With another long weekend lurking (not that we mind, it’s just that there are so many in Austria in May and June) we decided it was time to dust off our camping equipment. The destination was clear – we have been wanting to explore the Ziller Valley (Zillertal) for some time. Choosing a campsite proved to be a bit harder. Erlebnis Camping Aufenfeld came out top choice based on the big selection of activities for kids. Here is our honest review of the campsite.
Read to the end to not miss our video about the campsite!
In the Heart of the Ziller Valley
Camping Aufenfeld is in Aschau in the Zillertal – a very central position from which to explore the valley. We had our doubts because of its proximity to the main road, but it turned out you don’t see the road from the campsite. And we hardly heard any traffic from our pitch.
Aschau is 12 km from the entrance of the Ziller Valley, about halfway to Mayrhofen, the “capital” of the Zillertal. The valley station of the Zillertal Arena, the largest ski-area in the region and home to the sommerrodelbahn (alpine coaster), is just down the road.
Choose your own Pitch
There are more than 350 pitches spread out over the vast campsite. Some nice, some not so nice. Some slightly bigger than others, but generally around 100 m² in size. Fortunately, you can choose your pitch from the available ones with the help of a site plan when you book. This is not necessarily an easy task if you’ve never been to the campsite before.
Our Simple Campsite on the best Pitch
We simply chose the pitch furthest away from what looked like the busiest spots. It turned out to be one of the nicest pitches on site. Normalplatz (normal pitch) Terrasse 4/1 is on a terrace close to the back boundary (a beautiful natural forest). It’s about 9m x 8m and had more than enough room for our tent, an outside sitting area and our car. The back and one side were hedged in, with the other separated from the next pitch by a little embankment. Being out of the hustle and bustle meant we were a little further away from the bathrooms and other facilities. Even so, the nearest sanitary block wasn’t more than one minute away by bicycle.
We had the most basic camping equipment in a sea of serious, experienced campers. It subjected us to some curious stares from passers-by stepping out of their luxury caravans with well-equipped tents. But we took pride in the fact that none of their tents have been in the Kruger National Park and various other wild and wonderful places in South Africa like ours have.
Besides the normal pitches (with electricity and a TV connection), you can also book a comfort pitch with added water, gas and sewage facilities. And if you really want to be fancy, there are luxury pitches with their own bathrooms.
Things to Do at Camping Aufenfeld
Indoor Swimming Complex
Come rain, come shine – you won’t run out of things to do or keep the kids entertained at Camping Aufenfeld. Coenraad and Mattheus headed to the indoor swimming pool complex soon after we set up camp. They came back refreshed and very excited about the water slide with a speed timer. In addition to the slide, there are two big pools and two pools for small children. There is also a spa with sauna, massage rooms and a big room with beds to simply relax in the complex.
Skate Park and Rock Climbing
While we lit the fire for our first braai, Mattheus hopped on his bicycle and discovered the covered skate park. Although it’s called a skate park, most kids use it to strut their stuff on stunt scooters. Adjacent to the skate park is a big uncovered area with a few bicycle ramps. This area is also where the big climbing wall and hall is. Kids can climb a small “rock” with no equipment.
Swimming Lake in Idyllic Setting
A little bridge connects the skate park, climbing hall, soccer field and volleyball courts with the children’s play park, water play area and swimming lake. Set in magnificent gardens, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else on a hot summer’s day. There are plenty of green lawns to crash on while the kids enjoy themselves.
Note: Some activities and attractions, for example the trampolines, cost extra.
The daily organised animation programme for children is filled with fun activities. Because we were out and about doing other things most of the day, Mattheus only participated once to watch the daily kids’ movie at 18:00. It’s shown in the same building where there is both an indoor play and activity room for rainy days.
PS: In the high season, there is also organised hikes and activities for adults.
A bit peculiar in an Alpine setting, but Camping Aufenfeld is home to a Western Town. Bordering the swimming lake and the other outdoor activities, it is complete with a White Horse Saloon and gold washing plant. Here you will hear country music and see line dancing instead of a yodel and schuhplattlern.
The nearest sanitary block to our pitch was in the Jagdhof, a big building which also houses holiday apartments and a restaurant.
I can honestly say it was the nicest and cleanest bathrooms and toilets I’ve come across in a campsite. It’s true that the Jagdhof is new, but it also gets five stars for the planning that went into the sanitary block.
The showers in the ladies’ bathroom each had its own wash basin with more than enough space to put down clothes and toiletries. You literally have your own little bathroom all for yourself. The shower cubicles are spacious and designed in such a way that the rest of the floor doesn’t get flooded in the process. The water was hot almost immediately, the pressure was great and not once did I have to jump out from under a sudden cold rush just to be scorched again the next moment. Glorious.
For those just wanting to brush teeth or put on make-up, there are a multitude of washbasins, both in a central, open area as well as in private cubicles without showers. Children have their own little corner with low basins.
The toilets and the bathrooms are separate. My only small problem with the setup was that I had nowhere to put my clothes, towel and toiletry bag if I wanted to use the toilet before or after taking a shower. Sure, there is a little ledge behind the toilet, but the risk of your things falling onto the toilet floor or even into the toilet is too big.
Nevertheless, the loos were mostly spotless. One row even had rotating toilets that clean themselves.
Again, we were super impressed by the cleanliness and practicality. There was more than enough room on an overhead shelf to put dishes down after drying them, each basin had a plug, and – wait for it – there is even a dishwasher. Yes, for €1 you can have your dishes washed and dried within 5 minutes. We saw this with our own eyes when two men in charge of the evening dishes took the easy way out.
Dog Shower and Other Nice Additions
Okay, we don’t have a dog. But if we did, we could have taken it for a shower. What we did use, was the towel drying room. In winter, people can also dry their ski boots here.
Eating and Drinking
The little supermarket on site is well-equipped with groceries and basic camping necessities. Fresh bread and pastries are delivered first thing in the morning.
If you don’t feel like cooking, you can sit down at the Jagdhof Restaurant or the White Horse Saloon. The Beach Café and the café at the indoor swimming complex offer lighter meals. Take-aways are also possible. We ate a late lunch at the White Horse Saloon and were very happy with our burger, spaghetti bolognaise and mixed salad.
Take the Zillertal exit from the A12 highway. Follow the Zillertal Straße/B169 for about 18 kilometres until you get to Aufenfeldweg where the sign and turn-off to Camping Aufenfeld is well visible.
- Camping Aufenfeld is very big and lively. The pitches are generally small and on top of each other. Don’t go there if you are looking for something quiet and peaceful. The pylons and power lines over part of the campsite might also be disturbing to some.
- One of the few things that bothered is that the camp supermarket was closed on a public holiday. For a campsite of this size, filled to the brim, it could have at least opened until midday.
- You will look hard to find another campsite with such a variety of attractions and facilities to cater for its big number of guests. The staff are professional and friendly. To go through an entire long-weekend without having to deal with one rude receptionist, waiter or other employee really says a great deal about the level of professionalism.
We paid €154 for 3 nights on a normal pitch for 2 adults and one child with a tent and one car. It included electricity and the use of all the leisure facilities as mentioned.
Visit Camping Aufenfeld’s own website for a full list of prices, facilities and attractions. If you don’t like camping, but want to enjoy all the other facilities, you can also rent a holiday apartment. Also read my article about accommodation in general in Tyrol.
Watch the Video