Worldwide Ski ResortsAustriaSaalbach

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The resort of Saalbach is one of Austria’s premier ski destinations. It is a lively, attractive small town built in the traditional style. It has a fashionable reputation and has become a favourite haunt of some of Austria’s wealthier set. It is remarkably convenient for the slopes, with many runs ending in the town centre itself. The centre is pedestrianised and holds many smart and comfortable hotels as well as the impressive range of chic shops and interesting bars and restaurants.

There are plenty of more affordable hotels and apartments situated around Saalbach. The town shares its slopes with the neighbouring village of Hinterglemm that lies about 2 km away. While the two communities remain physically separate, they have combined their names to become the Saalbach-Hinterglemm region.


Saalbach stands at 100m and provides access to a range of 200 km of pistes that are served by a total of 56 lifts, a number of which begin in the centre of the town. Many of the slopes are fully south facing and this combined with the generally low altitudes does not make this resort particularly snow sure. There are however 70 km of snow making facilities here that help to ensure that there are always sufficient skiable top to bottom runs except in the poorest of seasons. Expert skiers may find that the skiing here is limited, there being few seriously testing runs and not a huge selection of decent off piste areas to play on.

Intermediates of all skill levels however, will think that Saalbach is ski heaven with more than enough to do on an excellent selection of blues and reds and will find that most of the blacks are well within the capabilities of the more confident skier. Likewise, snowboarders will enjoy the resort for its sheer number of suitable country and the fact that the lift system has few drags. Beginners have a choice of nursery slopes around the town and there is a fair selection of progression runs that are both convenient and suitable for the improving novices. The ski schools have a generally good reputation, although the child care facilities are reportedly not the best in the world.

Mountain Information

One of the best features of the Saalbach — Hinterglemm slopes is the way in which they almost form a distinct circuit of intermediate slopes that allows the skier to cover the whole valley very easily. Experts will find the best areas for their particular needs around Nordabfahrt where a 4 km long, steep and testing black, runs beneath the Schattberg lift. The downhill World Cup run at Zwolferkogel is also well worth a try. Frankly, intermediates will find plenty to do everywhere on the circuit, with some of the more difficult country lying around Schattberg and Zwolferkogel. The mountain has a wealth of excellent restaurants, many of which retain the quaint Alpine style and specialise in local dishes.

Apres Ski

The après ski scene in Saalbach is incredibly wild. Most people head for the Hinterhagalm bar straight from the slopes and then gradually move on to one of the bars in the town itself. Among the many recommended venues are Zum Turn which is the old town gaol, Neuhaus Taverne with its live music and Bobby’s. There are also a range of discos and even a lap dancing club. Be prepared to keep going until the small hours and to learn to cope with a hangover the next day.

Austrian Resort Guide

Resort Information • Saalbach

Resort Height Resort Height 1000m
Top Station Top Station 2096m
Bottom Station Bottom Station 1000m
Vertical Descent Vertical Descent 1096m
Drag Lifts Drag Lifts 23
Chair Lifts Chair Lifts 6
High Capacity High Capacity 7
Opening Dates Opening Dates Mid Dec - Mid April
Rating Expert Rating Expert 6
Rating Intermediate Rating Intermediate 8
Rating Beginner Rating Beginner 8
Apres Ski Rating Apres Ski Rating 8
Snow Reliability Snow Reliability 6

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