The skiing resort Saalbach-Hinterglemm in Austria is probably known to many skiers. But it is unknown for non-skiers. When our family spent one-week skiing holiday there, as a non-skier, I carried my books and laptop with me instead of skis. I thought to spend my time in the hotel while my family went skiing. However, when we arrived at our hotel, we got to know that there were many activities tailored for non-skiers.
I have been to many skiing resorts before. In winter there is not much to do other than skiing or snow-related activities. But the skiing resort Saalbach-Hinterglemm has some special features for non-skiers as well, especially good for the family holidaymakers:
- Skiing on many slopes with freerides
- Rest in a restaurant or lodge (Hütte ) nestled in alpine slopes
- Hiking through snow-capped landscape
- Book a snowshoe hiking tour
- Have a nice walk on the highest tree-top trail in Europe
- Stroll around Saalbach-Hinterglemm
- Have a day trip to Zell am See area
- Take part in the Après Ski events
- Join other sports activities
Skiing on many slopes with freerides
The skiing resort Saalbach-Hinterglemm offers fascinating deep snow slopes for freeride lovers. Freeride is a style of skiing performed on natural, ungroomed terrain without a set course, goals or rules. Freeride enthusiasts have numerous off-piste possibilities with a breath-taking view of Alps in the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn.
You can join a day in ski school for a day to get the experience of freerides. The ski guide will show you how to choose the right slope, find the perfect track and the necessary safety precautions to be taken. Equipped with wide skis, avalanche equipment, and powder slopes, you will enjoy the perfect freeride experience.
Rest in a restaurant or lodge (Hütte ) nestled in alpine slopes
There are many restaurants or lodges (Hütte) nestled in alpine slopes. Most of them have nice views on the snow-covered mountains. Everyone can take cable cars to reach these restaurants in rustic settings. Have a cup of drink and bath in the winter sun, you can enjoy mountain view or watch skiers come and go. When it is lunchtime these places can be very busy.
Hiking through snow-capped landscape
Another thing you can do is to hike through the snow-capped landscape. A total of 140km hiking trails are ranked from light to difficult. Each trail has a length between 1 km to 14 km. No skiing equipment is required. If you are unsure of the hiking situation, then you can join free guided tours offered by local tourist boards. Sometimes hotels will also provide free guided tours for their guests. I did two hikes, both organized by our hotel.
Be careful on routes as a skier or someone on a toboggan may cross your path. Take caution when crossing the slopes. The paths are usually cleared, however, due to an unforeseen situation such as heavy snowfall, a path might not been cleared on time.
Book a snowshoe hiking tour
Snowshoe is a type of footwear for walking over snow. It works by distributing the weight of the person over a larger area so that the person’s foot does not sink completely into the snow. You can rent snowshoes from local operators.
Take a ride with Walleggalm express
The Walleggalm Express is driven by a tractor. It is a good choice to tour around when outside is very cold.
Have a nice walk on the highest tree-top trail in Europe
Have a nice walk on the highest tree-top trail in Europe through a nice winter wonderland is also a special experience. The tree-top trail is situated at the end of the Saalbach-Hinterglemm valley. It is not open all the time. When we went there, it was closed for repair work. Please check opening times and prices before you go.
Stroll around Saalbach-Hinterglemm
Saalbach-Hinterglemm includes actually two towns: Saalbach and Hinterglemm. The municipal district is Zell am See. There are many shops, restaurants, and bars in both towns. Some of the shops sell very high-quality winter clothes and sports clothes. You might find some good deals if you are lucky enough. If you don’t stay in the town centre, there is bus 680 running from Saalbach to Zell am See. The bus has many stops along the route and stops at both towns. There is a screen in the bus showing all the stops and other bus lines along the route. So It is very convenient to get around in the area.
Alternatively, you can follow a path next to the Saalbach stream to reach Saalbach, Hinterglemm, and Maishofen.
Have a day trip to Zell am See area
Zell am See and its surrounding areas offer numerous acitivites. Take bus 680 and get off at the last stop, and within a few minutes of walking you will see the lake Zell. you can walk around the lake, visit the local market in the town centre, see the Kapron Castle, or explore the Gipfelwelt 3000, the top of Salzburg.
Take part in the Après Ski events
In addition to all above the activities, you can join one of the local Après Ski events at the end of your daily activity. Après Ski is a party activity that takes place in the evening at hotels and restaurants in the skii resorts. There’s no official time frame in which Après Ski takes place. However, it usually starts in the late afternoon when the slope is closed for the day and lasts until the late evening before dinner. Usually, there is live music performed by bands, sometimes even famous one. You should ask your hotel about the updated information for the current season.
Join other sports activities
There are other sports such as curling, toboggan, or paragliding. However, they are largely dependent on the weather conditions. If you want to have fun with family and kids, then you can take Timok’s winter coaster or book Horse-drawn sleigh rides.
Finally, I got quite busy during our one-week stay. My my books and use laptop were untouched. I enjoyed my winter holiday in the skiing resort Saalbach-Hinterglemm as a non-skier. As skiing lovers, my family was busy skiing since the slopes were perfect. If you come with family and kids, you might need to plan well ahead to have a value-added holiday in skiing resort Saalbach-Hinterglemm. I hope you will enjoy your holiday as much as I did.
If you are planning a skiing holiday, you need to book the accommodation at least several months ahead. The reasonable priced hotels could be booked out within a several days. In the skiing resort Saalbach-Hinterglemm, some hotels are direct at the ski pistes, such as:
I caught the skiing bug last year, and now I’m obsessed with finding new places to try out! Hiking sounds fab too!
It’s pretty awesome how many snowshoeing and hiking options there are! It looks like a perfect place for a wander to see those pretty views (and to warm up in one of the Hüttes!!)
I am still learning to ski, so I’d still be scared on the steeper slopes, but I would not be able to resist giving skiing a go too! I am sorry you didn’t enjoy it when you tried skiing. I have quite a few friends here in Canada who feel the same way. It’s not for everyone.
I found it pretty terrifying the first few times, but I am growing to LOVE it!
Thanks for reading! Austria has many skiing resorts, they are very good equipped. Some hotels have spa facilities. After skiing, you can enjoy a sauna in spa area to relax yourself. I believe you would also like the atmosphere here.
snowshoe hiking sounds like fun