Mayrhofen is a lovely little town and a fantastic base for a walking holiday in Summer.
I strongly recommend buying a Zillercard @ 53.50 Euros for 6 days. You buy them from the cablecar stations. They allow unlimited use of the train between Mayrhofen and Jenbach, the nine local buses, and one ascent and descent per day of the dozen or so cablecars and chairlifts in the valley – including the first section of the 3-stage Hintertux cablecar.
There are two cablecars in the town itself: the Penkenbahn, which opens at the start of the season at the end of May, and the Ahornbahn, which opens a week or so later. NB: The full range of lifts is not available until the end of June – but there is still plenty to choose from at the start of June up until the first week in October.
The Zillercard is very good value for accessing the fantastic selection of well-signed mountain walks starting from the tops of the lifts or from the bus stops along the roads that snake their way up to reservoirs and passes high in the mountains. (If you use return lifts on 3 days, other trips work out as a bonus!)
There are lots of mountain huts along the walking routes. Many of them were still closed on our holiday in the second week of June 2012, but several were open and provided a warm and friendly welcome to us and other wet walkers and cyclists. (The weather wasn’t brilliant, but it didn’t spoil our enjoyment of the holiday. Who could complain about flower-filled meadows, thundering waterfalls, snowfields, jagged snowy peaks, glaciers etc – even if we were soaked through!)
Probably the biggest advantage of the poor weather was the sheer ecstasy of tumbling into remote mountain huts, hanging our soaking gear over wood-burning stoves, and drying out over pints, Schnapps and goulash soup whilst the storm raged outside the wooden walls! Sometimes there was even typical Austrian live music as well – an accordion player or two, playing traditional jigs and reels – even though there were only a few foolhardy walkers or cyclists squashed into a tiny hut.
We stayed in the delightful, Crystal-owned, Chalet Haus Tirol, right in the centre of Mayrhofen. Our hostesses Stephanie, Beckie and Kelsey did all the work themselves – cooking, waitressing, cleaning etc – and they even stayed up to provide us with a lovely hot meal on our arrival at 10.30pm after our 3 ½ hour transfer from Salzburg!
It is fairly ‘budget accommodation’, so the rooms are quite basic (ie no tv, no hairdryer) and there is no choice on the menu. However, all rooms have a balcony, and all except one have an ensuite loo and shower. The 3-course evening meals were, without exception, delicious and beautifully presented. (Many thanks, Stephanie and team!)
The friendly, helpful reps in the Crystal Office beside the Penken cablecar provided us with info, timetables etc early on our first morning. (Many thanks, Sarah, Mark and Brad!)
All 24 guests sat around four big tables in the dining room, so the atmosphere was very friendly. (NB: This arrangement would not suit couples hoping to have quiet, romantic evening meals!) The dining room buzzed with conversations exchanging walking stories and plans for the next day, and we made friends with lots of lovely people – in particular Beryl and Tom from North Shields, Margaret and Caroline from Scotland, and the ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ lads from Lancashire.
A few bits of useful info:
* The Spar shop opposite the Penken Lift makes up picnic sandwiches to order at approx 1.50 E per filled bun. It opens at 7.30. It also sells wine ‘for the balcony’ for as little as 2 Euros!
* Litre-carafes of house wine cost only 6 Euros at the evening meal in the chalet!
* There is little in the way of evening entertainment in Mayrhofen in early June. However, Bobby at the Strass on Monday night, impersonating Elvis and Tom Jones, was good fun!
* Prices in bars and mountain huts are much the same as in England, so you don’t need to count your pennies!
* Monday night is the staff’s night off at Chalet Tirol, so if you stay there you’ll need to cater for yourselves. We had Spar sandwiches and wine on our balcony. Others went to Mama Mia’s beside the Post office, and would recommend it.
The two most memorable mountain huts on our walks were:
• The totally incongruous, chandelier-lit, Berliner Hut, nestling at the base of a glacier, and accessed by the 7.59 bus to Schlegeis (line 4102), descending at Gasthof Breitlahner and following a 3 hour walk up through gorges etc. Amazing! You need the full day to appreciate the scenery, and to rest at the huts along the route that are open in the season eg the Grawande and the Alpenrose.
• The 400 year old Kotahornalm, an isolated hut high above the valley, accessed by taking the train to Ramsau, the single chairlift to the top, and another couple of hours’climb up through woods and meadows. Magical! (It’s a long walk back down to Mayrhofen, so again, allow the full day!)
We hope you enjoy your holiday as much as we did! I’d love to hear feedback! I’m also happy to answer any queries you may have about your forthcoming holiday in Mayrhofen.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.