High-altitude hiking and dining
Known as one of the best walking resorts in Austria, Saalbach boasts over 400km of marked hiking trails that cross the undulating green slopes of the Pinzgau Grass Mountains and the craggy edges of the Kitzbühel Alps.
For those who relish a challenge, take the Seven Summits trail up the region's highest mountains for a once-in-a-lifetime alpine view. Meanwhile, Montelino's Adventure path will entertain children for hours with its compelling story-quest and interactive activities.
No walk is complete without a slap-up meal afterwards, and over 40 mountain huts line the trails, providing much needed refreshments after a long hike. The Panorama-Alm hut is the home to gourmet local cuisine, a natural swimming pool and activities including birds of prey training and yodeling. It's worth visiting Saalbach for this place alone.
The valley of games
The area around Saalbach is known as the Valley of Games. That's no surprise with an almost bewildering array of adventures available. You can enjoy horse riding, or biking through mountain passes during your holiday to Austria. The more adventurous can try their hand at paragliding or the Mega Flying Fox - a 2.5km zip-wire that criss-crosses the valley delivering a punch of adrenaline.
Käpt'n Hook's Adventure Pool has a wild water channel and plenty of flumes, it's perfect for both children and the young at heart. It's also an excellent place to soak up the clear Alpine sun. And best of all – these days of endless play are incredibly easy on the pocket. The Joker Card, provided free of charge by Saalbach's hotels, includes free admission to more than 50 of the region's activities.
Despite a population of under 3000, Saalbach is a village that knows how to party, with pubs and bars that cater to a broad range of tastes. One of the quirkiest and most popular is Goaßstall, housed in what used to be a 300-year old barn. It's a restaurant in the afternoon and a lively club venue at night, and there are even still goats to pet.
There are plenty of restaurants, from fine dining venues to more budget friendly options. The Sonnalm provides an authentic Austrian dining experience, serving delicious regional specialties in a cosy, wood-panelled dining room. Try the golden-brown apple strudel or brettljause, the Austrian version of the Ploughman's – a plate of cold cuts, pickles and homemade sourdough bread.
There are hotels to suit a variety of budgets and tastes in Saalbach. The Theresia Gartenhotel is an exquisite 4* offering with a spa, indoor and outdoor pools, and an organic fine dining restaurant. They even offer childminding services, giving busy parents the time and space for a little holiday romance.
Saalbach is incredibly well-connected. Linked to other nearby resorts through a free hiking bus that travels through the region. The Noddy train, a tractor pulling carriages, provides a quaint way to the end of the Glenn valley. There are also four cable car routes that can transport you to the nearby mountains.
Despite its unspoilt surroundings, Saalbach is easy to reach by bus, train or plane. It's located 90 minutes' from Salzburg Airport, and is connected by a holiday shuttle that will drop you off right outside your hotel. There's no excuse not to visit, and once you have, it'll be hard to stay away.