Last Updated on February 22, 2018
Come and ski in Saalbach/Hinterglemm Austria:
I’ve always dreamt of doing a ski season – but had to wait patiently until my kids had left home to have my chance! Having worked one winter season for Inghams in Switzerland last year, this time I am based in Saalbach, Austria, for the 2017/2018 ski season. I’m a resort representative – so if you fancy coming to ski in Saalbach with Inghams, it’s me who will be looking after you!
My job gives me the opportunity to spend time up on the mountain either ski hosting guests or exploring the ski area in my spare time. And, as an insider with a true passion for skiing, I’d really recommend coming to ski in Saalbach/Hinterglemm.
I have skied for many years and visited most countries, including Austria, but had never skied in Saalbach so I had no idea what to expect. When I told people that I was heading here the first thing they said was that the resort has a reputation for lively après ski! I decided that the best thing to do was to embrace the experience with no preconceptions as I wanted to make the most of my time here.
The first thing that struck me about Saalbach is just how extensive the skiing here is. As part of the Ski Circus you can ski in Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Leogang and Fieberbrunn with the same lift pass as the resorts are connected. There’s a lot of hype in the ski industry about large ski areas with resorts building lifts to connect up with each other for more skiing. The Ski Circus can truthfully be said to be one of the largest linked ski areas in Austria with 270km of pistes. There is skiing for every ability with a bias towards the intermediate skier; there are some lovely, long, sweeping blue runs down to the valley from the top of the mountain. Piste 68 is one of the best as it is generally quieter, is 7km long and ends up in Viehofen where you can catch the ski bus. For the expert skier there is the Ski Circus Challenge, on my list of things to do whilst I’m here, a route around the whole ski area which is 72kms long, using 32 lifts. As it will take around 7 hours it’s not for those who want to enjoy a leisurely lunch.
Another reason to come to Austria is that the ski resorts have grown around existing villages or towns unlike a lot of the purpose-built resorts found in France. Saalbach is ideal for people who want to stay in a picturesque resort, the town square with its church and the numerous charming hotels all add to making this a pretty place to stay.
If you’re a keen skier like me then you want to spend less time on lifts and more time skiing. The Ski Circus area has an impressive number of lifts, more than 70, including high-speed gondolas and heated chair lifts. It’s said to have one of the fastest lift systems in the world, capable of transporting around 135,000 people an hour. The obvious advantage is that you can easily ski from one area to another without it taking the best part of a day.
Do take advantage of the Bernkogel6er, a very fast chairlift, with its beautiful blue covers. One of the best ways to access the ski area…
Of course, I can’t talk about Saalbach without mentioning the mountain restaurants and après ski bars. Wherever you ski in the area you can always find a cosy restaurant on a snowy day or a hut with a sun terrace on bluebird days. The food is typically Austrian and very reasonably priced compared to Swiss and some French resorts. The people are friendly and welcoming with most speaking at least some English. Some of my favourite mountain huts are Luis Alm at the top of the Bernkogelbahn Gondola, Berger Hochalm, Hecherhutte and the Hendl Fischerei in Leogang.
The Hendl Fischerei, otherwise known as The Chicken Man, in Leogang is famous for chicken. Half a spit roast chicken with a fresh bread roll is a reasonable 9 euros.
The food is good and the setting is dramatic with the backdrop of the surrounding mountains, an ideal place to stop for lunch on a sunny day with friends.
As the ski day comes to an end and the lifts shut Saalbach really starts buzzing. For those who love to après there is happy hour at the Bergers Hochalm from 3.30 – 4.30pm. You can then ski down an easy blue run to the Hinterhagalm, at the top of the nursery slope, which is very lively from 4.00 – 7.00pm. Continuing on to the bottom of the nursery slope in the Kohlmais area are Burgi’s bar, Bauers Schialm and Spitzbub across the road. Saalbach is certainly alive with the sound of music as there are often live acts performing in the bars.
If you are a keen skier looking for a large ski area, with a fast lift system, good mountain huts lively après and a beautiful setting then I certainly recommend Saalbach. I will definitely consider coming back here on holiday in the future. I love the combination of great skiing and a lively après ski.
Inghams has a good choice of hotels in Saalbach and Hinterglemm with flights from 11 UK regional airports. The transfer time from Salzburg airport is approximately one and three-quarter hours.
For more information on hotels and holidays with Inghams to Saalbach, Hinterglemm or Fieberbrunn visit the Inghams website. Alternatively, call the reservations team on 01483 791141.
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