For decades, Mayrhofen has drawn summer holiday crowds with its endless opportunities for mountaineering, hang gliding, shooting, tennis, fishing, swimming in a heated outdoor pool, minigolf, cycling, and even summer skiing in the Hintertux glacier area at the top of the valley. Mayrhofen is also a mecca for mountain climbers during the nonskiing seasons.
In recent years, the resort village has become more a ski center. Starting from scratch, you can learn to ski at the resort school: The children's ski training is especially good here, and a kindergarten makes this an ideal family resort. Slopes for advanced skiers are available in the Penkenjoch section to the west of Mayrhofen, with a cableway taking you to nearly 1,830m (6,004 ft.). From the top, you'll be rewarded with one of the most panoramic views of the Zillertal alpine range; there's also a restaurant, also with quite a view.
You can also take a cableway (departs south of Mayrhofen) up to ski in the Ahorn area (1,906m/6,253 ft.). There are seven surface lifts at the top, as well as another restaurant with a panoramic view.
Other winter activities include sledding on a natural toboggan run, curling, ice-skating, horse-drawn sleigh rides, horseback riding, and playing sports in an indoor arena.
After your outdoor fun, you can spend your evening attending a tea dance or eating fondue. You can also hear some of that famous Ziller Valley singing at folk festivals in July and August. The dates change every year, so check with the tourist office. Another popular summer diversion is taking a ride on the narrow-gauge steam train between Zell am Ziller and Mayrhofen.
Venturing into the Alps
From Mayrhofen you can also venture into the Alps around the Zillertal, where you'll be rewarded with some of the most spectacular scenery in Tyrol. By the time you reach Mayrhofen, the trail through the Zillertal that you've been following will have split into four different parts, each of which runs through a valley radiating off the Zillertal. Three of the valleys have the suffix grund (German for "ground") on their names: the Stillupgrund, the Zemmgrund, and the Zillergrund.
You might not have time to explore all these valleys, but if you can make time for one, make it the fourth and loftiest valley, the Tuxertal, or Tux Valley, which cuts like a deep slash through the mountains. This valley reaches its end point at several glaciers, including the Olperer, 3,477m (11,407 ft.) high. You can take a bus from Mayrhofen to either the village of Lanersbach or on to Hintertux, both in the Tuxertal. The road runs west from Mayrhofen for some 21km (13 miles) to the end of the valley, where ski lifts branch off in several directions.
You come first to Lanersbach, the largest village in the Tuxertal, lying in a sunny, sheltered spot. From here you can take a chairlift to the Eggalm plateau, which has a restaurant at 2,001m (6,565 ft.) and offers one of the most scenic panoramas the Ziller Alps has to offer.
Hintertux, your ultimate destination, lies at the top of the valley, virtually on the doorstep of the towering glaciers. Because of thermal springs, Hintertux also enjoys a reputation as a spa. You might want to buy some woodcarvings from the skillful craftspeople here.
You can ski on the glaciers in summer. A chairlift or a gondola from Hintertux will transport you to Sommerbergalm (2,074m/6,804 ft.), and once here, you can take a surface lift west to Tuxer-Joch Hütte (2,531m/8,304 ft.).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.