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Saalbach Skicircus Review

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Skier in waist deep powder in Saalbach. Freeride Saalbach

Saalbach Skicircus Review

“Saalbach is part of Skicircus domain, the second largest ski area in Austria. Infrastructure is perfect. The resort is best suited for intermediate skiers. Views are stunning. There is a big number of spots where you can go off piste. Fieberbrunn is a regular stop on the Freeride World Tour. Snow reliability is good, but snow quality is not perfect all the time due to low altitude and orientation of some slopes. If you are an apres-ski lover Saalbach is the right place to be. The fact that Saalbach and Hinterglemm were hosts of FIS Alpine World Ski Championships proves that this is a top class domain. Read the rest of this Saalbach Skicircus Review and find out if it fulfils all your needs.”

Pros: great total length of slopes, one of the biggest domains in Austria, new and fast lifts, ideal for off piste skiing, interesting night life, friendly locals…   

Cons: thanks to low altitude and piste orientation snow can get slushy on sunny days, getting to some parts of the domain can take substantial time.

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SAALBACH SKICIRCUS SLOPES

Easy 140 km (52%)
Intermediate 112 km (41 %)
Difficult 18 km (7 %)
TOTAL 270 km

The Skicircus domain consists of 4 different resorts: Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Leogang and Fieberbrunn. There are 270 km of pistes. Since the season of 2019/20 you can buy a Ski ALPIN CARD and visit Schmittenhöhe in Zell am See and Kitzsteinhorn by Kaprun with 408 km of slopes in total. Unfortunately, Skicircus is not connected to Zell am See and Kaprun by lifts.

The Highest point of the domain lies at 2,096 m above sea level. Infrastructure is great. Lifts are new and fast. Almost all chairlifts have cover for cold and windy days. As you might expect grooming is excellent. Snow making machines secure good snow reliability. As mentioned at the beginning of this Saalbach Skicircus Review, pistes are best suited for intermediate skiers. Expert riders will find interesting slopes in the Schattberg and Zwolferkogel area (left on the ski map). This part of the domain is also good for warmer days when the snow can get slushy in some parts, due to low altitude and slope orientation. Thanks to a fact that there is a substantial number of runs surrounded by woods, the right side of the valley is suitable for colder and windy days.  The domain is interesting for the whole family since it has: a race course, a speed measuring run, a fun slope, a toboggan run…

Skicircus has a system of lifts that runs connected in carousel. This means that in the morning you can depart from one place, follow the signs, and at the end of the day arrive at the same spot from which you departed. You can go clockwise or anticlockwise. The first route is harder and the second one is longer.    

FREERIDE AND TERRAIN PARKS IN SAALBACH

Off piste skiing in Saalbach is spectacular. Fieberbrunn is host to the Freeride World Tour. You can choose from open wide slopes to wooded areas.

If the weather is fine you can go to Schattberg area. During heavy snowfall I had a great time on the run which starts at the bottom of Panorama 6er lift. On the way from Reiterkogel area to Fiberbrun you can ski under E6 TirolS II gondola. Catch E5 and E4 lifts. When you get to the top go to the right and you will find a huge area reserved only for off piste skiing. You will end your descent on piste number 124. From there you can get E5 and E4 gondolas and do everything again.

These few tips will get you started, and when you get there you will discover other options quickly.

Unlike impressive freeriding choices the domain doesn’t excel in terrain parks. Saalbach has only one snow park called Learn to Ride. As you can guess by its name it is reserved for beginners. The park is situated close to Bernkogel 6er chairlift.

Much more interesting is The Nitro Snowpark in Leogang. It is placed near Asitzmuldenbahnlift. The park has different features for all levels of riding. There is even a big bag jump where you can practice new tricks. Just around the corner, by the Asitzmulden lift, lies the Freeride Park which combines freeride and freestyle. People from the domain have created several kickers and obstacles on an ungroomed slope.

Fiberbrun also has a small freestyle area called Easy Park. It has five kickers and four fun boxes. It is located close to Zillstatlift.   

HOW TO GET TO SAALBACH SKICIRCUS

The closest airport is placed in Salzburg. It is 85 km away. You will need 1.5 hours to get from the airport to the resort by car. Innsbruck is 158 km away, and the ride will take you 2h 20 min. Munich might also be a good idea because it is the closest international airport with a wide choice of flights. The entire trip by car should last 2 hours 45 min. Ski Lifts or Holiday Shuttle can organize a private transfer for you. The price goes from 47 EUR.

Hiring a car might be a good idea if you plan to visit surrounding skiing areas. This is a resort-rich part of Austria. There are at least 10 world class ski domains in a 90 min drive circle around Saalbach (Flachau,Schladming,Kitzbuhel,Bad Gastein, Zell am See…). 

You can also use public transport (bus or train) in order to get from the airport to your accommodation. Departures are frequent during the winter season.

The railway network in Austria is fantastic. The closest train stations are in Leogang, Fiberbrun and Zell am See. Wörgl is the village where you will have to change your train from Munich or Salzburg (bigger centres).   

 WHERE TO STAY IN SAALBACH SKICIRCUS

You will get to choose from a wide range of different accommodation options, from self-catering apartments to luxurious chalets. Best locations where you can stay are Saalbach or Leogang since they are in the middle of the Skicircus. Ski in/out lodging in Saalbach is not that regular, so try to find accommodation close to one of three gondolas going out of the village if you don’t like to walk with your equipment.

If you are on a tight budget you can find a place to sleep in the surrounding villages. There are regular ski buses (every 20 or 30 min depending of season and part of a day). If you have your car, note that big parking lots are situated close to gondola base stations. Be aware that parking is not free everywhere. We used one in Vorderglem, the first one on the road to Saalbach, where there is always an empty space and you don’t have to pay for it.

WHAT TO DO AFTER DAY ON SNOW SAALBACH SKICIRCUS

The resort has around 60 snow huts scattered all over the slopes. They range from umbrella bars to serious restaurants. Great place where you can make a break during day is Skyrest. It is situated on top of Schattberg X-press lift. The restaurant has a great view, good local food and friendly staff. Try their goulash soup. Another Austrian snack you should try is Kaiserschmarrn. It is a sweet dessert, a kind of pancake served with jam or apple sauce.

Skicircus is famous after its après ski. Parties start early on the hills and then slowly move to the village centre. Castello is the biggest club in the area. Live bands and DJs rock until early hours.

If you have a car visit Tauern Spa in Kaprun. It is 35 min away, and it’s a great combination of hot outdoor pools, toboggan and saunas… If you liked this Saalbach Skicircus Review, reserve your stay here.

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