Zillertal Arena in winter means ski fun in the largest ski area of the Zillertal - in SUMMER, the region is a highlight for all sport and mountain enthusiasts!
One reason for this is the breathtaking mountain scenery. The numerous activities available to every visitor are another. Whether it's an enjoyable hike, an extensive bike tour on the mountain or in the valley, a hearty meal in a rustic alpine hut, or fun and action for the entire family - there's something for everyone in the Zillertal Arena. There are also many highlights for action fans! The Arena Coaster, the Arena Skyliner, Flying Fox, Single Trails, climbing trails, water adventures like rafting and canyoning, paragliding, and much more!
Despite its relatively small size, the village of Zell am Ziller ranks among the most important of the Zillertal. Many boards and offices of importance for the entire valley are seated here, e.g. the deanery, the district court, two notary's offices and the district forest inspector. Zell is also an education centre with seven different school types. The central location and the good private and public transport links turned Zell into the "Heart of the Ziller Valley" and, as a result, into an important economical centre, where tourism has an important role to play. In addition, trade and small to medium-sized businesses have their place in Zell. Over 160 companies and almost as many private landlords work here and manage to secure many jobs that way. Exemplary work is done by the oldest Tyrolean private brewery, founded around 1500. The name "Zeller Bräu" is inseperable from the "Gauderfest", a festival taking place on the first weekend in May, a unique celebration of Spring that attracts countless visitors each year.
Winter sport lovers can find attractive ski areas and modern lifts taking them to the Zillertal Arena - one of the ten largest continuous ski areas in Austria. Beautiful hike paths are tempting the wanderer on relaxing trips in the well-cared-for natural environment of the village. A large-scale leisure park offers sport lovers and those in need of relaxation ample opportunities to be active throughout the entire year. People interested in history and culture would do well to take a closer look at our local heritage museum and an exhibition goldmine.
On an area of more than 45,000 m2 you will find every possible leasure facility: outdoor pools, slides, adventure playground, two beach volleyball courts, outdoor and indoor tennis courts, crazy golf, bowling lanes, fun court (volleyball, streetball, basketball), and finally the Garden of the Senses.
The leisure park in Zell offers many options for tennis lovers. On the 3 indoor courts with their two glass fronts you can enjoy a fantastic view of Zell and its surroundings even while playing. During the outdoor season, 4 outdoor courts and a tennis training wall are ready to be used. Have something to eat and a well-deserved drink in the café-restaurant with a panorama view of the Zilertal mountains!
Every year, the Gauder Fest - Austria's biggest spring and traditional-costume festival - takes place on the first weekend in May, featuring a whole series of different attractions. The festival officially begins with the ceremonial tapping of the beer keg and the so-called "Gambrinus" speech. The highlight of the Gauder Fest is the traditional procession on Gauder Sunday that includes heritage groups and musicians sporting colourful folk costumes, historic coaches and floats, horse- and ox-drawn carriages. Over the years, this has developed into the biggest event of its kind in all of Austria.
The Gauder Fest as we know it today was born from the tradition of the great Alpine church fairs that existed in previous days in all the bigger villages. One of the biggest and most popular was the Gauder Fair in Zell am Ziller on the first May weekend. After the long, hard Alpine winters, the farmers and merchants came from Salzburg, the South Tyrol in Italy, and of course from all over the Tyrol.
As far back as the year 1428, Venetian merchants who traded with the Zillertal mentioned the Zell fair and market. Even back then, the local brewery, known today as "Zillertal Bier", was connected very closely to the festival: on the first May weekend, the master brewer opened the doors and gates of the Gauder estate. So the name "Gauder" stems from the farm "Gauderlehen", on whose premises the festival was originally held. This Gauderlehen, which belongs to Zillertal Bier, is situated at the eastern edge of Zell. In 1861, a special "Gauder House" was built and cleared every year for the festival visitors. The tradtion of holding the festial on the "Gauderlehen", was kept up until 1950. Since then, the festival takes place in the village centre.
The last September Sunday is the day the cows return from numerous alpine pastures to their cowsheds.
The return of healthy cows is marked with a great festival. Farmers drive their decorated cattle back home to their farms. They are celebrated by countless guests and locals.
The festival of the cattle drive is celebrated extensively. Fun and entertainment with Zillertal music, farmers' market, "Schuhplattler" folklore groups, and much more. At the farmers' market you can experience old Zillertal craft and art, and there is a lot of traditional food to enjoy, from Zillertal and Tyrolean specialities such as "Zillertaler Krapfen" and "Melchermuas", and you can buy schnapps, honey, and cheeses directly from the farmers who make them, as a special souvenir to take home and remember the festival by.
District Church St. Vitus with Chapel and Cemetery
This church is a baroque construction from 1772 to 1778 - with rectangular antechamber, octagonal central nave with round cupola and semicircular apse following a plan by Wolfgang Hagenauer, and built by Andre Huber. The gothic tower is a remnat of the old church completed in 1511 that had to be demolished after a flooding. The cupola houses the impressive fresco of the painter Franz Anton Zeiller from the years 1775/79. The cemetery surrounding the church is decorated almost entirely with wrought-iron crosses; the wall recesses are the homes of religious statues, with the southern wall featuring late-gothic and baroque gravestones.
The cemetary also inlcudes a memorial to remember the fallen of both World Wars.
Zillertal Outdoor Museum
Little is known about the farmhouse that now forms the basis of the Zillertal Outdoor Museum to the south of Zell. In the part of Schwendau known as Burgstall the building was likely erected in the year 1713 - documented by the roof's crown beam. The estate was bought by two bachelors in the second half of the 19th century and then had a number of different owners over the years, until it was sold by its last owner to the Kiwanis Club Zillertal. The Kiwanis Club then gifted this centuries-old building to Zell am Ziller.
Today, the "Ental" farm is the first historic object of the Zillertal Outdoor Museum and was followed by a traditional house chapel, another farm building, and an oven built from stone following old construction methods and designs. There are plans to complete this ensemble by a corn chamber, a well, and the typical farmer's garden that in the past belonged to every farm.