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Mayrhofen + Hintertux vs Bad Gastein

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I returned from 1 week stay (6 whole days skiing) in Mayrhofen / Zell am Ziller / Hintertux. We skied on March 10-15. Most of us are intermediate (bordering on upper intermediate) skiers.

Went by car. We stayed in Burgstall in Gastehaus Schneeberger. Booked it via (2 bedroom apartment for 3 adults and 2 children and 2 studios for 2x2 adults). Mind you, they charge your Booking card at some point, so make sure you have the correct card to avoid currency issues etc. The apartments/studios are in 2 buildings separated by a road, so if you want to stay as a group, make sure the units are in the same building. Important info: they have sauna (6€ pp), although they don't advertise it almost anywhere. The sauna is small, 4 persons max.

My previous skiing holiday was Bad Gastein / Bad Hofgastein / Sportgastein, so I compare this resort to Mayrhofen.

We started with Hintertux glacier. Parking is abundant. Ski runs disappointed us a little bit. Most were too steep and kind of short. There were no balanced red runs, maybe Tuxerjoch. Scenery was awesome, but piste-wise Sportgastein was a little better.

Mayrhofen has abundance of ski runs of all difficulties, but color marking beats me. Some blue runs were steeper than red runs, some black runs (Ahorn) were easier than red runs. Snow preparation and lifts were OK, but compared to Bad Gastein, there are not many balanced intermediate pistes. There is a lot of runs that are steep parts, followed by almost flat parts, followed by steep parts. I missed more slopes where one could relax and "float".

Zell am Ziller was probably the best part we visited, although there are many interesting runs in higher valleys (Teufeltal, Isskogel), but the lifts are older and lack bubble covers or heating. So you are higher up and lifts are freezing if conditions are windy.

One more complaint: all of above resorts (Mayrhofen / Zell am Ziller / Hintertux) have mediocre signage and maps. Quoting
At some points, it is difficult to tell the direction of the slopes. This can lead to confusion, especially regarding connection slopes. They could add additional information about the lifts, e.g. whether they have weather protectors.

This is an understatement. Sometimes it's almost impossible to tell the direction of the slopes, especially if you haven't visited the particular valley yet. Signage is lacking. Map is lying. Some lifts/runs seem to be not connected, but they are connected in reality.

Apres ski gastronomy is decent, but many restaurants are overcrowded and the ones reachable by non-skiing pedestrians have terrible prices (7,90€ for a portion of fries vs 4,00-4,90€ in other places). Many places are very congested.

At one point Mayrhofen is definitely great: scenery. Really good looking mountains.

To sum up: I was lead to believe that Mayrhofen is a great ski resort, but in reality I'd say it's comparable to Bad Gastein / Bad Hofgastein (which seems to be considered "above average, but not great"). Most accommodation is more expensive in Mayrhofen, although the ski pass is a little cheaper (256.50€ in Mayrhofen vs 266.00€ in Bad Gastein).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I've skied a couple of weeks in the Gastein (based in Bad Hofgastein) and I think five weeks in the Zillertal, based in Mayrhofen, Zell and Kaltenbach. Both areas have ski passes which cover multiple ski stations and loads of pistes for for a one or two week visitor the Zillertal gives the greatest variety of accessible pistes. I think you missed out the best bits there, as I much prefer the skiing at Kaltenbach and Hochfugen to Mayrhofen. Scenery is quite different as the Zillertal is higher and much more of the runs are above the tree line. You're right that the Gastein seems better value for food and drink, but to be fair both areas are cheap compared to the big Arlberg resorts or almost anywhere in France. Both places I'll happily go ski again.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
The only place I've skied in France was Valmeinier/Valloire and it was crazy cheap compared to Austria. Cheap ski in ski out apartment in Valmeinier was 60€ per person per week (vs. 190€ in Bad Hofgastein and 240€ in Mayrhofen), and skipass is 205€ vs 256-266€.

Austria wins with the driving distance from Poland. It's 8h drive to Austria vs 16h drive to France. No reasonable flights from my regional airport. I'd have to drive+fly+connect+fly+rent+drive.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Don't forget Dorfgastein at the entrance to the Gastein valley and the runs on the other side of their mountain to Grossarl. Only a short bus ride down the Grossarl valley to Alpendorf and access to the now named Salburg snowspace and links Wagrain, Flachau. Also a short bus ride to Kleinarl from Wagrain with further links to Zauchensee. Pick the right spot to stay in say St Johann in Pongau/Alpendorf(possiblymore cost effective accommodation) and the ski Amade is your lobster!
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