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
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
Saalbach can be extremely crowded over the Christmas season.
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).