Saalbach and the neighbouring village of Hinterglemm lie in the Glemm Valley and the linked Saalbach-Hinterglemm ‘Ski Circus’ offers fantastic skiing and snowboarding on over 200 kilometres of well-groomed piste. Off the beaten track, the resort of Leogang offers back-door access to the same ski area.
Saalbach’s resort centre is compact and traffic-free with the bulk of its hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants located here within easy walking access to the lifts. Après-ski is very lively and some superb mountain restaurants complete the all-round Austrian experience.
With over 200 kilometres of piste, there is something for everyone here on both the south-facing and north-facing sides of the valley. New high-speed lifts appear to be built every summer and the whole area boasts an efficient and modern lift system.
Nine access points along the valley whisk you into the ‘Ski Circus’ and a free ski bus services the entire length of the valley connecting Vorderglemm, Saalbach and Hinterglemm. Leogang offers excellent skiing and a connection into the main Saalbach-Hinterglemm area.
There are some wonderful mountain huts and the level of competition keeps the quality high and the prices refreshingly low. With a resort level of 1000 metres and extensive snow-making, great skiing is guaranteed through until early April.
For beginners, the nursery slopes are directly above the resort centre convenient for both the central hotels and host of bars and restaurants at the bottom of the slopes.
For progressive skiers through to advanced skiers, you could not ask for more: This is an intermediates’s paradise and the ‘Ski Circus’ – up one side of the valley, down the other – is a big day out (our favourite is clockwise). Expert skiers should head for some of the steep black runs including the World Cup downhill run off the top of Zwölferkogel and there is also some great tree skiing and good lift-accessible off-piste to be explored particularly at the far end of the valley.
The slopes of Leogang, on the other side of the mountain from Saalbach are not to be missed for the range of slopes and long valley runs.
Snowboarders are well catered for both on piste and also in the half pipe and fun parks.