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Location: snowHeadLand
Resort: Mayrhofen
Country: Austria
Domain: Ziller Valley
Author: hayley t
Date: 26-2-05 to 3-3-05
Our holiday: Group of 9 (6 intermediates with between 6-9 weeks skiing and 3 beginners).
Website : www.mayrhofen.at
Basics : Flight to Innsbruck and 1 hour and a bit transfer.
Lift system : Excellent, nearly all modern high capacity and speed chairs or gondolas with hands free lift pass. Mayrhofen is lift linked to 3 areas (150km of piste) but buses to other resorts in the Ziller Valley. Buses are free, regular and punctual and there is also a tram to some resorts.
The terrain : Long reds and blues, some reds were nearer blacks and perhaps more difficult than other Austrian resorts. Perfect cruising terrain for intermediates. Runs well maintained. Some flat bits between a few lifts but ok for skiers as they were short. Overall there are 600km of piste in the Ziller Valley included under one lift pass including transport. At £126 for 6 days this is brilliant value.
The snow : Perfect! Absolutely freezing temperatures but lots of fluffy snow and little ice.
The resort : Large village, not quite a charming as other Austrian resorts but plenty of traditional buildings. Otherwise friendly with excellent apres ski between 4 and 8pm. Try Nikki's bar at the top of the village. All the hotels appear to offer good facilities and there is a good choice. Prices are fairly reasonable for locally brewed beer (€3). Other drinks quite expensive e.g. spirits from €5 and upwards.
Food : Not an abundance of mountain restaurants but most were large and inexpensive with a good choice of food. A great restaurant near the bottom of the Resterkogel gondola (as you ski down to it), plus the main restaurant at Finkenberg (top lift) does great pizzas and chicken on a spit. Lunch between €4-7 for a decent meal plus drinks.
Accommodation : Hotel Neuhaus: 4 star, situated at the bottom of the village, near bus stops and the train station, 10 mins from the main Penken lift. Great hotel, good facilities and fantastic, high quality food - the dessert buffet is amazing. The staff were friendly but rooms were on the small side. Quite a large hotel so not as cosy as some typical Tyrolean places but this seemed typical of Mayrhofen and would go back there nevertheless.
Costs: One week half board plus lift pass £630 (includes discount).
Conclusion: Great resort. Would definitely go back. It does not offer skiing convenience but the variety of runs and good tranport links outweighed this for me. Great value overall with some of the best alpine scenery I have ever seen - breathtaking.

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