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Mayrhofen: Guide to jobs, accommodation, bars, and the terrain

Mayrhofen - Snow Worker's Guide

 

Mayrhofen is located at the western end of Austria, around an hour's drive from Innsbruck and 150km south of Muinch in Germany. Mayrhofen is among the most popular Alps resorts for British seasonal workers due to its thriving après-ski scene and huge party vibe.

Mayrhofen Trail Map

Getting There

From Innsbruck and within Austria, the best way to arrive is by train. You need to make a stopover at Jenbach. The trip takes around an hour and a half and costs around 15 euros. You can purchase tickets for the Austrian network at www.oebb.at/en.

From Munich, you could also take the train from the German network reiseauskunft.bahn.de

And from Zurich in Switzerland, you could take the Swiss train network. Tickets available at www.sbb.ch/en

 

Town Layout and Vibe

Mayrhofen has a picturesque, rustic village that is very typically Tyrolean. Maryhofen is found in the Zillertal Valley which is known as one of the music centres of Austria, with seemingly every inhabitant playing some instrument and music blaring out of every corner.

The ski area links up with the village areas of Hippach, Finkenberg and Lanersbach which are smaller and quieter towns than Mayrhofen proper. Mayrhofen itself is very flat and easily walkable.

Après-ski is also famous in Mayrhofen and generally kicks off straight after lunch each day, with bars thriving and pumping out Euro-pop all over the hill, starting at the top of the Penken Gondola at 1,800 metres and heading down in the village. Mayrhofen has some of the best après-ski in all the Alps, and the community vibe is excellent which keeps many seasonal workers coming back year after year.

Fortunately for seasonal workers, Mayrhofen is not overly expensive, which makes it another good reason to find a job here for a season.

 

The Terrain

Mayrhofen has a total of 134kms of runs and 53 lifts. Additionally, working a season at Mayrhofen gives you access to the entire Zillertal Valley area which has a total of 667kms of runs and 172 lifts between the areas of Fugen, Hochfugen, Kaltenbach, Zell am Ziller, Gerlos, Konigsleiten and Hintertux.

Mayrhofen is mostly geared towards intermediates and there is plenty of on-piste intermediate, groomed runs. The resort caters well for families and looks to attract the holiday-maker, rather than the local powderhound.

On-piste groomers is what Mayrhofen is mostly about, and some of the on-piste runs are nice and steep with nice steeper options from just about every lift. You'll find a lot of riders who like on-piste speed at Mayrhofen - those who like to carve and race.

Most of the resort is above the tree-line which means not that much in the way of tree runs, but more open spaces.

However, Mayrhofen is home to Austria's steepest marked run. The Harakiri is marked as having a 78 degree gradient at its steepest, though it's only that steep for a very short pitch. 

There is a little bit of off-piste to be found, especially after a nice dump, though Mayrhofen is not Austria's best for off-piste riding. However, Hintertux is the steepest glacier in Europe for some speed and also some nice back country.

During the summer, a number of professional riders train on the glacier due to the fact that it stays open for skiing and snowboarding.

Snow

Mayrhofen is a low-lying town, at just 630 metres, but most of the runs are higher up between 1,650 metres and 2,500 metres. Because of the glacier, the season can start as early as October, but the snow overall can be a little unpredictable and can get slushy at the lower parts of the mountain.

Park

Mayrhofen is home to the Vans Penken Park underneath the Sun Jet chairlift on Penken. It is an awesome, world-class park, and generally considered to be one of the best parks in Europe. The park is stuffed with kickers, boxes and rails for beginners through to expert with different lines for each. There is also a nice half-pipe.

If you are a seasonal worker who loves park, Mayrhofen is a great choice.

 

Finding a Job at Mayrhofen

Mayrhofen has quite a large English-speaking clientele which means that, if you don't speak German, you are more likely to be able to get work here. Competition in the bars and restaurants can be tough for work at the start of the season, but frees up as people leave during the season.

Mayrhofen sees an influx of people each season simply turning up and looking for work, given its reputation as a place for British seasonal workers. If you plan to do this, it is a good idea to arrive early to secure work.

Tour Companies

Working for a tour company is always a popular option among British seasonal workers. These provide full-service ski holiday packages for tourists. See Types of Jobs Available at Ski Resorts for a description of ski resort jobs. Generally the smaller the company, the more relaxed they'll be. Jobs with tips like guides are the most popular jobs.

A few tour operators who operate in Mayrhofen include:

Crystal Tours | First Choice (Ski Bound) | Neilson

International Applicants

Those holding an EU passport can work in Austria without needing a visa. You will generally need to hold a European passport (or be on a working holiday visa) to get work at Mayrhofen as employers are unlikely to sponsor you for a visa. See Work a Ski Season in Austria for information on visas.

Pay and Perks

Working for a tour operator, you could expect around 70 pounds a week on top of your ski pass, accommodation and food.

The Public Employment Service of Austria has information on getting a job in Austria as well as labour conditions (German only) www.ams.at 

 

Finding a Place to Rent in Mayrhofen

Among the villages in the area, Mayrhofen is the only place you should consider as this is where the seasonal worker community is centred. Laubichl, Hollenzen and Schwendau are cheaper options and are about 10 minutes' walk out of town.

If you arrive early, you can find yourself an apartment with a group, although this can still be quite hard.

If you work for a tour operator, you will likely end up in staff housing in one of their chalets.

The best prices for supermarkets are at Billa & M-Preis. Hofer in Zell has goods in bulk and is the best value if you can get access to a car.

 

Nightlife and Après-Ski in Mayrhofen

Mayrhofen is Austrian Alps at its best. There are plenty of bars all over the place, but more than that it is the vibe which keeps people coming back year after year. There is music from every corner and dancing every day of the season.

The Scotland Yard and Apropos are two favourite après-ski joints. There are two main nightclubs, the Arena which does live music and the Schlüssl which goes late into the night, along with Apropos. 

 

Other Tips

There are several events and festivals each season including:

  • Ski jumping on Boxing Day
  • In mid-February, Fasching is a massive street party.
  • The British Snowboard Championships in March which are well worth a look.
  • At the end of March, the KISS/Vibe FM event with a host of DJ's, bands and club nights.

Innsbruck is only an hour away and has some good shopping and sights for your days off. You can catch the train in, and many seasonal workers often make an overnight trip.

Over the Gerlos Pass is Krimml Waterfalls which are the highest waterfalls in Europe and become partially frozen in winter. This is an excellent trip to make at least once during the season. There are free buses down to Zell, Kaltenbach and Fugen for another few visits to make during the season.

Paragliding is popular at Mayrhofen. You can take the glide down at the end of the day instead of taking a last ride down the lifts!

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