It was already the last week of March when I packed my snowboard along with the rest of my winter clothes. While most people were preparing for their spring breaks during this time, I was getting ready for a winter adventure.
Visiting the Alps has been my annual tradition for over six years, but during all these years, I have yet to visit Austria. I’ve visited France, with its famous Chamonix resort; I’ve been to Italy and experienced the Dolomiti Superski, and to many other places like Cortina or Alta Badia. I’ve even done the Sella Ronda Circle that goes through four different villages in Italy. Yet somehow, I’ve never been to Austria.
This year, it all changed.
Saalbach is a name that I had never come across before, so I really didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that it was really close to Munich, and I thought it would be an ideal starting point.
As soon as we landed in Munich, we rented a car, packed all our stuff, and hit the road. Just a few hours later, we arrived at our destination, the wonderful Alpina Hotel which is located at the very centre of Hinterglemm town near the Saalbach village at the center of the resort. We arrived late at night, so we didn’t have the chance to see anything until the early morning when we finally saw the mighty Alps surrounding us right from our hotel room’s balcony.
We had only two days to explore the entire resort and we didn’t even realize how huge it was. So there was no time to lose. We quickly unpacked our stuff and before we knew it, we were on the slopes exploring the ski area.
I consider myself an experienced snowboarder, yet I was quite surprised to see the range of difficulty of the slopes. Most of them were between moderate blue and red runs. The black runs are considered to be the hardest ones, but there weren’t many of them. Because of the range of moderate slopes, this ski resort is able to accommodate both types of skiers - those with basic skiing knowledge and those who are more experienced.
But the main advantage of the resort is the quantity of runs and the connection between them. I’ve rarely seen any resort this large that has this many slopes. Altogether, there were more than 270 kilometers of terrain that connected several villages, as well as slopes that were as long as seven kilometers.
You can even plan your own loop that connects a few different villages; that way, you won’t have to go back and forth, which is exactly what we did.
We started our small snowboarding adventure in the early morning and returned to our starting point four hours later. In total, we covered more than 30 kilometers of slopes. This distance was really close to our Sella Ronda experience.
By the end of our second day, I thought about why I hadn’t visited this place earlier. The resort looks brand new, with perfect cable cars, and there were no ridiculous ski lift lines.
There were also many different bars and restaurants that had amazing views, and the range of slopes on the mountain would take at least a week to explore them all.
By the end of our second day, I thought about why I hadn’t visited this place earlier. The resort looks brand new, with perfect cable cars, and there were no ridiculous ski lift lines. There were also many different bars and restaurants that had amazing views, and the range of slopes on the mountain would take at least a week to explore them all.
The city itself is very cute and cozy with many activities to do, restaurants, and nightlife. Unfortunately, we didn’t have too much time to experience it all, although we did visit one of the attractions on the way back, which was an exciting snowmobile ride around a challenging track that was made up of different hills, slopes, and sharp turns. We were absolutely thrilled with the ride and it was much harder than you might have thought.
In the end, we were more satisfied than we ever thought we would be, and Saalbach is now among our favorite winter resorts. I’m sure we’ll be back there soon again to experience it all over again and discover the other endless slopes and terrain.