Saalbach, Austrian Alps - Stein Travel
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Saalbach and its close neighbour, Hinterglemm, have united in the picturesque Glemmtal Valley to form one of Europe's liveliest ski resorts, which is particularly popular with Dutch, German and Scandinavian holidaymakers .The valley sides offer numerous ski slopes, but its low altitude means that snow conditions can deteriorate quickly. Nevertheless the resort has excellent snowmaking equipment, which ensures good coverage in the sunshine. There are more than 125 miles (200km) of ski trails linked by lifts, mainly suited to intermediate level skiers. There is, however, a two-mile long (3km) expert mogul descent on the north facing Zwolferkogel, and more than 60 miles (97km) of off-piste terrain. The pretty Tyrolean style villages are fairly new, but the ambience is traditional with chalets and sleigh bells adding to the charm.

Information & Facts


Apart from skiing and snowboarding in Saalbach at all levels, the twin holiday resort villages offer all the expected winter sports activities. Choose from snowmobiling, snow-shoeing, ice-skating, tobogganing, ice-climbing and snow-hiking to name just a few. Children are exceptionally well catered for. The historic Austrian city of Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart, is just an easy hour's journey away and makes for a great excursion. The valley also boasts a host of activities that are on offer all year round, like archery, fishing, horse riding, paragliding and golf on a nine-hole course. Folk evenings, brass band concerts and street painting are scheduled in the summer months when more than 249 miles (400km) of walking trails open up in and around the valley.


The official language in Austria is German.


The unit of currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. Currency can be exchanged at banks and bureaux de change available in all towns, but it may be easier to use the ATMs. Banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays, but exchange offices at airports and major city rail terminals are open seven days a week. Major credit and debit cards are widely accepted though some small hotels and restaurants may only accept cash. Travellers cheques are also accepted.


Saalbach can be extremely crowded over the Christmas season.

Night Life

So hectic is the après-ski in the Glemmtal Valley in Saalbach that it is surprising any holidaymakers can muster the strength to hit the ski slopes in the morning! Copious amounts of excellent beer and schnapps flow in the mountainside inns and village ice bars, along with some rollicking music and good-natured 'gemuchtlikheid'. Dancing on the tables is expected and drinking anthems with cries of 'prost!' echo everywhere. Most parties get going even before the ski lifts close at 4pm, in the chalets above the villages. One of the most popular mountain bars is the Goasstall (The Goat House) on the Hinterglemm side, which features indoor and outdoor bars, and live as well as artificial goats that hit the dance floor among the glitter and fake snow. Another favourite is the Spielberghaus, which is reached by snowmobile along a four-mile (6km) track through the forest. Revellers are then transported home on high-speed sleds. In the villages there are a dozen options for late-night fun at hotel bars, piano bars, beer halls, clubs and winestubes. Discos get going at around midnight and keep the pace until the wee hours.


Rustic Alpine inns serving up hearty local fare to holidaymakers in Saalbach rest on the slopes, while the valley towns bristle with restaurants, cafes, ice bars and delicatessens (for those who enjoy a 'do-it-yourself' meal). Most of the inns open from breakfast time, tempting skiers with delicious Austrian pastries and coffee. Hearty lunches and dinners focus on a huge variety of local pork and sausage dishes, including schnitzel. The local establishment that is reputedly the best of the lot is the historic chalet, The Pfefferalm, located on the Reiterkogel blue run.


Hinterglemm is the best place to shop in the valley because its stores are frequented more by locals, who are averse to paying tourist prices. Saalbach's pedestrianised High Street has several attractive boutiques and shops where holidaymakers can enjoy a spot of shopping, but prices are higher. Good buys to browse for are Austrian sweaters, hardware, cookware and kitchen gadgets. Woodcarvings make good souvenirs and art pieces with Alpine motifs are also popular. Of course there is a great selection of ski gear on offer. If you happen to be around at the end of the season, you are likely to pick up a few bargains, as skis and other equipment go on sale.


Local time in Austria is GMT +1 (GMT +2 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October).

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