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Ski Holidays Austria - Skiing in Mayrhofen

Updated on December 1, 2012

Skiing in Austria

Since I learned to ski many of my skiing holidays have been in Austria, there is a reason for this and it is simply that when it comes to skiing, Austria is to skiing like salt is to pepper.

I honestly believe that anyone who enjoys the environment that comes with a skiing holiday such as the mountains the views and the snowy scenery are going to find the alpine buildings in Austrian towns and villages completely irresistible.

Now I know a lot of the skiing villages in most countries come with small alpine ski chalets that are usually built from wood with integral balconies so you can sit outside sipping a schnapps or a hot chocolate and brandy whilst admiring the view and taking in the sun, but there really isn't anywhere that does it quite like Austria. Conjure up a stereotypical image of a perfect ski resort and I can guarantee you will find one just like it somewhere in Austria, one of the reasons I love to go there.

Having said all that I have to admit that Mayrhofen isn't quite that picture postcard version I just painted, the reason being that it is in fact a reasonably large town.

It is though still a very attractive, lovely town which comes with the benefit of having loads of bars, restaurants and shops and sufficient evening and night time activities to cater both for family skiing holidays and the younger crowd looking for a bit of life into the early hours. Also being relatively large it allows these different requirements to co-exist without infringing one upon the other, so as far as apres ski goes Mayrhofen will cater for all elements quite nicely.

To get to the skiing there is a gondola that goes right out of town up to the slopes with plenty of ski hire shops close by that will allow you to leave your gear with them overnight so that you can get into your ski boots and pick up your skis quite close to the lift, saving the grief of having to carry your skis or wear your boots across town to your accommodation.Having only one lift out of town to the slopes means it can get quite busy at certain times so you probably need to make up your mind if you want to go early or hang back a bit if you want to avoid the crowd.

Mayrhofen is one of those towns where you cannot ski down to it from the slopes, there simply are no runs back to town. In fact at the early or late parts of the season you may be fooled into thinking there is no snow available, but when you get to the top of the mountain you will find there is normally no problem in this respect. If there ever was then its worth knowing that there is a glacier nearby that should cater for your skiing fix should all else fail.

Mayrhofen Ski Resort

Courtesy of Creative Commons
Courtesy of Creative Commons

Mayrhofen for a family skiing holiday

In my opinion Mayrhofen is a great place for a family skiing holiday, suitable for beginners and intermediates with lots of great pistes for these levels. These are catered for in the most part by proportionally more chair lifts than drag lifts. The few drag lifts there are can be fairly easily avoided if you prefer saving your energy for the skiing rather than the ascent up the slope.

The two ski areas above Mayrhofen are called Ahorn and Penken and they consist of fairly easy wide open slopes. Ahorn would probably be the choice for beginners with Penken offering a little more of a challenge and would cater for the intermediate levels and people moving towards intermediate.

There is not a lot to challenge advanced skiers in Mayrhofen so unless you are prepared to have a nice easy time of it advanced skiers are probably better off looking elsewhere alternatively if you want to base yourself in Mayrhofen, you could get a pass for the Zillertal region where you will find slopes for your level. Finkenberg is south of Mayrhofen with Hippach and Zell am Ziller to the north.

Here is a piste map and a web cam for Mayrhofen.

Innsbruck is the nearest airport being about an hour away but Saltzburg is not so far away either, still less than 2 hours and could be considered as an alternative airport option for the town.

Skiing in Austria on Video

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    • profile image

      Ski holidays 7 years ago

      I've never been there either even though I am running a ski portal. Soon enough I will be cashing in enough to afford a nice skiing adventure. For me personally, those moments when you are above the fog and the clouds enjoying the perfect sun and recreation are just priceless.

    • nick247 profile image

      nick247 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I've never been to Mayrhofen, even though I'm part Austrian. It sounds absolutely lovely though, thank you for a lovely hub.

    • videosgoneviral profile image

      videosgoneviral 8 years ago

      That sounds amazing. I would love to go on a ski trip.!

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 8 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      Hi Amanda, I could not skate to save my life, roller or ice, way too difficult. But I can ski and even though initially I wasn't a natural a few lessons from a good instructor and you will be well on the way. It isn't just about the skiing though, the mountains and the scenery I am sure you would absolutely love.

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

      Sounds like a great place to ski with the kids. My husband can ski, and he'd love us to take the children, but somehow we've just never got round to it. He assures me that as I can skate, I should have no problem skiing, but I'm not sure that's quite how it works!

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 8 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      It is pretty good for beginners, nice town as well.

    • Stayathomejobs profile image

      Stayathomejobs 8 years ago from NC

      I have never skiied before, but this looks like a great place to visit ;-)