Mayrhofen

Mayrhofen is a skiing resort in Austria. It's also the main base for skiing on the slopes of Zillertal valley.

Understand

The city brochure found in the tourist office is unexpectedly useful and comprehensive—surely grab a copy for your stay. It includes timetables for all trains and buses running from and around the city (including the skibus lines around Zillertal valley) and lists most businesses you may ever need in the city. It largely duplicates content from the Mayrhofen official site.

Tourist Information, Am Marktplatz 219,  +43 5285-6760, fax: 6760-33, e-mail: . From Dec 19: open Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 1am-1pm; reduced hours on 24-26 Dec, 31 Dec, 1 Jan. Travelers mix: Russians are most frequent visitors; after them go UK and Benelux.

When to go

Most agents (and therefore hotels themselves) sell lodging in weekly packs, Saturday afternoon to next Saturday morning.

This results in higher prices for some services (e.g. private instructors) for Sun-Tue, and lowest prices for Fri-Sat.

Arrival day

To get most of your time at the resort, use your arrival day to prepare everything you need for entering slopes from the early morning of the next day. To make sure you have enough time for everything, plan to arrive to your hotel not later than check-in time, and go for preparations immediately.

Here are the average open hours for Saturday of different businesses you will likely need:

Other hours for a typical day

What things cost

Get in

By train

From/to Munich

Trains from Munich start in the Hauptbanhof. There are trains directly to Jenbach.

Once in Jenbach go to the Zillerteilbahn platform (ZL). The train will run from Jenback to Mayrhofen ever 30 minutes. It will take about an hour and a half. The cost is around 7 euro. You can buy the ticket directly on the train from the ticket man. The Zillerteilbahn becomes very busy with skiers towards the end. If you have luggage, store it conveniently to make room for everyone. Travel by train in this area is very easy.

From/to Milan

Trains from Milan also are available. This is the same train from Munich. Depending on airline tickets you can arrive at either place and start your train travel.

From/to Vienna

Trains to Mayrhofen from Vienna depart from West Bahnhof on the west of the city, not from Wien Mitte in the downtown.

If you travel with a 1-1.5-year toddler, getting in from Vienna to Mayrhofen by train is really comfortable compared to rented car. It takes 6 hours and you'll need to make a connection, but:

It's impossible to buy a full-ride ticket from Mayrhofen to Vienna (not to mention reserve seats). Mayrhofen train station sells tickets only for narrow-gauge railway, and you need to separately buy tickets for your next leg in Jenbach, connection station. Therefore either purchase return tickets together with the onward tickets from Vienna to Mayrhofen, or book via internet with .

By car

You won't need chains on tyres to travel to Mayrhofen from any major city.

Get around

Any point of Mayrhofen can be easily reached by foot; it takes maximum of 1 hour walk to get from one end to another.

There's even no need to have a car for skiing on other slopes of Zillertall valley—ski buses take you everywhere, and free most of the time. They also don't mind boarding a parent with a toddler and a stroller, you don't even need to ask nicely most of the time.

Do

Ski / snowboarding

There are two ski lifts in Mayrhofen itself: Penken and Ahorn. Besides them there are about dozen of ski lifts in nearby villages, all of them are easily reachable from Mayrhofen thanks to free ski buses (there are several different lines operating from/around the city). Those include Hintertux glacier.

Skipasses can also be purchased with a discount at Ascent Travel, which can be found in the lobby of Sporthotel Strass.

Unlike some other skiing resorts, helmets are not mandatory to enter pistes, but as always common sense recommends to wear it whenever on piste.

Basics of skiing resort

Grab a copy of pistenplan at skipass sales office or at Tourist Information; keep it with you while skiing. There are some maps on the slopes, but too rare for an unexperienced skier.

Ski cellars. Most hotels have a special room for storing guests equipment—frequently called ski cellar. This is also a place to dry your boots overnight—which is absolutely recommended, as otherwise your next day will be uncomfortable skiing in wet boots. The topmost rack is most effective, as only there no snow from the upper boots gets down.

Skiing schools

There is a total of about 10 skiing schools in Mayrhofen. To give you idea of their services, prices and conditions, below are two most widely sold and prominently located schools. Be careful with "the only school with certified instructors speaking your language here" touting: in most cases, it only applies to private instructors who are much more expensive than group lessons.

With children

Skiing schools accept children for training from 3 years old.

Ski rental

There are more than 10 shops offering equipment rental, and the competition is quite tough—so expect their services and quality to be quite similar to each other.

No cash deposit is required in exchange for the equipment you rent.

If you choose to learn with a skiing school, the easiest option is to rent equipment right with them—after the declared "special discount for school clients" it's maximum 10% more expensive than in a dedicated rental shop.

In any case, most shops (and schools) offer a good choice of equipment levels, from very beginners to quite advanced.

Logistics is that you take the full set of equipment for the whole duration of rental (e.g. 7 days) and return it to the rental shop only on the last day. During that period, you either store take full equipment to a hotel after each day, OR leave them at one of the ski depots (i.e. paid storages) at the base station or in the city just near the ski lift station. The only exception is SkiZone rentals, who offer free nightly storage of equipment you rented from them.

With a toddler

A typical scenario for a family with a 1.5-year toddler is that in the morning one parent rides on slopes while other stays with children, and in the afternoon they change.

Walking around the village with a toddler is absolutely boring for him, and best avoided as much as possible. Leaving kindergarten aside (see Cope section), there are several things to do in Mayrhofen:

Healthy alternatives to apres ski

Activities:

Places:

Sauna and swimming pool have independent entries and changing rooms, but can be visited from one to another with a ticket applied to electronic gates. The drawback is it makes you carry your ticket everywhere in one complex.

Pistes details

Penken

Hintertux

Buy

There are 5 or 6 sport goods stores in the city. They will help to cover a missing piece in your equipment (lost/forgotten/broken ), but don't expect to find too serious brands or professional equipment.

Beyond skiing equipment, there is some choice of perfumes, toys—but prices are generally higher than in Insbruk or in Vienna airport duty-free shop.

There also are several discount multi-brand stores selling high-street brands.

Food specialties

Wine:

For toddlers

There are 2 or 3 drug stores where baby food and diapers are available.

Eat

Mid-range

With children

Sleep

Mid-range

Splurge

There are only four hotels rated as 4* or 5* in the city:

Connect

Mobile

There are 4 or 5 shops with mobile contracts, but all are quite far away from the main street. Consult the tourist office brochure for exact addresses and directions.

Internet

Internet access is rare and expensive in the city; there are only one or two cafes offering free wifi—while most hotels have exorbitant prices like €5 per hour.

Cope

Weather conditions on the ski slopes are very close to what is in the Mayrhofen itself; it's only significantly colder (and more wind) on Hintertux glacier: expect temperatture there to be 5°C colder.

With children

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, September 14, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.