Saalachtal: Nature for all the money af Ida Dreboldt Kofoed-Hansen
Saalachtal near Salzburg
Regions Salzburger Saalachtal is located in the western part of Austria close to the border Germany. The region consists of the areas Unken, Lofer, St. Martin og Weissbach. When you hear the name 'Austria', most people associate it with snow-capped mountains, pretzels and skiing holidays.
But skiing is not everything, an area like the Salzburger Saalachtal has to offer. Once the snow has melted away, the beautiful landscapes still entice and there are plenty of exciting challenging activities for both children and adults.
Family-friendly ski slopes
The Salzburger Saalachtal does not have many black trails or demanding off-piste. In return, the area is ideal for one ski trip for the family. The area has won several awards for their wide and flat slopes, which are good for both children and adults who need to refresh their skis.
Almenwelt Lofer og Heutal in Unken are obvious places to go with 10 different lifts and a special 'Lofi Funline' for children and young people. In the area you can get a lift pass that is valid for as many as 6 ski areas. So if you get tired of Almentwelt Lofer, just take a day in another area.
If you are into cross-country skiing, it is also possible. Through the hilly terrain run 80 km of challenging routes with beautiful panoramic views.
If you want a different cross-country experience, we can recommend the 'Night Cross Trail' in St. Martin. Here you run on a 1,5 km long route through the quiet night. The experience of the frosty night air, stars and softly lit snow landscapes is something you will remember for a long time.
Bicycle routes in the Alps
If you are up for challenging bike rides through stunning alpine landscapes, the Salzburger Saalachtal is for you.
There are over 480 km of marked cycle route that winds through the region. If you do not want to get lost in the many routes, then you can go on a trip with a bicycle guide. The guide keeps you on track, gives tips for the right technique along the way and ensures that you can overcome even the most strenuous routes.
If the shape is not right for the demanding ridges, then there is help to be found. You can rent e-mountain bikes that ensure that everyone - regardless of leg strength - gets to the top. There are several options for taking a bus or cable car towards the high-altitude cycle routes. That way, you can save on leg strength and concentrate on the impending hardships. And then it's also nice to be able to take a cable car down again when the legs exhale after a day of cycling in the Alps.
Hiking - both winter and summer
The mountains surrounding the Salzburger Saalachtal are not only beautiful to look at; they also invite to hiking. There are over 400 km of hiking trails that wind around in the magnificent landscape and make their way past water and forest.
With the gondola Almbahn I and II you can get up to the Almenwelt Lofer, from where seven circular walks take their beginning. The routes offer panoramic views of the entire area.
In winter, when the sun shines in snow blankets and icicles, the whole landscape glitters as if it were covered with crystal. The snow-covered landscape creates a complete silence, which is quite intense to experience.
If you are hiking with a twist, then try one of the many 'adventure hikes'. Along the marked route there are small tasks or questions to be solved. The routes vary in length and difficulty, so there is something to find for every taste.
For example, you may experience a different hiking experience in Weißbach, where there is a whimsical 'barefoot route'. Here, the route is laid out with different pavements such as moss, wood chips, gravel, pebbles from a stream, etc. You take the trip on bare feet and thus get a hike, where you can feel nature to that extent.
Climbing in the Salzburger Saalachtal
The jagged mountains lead the gaze to the sky and make one want to climb them. And you can luckily be allowed to do that, because in the summer there is plenty of opportunity to satisfy your desire to climb. Especially in the town of Weißbach, where you can climb with 'via ferrata' equipment. Here you connect to a steel cable that is secured to the rock along a set route. That way, you can safely move towards the top.
For those who are not yet quite ready to plunge into the adventurous heights, there are in Loferer Steinberge and Reiter Steinberge climbing schools for both children and adults. Here you will be introduced to different climbing techniques and will be allowed to test your skills in areas with soft surfaces.
If you are in the Salzburger Saalachtal during the winter period and are in the climbing mood, then don't worry; you should probably satisfy your desire to climb.
Between Weißbach and Saalfelden you can try your hand at ice climbing. You climb directly on the large - sometimes fragile - ice surfaces on the rocks, and it must be said that ice climbing is not for the faint of heart. It takes strong nerves to get to the top.
Salzburger Saalachtal and the wild water
If you think that it is only at the beach that there are fun experiences with water, then you are wrong. In the Salzburger Saalachtal, the great river meanders Salach itself through the landscape and is the focal point for lots of fat experiences for the whole family.
There is rafting, canoeing, kayaking, 'stand-up paddle' and of course the opportunity to swim in the areas of the river where the current is not so strong. For the brave who have tried the above, we can recommend trying "extreme bathing", also called 'canyoning'.
Equipped with a wetsuit, helmet and a guide, you can take a walk through the wild waters that cut through the high cliffs. Along the way, you swim in the wild water, rappel down waterfalls, jump from high ledges into crystal clear lakes and glide through natural rock slides. There are different versions of these tours and some of them are kid friendly.
If you like beautiful nature and good experiences with the family, then there are plenty of reasons to go to the Salzburger Saalachtal. And that applies to both summer og winter. What are you waiting for?
Have a good trip to the Salzburger Saalachtal!