This is the largest ski area in Austria’s Zillertal valley (which is loaded with skiing). Zillertal Arena emanates out of the towns of Zell am Ziller, Gerlos and Konigsleiten. In fact, it feels like three interconnected ski areas, each with its own style of terrain and feel.
You can ski from any of the three towns – to connect to the rest – Zell am Ziller to Gerlos to Konigsleiten. In fact, if you were to drive from Zel am Ziller all the way to Kongsleiten, it which would be over 26 kilometers and a 35 minute drive by car. Instead you can ski miles of beautiful prepared pistes, riding 52 spectacular modern lifts, often on modern gondolas intersecting or crisscrossing high-speed bubble-covered 6 or 8 passenger heated leather seat chairlifts.
If you begin your day in Zell am Ziller, ride the long gondola ride from Ziller base. With eight more swift modern lifts, we spanned the entire vast ski resort, skiing lovely open pistes along our tour. But there is so much terrain if you just want to stay in one region, both on numbered prepared slopes (seems basic skiing 19 to 19a and 19b) or popping off the groomed trails, into a fresh powder bowl, and quickly return to the prepared trail and the ski lift.
To ski back to Zell am Ziller from Konigsleiten, it took us about an hour, with one chairlift and 4 gondolas, these high-speed lifts with heated leather seats are so impressive. So are the views of the entire Zillertal valley, you can see nearby ski areas of Mayrhofen – Mountopolis, and Hintertux Glacier too.
Zillertal Arena has 163 kilometers of skiing with a 1920-meter Vertical Drop (6300’), with a base elevation of 580 m and summit of 2500 meters, 1900’ – 8200’.
Zillertal Arena is super family-friendly, with fun ski zones, terrain parks. speed skiing and ski movie zones where you can scan your pass and challenge yourself and your family members. Zillertal even has a long “Funty trail. Their yellow elephant mascot seems bizarre – an African animal in Austria – but the place is a bit of a ski circus which surely gets busy given its staggering lift capacity of people-movers.
Zillertal Arena’s 52 lifts can transport 76,000 people per hour! The new gondola that connects Zell am Ziller to Gerlos and back is state-of-the-art, and more new lifts are coming on board annually!
With so many beautiful mountain huts, a big ski day challenge is deciding where to grab a coffee and pastry, or a sit-down lunch. We loved Gipfeltreffen at the top of the Dorfbahn in Konigsleiten. I had Asian coconut chicken soup – outstanding, Greg had a thin crispy wood-fired pizza. Other options here include Swiss fondue in an old gondola. Seppi’s, Rossl Alm, Kreuzweisenalm are all lovely with amazing panoramas, and local fare with table service.
After skiing from Zell am Ziller, we decided to stay in the upper mountain village of Königsleiten. We checked into the Biohotel Castello here and had meals, lodging, a spa and a convenient ski room all included in our stay with an easy walk to and from the slopes.
Zillertal Arena Ski Stats:
Elevation: 580 – 2500 meters, 1900’ – 8200’.
Vertical: 1920 meters, 6,300′
Trails: 150 km of prepared pistes – plus miles of off-piste adventures