or half a day, but be warned, it does seem to take an age from leaving Mayrhofen to hitting the slopes in Zell - around an hour and a half to be precise!!!!
    If the snow really is bad, you always have Hintertux, but it is really cold and windy up there, so only go if you really have to. It isn't a pleasant trip out!
    As for places to stay, the hotels all seem to be pretty good, traditional Austrian with lots of pine wood. I have stayed in snow-homes with Inghams and Neilson, all of which are 5 to 10 bedroomed pensions. Breakfast will be limited, but enough to keep you going until a mid morning coffee and mars bar on the slopes. I have also stayed in the Landhaus Roscher, which is part of the Strass Hotel, and food in the Strass is good. The only place I would not recommend is the Brucke, as it is on top of the Schlussel nightclub, which pumps away until 4am. The buses around town are excellent and frequent, and there are 2 good taxi services too.
    Eating out and drinking? Well, the only place to go after the slopes is the Happy End. This is a small and friendly bar opposite the Penken Gondola, and opposite, you will find the local butchers. They do amazing rolls for a snack. Opposite is the Ice Bar, full of German and Dutch people who appear never to have seen beer before, or heard music either - you will know what I mean when you have seen it. Go in one night for a laugh, but thats' probably as much as you can handle. It's loud, cheesy, and takes an eternity to get a 5 Euro bottle of crap Dutch lager.
    Alternatively, enjoy the ambience of Coup & More just down the high street. Not so much apres-ski as pre or post dinner. Nicely fitted out. Also, MO's diner on the crossroads further down is excellent for both food and drink, tex mex and pasta in the main, but lots to choose from and huge portions. I also recommend the Neuen Post hotel, a massively varied menu with very reasonable prices, and usually some form of traditional entertainment going on. It's right down the bottom past the church.
    There is also an Italian called Ciao, very reasonable but limited menu, mainly pasta, which is just off the main street near the Seeker boarding shop. Also, try the Kagelbahn - a small bowling alley tucked away round the back of the top end of the town, next to Landhaus Roscher, take the road up behind Happy End and the right hand fork...Good food, cheap prices.
    As for shopping, Mayrhofen has a good selection. The Spar supermarket is popular and has all you need for essentials, and there are tons of ski and board shops for clothing and hardware. Best places to buy are Wegscheider, up towards the Penken lift, Inter Sport down the bottom of town, and Hervis - a warehouse (turn left down the hill at Mo's.) Hervis is particularly good for deals on skis - I bought mine out there in last years sale saving over £200!!!
    Innsbruck Airport is only 1 hour 15 minutes, Salzburg a good hour longer, and Munich 2 hours 30 mins. If you are umming and arring about Mayrhofen, dont. Just go there.

  • December 27, 2007
    kirk field from United Kingdom

    Been visiting ' da hoff' for 20 winters now and have seen the transformation first hand. The resort was always full of character and picturesque, 'chocolate box' blah blah blah... AND a terrific place to party.
    But the last five years has witnessed the ski area growing by 51% ( due to the 150 person link to Lanarsbach), huge infrastructure investment ( EVERY old two man slow chair has been replaced by a speedy, (and soft!) 6 man version...and the recent development of the Ahorn.
    Now served by Austria's largest gondola (160 person), the forgotten mountain now possesses a real jewel: an igloo village called 'The White Lounge'. This place really is amazing; it consists of a bar (this being Austria, a nightclub with DJ booth, a chill out lounge /ice cinema, a huge sauna...and 10 sleeping suites, where you can stay overnight on the mountain.
    A 6 new man chair has replaced the parallel T-bars, completing the rebirth of the Ahorn.
    And for anyone bemoaning the lack of long runs on the Penken- how about tackling the 5.5km valley descent via the Abenwald?
    Finally, another big improvement has occurred in the restaurants; on the mountain the excellent Pyramid (Sneekar - top of red 7) flies the flag for organic cuisine of the highest standard, while down in town, Cafe Tirol fuses the traditional with contemporary culinary flavours.
    With Tux a free bus ride away, and Zell, Hippach, and the rapidly improving Kaltenbach (with its headline-grabbing Kristall Hutte showing there is life after sausages and chips), Mayrhofen is also a fantastic base from which to explore Zillertal.
    Downsides? Still no toboggan run within walking distance (surely the Ahorn would be ideal) and the high season queues at the Penkenbahn (see above paragraph about neighbouring resorts).
    Conclusion: hit the hoff!

  • December 04, 2007
    S Holland from United Kingdom

    I have skiied in Mayrhofen a few times with a group of friends and we are looking forward to another trip back at new year. The skiing area is enormous when you consider that there is the whole Zillertal region to explore and not just the Ahorn and the Penken, and runs/routes can be found to suit all abilities.
    As a tip for groups of skiers looking to avoid the Penkenbahn queues in the morning, we found that by far the best way was to order a minibus taxi to take us to the Eggalmbahn/Horbergbahn, that way you have an empty ski lift and the runs haven't yet been reached by the hordes going up the Penkenbahn! Sure, the buses are free, but you have to be right on time to get them as they don't hang around the stops very long and the taxi option only costs about €2 each (group of 8) and you get picked up right from your door so there's not even any walking to the lift either!

    Be sure to try the 7km toboggan run at nearby Zell am Ziller. Illuminated at night and with a bar midway to stock up on the Jagermeister for 'Dutch courage', it is a laugh a metre!

    I must say I've not heard or noticed of any of the scams ([deliberate] errors?) that Mr Jones speaks of in any of the bars we have been to (and that's quite a lot!) Just be sure to know what the drinks cost. More than once I thought I had been short changed but found that the drinks cost more than I had thought! This is easier to resolve with the bartender if you can speak maths in German ("Excuse me, I gave you €20" = "Entschuldigung, Ich habe Ihnen zwanzig Euro gegeben")