The second most popular destination in Austria (after the capital Vienna), Saalbach Hinterglemm offers some of the country’s most exciting skiing and was the location for the 1991 Alpine World Championships. The resort was an Alpine village in its own right long before the advent of skiing.
For winter 2015-16 the ski area was briefly Austria’s largest when a first cross-provincial border link to Fieberbrunn in Tirol by lift and piste expanded the ski area, but it was overtaken the following winter when Lech and St Anton in the Arlberg linked up.
Saalbach is marginally the larger (and louder) of the two villages, originally 4km (two and a half miles) apart, which have grown so much that they now almost meet in the middle. The chalet style hotels at Saalbach with carved wooden balconies cluster around the custard-yellow church steeple. The resort is especially popular with the Dutch and German markets,
At Hinterglemm the valley floor is broarder and the hotels larger, more up market and with the village itself more widely spead out. The two villages are neighbours and now marketed as one resort in the picturesque Glemmtal Valley, a ‘dead end’ valley which offers skiing on all sides and numerous access points to the slopes. It
The altitude range is quite low and, given that many of the slopes are usually sunny, this could be detrimental, but fortunately local climatic conditions (and a good deal of snow making) help to maintain cover. All building in the area is in keeping with traditional architectural design (commonly known as ‘Tyrolean’ chalet style’, although this is the neighbouring province of Salzburgerland).
Despite the fact that much of the Saalbach Hinterglemm you see today has appeared since the 1960s, you wouldn’t guess it to look at it. Only the abundance of slopeside accommodation and the ‘user friendly’ nature of both the ski area and the village, compared to many Austrian ski centres, give the game away.