The ones who know us personally or follow us on social media for longer, know we like to enjoy winter vacations as well. This year the decision was made quite last minute and spontaneous, but it was one of the better weeks on snow in our lives.
We visited Zillertal for the first time and we can assure you not for the last. Let us introduce you this marvelous Austrian skiing area.
1.Where? How far?
Zillertal is an alpine valley about an hour east of Innsbruck or one and a half hours from Munich. These are also the nearest airports. For all Slovenian readers: it’s about 4,5 hours from Ljubljana or 5 hours from Maribor.
2. The ski area
Zillertal has many ski areas, but we visited the biggest Zillertal Arena. It has 143 km of groomed pistes between 580 and 2500 meters above sea level, 52 modern lifts connecting 4 bigger villages, numerous snowparks, skimovie slopes and photopoins with the famous Funty. They also offer free WiFi Hotspots throughout the entire ski area and ski huts with delicious food and warm drinks.
You can stay in the valley in Zell am Ziller, in the middle of the mountain in Gerlos or high up in Königsleiten or Hochkrimml.
Our base was Hochkrimml in the amazing Stadl Lofts – new wooden chalets directly on the slope. They rent out 4 of them: for 4 people, 6-8 people and 14-18 people. We absolutely enjoyed staying here; the rooms were spacious, the living room had a lovely sitting area around a warm fireplace and not to forget the sauna had the most amazing view. The wooden alpine design gives it the final touch ❤
I probably don’t have to point out, that skiing is the best activity you can do here. The area gets a lot of snow every year, they also have many snow canons and snow cats that prepare the 143 km of slopes every single evening. The area is quite spread out, that means you can ski from village to village. The slopes are diverse; from easy blue ones, intermediate red to challenging black. All are connected with modern heated gondolas and chairlifts.
We really liked the slopes on Hochkrimml, because they weren’t very crowded and the views were amazing.
The ski ticket includes some challenges, which can make you the Arena Champion; we tried the speed challenge, ski cross and slalom. If you complete enough challenges, you’ll get a prize! More about this soon 😉
We went sledding twice:
The first sledding trail is in Hochkrimml at the Filzsteinalm. You can rent sleds there for 2,5€. The first super fun thing is how you go up the hill – by snow mobile (2,5€ per ride)😊 The slope is not very long, but super curvy and steep. We didn’t manage to get down without crashing at least once, so maybe bring your helmet 😉
The second sledding slope is in Gerlosstein – which has a 7km long slope from 1836m to 929m. Rent your sled near the parking lot, ride up by gondola, then just turn right and ride down all the way to the valley station to do it all over again. On the way you can stop for some tea (or beer) at Gerlosstein Berghotel and on the way don’t forget to enjoy the view over the beautiful valley.
*** Snow tubing
If you’re already in Gerlostein, you have to try snow tubing. It is included in your ski ticket and it is suuupeeer fun (and maybe a bit scary at first). 2 snow tube trails are waiting for you – one for bambies and pussycats, the other one for fearce tigers. 😉 I won’t tell you more, go and check it out by yourself.
*** Cross-country skiing
One could say that we have a new hobby. 😊 We tried cross-country skiing exactly once before, but not on a real slope. But this time we did it right. We went on the picturesque slope in Hochkrimml (there are many more in the region) which leads you through woods, snow covered fairytale landscapes into total zen. Here you can really gather your thoughts, concentrate on your breathing and take it all in.
*** Evening torch walk
In the evening when the slopes go to sleep and the snow glimmers in the moonlight, go for a walk with a fire torch. I’m telling you, it is really romantic and you’ll discover winter in a new light.
*** Sunset picnic
This special treat was organized by the Plattenalm restaurant. We went up just a few minutes before 16:00 (at this time the lifts close). The Plattenalm staff prepared a lovely picnic for us with some delicious cold cuts and cool drinks. The sunset was really nice this evening, but we couldn’t stay too long, because everything began to freeze (including our drinks). Shortly after sunset we put on our skis and skied down on a cotton candy pink slope.
If you happen to be in the region for this culinary event, you should get a reservation. 2 restaurant owners got together and organize a delicious evening to remember. If you want to try local cuisine on the highest level, don’t miss this. What we had for dinner and more about the entire evening you can read HERE.
There’s no ski vacation without apres ski. And in Zillertal they take it very seriously. 😊 If you don’t know what this is: when your legs can’t carry you anymore down the slopes, you rest them in the nearest bar and help them become more wobbly, while loud “special kind of music” is playing. The place to be on the slopes is Seppi’s bar in Arena center on Isskogel, after our skiing day we tried the scene in Gerlos and were introduced to a new “world”. 😊 How it looks like, you can see here 😀
A week wasn’t enough to see and do everything what this skiing area has to offer. It doesn’t matter if you come with friends, family or just as a couple – there’s something interesting for everyone. Our favorite activity was of course skiing, but all the other activities were great as well.
As said before, we’ll return for sure and we hope we’ll have such amazing company as this year ❤