Skiing in Zell am Ziller

Country: Austria

In a nutshell: A real working village that’s attached to a large, varied and intermediate-friendly ski area

We like:

  • The large ski area has some fantastic skiing, and is especially well-suited to intermediates
  • You get a real sense of travel and adventure as you work your way through the area, skiing to different villages on the way
  • The other ski resorts in the Ziller Valley (such as Mayrhofen and Hintertux) are on the same lift pass. It’s impossible to ski it all in a week.
  • The charming village doesn’t feel like a ski resort. You’ll hear very few English voices.

We don’t like:

  • It’s not very convenient. The village is a bus ride from the gondola, and there are no runs back to the village
  • There aren’t many beginner slopes in the Zell sector; it’s not the easiest place to learn to ski


  • Resort altitude: 580m
  • Highest lift: 2,450m
  • Lowest piste: 900m
  • Transfer time from most convenient airport:
    • Innsbruck: 1h
    • Salzburg: 2h
    • Munich: 2h
  • Number of lifts:
    • Zillertal Arena: 52
    • Ziller Valley Resorts: 177
  • Number of runs
    • Zillertal Arena
      • Blue: 40
      • Red: 89
      • Black: 14
    • Zillertal Superski
      • Blue: 87
      • Red: 151
      • Black: 30
  • Size area size: Enormous – 490km of piste


  • Family friendly
  • Big ski area
  • Traditional charm
  • Great for intermediates
  • Great for advanced
  • Great for snowboarders


Zell am Ziller is an authentic Tyroelan village perched on the banks of the Ziller river. Zell offers a different ski holiday experience to your typical ski resort, but doesn’t compromise on the skiing.

As part of the Zillertal Arena, Zell is lift-linked to Gerlos and Konigsleiten, making it the largest ski area in the Ziller Valley – bigger than its more famous neighbour Mayrhofen. Additionally, if you buy the Zillertal Superskipass, you have access to all four ski areas in the Ziller valley (including Mayrhofen), which opens up a staggering 495km of piste. All are accessed for free using the bus and rail network in the valley

Most of the runs in the Zillertal Arena are ideally suited to intermediate skiers. Mile-hungry intermediates will love exploring the area and visiting the numerous villages on the way. The runs tend to be quiet and it’s great fun working your way to Gerlos and back.

Advanced skiers will find some challenging skiing above Konigsleiten and some more demanding reds above Zell. The main draw for experts is the off-piste which tends to stay untracked for much longer than in Mayrhofen, and has a great mix of tree runs and big-mountain lines.

Beginners may find a Zell am Ziller ski holiday a little awkward, as each day starts and finishes with a ski-equipment laden bus journey (for most hotels, at least). There are some good beginner runs on Resenalm, above Zell, but there is more variety above Gerlos, and getting there will be a challenge for timid beginners. The main draw for beginners is that as the ski area is much quieter than others, it is a good,unpressured environment to learn to ski in.

Zell am Ziller itself is a pleasant village with a small range of shops and restaurants. With it being a real-working town there is a florist, butcher, courthouse and brewery to compliment the sports shops, hotels and restaurants. There are a few lively and friendly apres ski bars at the bottom of the lift, with a fun Austrian party vibe in full swing by the time the lifts have closed.