Time for a winter ski break? Well, just like Santa, you know the best way to make sure the resort you’re considering lives up to its promises is to make a list and check it twice. And, if you’ve chosen Saalbach in Austria, it’s not going to take you long to work through the list.
Easy to get to from the UK? Tick. Outstanding skiing and boarding over a range of challenging terrains? Tick. Lots of extra curricular activities to add to the mix? Tick. And, last but most definitely not least, a pumping après ski scene to take care of the after hours activities? Tick, tick, tickety tick!
Tip: If you want to find out more about the actual skiing in Saalbach, read this. If you want to find out about the important stuff, read on.
The Taj Mahal, the Golden Gate Bridge, Victoria Falls… there are some places you absolutely must visit in your lifetime. None of them are in Saalbach, but these two venues have just as much iconic cultural value – albeit on a slightly smaller scale.
Berger Alm: From mid-afternoon on, Berger Alm is rocking the mountain and is the ‘last stop’ on the slopes before heading back into resort. Everybody who’s anybody, plus a whole bunch of nobodies (you decide which you are!), pull up at this friendly establishment under the Magic ski chair for a drink on the terrace at the daily happy hour (3.30pm). The drinks are cheap, the live music is loud, the food is good and the atmosphere is pure fun. It’s local law: if you’re in Saalbach, attendance is compulsory.
Hinterhag Alm: Further down the mountain, just above the resort’s nursery slopes (yup, that just makes it easier to ski home), the Hinterhag Alm is another local institution that packs ’em in like sardines after around 4pm. And if you’ve ever seen a bunch of sardines on skis getting merry you’ll get an idea of the atmosphere! The glühwein flows, the live music pumps and most of the dancing is done on the table tops or hanging from the carved timber rafters. You get the idea.
And For Something a Little Different…
If you can drag yourself away from the guaranteed fun at Berger Alm and Hinterhag Alm, you owe it to yourself to check out a few of the quirkier venues as well. If you go heavy on the drinks you might think you’ve imagined a couple of these places, so you’d better go back and check…
Zum Turm: In a spooky setting in a former medieval jail right in the middle of town, Zum Turm serves up mellow rock, a great variety of drinks and a fun-loving crowd in the low-ceilinged vaults of the old church tower. Open until 3am, Zum Turm is renowned for its friendly atmosphere and great music. Just don’t get lost on the way to the loos…
Spitzbub: If you like to mix it up, Spitzbub, at the bottom of the Kohlmais ski run, offers a fantastic atmosphere in a venue that looks like a converted garage decked out with neon lights – because it is! Open from 2pm-2am, be warned: this place gets packed early with punters rolling off the ski slopes ready for their first drinks at opening time. There are no prizes for being first, but there’s always the glory…
Goasstall in Hinterglemm: Situated just above the village over in neighbouring Hinterglemm, Goasstall is one of the more unusual venues in the Alps. This themed bar and restaurant is kitted out with goats (yes, goats) of all shapes and sizes – some real and some a little more, umm, surreal. If the idea of a life-sized plastic goat flashing you every couple of minutes doesn’t faze you, you’ll probably fit right in. And you’ll probably be the one flashing right back at the goat-themed disco later on…
Schi-Alm: If you like your food rustic and your drinks cheap, Schi-Alm could be your next favourite place in Saalbach. Set in an old cowshed at the bottom of the slopes, the venue has expanded to a number of umbrella satellite bars, all of which manage to get very crowded. The indoor/outdoor aspect adds to the casual ambience and this is a great place to stop off on the way back home from the slopes.
Hexenhäusl: Another rather unusual themed bar right next to the slopes, Hexenhäusl’s resident attraction is a mechanical witch. Not so unusual you say? Let’s see if you’re still saying that as she slowly removes her clothes on a regular basis. But with the very cheap drinks and laidback atmosphere it won’t be long before it all just seems like your new normal. In which case, it might be time to move on to the next bar.
Party On In Saalbach
When it comes to the après scene, Saalbach’s reputation as one of the best in the Alps is not without merit. It’s all about carving up the slopes of the renowned Skicircus circuit by day, but as the sun sets (and quite often before that) it’s a very different kind of circus as the resort hunkers down for some serious partying. Everyone’s invited – no jacket required.
How to Get to Saalbach
Saalbach is in the excellent position of being within access of three airports. From the UK the most common option is to fly into Salzburg, which is around 1.5 hours by road, and the route is serviced by all the budget airlines, offering a good selection of flights. If it’s more convenient from your departure airport you can also fly into Munich or Innsbruck, which are both around 2.5 hours away from Saalbach by road.
Whatever airport you choose, the most convenient way of getting the rest of the way to the resort is on a pre-booked, fixed price shared or private transfer with Shuttle Direct. If you’re bringing your own ski gear, just mention it at the time of your booking and we’ll carry it for free. Can’t get fairer than that!
Where to Stay:
Casa Alpina Relax: If self-catering’s your thing, Casa Alpina Relax is your go-to accommodation right in the centre of Saalbach, with free Wi-Fi, ski storage and even a sauna and pool. After a hard day skiing, you’ll have your choice of relaxing on your own balcony with a few drinks overlooking the mountains, or taking a five-minute walk to nearby bars and restaurants. There’s also a free ski bus to get you to the ski lifts in the mornings if you overdo it the night before.
Landhaus Aamadall: For facilities and value for money, the Landhaus Aamadall comes up trumps. Within walking (or stumbling!) distance of the best party bars and clubs, you’ll also be able to make use of the free Wi-Fi, ski/boarding school (if you want to work on your next-level skills) and free ski bus. You can store all your gear onsite and even buy your ski pass here, so there’s nothing left for you to do except ski and party!
Apartments Niederseer: Within easy proximity of both the town centre and the ski slopes, Apartments Niederseer offers great accommodation with room to move – both inside and out. If your wind-down is just as important to you as your adrenaline fix, you’ll love the onsite Finnish sauna and steam bath to iron out those kinks, as well as facilities like free Wi-Fi, ski storage, games and spacious apartments.
About Shuttle Direct:
For the fastest, friendliest and most cost-efficient airport transfers, the only name you need to remember is Shuttle Direct. Offering a wide range of shared or private services to suit every budget and group size, we have a wealth of experience offering winter ski transfers all over Europe.
Make an easy online booking before you leave home and let us do the rest. Shuttle Direct offer the most competitive service from the airport, cruise port or train station of your choice – their experienced team can take all the hassle out of organising your onward travel arrangements.