Ski area Zillertal Arena
Zillertal Arena: Introducing the biggest ski area in the Ziller valley
The Zillertal Arena is genuinely a paradise for skiers and snowboarders. With 143 kilometres of slopes of varying difficulty served by 52 lifts, the choice could hardly be greater – and at an altitude of almost 2,500 metres, snow is all but guaranteed. The skiing region extends from Zell to Krimml or Wald-Königsleiten via Gerlos.
The slopes of the Zillertal Arena skiing area
The Zillertal Arena is made up of two parts. The first part includes the valley lift systems from Gerlos, Zell and Königsleiten, while the second part comprises a compact skiing area with snow tubing track and natural toboggan run, plus the valley lift in Hainzenberg. At 2,500 metres, the Übergangsjoch is the highest elevation in the Zillertal Arena; other high peaks in the region include the Königsleitenspitze and the Isskogel.
Wide range of slopes in a region certain of snow
When it comes to diversity, the Zillertal Arena is hard to beat – and it features the longest downhill valley run in Austria, which extends for 1,930 vertical metres. The Zillertal Arena is also a wonderland for children. The 11 ski and snowboard schools are well attended, and even the youngest children are sure to love the lessons given by qualified ski instructors. Families prefer to stay in Hainzenberg within the Gerlosstein area, which is simply perfect for a great skiing holiday. Meanwhile winter sports fans with a taste for action are drawn to Gerlos, a small village with a snowpark and a halfpipe. Cross-country skiers also have much to keep them busy in the Zillertal Arena, with 200 kilometres of tracks at their disposal. Sledgers will enjoy the Arena Coaster, located adjacent to the base station in Zell, while the illuminated toboggan runs in Gerlos and Krimml stay open after dark. Ski buses can be used free of charge. The Zillertal Arena virtually always has enough snow for tourists to enjoy adventure-packed experiences.
Culinary specialities, merry nights and cosy times in mountain cabins
The rustic cabins of the Zillertal Arena skiing region promise cosy times in relaxed surroundings. Zillertaler Krapfen (doughnuts), Gerlos spinach and alpine cheese dumplings and Zillertal baked liver are just three of the culinary delights high on the wish list of locals and holidaymakers. One much-loved dessert is alm yoghurt, prepared with fruits and nuts of the season. The Ziller valley has a wide range of places to enjoy a hot meal. At 1,845 metres, the Kolmhaus offers genuinely fairytale views of the landscape – and after hiking to that altitude, visitors are only too pleased to sample the specialities of the house. The establishment, built in 1927 and run by the Erharter family since 2010, assures visitors of first-class service at reasonable prices. Another leading destination for quality fare is the Gasthof Schulhaus in Zell. The creations of head chefs Stefan and Christian Geisler delight the taste buds and tempt diners back time and again. The team serves hearty Austrian fare, including classics like Viennese-style veal escalope and Kaiserschmarrn raisin pancakes. The menu also includes several fine wines. The Ziller valley is not just about action-packed days on the slopes and cosy meals in mountain taverns, however; there is also ample après-ski to enjoy. For many revellers, the Joglkessel in Rohrberg is simply the party venue in the Ziller valley. The daily happy hour from 3.00pm to 4.00pm catches the eye with some great offers, but it is after dark when the crowds really gather.
Cloudy days in the stunning Ziller valley
For those holidaying in the Ziller valley, rain is no reason to stay indoors: the skiing region has much more than superb slopes to offer. The Erlebnisbad Mayrhofen leisure pool is great fun – and not just for the kids. With 300 square metres of pool space, water babies of all ages can swim, bathe, play and unwind. The indoor pool is all about variety, with water features that include (neck) massage jets, a wild stream and a waterfall. The 101 metre-long giant slide and the 65-metre Crazy River for inflatable rings also delight swimmers. Another option for a rainy day is to visit an exhibition. The Nature Park House in the quiet village of Ginzling is home to the permanent Gletscher.Welten exhibition, which – unusually – has no display cases; instead, visitors can take a hands-on approach. Another highly popular attraction is the ErlebnisSennerei dairy, where children and adults alike learn how cheese is manufactured from pasture milk. A visitors’ farm presents a film on the main points of milking, but the highlight of the day for young children is the chance to get up close to animals, romp in the hay and clamber on mini tractors.
The weather in the Ziller valley
Weather conditions in the Ziller valley are characterised by big temperature swings in any season. Summers can be warm or even hot as the mercury rises to as much as 30°C, while the winter months are sunny but very cold; overnight, the thermometer often falls to around -10 or -15°C. Fog is a common occurrence in autumn. With snow a virtual certainty, the Ziller valley is one of Austria’s most popular winter sports destinations.
For travellers of all ages, the leisurely steam train journey through the valley on the Zillertalbahn railway is warmly recommended. For a more exhilarating experience, the Arena Skyliner zip line whizzes the bravest visitors down the Gerlosstein. Another challenge welcomed by daredevils is climbing the via ferrata at Gerlosstein – and the reward is a breathtaking view of a stunning natural landscape. Visiting Ginzling is also a hot tip: the small village has been a mainstay for mountain climbers in the Ziller valley for around 150 years. For hikers and climbers setting out to explore the region, the Berliner Hütte makes a good starting point. Calling in at the Nature Park House is another must when visiting Ginzling: the unique exhibits of the museum transport guests back in time and lend important historical details. The facility also has a mountaineers’ library and a nature park office. A holiday in the Ziller valley guarantees great entertainment for people of any age.