The Zillertal (“Ziller valley”) is a valley in Tyrol, Austria, that is drained by the Ziller river. It is the widest valley south of the Inntal (“Inn valley”) and lends its name to the Zillertal Alps, the strongly glaciated section of the Alps in which it lies. The Tux Alps lie to its west, while the lower grass peaks of the Kitzbühel Alps are found to the east. The Zillertal is one of the valley areas in Tyrol most visited by tourists – its largest settlement is Mayrhofen.

Robbert Heiligers CC BY-ND 2.0
Robbert Heiligers CC BY-ND 2.0

Geography

The Zillertal branches from the Inn trench near Jenbach, about 40 km northeast of Innsbruck, running mostly in a north-south direction. The Zillertal proper stretches from the village of Strass to Mayrhofen, where it separates into four smaller valleys, the Tux valley and the sparsely settled, so-called Gründe – Zamsergrund, Zillergrund and Stilluppgrund. Along the way, two more Gründe and the Gerlos valley, which leads to the Gerlos Pass and intoSalzburg, branch off.

Unlike other side valleys of the Inntal, the Zillertal rises constantly, but only marginally, from one end to the other – only about 100 m over 30 km. Permanent settlements cover about 9% of the entire area of the Zillertal municipalities.

photo credit: http://www.hintertuxergletscher.at/
photo credit: http://www.hintertuxergletscher.at/

Hintertux Glacier

Hintertux is a ski resort in the Ziller Valley. With the beautiful glacier (Hintertuxer Gletscher) skiing is possible 365 days a year. The ascent to the Hintertux Glacier is a breathtaking experience all year round. Not, however, because of the effort needed to cover all those metres in altitude! By lift, you see, it is comfortable, accessible for the disabled and by no means strenuous to get to the highest point of the Zillertal Valley with lift facilities. The ride in the gondola alone offers exceptional views of the mountains of Zillertal, andat 3,250 metres above sea level, visitors can enjoy wonderful far-reaching scenes from the panorama terrace.

The Hintertux Glacier is open to visitors all year round, with a wide range ofactivities and places to visit. Remarkable natural monuments such as the Spannagel Cave and Nature’s Ice Palace will inspire the whole family.  And inAustria’s only year round ski resort winter sports lovers can also enjoy perfect piste conditions under the warmth of the summer sun! Thanks to state of the art scenic lifts, this exhilarating experience can be enjoyed by all at the Hintertux Glacier – 365 days of the year!
Leo-setä - CC BY-SA 2.0
Leo-setä – CC BY-SA 2.0

Mayrhofen

This lively, bustling village is one of the most popular summer resorts in the Tyrol, offering an unrivalled range of activities, excursions and events throughout the summer. Situated at the end of the Ziller Valley, there is extensive walking for all levels in 4 local valleys, and the ‘Zillertal Natur’ runs an excellent programme of FREE guided walks. An old-fashioned steam locomotive is a popular way to explore the valley, and in the evenings it is wonderful to sit outside whilst Mayrhofen comes alive with regular live music and traditional festivals.

In addition to skiing and hiking, visitors to Mayrhofen can enjoy many other experiences and attractions. Our personal recommendation: Zillertal Alps Nature Park.

xoxo

featured image: Indrik myneur (flickr), Creative Commons CC BY 2.0