Zillertal, Austria

By | November 25, 2022

The Zillertal valley is located on the territory of the federal state of Tyrol and is divided into four large skiing regions – Fügen-Kaltenbach, Zell-Gerlos, Mayrhofen-Hippach and Tux-Finkenberg. The valley begins at the town of Jenbach, which is a 15-minute drive from Innsbruck along the autobahn in the direction of Vienna.

The most famous local resorts are Mayrhofen, Zell am Ziller, Fügen, Kaltenbach and Hippach. In each of them there is a very worthy skiing with a large number of tracks and good infrastructure. A local ski-pass, valid throughout the valley, guarantees a large selection of ski slopes and free travel to them.

How to get there

The nearest airports are located in Innsbruck (50 km), Munich (170 km) and Salzburg (150 km). In addition, the valley can be reached by train or bus company Zillertalbahn. Regular trains run between Jenbach and Mayrhofen, stopping at Fugen, Uderns, Kaltenbach, Zell am Ziller, Hippach.

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A bit of history

The first written mention of the Ziller Valley dates back to 889, when King Arnulf of Carinthia granted part of his lands to the Archbishop of Salzburg – at the same time, ownership of the valley was divided along the Ziller River. Even now, this division is clearly visible – churches on the right side of the river, as a rule, have green turrets and belong to the Salzburg diocese, and churches on the left side of the river have red turrets and belong to the Innsbruck diocese.

In 1805, under the terms of the Peace of Pressburg, Austria was forced to cede Tyrol to Bavaria, but the Ziller Valley continued to be considered part of Salzburg, as it remains to this day.

Transport

Between all the resorts of the valley, trains of the Zillertal railway, opened in 1902, regularly run. In addition, you can travel from resort to resort by bus.

Zillertal trails

In the Ziller Valley, there are 668 km of pistes of varying difficulty: 94 km black, 398 km red and 175 km blue.

The village of Fügen, which opens the valley, (Fugen) consists of two parts, Fügen and Fügenberg, and has 2 blue and 6 red slopes. A greater choice of various slopes is offered by the two neighboring combined ski areas Hochfügen and Hochzillertal, located above the village of Kaltenbach.

The Zell-Gerlos region, or as it is also called the Zillertal-Arena, consists of 5 villages – Zell am Ziller (580 m), Gerlos (1300 m), Krimml (1976 m), Wald (900 m) and Köningsleiten (1600 m). The total length of the slopes is 166 km – 10 km black, 114 km red and 42 km blue.

10 km from the Zillertal Arena is the Mayrhofen-Hippach skiing region, which also includes several villages – Mayrhofen itself (630 m), Hippach (630 m), Ramsau (630 m) and Schwendau (630 m). The region has 159 km of pistes (45 km blue, 94 km red, 20 km black).

The villages of Tux and Finkenberg, which close the Zillertal valley, open access to the Hintertux glacier.

The cost of a single ski pass to the Ziller Valley is 105.50 EUR / 47.50 EUR per adult / child for 2 days, 256.50 EUR / 115.50 EUR per adult / child for 6 days.

Entertainment and attractions of the Zillertal

In Fügen, you can visit the museum at the cheese factory, which tells how cheese was made 100 years ago. Mayrhofen has the Erlebnisbad water park with a 100-meter waterslide, outdoor and indoor pools, sauna, jacuzzi and solarium. The water park is open daily from 10:30 to 21:00. The cost of a subscription for 2 hours is 9.30 EUR, for a sauna – 12.70 EUR.

On the outskirts of Mayrhofen is the Zillertal Dairy Plant (Sennerei Zillertal) for the production of cheese, milk, and butter. The plant is open to visitors every day except Sunday from 08:00 to 18:00, on Saturday until 13:00.

On the Hintertux glacier is the highest mountain cave in Austria – the Spannagel Cave with deep shafts formed by layers of colored and striped marble.

On the Hintertux glacier is Austria’s highest mountain cave – Spannagelhöhle Cave with deep shafts formed by layers of colored and striped marble. Currently, only a small part of the cave is open for visitors – about 500 m. For the first time, the entrance to the cave was discovered in 1919 by Alois Hotter. You can get to the cave by cable car leading to the top of the glacier. Entrance tickets are sold in the Spannagelhaus hut, under which the entrance to the cave is located. The ticket price is 15 EUR.

At 25 m, directly under the ski slopes located on the Hintertux Glacier, the so-called “Ice Palace” (Natureispalast) is hidden, which has been formed over many years in a natural way without any human intervention. The halls and corridors of the palace are filled with ice crystals of various shapes and sizes and are illuminated by multi-colored lamps – from ice blue and turquoise to red. Tours are held every hour from 09:30 to 14:30, duration – 1 hour, cost – 21 EUR. The starting point is the top station of the Gletscherbus 3 lift.

Finkenberg has a mineralogical museum with an impressive display of semi-precious stones – quartz, amethyst, rutile, adularia, formed millions of years ago.

Of the natural objects, the Zillertal Alps National Nature Park is noteworthy, on the territory of which there are about 80 glaciers, occupying a total area of ​​40 square meters.

Zillertal, Austria