Austria

Zillertal guide: more than only skiing

11 January 2019

Zillertal is one of the most famous ski areas in Austria and a real winter paradise for winter lovers. With its snowy peaks, endless slopes and culinary delights, Zillertal charmed us and also became our new favorite winter destination. We didn’t go skiing but discovered the regions off-piste..

Zillertal, everything for a successful winter holiday

5 facts about Zillertal

  • 365 days a year it is possible to ski, that’s a 10/10! On the Hinterux glacier you can ski all year round, so winter fun is guaranteed here!
  • 530 km of slopes of which:
    – 163, 6 km easy
    – 273.7 km on average
    – 49.8 km difficult
    – 9 funlines that provide an extra portion of fun.
  • 7 snowparks
  • 80 mountain restaurants in the ski area
  • Skiing fun at 630 m to 3250 m above sea level

The magic of Zillertal off the slopes

Imagine yourself a king in the Nature Ice Palace on the Hinterux glacier

It is an underground paradise of ice and light. This ice palace is located about 30 meters below the ski slope and was created from a glacier gap. This magnificent structure of Mother Nature was recently discovered in 2007. It was the Austrian Roman Erler who found the access to this unknown creation. There are several things to see in the heart of the glacier. The entrance is a tunnel completely out of snow that gets a new face with every snow shower. After this the descent starts where you have to face 33 icy stairs. Our favourite spots are the so-called ‘Ice Chapel’, Ice lake and Ice palace. The Ice Chapel is a memorial for the climbers who died. If you walk further, you will end up in the Ice Palace. This is a beautiful cave filled with small and large stalactites (up to 8 meters), so impressive to see! Our 3rd highlight is the Ice Lake, which is located 35 meters below the slopes and contains crystal clear water. You can even do a short boat trip here where you have to work together with your group to push the boat forward. During your visit the local guide will give you all the necessary information about the origins and wonders of the ice palace.

Zillertal bezienswaardigheden

Nature Ice Palace – Hinteruxer gletsjer

Nature Ice Palace – Hinteruxer gletsjer

Wonderful winter hiking trails and glacier tours (including breathtaking views)

In Hochzillertal there is a brand new glacier hike ‘Winter Via Ferrata’ and  we had the first try. This glacier hike starts at the brand new Italian restaurant Albergo in Kaltenbach. We did this amazing walk under the guidance of a fantastic guide and so-called mountain fuehrer, Andreas Wierer. According to him, you can also do this hike on a stand-alone basis, but as inexperienced winter sportsmen we found this a bit risky. The glacier hike was our personal highlight of our stay in Zillertal. The views here are truly breathtaking! The hike itself is not too difficult and is possible for anyone with a good basic condition. The whole hike is stretched with a rope so that you always have something to hold on to.

Contact: Zillertaler Bergführer – Stefan Wierer Tel.: +43 664 124 00 69 ca-wierer@aon.at www.zillertaler-bergfuehrer.at

Extra adrenaline for the adventurous

If you are looking for an extra portion of adrenaline, you can choose to climb one of the dozens of ice waterfalls. Rather need another point of view? For this you can contact one of the 16 providers of paragliding. Still not had enough activity? Still nog enough? Then you can enjoy yourself in one of the 14 toboggan runs, where you can cover a total of 45 km.

 

Other nice excursions in the valley (TO DO!)

In Zillertal you can’t get bored, besides skiing there are many other activities to do. We would like to try the following at our next visit to Zillertal.

  • Iglodorp White Lounge; enjoy a nice drink during the day in the ice palace in Mayrhofen and spend the night in a real igloo!
  • Winter walk through the Zillergrund; just a few minutes from Mayrhofen you can do this relaxing walk.
  • Arena coaster: both children and adults can enjoy the tobogganing fun with the 1450 metre track passing by a few bumps, curves and jumps.
  • Erlebnistherme Zillertal: In Fügen, this attraction pool is ideal for a day of rest.

 

 

Idyllic restaurants in Zillertal

1. Panoramic restaurant & hotel Albergo in Kaltenbach, tested and approved

This brand new hotel including restaurant was opened in December 2018 at the mountain station of the Wimbachexpress. Albergo guarantees high quality homemade Italian cuisine where you are surrounded by the beautiful mountains of the Zillertal. They call this enjoyment at 2,400 m!

Tip: take your glass of wine outside and enjoy the winter sun on the sun terrace, you think you are the king!

2. The Aar Wirt in Hochfügen

If you think of a gingerbread house, you probably have the image of this fairytale restaurant in mind. When you enter Aar Wirt , it seems as if you are travelling back in time. This characteristic wooden house has everything to make you feel at home right away and you are surrounded by the beautiful winter landscape. The homemade beef soup is truly sublime and all the dishes are prepared on the spot. Guaranteed that you’ll be sweet for a few hours!

Zillertal hotel

Aar Wirt @Hochfugenski

3. Landgasthof Linde in Stumm

After a short après-ski it was time to discover the culinary side of Kaltenbach in Nester. Another highlight in conviviality in Austria. We were generously received and a first glance at the menu made our eyes twinkle. It was immediately clear that we were going to enjoy a good piece of meat. Everyone ordered a steak and we got the best fries ever. Four truffle fries that will undoubtedly have a place in my heart for a long time to come.

 

Das Kaltenbach, a luxurious stay in the snow

We stayed in the beautiful hotel ‘Das Kaltenbach‘. The hotel is run by a former bank director and his wife and he’s as passionate about the Zillertal area. This 4-star hotel is located in the valley of the Zillertal and contains a beautiful history. The deep-rooted hospitality comes from the youth of the owner. He grew up on a farm and wanted to share his local traditions and the mountains with his guests. The hotel is luxuriously finished and is within walking distance of the ski slopes of Hochzillertal. Furthermore, Das Kaltenbach has a beautiful spa, swimming pool and sauna which is the perfect place to relax. The pool was even one of our favorite spots of the hotel! The rooms of Das Kaltenbach are generally very spacious. There is a choice between different types of rooms such as double rooms, apartments, suites and chalets.Tip: If you want to book your stay at this hotel, you need to be quick. Das Kaltenbach is usually (almost) full next year!

Zillertal1
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Zillertal hotel

Transport / how to get there

Zillertal is easy to reach by different means, namely:

 Train

The high-speed train is the perfect option for those coming from Germany, namely Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne or Frankfurt. From Jenbach you can travel through the Zillertal Valley by the Zillertalbahnhof or by romantic steam train.

 Plane

The nearest airports are Innsbruck (50 km), Munich (170 km) and Salzburg (150 km). There are daily direct scheduled flights from all over Europe to Zillertal. You can find cheap airline tickets at cheaptickets.nll.

 Car

Coming from the east or north: from Munich/Salzburg/Vienna via A1, A8, A93 to Kiefersfelden. Continue on the A12 until exit Zillertal, which is also a toll road. If you prefer to take a toll-free road, you will take the B181 Achenseestrasse to Wiesing via the Achenpass. The last one is the B169 to Zillertal.

This trip was made in cooperation with the tourist office of Zillertal & SoundofC

 For more information about skiing in Zillertal, click here!

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