WINTER DELIGHTS AWAY FROM THE SLOPES
Whether fully romantic on a horse-drawn sleigh ride or adventurous on a snowshoe tour, winter reveals all its facets in Saalfelden Leogang. Active holidaymakers are invited to do their laps on the cross-country trails. Experience winter on or off the ski slopes – you can do both in Saalfelden Leogang. Not to mention enjoying regional specialities in cosy restaurants in the many excellent accommodations. It’s your holiday - do what makes you happy!
Cross-country skiing at the Nordic Park and around the Ritzensee lake
A perfect day in the snow is also possible away from the slopes in the Saalfelden Leogang region. It all starts at the Nordic Park at the Ritzensee lake in Saalfelden, where Nordic sports take centre stage. Meanwhile, the Fun & Snow Park awakens children's enthusiasm for cross-country skiing. The Fun & Snow Park is also ideal for beginners, who aren’t yet ready for bigger routes. There is also an exciting obstacle course with 22 stations. Keep in mind that the obstacles are not just for little ones. Adults are also invited to improve their cross-country skiing skills in a playful manner. There will also be a new Nordic quiz rallye around the Ritzensee lake. The easy trail can be skied with cross-country skis and is great fun for families and children. Those who solve the riddles are eligible to pick up a gift at the tourist office. The Fun & Snow Park as well as the Nordic quiz rallye are unique in the whole of Austria.
Adults as well as children can book courses in the classic and skating techniques. Ranging from easy to challenging, the cross-country trails in Saalfelden Leogang cover a total of around 150 km of groomed cross-country skiing trails. One highlight is the World Championship trail, where local professional athletes such as World Cup biathlete Simon Eder also train. For many years already, Biathlon has been the most popular winter sport on television. Keen to try out this incredible sport for yourself? You can book biathlon taster courses in the Nordic Park. You’ll learn the skating technique as well as how to shoot with the laser rifle. Children can participate in the weekly Heeressportverein (HSV) Saalfelden club training.
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. 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 9 pm.
As Austria's top cross-country skiing destination, Saalfelden Leogang promotes young talent
Saalfelden Leogang is one of just four top cross-country skiing destinations in all of Austria. 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. 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. Saalfelden is thus positioning itself as a home for successful and up-and-coming athletes. 5 million will be invested in this project.
In Saalfelden, champions are forged: Train to become a world champion
For those looking to start a successful sports career, Saalfelden Leogang is the first stop. The Nordic Ski Middle School Saalfelden offers students the opportunity to complete basic training in the disciplines of Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping or biathlon while attending school. In addition, winter sports enthusiasts at the Saalfelden ski high school can choose from six categories of professional training in the areas of Alpine Skiing, Nordic Skiing and Ski Freestyle. In addition to their professional training in competitive sports, students receive their diploma as well.
Taking this approach can really pay off, given that numerous top athletes went to ski high school in Saalfelden. Famous names include Lisa Hauser (biathlon World Champion in the mass start), Marita Kramer (ski jumping World Champion with the team), Mario Seidl (Olympic and World Championship medallist in Nordic combined) and Dominik Landertinger (biathlon World Champion in the mass start and multiple medallist at the Olympics).
Ice skate across Ritzensee lake
The frozen Ritzensee lake is a great venue for ice skating. In winter, the lake is transformed into a perfect natural ice skating rink. It is illuminated until 9 pm, enabling visitors to glide across the lake and do their laps until late in the evening. If you need a well-deserved time out, sit down on one of the benches around the lake and enjoy the view of the snow-covered landscape against the backdrop of the impressive Steinernes Meer plateau and the Leoganger Steinberge mountains.
Nighttime Adventure: Moonlight ski touring at the Asitz mountain
In the Saalfelden Leogang region, the moonlight ski tours on Asitz mountain are especially memorable. Available 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." Looking for peace and quiet in nature during the day? Look no further than ski tours away from the ski slopes. For such activities, the right safety equipment is a must. Beginners are advised to book a ski and mountain guide to safely experience the area for the first time. SAAC ski touring camps are also offered in Saalfelden Leogang.
The magic of winter hiking and the Kollingwald woodland swing
Beautiful yet simple: all you need for a fun winter hike is good, sturdy footwear. Many of the paths in Saalfelden Leogang are cleared, which means you can easily stroll through the snow for miles.
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. If you only want to stretch your legs for a bit, the path around the Ritzensee lake only takes half an hour. It’s worth every minute.
All three routes take you past the new woodland swing in Kollingwald forest at Ritzensee lake. This is an ideal opportunity to take a seat, relax, relish the peace and quiet of the forest and simply enjoy a different perspective: The woodland swing resembles a wooden hammock. Lie down and gaze up to the treetops! There's no better way to forget everyday stresses and strains.
Tobogganing fun for all ages by day and night
For winter holidaymakers, tobogganing is a can’t miss activity. After all, the region’s numerous tracks enjoy cult status amongst toboggan fans. For instance, those who manage the two-hour climb up to the Biberg mountain will be rewarded with a thrilling 6-km natural toboggan run into the valley below. Those in a hurry to get to the top are better off using the shuttle service. Hire sledges are available at the local inns. The best way to reach the “Leo’s Kufengaudi” toboggan run on the Asitz mountain is by gondola. Don't miss out on fun tobogganing at night! On certain days of the week, the floodlights are switched on at both tracks.
Pristine nature and pure romance: A horse-drawn sleigh or snowshoe hike
Looking to slow things down? Keen on a bit of relaxation? Explore the winter wonderland in a sleigh drawn by Noriker horses. Enjoy the idyllic silence while wrapped in a warm blanket. Alternatively, you can opt for snowshoe hiking instead. Prefer to let a local lead the way? Book a guided group snowshoe hike. As a reminder, it is very important to have the proper safety equipment should you leave the trails or ski slopes.
365 days of adventure from summer to winter
Beyond the slopes, explore the winter landscape in Saalfelden Leogang individually or in a group with a guide. Our adventure programme ranges from guided snowshoe hikes in winter to panoramic hikes in summer. It also boasts year-round torchlight hikes, wildlife viewing, Kaiserschmarren shredded-pancake tours in summer, and so much more.
Ariel acrobatics with the Flying Fox XXL zip line
From the beginning of March 2023, get ready to fly high above it all and experience the Leogang mountains in a whole new way: The Flying Fox XXL is one of the longest zip lines in the world and guarantees fun and a little kick of adrenaline for the entire family. Travelling at up to 130 kilometres per hour, the zip line covers 1600 metres, running from Asitz middle station right to the other side of Schwarzleotal valley.
TONspur Islands: 365 days of musical enjoyment in the great outdoors
The Saalfelden Leogang region also boasts an extensive year-round outdoor cultural programme. Experience nature, sharpen your senses and enjoy culture at the same time: it’s all possible at the Asitz in Leogang. During a winter hike, access the five TONspur islands that were completed in 2020. These are situated between the mountain station and the Asitz summit along the hiking trail and the ski slope. The TONspur islands are a unique experience, especially for music fans. Enjoy live recordings of TONspur concerts from the previous year at the listening stations. This fantastic outdoor attraction is so indescribably beautiful that the TONspur Islands were even awarded the MAECENAS Austrian Art Sponsorship Prize in 2020.
Enjoy comfort and relaxation in excellent and sustainably managed hotels
Saalfelden Leogang is known for its first-class hotels. After a long day of skiing or an excursion into the winter landscape, guests can round off their day at the hotel with a wellness programme. Many of the region's establishments feature exceptional wellness and spa facilities, where sustainable rest and recreation are the maxim. Locally sourced natural materials such as wood and stone often feature in the interior design, generating a feeling of wellbeing.
At the Naturhotel Forsthofgut*****, a Family SPA, Japanese restaurant and new suites were opened in 2021. In addition, a horse riding stable was also recently added. At the Hotel Salzburgerhof****S, guests this winter season can look forward to the Sky SPA, which opened in 2021, and the brand new restaurant. Since last winter, the Riederalm Good Life Resort****S has added a new dining room and newly furnished rooms. The Hotel Krallerhof***** sets high-end standards and has ventured into new dimensions in terms of recreation. With an impending superlative SPA, designed by Hadi Teherani Architects, the Altenberger family of hoteliers is laying the foundations for something grand yet minimalist for its guests. The opening will take place in spring of 2023. But that’s not all: A new SPA landscape was created at the Biohotel Rupertus****, and at the Hotel Der Löwe****S a year-round heated outdoor pool was added this year in addition to a new underground car park a new dining room. Exceptional feel-good offers are also available at the Hotel Forsthofalm****S and the Hotel Senhoog. Holidaymakers can also look forward to lovingly designed chalets with gorgeous mountain views at the Hotel Puradies****S.
The "Alpine Holistic" lifestyle concept at the Ritzenhof lakeside hotel and spa offers guests the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind. For a holiday experience "in the mountains and yet in the city,” look no further than Die Hindenburg**** boutique and city hotel. The Hotel Bacher Asitzstub'n*** boasts a heated infinity panorama pool. Meanwhile, the Bergdorf Priesteregg ****S, with its chalets and the Priesteregg Bad spa, offers ample luxury and plenty of time to relax. Priesteregg opened Villa WOSSA in November 2022, an ensemble of exclusive chalet, a small lake house and a huge natural pond with integrated infinity pool. The Hotel mama thresl*** offers rooms featuring an urban style. In addition to fantastic rooms, the Hotel Gut Brandlhof****S also boasts the autohaus automotive competence center, plenty of space for events and an indoor golf simulator. In 2022, the Vivid SPA area was expanded.
Some of the region's hotels place a strong emphasis on environmental protection, with initiatives including the provision of electric cars for 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.
In addition, 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.
Enjoy regional and natural ingredients
Great food is a key part of any successful stay in Saalfelden Leogang. Numerous hosts at the mountain inns, huts and restaurants follow local traditions and mainly cook with regionally sourced produce. Since 2014, the 'ECHT.GSUND.GUAD’ (organic, active, authentic) seal of approval has been used to make the quality of local products easily apparent at a glance. Many products from the region bear the green quality seal.
The region is certainly no stranger to exclusive dining. Six establishments have been awarded a total of 14 Gault&Millau toques.
Once your belly is full, a detour to "Stocki's Distillery” in Leogang is worthwhile. It is the only distillery in Austria to boast three qualified sommeliers and a master distiller. Distillery tours are held here every Tuesday and Thursday (prior registration required). Otherwise, it's simply a matter of browsing the gourmet shop to find something you like.
The Misssi ice cream shop in Saalfelden has been open since the summer of 2021. It features ice cream made from natural and regional ingredients. 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.
In recent years, more and more fantastic farm shops have appeared on the scene, which are also open in winter. Many Pinzgau delicacies as well as farm products such as eggs, bacon, cheese and meats from local cattle can be sampled and purchased here. No matter the time of day or night, there are always fresh organic vegetables at the Stechaubauer organic farm. In the vegetable hut, you can choose your vegetables via touchscreen. The products can then be collected from the self-service machine. Exciting news: As of recently, there is also saffron from Leogang on offer! It is specially grown by the Wölfler family, which supplies the award-winning restaurants in the area.
Take advantage of the many benefits of the free Saalfelden Leogang Card guest card
The Saalfelden Leogang Card is the ideal way to take advantage of the region's diverse winter programme. From guided hikes in the snow to tobogganing fun and the use of Saalfelden's town buses, it provides access to activities on the mountain and in the valley. The Saalfelden Leogang Card also provides access to numerous services free of charge – some just once per stay, some daily. Plus, discounts are available on a range of other activities. Any visitor staying in a Saalfelden Leogang Card partner establishment will automatically receive the card at check-in. The card is valid from the day of arrival until the departure day (inclusive).
Fair Play in the Winter Forest: Protecting the Forest
Fresh air, peace and pristine nature: The forest serves as an ideal retreat. A walk or snowshoe hike through the forest provides soothing relaxation and yet the forest is also an important habitat for many plants and animals.
For this reason, it is important to protect this resting place and treat it with respect. In Saalfelden Leogang, we have established "fair play rules" for the winter forest environment. These guidelines include, for example, rubbish and noise prevention in the forest. Forest visitors should absolutely remain on marked trails and routes and observe wildlife quiet zones.