Mayrhofen | Ski Resort Review

16 Sep 202311 min
By Jim Walker

Discover the allure of skiing in Austria, a beloved destination among European visitors. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Mayrhofen, one of Austria's most popular and energetic ski resorts. This comprehensive guide will lead you through the Mayrhofen experience, from the intricacies of the piste map to the finest ski schools, rental shops, and après ski bars.

Mayrhofen - Overview

Nestled within the picturesque upper Ziller Valley, Mayrhofen captures the essence of mountain charm. Its expansive yet captivating valley village offers an array of amenities and a bustling après ski scene.

With two local ski areas catering to skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels, Mayrhofen has secured its position as a pinnacle of Austrian mountain tourism. European enthusiasts return time and again to relish in its authentic ambiance, superb skiing opportunities, and exhilarating nightlife.

Despite its growth into a larger and more animated resort, Mayrhofen has managed to preserve its traditional allure. The majority of buildings, regardless of size, boast the classic Tyrolean architecture, perfectly complementing the picturesque image one would envision of an Austrian mountain town.

As a well-established and thriving community, Mayrhofen offers excellent facilities and amenities, along with convenient transportation connections to neighboring resorts and regional towns and cities.

Mayrhofen's expansive slopes encompass two distinct ski areas. Located at the southern end of the resort's main street, the direct access lifts are conveniently spaced only 200m apart.

To the south lies the minor area of Ahorn, accessible via the impressive Ahornbahn cable car. To the west awaits the major area of Penken, accessible through the Penkenbahn gondola.

A complimentary ski bus service operates regularly, shuttling passengers between the lift terminals and catering to the central and outlying accommodation zones of the resort.

Ski Resort Highlights

Ski area
Apres ski
Ski area: 135km
Summit: 2590m
Resort height: 630m
Altitude range: 630–2590m
Vertical drop: 1960m
Parks: 2
Innsbruck (1h)
Train stations:

Mayrhofen – Ski Map & Pistes:

Mayrhofen’s main Penken ski area is accessed via a gondola situated next to the Ziller river, just off the resort’s main street. Additionally, the slopes can be reached through two more gondolas in the neighbouring villages of Hippach and Finkenberg, connected by a bus service.

Mayrhofen Ski Map Credit Mayrhofner Bergbahnen 1024x686Piste map of Mayrhofen, Austria. Click on the image to go to a larger skimap.

The Penken area encompasses the interconnected slopes of Penken, Horberg, and Rastkogel mountain sectors, which are shared with the aforementioned linked villages.

It offers a decent selection of high-quality blue runs and a variety of challenging red runs. Among them is the notorious 'Harakiri,' boasting a gradient of 78 percent and acclaimed as Austria's steepest piste.

The area is also home to the renowned Vans Penken Park, one of Europe's premier snowparks, attracting top professionals from across the continent. Originally crafted by the legendary local crew, the Aësthetikers, the park continues to improve each season, fostering the vibrant freestyle skiing and snowboarding culture that defines Mayrhofen.

The Penken area is lift-linked to the Eggalm slopes above Lanersbach, expanding the range of skiable terrain, predominantly featuring challenging red runs, including a 1,000m vertical descent on piste 77.

One significant drawback is the absence of ski runs directly to Mayrhofen, with only unpisted 'ski routes' leading to the valley at Finkenberg and Hippach, accessible when snow conditions are optimal. This lack of lower runs can result in long queues at the end of the day as skiers and snowboarders download from the mountain.

Mayrhofen's second ski area is situated on the opposite side of the valley, on the separate Ahorn mountain to the south.

The Ahorn is ideal for beginners, offering direct access from Mayrhofen via a large cable car. It features an extensive area for novices, alongside gentle blue slopes served by a swift 8-seater chairlift, and a couple of additional blue runs and a short red run for skill development. The main attraction here for more experienced visitors is the 5.5km long red run that descends all the way from the summit to the valley.

Mayrhofen is also part of the Zillertal Superski group of resorts. The comprehensive lift pass for the entire area covers three additional ski areas in the region, including the year-round slopes on the Hintertux Glacier at the head of the valley.

Mayrhofen – Off-Piste, Backcountry & Ski Touring:

Mayrhofen ski resort offers thrilling opportunities for off-piste skiing, backcountry skiing, and ski touring, providing adventurous skiers with an exhilarating mountain experience.

With its vast terrain and diverse mountain ranges, Mayrhofen presents a playground for those seeking to explore beyond the groomed slopes.

For off-piste skiing, the Penken area is a prime destination. It boasts a range of off-piste options, allowing skiers to carve their own tracks through the powder.

Head towards the Horberg or Rastkogel mountain sectors, where you'll find exciting off-piste areas that cater to various skill levels. These regions offer a mix of challenging descents and open slopes, ensuring there's something for everyone.

However, it's important to note that off-piste skiing can be hazardous, so it's recommended to have the necessary skills, knowledge, and safety equipment. It's advisable to hire a local mountain guide who can navigate the terrain and provide valuable insights.

Backcountry skiing enthusiasts will be delighted by the possibilities Mayrhofen has to offer. The surrounding mountains and valleys provide endless backcountry terrain waiting to be explored.

One popular backcountry route is the tour from Mayrhofen to the Schlegeis reservoir. This journey takes you through breathtaking landscapes, untouched snow, and serene alpine scenery.

However, as backcountry skiing involves venturing into unpatrolled and unmarked areas, it's essential to be well-prepared with avalanche safety equipment, including a transceiver, shovel, and probe. Familiarise yourself with the local avalanche conditions and weather forecasts before setting off.

Ski touring aficionados will find a wealth of options in Mayrhofen. The Ahorn mountain area is an excellent starting point for ski touring adventures.

Ascend the slopes using touring skis or splitboards, and enjoy the satisfaction of reaching breathtaking viewpoints and untouched powder fields.

From the Ahorn summit, you can embark on an exhilarating ski tour down to the valley, relishing the sense of freedom and serenity that ski touring provides. However, always assess the weather and snow conditions and ensure you have the appropriate equipment, including touring bindings, skins, and climbing aids.

Remember, venturing off-piste, into the backcountry, or embarking on ski touring requires careful planning, proper equipment, and a respect for nature's forces.

It is highly recommended to seek the guidance of a local mountain guide who possesses extensive knowledge of the area and can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Make sure to check the avalanche forecasts, inform someone of your plans, and be prepared to adapt to changing conditions.

Mayrhofen's mountainous terrain offers a thrilling playground for off-piste enthusiasts, backcountry explorers, and ski touring enthusiasts, allowing you to immerse yourself in the raw beauty and exhilaration of the Alps.

Mayrhofen – Restaurants, Bars & The Town:

Nestled gracefully along the level valley floor, Mayrhofen village invites leisurely strolls, offering a serene ambiance. The area presents charming walks, particularly along the idyllic banks of the Ziller river.

For those seeking a higher perspective amidst the surrounding landscapes, guided snowshoe treks into the mountains are readily available. For a touch of romance, indulge in options like horse riding or opt for a horse-drawn sleigh or carriage ride to explore the sights with enchantment.

Beyond the slopes, Mayrhofen offers an array of engaging off-slope attractions. These include an ice rink, an indoor climbing and bouldering centre, a fitness studio, and a spacious aqua-leisure centre featuring indoor and outdoor pools, a Jacuzzi, saunas, and a steam room.

When it comes to dining, Mayrhofen boasts a generous selection of restaurants. Many establishments serve heartwarming Tyrolean cuisine, while others present a delightful variety of international favourites, spanning Italian, Mexican, Chinese, and Thai dishes.

Après ski steals the spotlight in Mayrhofen, drawing visitors from far and wide. The festivities kick off a few hours before the slopes close, with lively venues near the upper lift terminals. As skiers descend towards the town, the bars near the base terminals become the epicentre of the action. Notably, the Pilzbar and the Elchbar on the Penken side serve as prime spots for après ski enjoyment.

In the village, you'll discover a plethora of pubs, hotel lounge bars, and venues offering live music. Alongside these are a couple of larger nightclubs. While some upscale lounge bars provide a tranquil atmosphere for a relaxed drink, the majority of venues buzz with energy from early evening until the early hours of the morning.

Seasonnaires often gravitate towards the beloved Scotland Yard pub, affectionately known as "Scotty's," which serves as a fantastic starting point for an evening of entertainment. The Garage and Apropos are typically the last bars to close, ensuring the night continues with excitement.

Notably, Mayrhofen proudly hosts the immensely successful Snowbombing music festival. Taking over the town for an entire week, the festival showcases renowned artists such as Fat Boy Slim, Kasabian, Dizzee Rascal, and many others, performing in various venues, even including the gym.

If you seek an immersive festival experience, securing your tickets is a must. However, keep in mind that the late-night performances may leave you a tad tired for skiing the next day, as the best acts often conclude their sets as late as 6 AM.

Mayrhofen – Ski Hire:

Mayrhofen offers a wide range of options for renting skis, ensuring that visitors have access to top-quality equipment for their skiing adventures. Multiple outlets in the area cater to ski hire, providing convenient services and a variety of rental options to suit different preferences and skill levels.

One reputable ski hire company in Mayrhofen is Skiverleih Mietski, known for its reliable and well-maintained equipment. They offer a comprehensive selection of skis, boots, poles, and other necessary gear, ensuring that visitors can find the perfect fit for their skiing needs.

Another prominent provider is Brundl Sports, which operates four branches within Mayrhofen. Brundl Sports is a renowned ski and snowboard rental chain that offers a wide range of equipment options to accommodate skiers of all levels, from beginners to advanced riders. With their expert staff and excellent customer service, visitors can expect a smooth rental experience at any of their conveniently located branches.

Ian Kilgour's Rent For Fun is also worth mentioning. This rental shop provides a friendly and professional service, offering a range of high-quality ski equipment suitable for different skill levels and preferences. With their expertise and dedication to customer satisfaction, Rent For Fun ensures that visitors have a hassle-free and enjoyable skiing experience.

These ski hire companies, among others in Mayrhofen, offer competitive rates, flexible rental periods, and the convenience of multiple locations. Whether you're a first-time skier or a seasoned pro, these outlets provide a wide selection of skis and related equipment to cater to your specific needs.

It's advisable to check the websites or contact the rental shops directly for up-to-date information on equipment availability, pricing, and reservation options.

By renting skis from trusted establishments like Skiverleih Mietski, Brundl Sports, and Rent For Fun, visitors to Mayrhofen can rest assured that they'll be well-equipped to enjoy their time on the slopes.

Here are some of the top ski rental companies in Mayrhofen and their website URLs:


Mayrhofen – Ski Schools:

Mayrhofen provides abundant opportunities for skiers of all levels to enhance their skills and confidence through ski lessons offered by reputable ski schools.

Whether you're a beginner aiming to learn the basics or an advanced skier seeking expert guidance, there are several ski schools in the area that can cater to your specific needs.

Ski Pro's Mayrhofen Ski School is a well-established and respected institution, offering a range of lessons for skiers of all ages and abilities. Their team of qualified instructors provides personalized instruction, ensuring a safe and enjoyable learning experience. From group lessons for beginners to private lessons for those seeking individual attention, Ski Pro's Mayrhofen Ski School is equipped to meet various learning preferences.

Ski School SMT is another prominent option for ski lessons in Mayrhofen. With a team of experienced instructors, they offer comprehensive programs for beginners, intermediates, and advanced skiers. Their lessons are designed to foster skill development and boost confidence on the slopes. From group courses to private tuition, Ski School SMT provides a flexible and tailored approach to learning.

Mayrhofen 3000 Ski School is renowned for its expertise and commitment to delivering high-quality ski instruction. They offer a wide range of lessons suitable for skiers of all ages and abilities, ensuring a positive and rewarding learning experience. Whether you're a complete novice or a seasoned skier looking to refine your technique, Mayrhofen 3000 Ski School has programs tailored to your needs.

For advanced skiers seeking both instruction and guiding, Ski Experts is an excellent choice. They specialize in providing lessons and guidance to experienced skiers who want to take their skills to the next level. Ski Experts' knowledgeable instructors offer valuable insights and techniques, helping advanced skiers tackle more challenging terrain and improve their overall performance on the slopes.

When considering ski lessons in Mayrhofen, it's advisable to visit the websites or contact the ski schools directly to gather detailed information about their programs, lesson durations, and booking options.

By enrolling in a reputable ski school such as Ski Pro's Mayrhofen Ski School, Ski School SMT, Mayrhofen 3000 Ski School, or Ski Experts, skiers can enhance their skills, build confidence, and make the most of their time on the mountain.

Here are some of the top ski schools in La Grave and their website URLs:


We send good things!
Get special offers and great articles! By subscribing we'll plant a tree on your behalf.