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Mayrhofen

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Mayrhofen is a skiing resort in Austria. It's also the main base for skiing on the slopes of Zillertal [1] valley.



Headline text[edit]

Understand[edit]

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); lists most businesses you may ever need in the city.

Largerly it duplicates content from Mayrhofen official site, [2].

Tourist Information, Am Marktplatz 219, +43 5285-6760 (, fax: 6760-33), [3]. From Dec 19: open Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 1am-1pm; reduced hours on 24-26 Dec, 31 Dec, 1 Jan.  edit

Travelers mix: Russians are most frequent visitors; after them go UK and Benelux.

The ski area of Mayrhofen[edit]

The ski slopes of Mayrhofen are predominantly rather steep and not particularly long making it a great place for experienced skiers who like to keep on the move. For the seriously adventurous skier there are 22km of black runs including the steepest run in Austria, the infamous Hara Kiri with its 78% gradient! Not for the faint-hearted! The nearby Hintertux glacier offers year-round skiing and guaranteed snow for keen early season skiers or late spring ski holidays in Mayrhofen. Here you will find an incredible 600km of slopes and the Hintertux glacier is included on the area lift pass and is connected with a free bus. Skidooing, snow tubing, paragliding, tobogganing, ice skating, sleigh rides, snow shoe hikes, horse riding and bowling are just a few of the many activities available in Mayrhofen. This resort is on every après-ski top ranked list! It proudly hosts the Snowbombing festival, the biggest and best music festival in the Alps. It's apres ski and nightlife are of equal standards. Find out more: Skiing and wintersport-Snowplaza.co.uk.

When to go[edit]

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[edit]

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 checkin time, and go for preparations immediately.

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

  • 2pm: checkin time at your hotel
  • 8am - 6pm (Sun from 9am): business hours for most skiing schools. Allow at least 15 minutes to settle all details.
  • 8am - 6pm: business hours for most ski rental shops. Allow at least half an hour for fitting, plus queue if it suddenly happens to be.
  • 8am - 4:30pm: business hours for skipass sales counter, as the whole lift closes at 4:30pm (but it takes just 5 minutes plus queue to buy skipass on the next morning)

Other hours for a typical day[edit]

  • breakfast at hotel: 7am-10:30am
  • skiing schools, group courses: 9:45am-12:15pm / 1pm-3:30pm (start time is for a meeting point up after ski lifts)
  • dinner at hotel (typical halfboard): 7pm-10pm

What things cost[edit]

  • skipass 5 of 7 days: €209 (6 days 224 euro)
  • ski equipment rental: € 55-89 per week per person
  • ski school (group courses, 4 hours per day): €146 / 153 for 3 / 4 days
  • ski school (private instructor, 4 hours per day): € 192 / 170 per day for Sun-Tue, Wed-Sat
  • ski rental 6 days + 5 days group courses package: €190 / 180 for adults / kids
  • average lunch (soup + average main): €25
  • double room in an average 3-star hotel: €125-160 in Jan-Feb

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

From/to Munich[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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:

  • connection in Jenbach is quite comfortable: there's elevators and no stairs to overcome; train to Mayrfohen departs roughly every 30min so you won't wait long
  • there is a restaurant coach quite comfortable for children
  • toddler is not sitting still in a car child seat for several hours, but have some space (make sure you book your seats in a carriage with compartments)
  • seats allow horizontal position for a toddler to sleep, especially if there are empty seats in your compartment

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 [4]].

By car[edit]

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

Get around[edit]

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.

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

Ski / snowboarding[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

There is a total of 4 skiing schools and 1 snowboard school in Mayrhofen. To give you idea of their services, prices and conditions, below are the schools in order of their size. 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.

  • Die Roten Profis, +43(0)5285 63900 (), [7]. In group courses, those who joined in the beginning of week are forced to repeat the same set of introductory excercises day after day as new members are allowed to join the group every day.  edit

With children[edit]

Most skiing schools accept children for training from 4 years old.

Ski rental[edit]

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 equpment 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[edit]

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 kindergarden aside (see Cope section), there are several things to do in Mayrhofen:

  • riding on sleds on a small children's slope just near exit from Penken lift. Rent them for €3 per day in a depot, or buy rounded sled in any shop down in the city. You'll need a second skipass for that (for half a day will work most of the time), and there's no trick to avoid that.
  • find a playground in the village, although it can be tricky: access to most of them are restricted to respective hotel's clients
  • spend time in swimming pool & wellness complex

Healthy alternatives to apres ski[edit]

Activities:

  • swim and take sauna in welness complex
  • skate on the rink near the wellness complex

Places:

  • Erlbenisbad Mayrhofen (swimming pool, aqua center, sauna and spa complex), Waldbadstraße 539, +43 (0)5285 62559 (fax: +43 (0)5285 62559-50), [10]. Swimming pool: 10:30am-9pm; sauna: 12pm-9:30pm. Sauna complex: non-separate attendance only; four types of sauna, soaking pool, an outdoor balcony to walk on snow or sit down at a deckchair and cool off for a while. Swimming pool features: Sauna+swimming pool: €14, unlimited time. Towels are rented for €1, with a deposit of 10 per company.  edit
    • two indoor water slides: (101m and 65m).
    • a swimming tube (a whirling corridor), which is half-ring shaped corridor with artificial flow
    • a jacuzzi pool accommodating 6-7 persons
    • a number of outdoor facilities open in summer only
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[edit]

Penken[edit]

  • #7: has 2 or 3 points of misleading navigation and two nearly horizontal pieces--easy to overcome if you gain enough speed before them. Worth it for a long wide-and-safe sector for a good speed.
  • #8: Very comfortable for safe and speedy skiing, from beginning to end. Perfect for those bored by #2 and #20 and find #7 too difficult to navigate, but #5 and #6 still look too breathtaking

Hintertux[edit]

  • #2: although it's marked as red, it's quite comfortable for intermediate skiers. To have enough control, having even snow here is more important that for many other pistes; otherwise you'll bump on snowdrifts too often--head here in the early morning.
  • #15: is most oriented towards beginners; very simple and short
  • #17: has two sectors which are safe for speedy riding.

Buy[edit][add listing]

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 parfumes, toys--but prices are generally higher than in Insbruk or in Vienna airport duty-free shop.

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


Food specialties[edit]

Wine:

  • wine store, near Gasthof Bruecke. until 6pm. Features ice wine for €12 for a small bottle.  edit

For toddlers[edit]

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

  • DM Drodgerie Markt (pharmacy), Dursterstrasse 220,, +43 5285650200. Arguably the best choice of baby stuff: 2 or 3 brands of diapers (Pampers; DM's white label and sometime others); several brands of baby food (Hipp and others); plus fruit puree in specialty packaging: paste in tubes.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

With children[edit]

  • Kostner (cafe and confectionery). Probably the most popular in the city among families with young children (roughly 1-5 years); they occupy roughly 50% of tables. Lovely cafe with some food also (mostly sandwiches and pasta)--despite being quite a tourist trap, as 90% of others in the town. Key feature for children is a cave leading to a heated balcony full of toys where "no parents allowed" (cave is too small). Also features an outdoor terrace open in winter--great for a cup of coffee or two. Probably have free wifi--inquiry waiters. Try their strudel. Desserts around €3 gluhwein €3.90; capuccino about €3.  edit

Splurge[edit]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Mid-range[edit]

  • Gasthof Bruecke (guesthouse), [11]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10am. A decent choice for a family with a toddler. Sold in Sat-to-Sat weeks most of the time in winter. Large rooms with 3 wardrobes in every double; free private sauna complex with several types of sauna (5pm-8pm; non-separate attendance only; come there at 5pm straight to grab your towel and bathrobe). Halfboard dinner (7pm-10pm) is good value for money and filling; a choice of 3 mains changes daily, but expect to pay extra 1/3 to 1/2 of a normal dinner price for drinks (an average drink is €3). Breakfast (7am-10:30am) is just normal, nothing more; doesn't change from day to day. Dedicated room to store guests' skiing equipment (called "ski cellar"). Large part of guests come here with a packaged tour; about 50% of guests are Russians. Loud apres ski in a nearby building from 5pm to 9pm (but never later) on one wing, with an identical music set daily; disco operating till late night (11pm, later on weekends?) on the other--both a unique feature for a hotel in the city for a younger crowd; ask for a more quiet room when booking if you are not that type. Very unhelpful reception. Wifi internet available only near reception and in the bar area, at €5 per hour. double with halfboard: Jan-Feb: €140.  edit

Splurge[edit]

There is only one 5* and several 4* rated hotels in the city:

  • Hotel Elizabeth (5*), Einfahrt Mitte 432, +43 5285 6767 (), [12]. Located just at the car entry to the city; 600m walk to Penken ski lift.  edit
  • Sporthotel Strass (4*), Hauptstraße 470, 43 5285 6705 (), [14]. Featuring large wellness complex; just the next door to Penken ski lift. €87-112 in Dec-Feb for a regular double, half board.  edit
  • Hotel Neuhaus (4*), Am Marktplatz 202, +43-52-856-7030, [17]. double with halfboard, winter: €144..240 depending on season.  edit

Contact[edit]

Mobile[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

  • Ski kindergarten at Penken, by ski school SMT (Skikinderhort am Penken), Skihuette Penken, 05285-63939 (), [21]. 9am-3:30pm. Supervises children from 2 to 4 years in their own children playroom at Penken, on hourly / daily basis.  edit
  • Wuppy's kinderland (kindergarten), Waldbadstraße 539, 0043/5285/63612. 9am-5pm weekdays. Declares to handle well children from 3 months to 7 years. Book your stay on a previous day to secure a place. If leaving your child for a first time in his life, start from the very first day, from from 5 minutes initial stay, increasing duration slowly day after day. €20 for half a day; € 30 for a full day.  edit
  • Tourism Association Mayrhofen (babysitting service agency), call Mayrhofen tourist info office for details: +43(0)5285-6760.  edit

Get out[edit]




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