Sunrise breakfast at 6,561 feet without having to hike in the dark, swooshing down a toboggan run at midnight, skiing in the morning and golf in the afternoon, plus breathtaking mountain vistas: This is the Ziller Valley and the Zillertal Alps.
Austria’s enchanting year-round vacation wonderland covers the area from the Zillertal in Tyrol to the Pinzgue in Salzburg. Hochfeiler, the highest peak in the Zillertal Prealps, towers at 11,512 feet above sea level. Here’s what you need to know about this enchanting valley.
1. Zillertal Arena Is One Of The World’s Largest Ski Valleys
Love skiing? Then this is the place for you! The Zillertal Arena ski resort boasts 88 miles of on-piste (groomed) slopes supported by 52 lifts with elevations up to 8,200 feet. With a wide range of ticketing options, Zillertal is the perfect place to turn your Alpine skiing adventure dreams into reality.
If you are an off-piste (backcountry) junkie, Zillertal is the virgin deep-powder paradise you have been craving. With over 65 freeride runs and licensed guides for every backcountry skiing level, you will be surrounded by fresh, untouched, deep snow from mid-April through mid-July and the Zillertal Freeride Guide listing can help you actualize your perfect off-piste adventure.
2. SkiMovie Runs Critique Your Technique
Do you have some seriously impressive skiing moves you want to show off to your friends and family? The Zillertal Arena offers five skiMovie ski slope sections where you can film your skiing and snowboarding performance. Whether you want to improve your skills or send off a little humble bragging video, the movies are available to download and share.
You can also try out a Speed-Check run and discover if you are going as fast as you imagine!
Check out the BMW xDrive and other skiMovie and Speed-Check runs in the Zillertal Arena.
3. You Can Ride Ahornbahn, Austria’s Largest Gondola, For A Sunrise View
There’s plenty to enjoy in Zillertal, even for nonskiers. Picture this: The morning sun is slowly painting the sky blue as you sip a hot beverage 6,561 feet above sea level. After a spectacular, pre-dawn ride on the Ahornbahn, Austria’s largest gondola, you arrive at the Ahorn Plateau’s Zillertal viewing platform. This quiet moment allows for a one-with-nature mountain memory. After the sunrise, you can enjoy a sumptuous mountain breakfast at Kunstraum on Mount Ahorn.
Available on Thursdays July to September, the Sunrise Breakfast costs approximately $40 per adult and $20 per child. The cost of breakfast includes the Ahornbahn ride.
4. Day And Night Toboggan Runs Fulfill Adventurers’ Need For Speed
The Hainzenberg Toboggan Run is a whopping 4.3 miles long! Imagine the exhilaration of swooshing down it during a floodlit, midnight run. Ride the Gerlosstein cable car to experience this natural toboggan run. The adventure is reasonably priced ($15 a run) and is open every day from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Monday through Saturday 7:45 pm to 1:00 a.m. for tobogganing under the lights.
5. You Can Ski And Golf In The Same Day
Imagine feeling the warm sun, smelling the freshly mowed grass, and breathing in the clean mountain air as you view this Live Cam video of Golf Club Zillertal. Green fees start at $90 for Zillertal Resort guests. The 18-hole, 71-par golf course is open April to October. Often you can ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon — an unusual accomplishment!
6. There Are Winter And Summer Mountaineering Adventures For Visitors Of Every Skill Level
Snowshoe hiking is an exhilarating way to experience the snowy Alps. Snowshoeing is a great alternative for the non-skier to enjoy the health benefits of crisp mountain air while experiencing breathtaking Alpine vistas. You have the option of renting snowshoes and exploring on your own or engaging a guide for a private tour.
All hikers will enjoy the Madseit-Waldweg Hintertux trail, a gentle one-and-a-half-mile trail through woodsy alpine terrain. More experienced trekkers will enjoy the Hochfugen-Kleiner Gifert trail, a moderate six-hour trek with scenic vistas and Alpine villages. No matter your hiking level, there are beautiful trails meandering through the mountainside that will provide you with memorable panoramic views.
7. There Are Over 200 Miles Of Mountain Biking Trails
The best mountain biking is when you can start at the top. There are seven different summer cable cars that can accommodate Zillertal riders with mountain bikes. Off-roading trails are endless and offer exciting and challenging rides. With over 200 miles of trails, there is an option for everyone.
Want to bike at a more leisurely pace? Rent an e-bike. E-bikes afford you the opportunity to experience an adventurous bicycling journey through the Alps while providing peddling assistance.
8. Reaching Your Zillertal Wonderland Is Easy
Innsbruck Airport is a quick 30 miles from the Zillertal Arena. The Four Seasons Airport Shuttle will whisk you away to your holiday destination. You can also arrive by the Eurocity Express train from Munich on a six-hour ride through spectacular scenery.
A visit to the Zillertal valley guarantees you a beautiful adventure in any season! Planning a tour of central Europe? Here’s how to get the most out of Oktoberfest in Munich plus nine incredible hidden gems in Vienna.
By: SANDI BARRETT/ www.travelawaits.com