Saalbach Ski Resort Guide
Saalbach is a hub of parties and packs a whole lot of choice into your ski holiday.
The beautiful local villages are great for wandering around during the day, the ski area is huge (recently knocked down from the largest in Austria to the second-largest), and the party scene is electric!
The resort is two hours from Salzburg by bus.
The resort itself is linked to three neighbouring villages, the four of them making up the ‘Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn’ ski area – and yes, that is the name!
The village is in the Glemm Valley, a dead-end between mountain peaks, and home to beautiful traditional buildings set alongside the river or on the surrounding mountain shoulders. The high street is pedestrian-only and has the usual ski shops and local offerings to take in while taking a break from the slopes.
Skiers of all levels are drawn to the vibrant party scene, and for the same reason, the area is less popular with families or couples seeking a more serene atmosphere in which to ski and relax. In short, if you want to take in the beauty and charm of an Austrian mountain resort – and you love to party – this is a great choice.
On the slopes
There is enough piste area here to keep intermediate skiers busy for two or more weeks before revisiting the favourites. Add to that the easier and more challenging runs, and there is no fear of on-slope boredom even for a lengthier ski holiday.
Snow conditions are generally good, though the lower elevation of the resort means that conditions can get slushy and/or bare in warmer weather.
The lifts are among the best in the world – efficient, fast and modern.
Difficulty of runs varies, but intermediates will find the most to choose from. There are plenty of runs to keep beginners interested while they hone skills and build confidence, and for the more advanced skiers there are some lovely steep runs to keep the blood and adrenaline pumping along with some great cruising runs that may not challenge skills so much, but will show off the scenery and bring a smile to your face.
Nightlife is lively in Sallbach, starting at around lunchtime and heading into the hours before sunrise… if not later!
Castello is the biggest nightclub in the area, and features live bands most of the time, with ‘silent après ski’ parties on the terrace, with all patrons wearing headphones!
The list of other bars includes the Berger Alm with its happy hour from 3:30pm; and Goaßstall, set in a rustic barn and featuring dancing, loud music and – why not? – mechanical goats!
When food is top on your priorities list, grab a low-cost meal at Bobby’s Pub or Hotel Peter in the village. On-slope restaurants are generally a bit more expensive, but Thurneralm is an exception to that rule. Other options include Wieseralm for traditional local food and great views; and Asitz Bräu for hearty meals and something a bit special for the gents: urinals set in floor-to-ceiling windows for a panoramic view of the slopes while taking care of necessities.
The area has many of the usual activities when off-slope, too, from hiking and (Snowcat –assisted!) sledding to horse-drawn sleigh rides up the Lindlinghalm.
Best for beginner and intermediate skiers and those who love a great party after shredding up the slopes all day… or at least half of it! Will also keep advanced skiers happy due its sheer size.