Sixteen years ago a group of promoters from Manchester organised an après-ski entertainment event in the French resort of Risoul. Who’d have ever thought that music, skiing and partying would prove such a winning combination? The following year the venue for the event moved to Villars in Switzerland where the ‘Bomb Comp’ was selected as Europe’s best snowboard competition. It operated alongside ‘Snowbombing’, offering a crazy week of fun on the slopes in association with live music which attracted more than 3000 revellers.
Word of the event was out and in 2004 the event moved to Les Arcs in France attracting snowboarders from all over the world to what had suddenly established itself as the continent’s biggest music and snowsports event. The following year it moved to Mayrhofen in Austria which has remained its home ever since.
Today the festival is firmly established on Europe’s calendar of winter events attracting over 5000 party goers to Mayrhofen. Such is its reputation that it can attract big name bands and DJs from all over the continent. The event takes place for a week in April completely filling this beautiful Tyrolean resort.
If you fancy attending Snowbombing, be warned that it doesn’t come cheap. You can select different packages according to your budget ranging from top of the range 5-star hotels to more humble bed and breakfast type accommodation. You’ll also need to factor in which entertainment events you plan on attending (concerts, parties, discos, etc). And don’t forget the transfer costs to Mayrhofen, the ski passes and the lessons. All in all it’s likely to prove a fairly costly experience which explains why the majority of those in attendance are from the young middle-classes of Europe.
Not a Party Animal? Not a Problem
If you avoid Snowbombing week in Mayrhofen you’ll enjoy some of the best skiing that Austria has to offer in an idyllic resort. The actual resort of Mayrhofen lies in the Ziller Valley at an altitude of just 630 metres. An efficient gondola system transports skiers up the Penken mountain where 150km of slopes cater to all ability levels. The resort enjoys a fairly extended season thanks to the fact that most of these runs lie above 1650m. State of the art snow cannons come into play when conditions aren’t up to scratch.
There are first class ski schools available with English speaking instructors and plenty nursery slopes where you can practise. If you’ve progressed way beyond the need for classes you’ll no doubt be attracted to the Harakiri run which is the steepest in Austria. If you survive its scary decent your next challenge should be the black run on the nearby Ahorn mountain which had to be removed from the world cup downhill race for fears that it was too dangerous.
You can find out more about skiing in Mayrhofen and the nearby resorts of Kitzbuhel and Ischgl at the Shuttle Direct Blog.
Getting to Mayrhofen
The Austrian airports of Innsbruck and Salzburg may at first glance seem to be the obvious choice when planning your trip to Mayrhofen. However, there are very few flights to these destinations. Far more convenient for the majority of visitors to the Austrian Tyrol is Munich Airport in Germany which is a two hour drive away on first class roads. It’s well worth booking transport with a specialist ski transfer operator such as Shuttledirect from Munich Airport to Mayrhofen. They will be waiting for you on arrival and can provide transport for any number of skiers together with their equipment.
If you’re travelling to Austria specifically for the Snowbombing event it’s worth checking their official website to find out details of the Snowbombing Road Trip. This is a procession of about 150 cars which drive from the UK to Mayrhofen via Frankfurt. Drivers and passengers are mainly in fancy-dress and their arrival in Mayrhofen marks the beginning of the week’s festivities.
Where to Stay
Mayrhofen is a classy resort which offers a fine selection of deluxe hotels as well as an impressive range of more traditional ski lodge accommodation which is typical of the Austrian Tyrol.
Alpenhotel Kramerwirt (Am Marienbrunnen 346):The Kröll family who run this property go out of their way to welcome their guests and ensure they have a great stay in one of Mayrhofen’s finest Alpine hotels. Ideal location for skiing, beautiful rooms, delightful spa facilities and an excellent restaurant. What’s not to like?
Elisabeth Hotel (432 Einfahrt Mitte): Constructed in traditional timber style, this luxury hotel is the perfect choice if you’re looking to unwind after a hard day on the slopes. Its swimming pool and spa facilities are probably the best in town and their ‘no children under 16’ policy ensures peace and quiet. Great rooms, great restaurant … highly recommended.
Alpin Lodge Das Zillergrund (Zillergrund 903): Provided you don’t mind being a couple of kilometres outside the main town this is a great choice. A modern property which retains classic Tyrolean features located on a river with spectacular views along the valley. Superb spa, pool and sauna facilities together with truly exceptional food in the hotel restaurant makes it difficult to drag yourself away from the hotel.
Hotel Pension Siegelerhof (Dursterstrasse 226): Away from the fancy hotels and extravagant ski chalets you can find some budget accommodation in Mayrhofen thanks to its range of family-run pensions. The Siegelerhof is one such place which is friendly and well located. Good functional choice if you’re simply here for the skiing without the trimmings.