What better to do after returning from the heat in Sydney to a cold Europe than a ski trip than skiing in Austria? That’s right! I spend a week in the Mayrhofen area (Zillertal) of Tyrol. Have a look at my Instagram photos to see what I did there:
(click on images for full view)
Accommodation in Burgstall, Zillertal/Tyrol
There are many guest houses, hotels and holiday homes in the Mayrhofen area. Because we travelled with a group, we booked ourselves a holiday home in the neighbouring village of Burgstall. We had our own house, with 3 bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms for each of them, a living/dining room and even a separate room to store our ski’s, snowboards and wet shoes.
Burgstall is a nice little farmers village and with the (free) ski bus stopping right before our house, it’s only a short ride to the Mayrhofen centre and ski slopes.
What I really liked in Burgstall where the old sheds and wooden buildings with the backdrop of the snowy mountains. There was a shed full of cows where you could buy fresh milk. The town looked like a fairytale (apart from the cow sh*t on the door of course), especially when the sun rose in the morning!
The Village Of Mayrhofen
Mayrhofen is a true Winter sport paradise. You’ll find ski shops everywhere and bars for a good apres ski even more. There are plenty of options for great food (more about that later in this post), spa’s and shopping.
There are also lots of great bakeries, where we bought fresh bread rolls every day. I couldn’t resist their salty pretzels either!
Skiing in Austria
I had been to Mayrhofen before on a ski trip, so I knew what to expect. We tried on our rental ski’s and shoes from “Die Roten Profis” and some of us confirmed their reserved snowboard lessons. Then we went to buy our “Mayerhofner Bergbahnen” ski passes for the week.
With our passes, we got access to all slopes in the area, and with a free map it was easy to plan our route past the blue/red/black tracks.
Of course I took it slow with the blue slopes, as I’d only skied one time before, but later in the week I managed to even ski down part of a red one. I was so proud of myself!
Getting in and out the ski lifts was sometimes a bit of a challenge, especially when people next to you didn’t quite had the hang of it. Sometimes the lifts would come to a sudden stop and even though it was a bit scary, it gave us the time to have a good look around and see the skiers and snowboarders speed downhill below us.
What I really loved about the skiing, was that the blue slopes went all around the mountain, so you had spectacular views of the valley. Luckily I took my photos on the first day, as later in the week we had some mist and you couldn’t even see the end of your own ski’s anymore at some point.
When the weather was clear though, try and figure out where the paragliders take of from. I loved looking at them making a run for it, parachute full of air and their amazing dive through off the mountain. (see right photo above)
The good thing about getting the hang of skiing is that you’re able to go to some of higher ski tracks, such as this one on top of the “Rastkogel” at 2420m.
Local Food From Austria
Don’t think you’ll need to be super fit when going on a ski trip in Europe. I know I am not! There are plenty of moments to relax on the mountain, as there are ski huts everywhere! You’ll get your fair share of hot chocolate, curry wurst (sausage), Apfelstrudel (with vanilla sauce, yum), Zillertaler Beer (or go for the ‘Radler’, beer mixed with lemonade like I did) and Kaiserschmarn (sweet pancake in pieces).
In a restaurant we really liked (and visited twice), “Landhaus Carla“, I ordered a typical Tyroler dish: lamb shanks with rosti (hash brown) and green beans. The next time, I went for a different Austrian favourite: Goulash of deer meat, red cabbage and Spätzle (type of egg noodle of soft texture and covered with cheese). I can highly recommend it!
Another thing I can recommend instead of skiing or snowboarding (or eating), is to take a hike. There is a nice little winter walking track on the Ahorn Bahn (also a great slope for beginners). Just be careful doing the walk when it just snowed like madness. Or you’ll end up like me:
Have you ever been on a ski trip in Austria? Tell me all about it!