EXPERIENCE A WINTER FULL OF CONTRASTS IN SAALFELDEN LEOGANG

Monday, 15.11.2021

EXPERIENCE A WINTER FULL OF CONTRASTS IN SAALFELDEN LEOGANG

Saalfelden Leogang is a place of contrast, especially in winter.

With a huge variety of winter attractions to choose from, "The way I want" is the motto of our guests. From ski slopes to cross-country skiing trails, from ski jumping to snowshoe hiking, from luxury hotels to apartments for families, from rustic farm fare to fine dining and from jazz days to ski marathons, Saalfelden Leogang has it all. Did we mention that the Saalfelden Leogang region emphasises sustainability? Regional products are offered in organic quality whilst outstanding hotels provide relaxing wellness offers. With the free Saalfelden Leogang Card in hand, visit the museums free of charge or try out the Fun & Snow Park at the Nordic Park. All around the Ritzensee lake, there are also numerous cross-country ski trails at all levels of difficulty, making the Saalfelden Leogang region one of the top four cross-country skiing destinations in all of Austria!
The SKI ALPIN CARD provides access to a vast range of skiing facilities: In total 408 km of slopes, 121 lifts and cable cars and countless attractions are available to winter sports enthusiasts. In addition to the slopes of Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn, the ski pass also includes the ski resort Schmittenhöhe in Zell am See and the Kitzsteinhorn Kaprun glacier ski resort.

 

Three fantastic ski areas and a glacier – the Ski ALPIN CARD and the new ALPIN CARD NAVIGATOR
Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn is situated around 70 kilometres south-west of Salzburg and refers to itself as "Home of Lässig" (home of laid-back). For good reason. The sheer size of the area covered by the Ski ALPIN CARD is as impressive as it is cool. In addition to the 270 km of slopes that make up the Skicircus, card holders also have access to the Schmittenhöhe in Zell am See and the Kitzsteinhorn glacier ski resort in Kaprun. 
Thanks to the ticket association, winter-sports fans can take advantage of 408 kilometres of ski runs and 121 lifts and cable cars. For guests staying in Saalfelden Leogang, having access to the ski resort on the glacier at Kitzsteinhorn mountain in Kaprun is a great advantage, especially at the beginning and the end of the season. This means guaranteed snow throughout, at no extra cost. During the main season (from 18.12.2021 to 01.04.2022), the 3-day Ski ALPIN CARD costs €175 for adults (adolescents €131, children €87.50) and the 6-day card is €302 (adolescents €226.50, children €151).
The ALPIN CARD NAVIGATOR has been available since 2020. According to the slogan "the app is the map," the NAVIGATOR acts as a guide across the entire area covered by the three premium ski resorts. The app also provides information on ski runs, lifts and cable car journeys as well as bus connections, and offers guidance on the degree of difficulty of the desired skiing route. This means visitors can get the very best out of their ski resort.

 

Up close and personal: The best ski racers in the world practice at the Hinterreit family ski mountain 
The Hinterreit family ski mountain between Saalfelden and Maria Alm is ideal for those keen on an extra special skiing experience. The ski resort is particularly suitable for families and beginners. In addition to a practice lift and a wave run, international ski stars also train on the same slope. From a distance, skiers can admire the prowess of international greats like Matthias Mayer, Vincent Kriechmayr and Henrik Kristoffersen during the World Cup season. You can even ski right up to the edge of the training slope to catch a glimpse of these international stars. Up close and personal. 
Peter Hörl is the man responsible for ensuring ideal slope and training conditions for the international skiers. According to local lore, he is considered one of the world’s very best slope groomers, earning him nicknames such as “slope master” and “snow whisperer.” Each and every day, Peter Hörl is on duty to ensure that the slopes are in best possible shape. 

 

Safe skiing during the coronavirus pandemic
The 2021/2022 ski season has some special conditions attached to it. All resorts included in the ALPIN CARD combined ticket for Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn, Schmittenhöhe Zell am See and Kitzsteinhorn Kaprun have prepared their services to the best of their ability to cope with COVID-19 situation, thereby ensuring guests can feel relaxed and safe. The catalogue of measures encompasses structured queuing areas, sanitising measures, information signs and much more. The situation is continuously evaluated, with measures adjusted accordingly. 
For more information, visit https://www.saalfelden-leogang.com/en/service-info/Information-on-the-Coronavirus 

 

Cross-country skiing at the Nordic Park, Fun & Snow Park and biathlon: there’s a taster course for all ages 
An excursion to the Nordic Park by Ritzensee lake in Saalfelden is highly recommended. Here, fans of Nordic sports will find everything their heart desires. At the heart of the area lies the Fun and Snow Park, where the kids can develop their enthusiasm for cross-country skiing. Starting this year, there is now an exciting new practice course featuring 22 stations. The concept is based upon a proven system developed by the Swiss Ski Association. The stations are not just for little ones, however. Adults are also invited to try out the Nordic discipline. In addition, there is also the new Nordic quiz rallye for families who love cross-country skiing at the Nordic Park this winter season. Those able to solve the quiz can pick up a cross-country-ski gift from the tourism association.
Adults and children can book courses in the classic and skating technique. Those who are already confidently under way on their cross-country skis will find numerous prepared trails around Ritzensee lake. These range from easy to very demanding and include the 4.7-km World Championships trail, which is also used for training by local professional athletes such as Simon Eder and Julian Eberhard. In total, around 150 km of groomed cross-country skiing trails are available to guests during winter. 
For those who want to gain additional athletic skills while on the track there are also biathlon taster courses available in the Nordic Park. Shooting provides an ideal diversion from the constant movements of cross-country skiing. In addition to the sport's typical skating technique, the biathlon course teaches participants what they must take account of when shooting with a laser rifle. Children can also participate in the weekly Heeressportverein (HSV) Saalfelden club training.

 

As Austria's top cross-country skiing destination, Saalfelden Leogang promotes young talent 
Saalfelden Leogang is one of Austria's four leading cross-country skiing destinations. This is based on the following criteria: diversity of routes, professionally prepared cross-country trails with guaranteed snow and accommodation providers that cater for cross-country skiers. Even those who aren’t keen to ski will still find plenty of winter bliss in Saalfelden Leogang. In addition to the World Championships cross-country skiing trail, the medium-difficulty 4.9-km Kollingwald forest trail is ideal for ambitious cross-country skiers. The trail starts at the Nordic Park. Those who still have something left in the tank in the evening can tackle the 1.8-km cross-country skiing trail around the Ritzensee lake or the Griessen high-altitude trail on cross-country skis, which is floodlit until 10 pm.
Restful mountain air, glistening snow, varied cross-country trails and delicious cuisine are surely amongst the criteria that undoubtedly make the Saalfelden Leogang region a top cross-country skiing destination.
A centre for Nordic skiing will be built at two locations in Saalfelden by 2024. In addition to renovations, quality improvements and an expansion of the Nordic Park at the Ritzensee lake, the ski jumping stadium in Uttenhofen is also being renovated. More than 5 million euros are being invested in these projects.
For those looking to start a successful sports career, Saalfelden Leogang is the first stop. Winter sports enthusiasts can choose from six categories of professional training in the areas of Alpine Skiing, Nordic Skiing and Ski Freestyle. Many well-known top athletes have completed their school education in Saalfelden Leogang. This includes, for instance, Lisa Hauser (biathlon), Marita Kramer (ski jumping), Mario Seidl (Nordic combined) and Dominik Landertinger (biathlon). The school town of Saalfelden is a true hotbed of up-and-coming talent!

 


Winter adventures away from the slopes: ski tours, ice skating, tobogganing and horse-drawn sleigh rides 
In the Saalfelden Leogang region, the moonlight ski tours on Asitz mountain are especially memorable. Ski touring fans will be sure to get their money’s worth here: Every Tuesday and Friday, the Asitz evening ski tours are a convivial occasion, inspired by the motto "hike up, ski down and stop off for a sociable drink in between." For ski touring by day and by night, check out the Dynafit Biberg ski touring park. You can even book a trained ski and mountain guide for an adventurous tour through the pristine winter landscape.
Meanwhile, at the Ritzensee lake, ice skating fans can glide over the frozen surface until 10 pm. When the temperatures are right, the lake is transformed into a gorgeous natural skating rink. On the benches around the lake, enjoy fabulous views of the snow-covered landscape of the Steinernes Meer plateau. 
Tobogganing in Saalfelden Leogang is also a true winter delight. The reward for ascending the Biberg mountain is an exhilarating ride along the six-kilometre natural toboggan run. (A shuttle service is also available) Accessible by gondola lift, the toboggan run "Leo’s Kufengaudi" on Asitz mountain can also be reached in comfort. For an especially memorable experience, try tobogganing at night. This is available on specific days, thanks to floodlights on both runs.
Those keen on a romantic winter break will enjoy travelling through the winter wonderland in a sleigh drawn by Noriker horses. During a scenic sleigh ride, enjoy the idyllic peace and quiet while wrapped in a warm blanket.
Those who crave more action should try the Flying Fox XXL zip line - one of the longest steel rope slides in the world. It is set to reopen once more in March of 2022. It extents 1,600 metres above the treetops and reaches a speed of up to 130 kilometres per hour.

 

Take advantage of adventurous winter hiking and the WINTER adventure programme
Many of the paths in Saalfelden Leogang are cleared, which means you can easily stroll through the snow for miles with sturdy shoes. Why not try the 11.8-kilometre Haidrunde circuit? This runs along Ritzensee lake and then leads through the magical winter landscape of the nearby Kollingwald forest. The 7.1-kilometre Lettingrunde circuit is significantly shorter, but just as delightful. And if you just have half an hour to spare for a walk, we recommend the path around Ritzensee lake. All three routes take you past the new woodland swing in Kollingwald forest at Ritzensee lake. It’s an ideal opportunity to take a seat, relax and enjoy the silence of the forest.
Away from the slopes, you can also explore the beautiful winter landscape in Saalfelden Leogang on your own this winter season. From 27 November 2021 to 3 April 2022, there are guided snowshoe and winter hikes, torchlight hikes, ski tours, horse-drawn sleigh rides and cross-country skiing taster courses. Those wishing to take part in an event need to register with the relevant providers by 4 pm on the day prior. For those with the Saalfelden Leogang Card, participation is often free.

 

Sustainability on and off the slopes
Sustainability and skiing – can the two go together? At Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn we continue to implement initiatives to make this combination possible. It is therefore fitting, for example, that the Leoganger Bergbahnen cable car company has been drawing district heating from the nearby biomass heating plant since 2006. This includes a co-heating partnership with neighbouring hotels.
A nearby restaurant is heated via heat recovered from the drive motors of the Asitzbahn cable car middle station. In addition, the floors at the workshop where the snow grooming machines are serviced are heated to defrost the grooming machines during the day, as is the floor in the access area for skiers ascending from the middle station. Furthermore, the snow cannons and cable car systems have been hydraulically and electrically optimised to increase their efficiency. "These measures have enabled us to massively reduce our energy consumption," says Kornel Grundner, managing director of Leoganger Bergbahnen. "The Steinbergbahn gondola lift now consumes around 151,000 kilowatt hours less per year. The efforts have been recognised: Leoganger Bergbahnen was bestowed the "Umwelt Blatt Salzburg" sustainability award in 2017 and credited by the Austrian Ministry of the Environment for its commitment to climate protection in 2018. In 2019, Leoganger Bergbahnen was also the first ski resort to become a partner of the "Climate and Energy Strategy Salzburg 2050." This means it's even more fun to explore the 140 km of blue runs, 112 km of red and 18 km of black runs, as well as the 60 homely mountain huts, the snow parks, freeride parks and floodlit pistes, the speed, racing and SkiMovie courses, and the funcross, snow trail and snow tubing facilities in the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn.
Getting to Saalfelden Leogang is also easy, comfortable and above all sustainable. There are three train stations in the Saalfelden Leogang region, which are easy to reach from Munich, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Klagenfurt. Locally, holidaymakers can take advantage of the Saalfelden town bus and the ski bus free of charge with the Saalfelden Leogang Card. 

 

Austrian Ecolabel: The Saalfelden Leogang pilot partner region
Want to enjoy a sustainable overnight stay? It’s possible in the Saalfelden Leogang region. In some hotels, great importance is attached to the topic of environmental protection and sustainability. For instance, electric cars are made available to guests. In-house biomass heating plants, wood chip heating systems and composting plants are used to provide energy and special attention is also paid to avoiding waste.
Under the leadership of the Verein für Konsumenteninformation (Austrian consumer protection association), the Saalfelden Leogang region has been working towards a seal of approval certification for sustainable tourism regions along with other destinations since 2021. Many companies and businesses in Saalfelden Leogang have already been awarded the Austrian Ecolabel. This seal of approval evaluates a wide range of measures such as public transport, waste disposal and resource management. 

 

Saalfelden Leogang: A village of award-winning cuisine. Enjoy organic regional and natural ingredients 
Enjoying a perfect holiday in Saalfelden Leogang also means indulging your taste buds. Great importance is placed on the quality of ingredients and products used in the region. As part of the 'ECHT.GSUND.GUAD.’ campaign, Saalfelden Leogang showcases local producers with a seal of quality, which has been used since 2014. Regional products and ingredients include, for example, excellent meat and sausage products, cheeses, bread, honey, eggs and schnapps, for which the region is renowned. Those keen to take home an enjoyable holiday memory should plan a stop at one of the numerous farm shops. Leogang organic sausage and meat products are also available here for purchase.
A detour to "Stocki's Distillery” in Leogang, for example, is also worthwhile. It’s the only distillery in Austria with three qualified fine schnapps sommeliers and a master distiller. Distillery tours are held here every Tuesday and Thursday. There is even the possibility to visit the gourmet shop. 
The Misssi ice cream shop in Saalfelden has been open since the beginning of July. It features ice cream made from natural and regional ingredients. In other words, the milk is sourced from local cows and ingredients such as fruit, honey and nuts are sourced locally. Everything is free from flavour enhancers, colour additives or aromas. This local ice cream producer values supporting small farmers and their families and thus also promotes the sustainable cultivation of food. The name, Alpeneis (Alpine ice cream) pays tribute to its local origins. Those keen to enjoy ice cream in winter can visit the round-the-clock ice cream vending machine right in front of the ice cream shop. Selected ice cream varieties are also available here in family packs. 
This exceptional quality of the local produce is also mirrored in the region's gastronomy: With a total of 14 Gault Millau toques split between seven establishments, the richly diverse Saalfelden Leogang region is no stranger to exclusive dining.

 

Saalfelden Leogang Card: countless advantages for non-skiers 365 days a year 
Every guest who stays at a Saalfelden Leogang Card partner establishment will receive a Saalfelden Leogang Card free of charge. It offers countless advantages throughout the year. Non-skiers can take the Asitzbahn or Steinbergbahn gondola lifts, use the shuttle to go tobogganing on the Biberg, visit a museum for free and much more. In addition, guests with a Saalfelden Leogang Card have access to the cross-country skiing trails in Saalfelden Leogang, the ice rink at the Nordic Park, guided walks in the snow, and free journeys with the local or ski buses.
The guest card is automatically available at check-in. It is valid from the day of arrival and also includes the day of departure. https://www.saalfelden-leogang.com/en/region-experience/Saalfelden-Leogang-Card

 

The Schloss Ritzen Museum and Mining and Gothic Museum: Nativity scenes and treasures 
One of the most important and largest nativity-scene collections in Austria, in addition to other sacred treasures, is housed at the Schloss Ritzen Museum in Saalfelden. As the nativity scene exhibition is annual, a visit here is worthwhile at any time of the year. Famous nativity-scene builder Xandi Schläffer from Saalfelden, who designed the “Pinzgauer nativity scene villages” featuring the stable of Bethlehem at the centre and the Steinernes Meer plateau in the background, crafted many of the exhibited small works of art. 
The Mining and Gothic Museum in Leogang, which chronicles the heyday of mining in Leogang, is another worthwhile excursion tip. Since 2020, it now has its own library. During that year, the Mining and Gothic Museum in Leogang was one of 27 European museums nominated to be for the European Museum Award 2021. In addition, there are always special exhibitions in the Mining and Gothic Museum in Leogang. Currently, this year you can also visit the special exhibition “Pinzgau cattle - a state cultural asset,” which was designed by Stefan Gimpl. Both museums are free with the Saalfelden Leogang Card.

 

TONspur Islands: Natural music enjoyment on the Mountain of Senses
Experience nature, sharpen your senses and enjoy culture at the same time: it’s all possible at the Asitz in Leogang. The Saalfelden Leogang region also boasts an extensive outdoor cultural programme. While on a winter hike, you'll come across the five TONspur islands, which were completed in 2020. These five stations are located along the hiking trail between the mountain station and the Asitz summit. Because you can listen to live recordings of the TONspur concerts from the previous year, the TONspur islands are especially popular with true music fans. This fantastic outdoor attraction is so indescribably beautiful that the TONspur Islands were even awarded the MAECENAS Austrian Art Sponsorship Prize in 2020.

 

Feel good and relax in the region’s exclusive hotels 
The Saalfelden Leogang region is known for its first-class hotels. In Saalfelden Leogang, numerous establishments also focus on sustainable recreation. This includes, for instance, the use of regional natural materials such as wood and stone, which creates a relaxed atmosphere for guests. 
Starting this year, the Forsthofgut hotel offers a wonderful SPA concept: at Europe's first forest spa, you can recharge your batteries with the help of natural ingredients from the region. In recent months, the hotel has also expanded its family wellness area to include a water slide and an interactive water workshop. 
A lakeside restaurant was also opened and new suites complete the offer. This winter season, guests at the Hotel Salzburgerhof can look forward to a new Sky SPA, which now offers 1,200 square metres of space for extensive relaxation.
Exceptional feel-good offers are also available at the Forsthofalm hotel, the organic Rupertus hotel, the modern yet traditional hotel mama thresl hotel and the 4-star Superior Krallerhof hotel. Over at the Puradies hotel, holidaymakers can look forward to lovingly designed chalets with gorgeous mountain views. Meanwhile, the Bergdorf Priesteregg mountain village, with its chalets and the Priesteregg Bad spa, offers ample luxury and plenty of time to relax. 
The "Alpine Holistic" lifestyle concept at the Ritzenhof lakeside hotel and spa and the thermal pool at the Riederalm Good Life Resort offer guests the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind. Furthermore, the Hotel Riederalm now features a new dining room and newly furnished rooms for holidaymakers this season. 
True to the motto "Bio.Aktiv.Echt” (organic, active, authentic), guests at the Rupertus organic hotel enjoy excellent organic gourmet cuisine and distinctive hospitality. The Kirchenwirt hotel also scores points with its excellent, variety-rich and award-winning cuisine: seasonal specialties, vegetarian alternatives and typical Austrian delicacies are on the menu at this traditional hotel.  
For a holiday experience "in the mountains and yet in the city,” look no further than Die Hindenburg boutique and city hotel. In addition to numerous sustainable cosmetic and massage treatments, the 4-star superior LEBE FREI Hotel Der Löwe offers a unique Steinberg cinema with tree trunk beds. Meanwhile, the Hotel Bacher Asitzstub'n boasts a heated infinity panorama pool.