Zillertal in Austria’s Tyrol is loaded with great family ski resorts, one of the biggest and best is recently rebranded as “Mountopolis” (aka Mayrhofen – Penken/Ahorn)
An Austrian family ski trip to Mayrhofen’s alpine rich region promises plenty of skiing and Austrian charm, and plenty to do après ski from rodeling to dancing in your ski boots.
Mountoplis Mayrhofner is the heart of the Zillertal valley. The lively alpine village of Mayrhofen accesses 5 skiing areas – hence the name Mountopolis … Ahorn, Penken, Finkenberg, Rastkogel and Eggalm – including 142 kilometers of prepared ski slopes, with 60 modern lifts and cable cars to whisk you up in every direction imaginable.
The vast Mountopolis has family friendly terrain, well-groomed pistes with snowmaking, fun parks and swift lifts to handle the big crowds. Big gondolas with heated seats and WiFi, six and eight passenger chairs with bubbles and heated seats, flank most every side of Mountoplis’ mountains which rise to 2,762 meters, 9,061’ at its highest on Rastkogel. For high level skiers, there’s plenty of off-piste here.
Ski the Harikiri – Austria’s steepest groomed ski slope with a 78% grade, or 38-degree pitch. We did, it is definitely NFT – no fall terrain, but well-groomed typically, an invigorating challenge, not for intermediates or the timid.
Horberg to Penken to Eggalm is all great terrain, with lots of well-prepared fun runs, and excellent views, and several charming restaurant huts.
For chalets on mountain:
Lattenalm is as authentic as it gets. An old wood hut on the trailside (near more popular Vogelnest) serves local fare, yummy, cozy.
Eggalm at the top of the Eggalmbahn gondola has self serve food. Go int the classic old world bar to meet the locals for a schnapps.
Gschosswandhaus serves typically Tyrolean chalet lunch, you can also lodge overnight in a cabin here – which sounds sublime.
Plus there is an entire other mountain across the valley – Mount Ahorn is also part of Mayrhofen- Mountopolis skiing.
Mount Ahorn has a distinctive A shape and craggy peak, but the terrain here is surprisingly tame and family oriented. A long tram, Austria’s largest, takes you to a high plateau of wide and sunny ski trails at 2,000 meters with great views of town and the surrounding peaks. It’s a winter wonderland with an Iglu village and White Lounge where you can “chill” between ski runs. After skiing the upper mountain terrain of Ahorn, its a long black diamond Ahorn Valley Run – 5 kilometers back to Mayrhofen, the full 4,500‘ vertical, or you can download in the 160-passenger Tram to enjoy the same phenomenal views of the village below.
For lodging in Mayrhofen, Huber’s Boutique Hotel is a four-star hotel with ski room, sauna, dining, located a few steps to the Penken gondola and to après ski in town.
Our second visit, we stayed in the village of Tux up the valley, at higher elevation. We loved the full-service Hotel Alpenjuwel with spa and half-board included, 100 yards from the Rastkogelbahn gondola base. It is just 20-minutes car or bus to Hintertux Glacier skiing. The quiet town of Tux has surprisingly great après ski bars at Hexenkessl and Kasermandel.
For a super fun evening, go to Tristenbachalm, a classic Tyrolean farm tucked in the valley, enjoy Austrian music and hearty soup and Weiner Schnitzel or ribs before descending back through the forest on a rodel sled (try not to break your ribs).
A family ski week in Austria’s Zillertal Valley is easily reached from Innsbruck or Munich.
Mayrhofner Bergbahnen or Mountopolis Mayrhofen Ski Stats:
Summit Elevation 2,500 meters, 8,202’
Vertical 1,870 meters, 6,135’
52 trails/pistes, 142 kilometers of prepared terrain