Stories from the mountain summer
Pedalling through the valley
Between fragrant meadows, always alongside the river, the Zillertal cycle route leads to play, fun, and enjoyment.
Early morning in Mayrhofen. We are standing at the station, getting on our bikes. Ahead, there are 31 enjoyable kilometres on the Zillertal cycle route, leading up to the entrance to the valley. To wbe exact, it’s a total of 62 kilometres when you include the return trip back to our starting point. Our wild card is the Zillertal train, which makes nine stops between Mayrhofen and Strass and can take us along at any time. Of course we would like to cover the whole distance in one day.
We comfortably cycle along the well-built cycle path out of the valley. Many attractions are waiting for us along the route. Playgrounds for children, museums for adults and plenty of places to stop for refreshments. We relaxedly roll the first few kilometres towards Zell am Ziller and soak up the fresh alpine air.
The meadows are in full bloom, and the villages wake up from their morning slumber. The mountains too are brought out of a deep sleep by the warm sun and present themselves from their best side. At the very top, the summits are glowing, and a little further down, lush green alpine meadows dominate the panorama. We stop at the Regional Museum in Zell am Ziller and take a well-deserved drinking break, cultural enjoyment included.
Invigorated and motivated, we cycle on along the rushing Ziller. Suddenly we hear a loud whistle in the distance, and around the next c urve t he o ld s team train approaches us at a leisurely pace. The sight of this nostalgic giant lets us briefly immerse ourselves in the atmosphere of a bygone era before we tackle the last few kilometres to the bathing lake in Schlitters.
Staying relaxed. After a good two hours in the saddle, we get off our bikes, take off our helmets and put our feet into the cool water. The only question now is how do we want to manage the way back. Bicycle or train? We look towards the bathing lake, and we already have the answer. Of course, we’ll take the Zillertalbahn back to the starting point. That leaves us even more time to relax there.
Images and text: Heiko Mandl
Zillertal magazine Summer 2021
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Zillertal is located in the west of Austria and is the widest of the side valleys on the south side of the Inntal Valley. Get to Zillertal safely and comfortably.