Nestled low in the beautiful Ziller Valley, the two ski areas of Mayrhofen tower above the pretty village, a mountain looming on either side. The resort has become a major favourite with British visitors, and it's not hard to see why.
The two local ski areas are on two separate plateaux - the Penken and the Ahorn. Beginners should head straight to the top of the Ahorn, where the slopes are kind, gentle and perfect for building confidence and experience. There are also good nursery areas at Penken. Intermediates have the run of the mountain, from the fast lift system at Penken to the wide open slopes of Horberg/Gerent and Egglam and Raskogel in the Tuxertal. Penken offers a great mix of terrain, from sunny, treeless summits to wide open carving areas and steeper north-facing slopes.
The Burton Fun Park has drawn more and more snowboarders in recent years with decent quarter and half pipes, boardercross and multiple kickers. Advanced skiers will enjoy skiing the Hintertuxer glacier, where top ski and snowboard teams from around the globe come to train. They can also hit the Hara-kiri piste, which the resort claims to be the steepest groomed piste in Austria. Apart from these and a few other runs, experts may need to turn to the off piste or buy a Zillertel SuperSki Pass to access some more steep terrain in a massive ski area. The resort has merged with Hippach, Finkenberg, Tux, Zell am Ziller and the rest of the skiing in the Ziller and Tux valleys to form the giant Zillertal 3000 area, opening up 620 km of pistes with every type of terrain imaginable.
Mayrhofen is an extremely popular resort, but its popularity can sometimes be a drawback, with high season sometimes meaning crowds and queues. The village itself is picturesque and bustling, vibrant and busy both during the day and at night. One of its main attractions is its vibrant and boisterous après-ski scene. Each April Snowbombing, a major music and snowboarding festival, hits Mayrhofen with live acts and some of the world's top DJs. This draws hundreds of young skiers and boarders to the resort for a giant week-long party. As well as numerous lively bars that stay open well into the night, there are also some great restaurants. If you have time, visit Josef's Bioütte at 2,000 m to dine on succulent prawns and crisp wine. A cool recent addition to the resort is the White Lounge, an igloo bar created out of snow, with a snow bar, comfortable seats and loungers. You can have candle lit drinks in one of the cosy lounges - or even stay the night in an Igloo suite at 2, 000 m. You'll find that the prices at Mayrhofen don't always have to break the bank - just watch the wallet if you're heading out for a big night!