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Saalbach, Hinterglemm & Leogang Ski Resort and Ski Holidays

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Saalbach, Hinterglemm & Leogang
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  Resort Information
Season Dec - Early April
Nearest Airport Salzburg
Ski Area 220km
Ski Lifts 54
Ski Runs 60
Longest Run 7.5km
Resort Height 1000m
Snowball Ratings
Beginners 4 / 5
Intermediates 5 / 5
Experts 3 / 5
Families 4.5 / 5
Nightlife 5 / 5
Affordability 4 / 5
Non Ski Activities 4 / 5

Saalbach Ski Resort is a great location for a ski or snowboard holiday,for all levels of skiers or boarders but particularly intermediates, either for a weekend break, a week or perhaps even two! So whether you are looking for simple inexpensive accommodation in a B and B or a deluxe 5 star hotel package, or a Saalbach catered chalet,this exciting, fun,pretty and action packed ski resort has something to suit.

The resort is twinned with Hinterglemm and together they offer one of the best skiing areas for intermediates in Austria, if not in Europe. The skiing is on both sides of the valley in which the resorts lie and offers over 200km of piste, well connected by lifts, packed with cruiser blues and reds. Beginners will find the resort a good place to learn and the more advanced will also find some things of interest, though a group of experts would get more out of St Anton. Both villages have a rustic feel and with a considerable number of bars, restaurants and cafés ensuring a rather lively Après-Ski atmosphere.

Most people on their first trip here comment on how surprised about the quality and quantity of the skiing and boarding.Even though the resort is relatively low, it punches well above its weight,with the extensive Ski Circus,followed in either direction,harnessing the geography of the valley, to great effect and which also includes Leogang.There is certainly more than enough terrain here to keep all but the most diehard skiers busy, for at least a week.Yes there may be relatively little for the expert but the 2.5 mile black run under the Schattberg gondola,forming part of the world cup downhill run,is challenging enough for most.The area also boasts the highest proportion of high speed lifts in Europe,excellent signage (often confusing in many other resorts) and 450 snow cannons covering virtually all the pistes.There are floodlights on the main Hinterglemm run into town and a fabulous terrain park, where you can star in your own mini movie.You can even go-cart on the ice!

Saalbach Après-Ski / Nightlife

Saalbach has great apres ski and nightlife, which vies with other Austrian resorts as THE best apres ski town in Austria.Perhaps less rowdy than St Anton, there is normally also a significant number of Germans and Swedes as well as Brits, to enhance the very lively atmosphere.It is not unusual to still see skiers around the resort after midnight still in ski boots!The centre of Saalbach is an affluent huddle of traditional Tyrolean buildings built around a perfect church tower, which sees the lievliest apres ski.Hinterglemm is quieter and perhaps better for families,where there is far less exhuberance after the slopes close.

Après-ski in Saalbach has to be witnessed to be understood as well as the term Tea Dancing!. Where else, except inside the Bauers Schi-Alm across from the old church, can you see enthusiasts dancing the can-can to “New York, New York,” stacked three on top of one another and swaying like demented totem poles? The bedlam at the Hinterhagalm Alm tea bar just up the slope is a rival for honours as Après-Ski Madhouse of the Mountain,with its beams and galleries overlooking the large ground floor.

The new Harley Davidson and Bikers’ Pub, in the basement of the Hotel Zur Dorfschmiede, features a great choice of fullsize Harleys and motorcycle memorabilia, lots of leather and studs.Another with a great atmosphere even if you ride a scooter! All in all Saalbach comes close to being the perfect choice for a mixed party and offers both a large ski area and pretty and very lively town to rival options in France! Austria and Saalbach pioneered apres ski and are professionals at it.Perhaps the liveliest French resort of Val d'Isere doesnt come close to Saalbach.Far better value too when out and about and where a round of drinks can actually bring out a beaming grin!

Piste Patrol

Saalbach village has three major gondolas, the Kolmaisbahn, Schoenleitenbahn and the Schattberg Express.The Kolmaisbahn takes you to the south facing slopes from which there are 2 major blue runs and two red. These all descend to the nursery slopes at the bottom of the gondola. In between these runs are great opportunities for off piste boarding with can be either taken down to the lift or to the road. A short walk from the bottom is the Bernkogel Sesselbahn a three man chair which has one wide sweeping blue run ideal to loosen you muscles in the morning. At the bottom you can try out the half-pipe before returning to the town centre.

Alternatively you can head east across the valley to the runs serviced by the Schoenleitenbahn. There are a couple of runs down to the gondola station and if the snow is good and you are up for it you can follow the path straight under the gondola. Remember to wave at the skiers gaping above as you leave your trail. The top of this lift links to the Leogang area. Here there is a natural bowl with seven marked runs. Of course there are good off piste opportunities between each of these and the added attraction of a fun park for trying out your tricks.

You can take the Schattberg Express up to the south of the valley. Here are a couple of runs serviced by a four man chair. These wide runs are great for beginners and for the lazy there is the Simalalm restaurant with great views. Again there are good off piste opportunities which all lead down to the lifts. You can also take the 7.5km blue run which takes you too the bottom of the Schoenleitenbahn. After having some fun here you can head west where a two man chair takes you to the top of the Westgipfelbahn where you can head off to Hinterglemm. As you sit in this lift you can see a natural bowl below you. A short walk up the adjacent peak and you can ski or board down another natural bowl to the Simalalm. Get there early and you can be the first to leave some awesome tracks which you can photograph and send home.Highly recommended Austrian Ski Resort for so many reasons.

Need ski school? Try this which comes out well in surveys: http://www.blacksheepski.co.uk/skischoolsaalbach/index.html

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