This really green, really airy-fairy place 90 km far from the Mozart’s city, Salzburg was my home for couple of years. Here you will find a colourful blend of my memories and some –mostly outdoor – activities. As I am an eternal lover of summer, I summarized my beloved spots and ideas for sunny days.
Saalbach-Hinterglemm provides several summer events, like the Biker Mania (Harley Davidson), the GlemmRide or the Lake of Charity. You can definitely find everything what meets your crazy or a bit more low-key needs. If you are not an events-fan, but addict to the wild nature exploring secrets of Glemmer Valley, read and enjoy the ideas below.
The playground of nature-lovers
With more than 400 km of hiking trails the area of Saalbach-Hinterglemm is without doubt paradise for those, who love biking, practicing yoga in shadow of the trees or simply discovering the jewels of the nature.
Most of these trails are very well marked, but sometimes it is worth to go off the beaten track and to find rare plants, secret places full of forest fruits, azure-blue lakes, which look like mirrors reflecting the beautiful surroundings upside down. There are several themed trails showing us the flora and fauna of Pinzgau region, letting us take a look into the everyday life of the locals, while the educational paths take us for a journey into the magical world of herbs. If you prefer these wonders of nature to articial remedies, then the Herbal Path is for you!
Except the herbs delicious blackberries are hiding in the bushes, while the famous „Eierschwammerl” – one of common mushroom species in this area – attracts many tourists. It is one of the essential ingredients of several mouth-watering local dishes, but I am writing more about that below, as well as about fabolous huts located mostly on the top of the mountains, or with other words: at the end of the trails waiting for us to crown the day with heavenly good bites and drinks.
The small piece of heaven
The Forest Wellness really was my piece of heaven. I am sure, I am not the only one having this opinion about this lush green place hiding on top of the mountain. On the way up I met cows – like here everywhere – picking their vegan lunch, while enjoying the sun. Before reaching the starting point of the Wellness Forest, we can take a rest at Reiteralm, where we even can order picnic basket and do a superb picnic with a marvelous view from the summit.
This place was my adored one, because of its unique ambiance: looking around I got into another world. From world of endless thoughts to the „green palace” of tranquility, or the shelter of fairies. Different jewels of the forest – like blackberries, mushrooms and herbs – were smiling at me, while I found a cute, open-air library standing there, like sanctuary for book-lovers. What’s more, at every corner hammocks tempt the tired wanderers and trust me: it is hard to say no. We tried it and immediately we fell in love. It is something magical to listen the birds’ song rocking in the hammock, whilst the leaves were playing with the sunshine.
I personally am addicted to yoga, so I was very happy seeing wooden spots maden especially for practicing it. If you are into it, don’t miss the chance to immerse you into yourself by yoga and meditation in „garden” of peace and harmony. I have good news for those preferring it in company: every week there are organized yoga sessions with guided tour up the hill and no worries, the yoga mats are provided.
Dear Sunrise, please stay with me!
There are several options for guided sunrise-hiking, but here I write about my unforgetable experience: hiking to the Tristkogel, which is located 2095 m above sea level. If you are obsessed with the sun’s first morning lights, don’t miss it out.
I have bad news for the „Sleeping Beauties”: the day begins at 3-4 am. in order to get to the summit in time, namely to capture the moment, how the sun comes up painting the world into gold. The starting point of the tour begins in Lengau, at the end of the valley and the top of the mountain can be reached in 3-4 hours. Please note, if you are afraid of heights or you feel not really in good condition, it is better to choose a simpler hiking trail.
At the beginning it was very adventurous: with a flashlight in hands we started our – little bit back-breaking – way up over steep cliffs and through wet slashes. Of course, I was the lucky one, who ended up in the mud…it was a special „mud wrap treatment” for my tired feet. No, it was not. Anyway, it was fun, but to be honest going up, I was thinking sometimes that I’d rather sit here under the stars and I simply miss the boat. However, I didn’t give up and it was definitely worth the effort. The scene from the summit is truly breathtaking.
When we arrived to the top, we had enough time to change our clothes, prepare some snacks and find the most perfect spot for gazing at the valley spreading in front of us. The misty, airy-fairy view above the clouds, the peace of mind, what meets you after realizing, that you did it, is priceless. Looking at the nature and small towns waking up around me I was sure, I would do this trip again and again. The emerald green pines, the rough mountains and the red-gold dressed sunrise amazed me completely, as always.
The gastro-journey across the Pinzgau region
I guess, visiting the „palace of flavors” is for many of us the best part of traveling or holidays. Well, here I collected for you couple of traditional dishes prepared with local ingredients, furthermore drinks, which shouldn’t be missed while staying in Saalbach-Hinterglemm.
First of all, the area is kind of paradise for meat-lovers. The beef, especially the super juicy steak or the local beef-tartare is practically an unmissable element of the menus. I have to admit, the second best beef-tartare – the very best, of course, my mum makes – I tried, was in Glemmer valley. Referring to veggies the traditional Kasnock’n on the „backet list”. This is a savory dish, which comes originally from the Pinzgau region. It is made by coating very small dumplings with many different sorts of melted cheese, caramelized onion and green salad on the side. The essence of the dish is the Pinzgauer Bierkäse, which is a very characteristic, semi-hard cheese. The other popular cheese-dish is rather topping of clear – mostly beef based – soups.
As I mentioned, the Chantarelle is a very popular mushroom variety in this area and according to this there is an endless choice of dishes – like the Chantarelle gulasch, spaghetti or risotto – coloured with these treasures of the forest.
Even the enthusiasts of sweets don’t stay hungry: the traditional Apfel- or Topfen Strudel is a very beloved dessert filled with kind of sweet cottage-cheese or seasoned apples in flaky crust, sprinkled with icing sugar and served with vanilla ice cream. The queen of Austrian desserts is the Kaiserschmarrn, which is kind of fluffy pancake, but splitted into small pieces. The traditional one is fried with raisins, caramelized with tones of sugar, rum and is served with a bit „more” sugar plus apple sauce, while the modern version is „seasoned” with local blackberries.
Except the delicacies dont forget about famous Austrian wine, furthermore the Spritzer – the perfect blend of wine and soda – for sunny days or the best company while enjoying the panorama from the summit: the Aperol. Another classical element is the well-known Schnaps – the Austria’s national drink – made of different local fruits. The destilleries can be visited with tasting tour, but be careful: drinking to much Schnaps causes „amnesia”.Or maybe not? I don’t remember…
Where to eat?
In Saalbach-Hinterglemm there are countless cool places to eat, especially on the way up the mountains with spectacular view. I could write a never-ending list about cute bars and restaurants but I tried to assemble some of my adored eateries.
For breakfast the best place ever is the Sonnalm located up the hill, so we can reward ourselves with a marvelous table full of local delicacies after a short hiking. Seeing the fabolous scene, the traditional, hand carved decoration we just get the feel of it. The icing on the cake is food including different sorts of homemade bread, bacon, local vegetables, ham, marmelades, coffee and of course the eternal companion of fancy breakfasts: sparkling wine or champagne.
Another lovely place – the Wieseralm – even can be perfect for resting after trekking. The restaurant provides tasty dishes for lunch, while the sunbeds tempt us for a drink. The Rosswaldhütte can be reached after a longer excursion, but I assure everyone, it is worth to visit. The valley is changing its colour into thousand shades of green and the wild nature enchanted me totally.
Of course, there are many bars, hotels and restaurants, which can be visited without doing hard „workout”. The Wiesenegg – located „between” Saalbach and Hinterglemm – is the only hotel possesing its own natural pool. As it lays in a fairytale-like area surrounded by sierras, is flawless spot for dinner, whilst admiring the superb panorama. For many, it is alluring to jump into the crystal clear water, but swimming is allowed for hotel guests only, so it is better if you book a room in order to enjoy it to the fullest
The Bärenbach is kind of „all in”: it is a fish pond, cool place for relaxing after an excursion along the river and unique for having a dinner. The main „attraction” is – needless to say – the trout. The best thing is, that you can catch your own fish and is prepared to your taste. So you need to work a bit for your dinner, but it is fun at its finest.