For those who love the thrill of heading downhill fast, the Austrian ski resort of Saalbach-Hinterglemm has all you need.
For those who love the thrill of heading downhill fast, this Austrian ski resort has all you need. There are excellent pistes with great skiing for a wide range of abilities, and a snaking toboggan run.
Situated in the province of Salzburgerland, the Saalbach-Hinterglemm ‘Skicircus’ is one of the largest ski areas in the Alps with 200km of piste with varying degrees of difficulty up to an altitude of 2,100m and an infrastructure of 55 lifts.
The hotel: Family suites at the four-star Hotel Egger Kinderhotel (0845 0822 422) start from €189 a night for adults and €45 a night for children.
How to get there: British Airways operates a daily service from London Gatwick to Salzburg; from £98 return.
Ski passes: From €45 per day, 7-day ski pass; €239,50
Baumzipfelweg (tree top path)
There is a mile-long flying fox zip-wire, which whizzes you down the mountain at speeds of up to 60mph. It should be scary, but it’s not; just pure speed-rush and excitement as you plummet head first toward the nearby village of Leogang, strapped horizontally in a harness, before hitting the braking zone at the bottom.
Better still, it barely interrupts the skiing as the start of the zip wire is close to the middle station of the cable car up from Leogang. So, once you have absorbed the adrenaline-rush, you are chauffeured to the bottom ski station, take the cable car back up the mountain, pick up your skis and hit the piste again.
It is this combination of excellent skiing and a wide range of other activities for the whole family that makes the Austrian resort of Saalbach-Hinterglemm so appealing.
A delightful way to spend an afternoon with the family is on a horse-drawn sleigh-ride through a winter wonderland, it's a lovely way to enjoy the landscape.
There is the Treetop Path and Golden Gate Bridge of the Alps with spectacular views over the mountains, and with an emphasis on wellness, there are also spas and therapy treatments for a little pampering and relaxation too.The ski schools are very good and in addition to skiing, there is snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, snow-tubing, toboganning, and lively apres-ski.
Saalbach-Hinterglemm – and Leogang – offers three ski areas for the price of one with terrain straddling different villages, which each have a character and identity of their own and are linked by the ‘Skicircus’ lift pass.
Overall, the ski area is mostly family-friendly and ideal for beginners with 90km of easy-run pistes (34 runs) and 95km aimed at intermediates. There are also 15km (six pistes) of difficult runs including a black championship run, plus 15km of ski routes and snowparks.
One thing’s for certain in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, you’ll never go hungry on the slopes as there are more mountain huts than you'll have experienced at other resorts - all with their own speciality dishes.
Whether it’s a wholesome bowl of goulash soup, a traditional wiener schnitzel, a dish of tiroler gröstl or the desert of kaiserschmarr’n, you’ll be well fed.
You can always expect first-class accommodation in Austrian ski resorts; rooms of pine and traditional décor, restaurants that serve wholesome cuisine and a warm and friendly welcome.
Stay at the family-run Hotel Egger, which is part of the Kinderhotels chain and, as the name suggests, is a network of child-friendly hotels across Austria where the young guest is king – or queen. As such, all activities, food and timetables are set up to meet the needs (and demands) of a younger clientele.
They’ll even take care of children while parents head off to the slopes of Saalbach-Hinterglemm.