Each year British families are instructed by ski- and snowboard instructors through Skimundi. One of the advantages of booking ski school in Saalbach with Skimundi, is having a high qualified English speaking ski- or snowboard instructor. By ensuring your children of having an instructor that speaks their native language, you provide them with a comfortable and safe start of their ski holiday.
We asked one of our best instructors in Saalbach, Jacob why Saalbach is a desirable resort for families. Jacob has been educated through Snowminds and became a ski instructor back in November 2015.
In your opinion, what makes Saalbach a popular resort for families?
Saalbach is very suitable for families, mainly because of the destination’s child-friendly slopes and lifts. You will find numerous of blue and red slopes, and most of these are very wide which gives beginners all space they need. The town of Saalbach is quite large and is known for its amazing atmosphere. There are plenty of shops and restaurants for when you or your kids want a break from the skiing.
The staff throughout the entire resort is very helpful and will always help the guests, which can for example be seen when they assist kids in using the ski lifts. There is a special queue at every lift to ensure that all children are accompanied by adults on the lift. There are no draglifts in Saalbach and most chairlifts are modern and have an automatic safety bars. This contributes to the safety of the ski area and makes it a lot easier to reach the top of the slopes. Also do Many slopes offer 'fun-tracks' for older kids and teenagers!
What do the kids enjoy about Saalbach?
Since I started talking about 'fun-tracks', this is something kids absolutely love. Generally these have countless jumps and bumps, and are always seen as a way to start a little competition among the youngsters.
The skiing terrain is quite big and consists of several skiing areas that are linked together (Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Leogang, and Fieberbruun). If your children are a bit more experienced you should definitely try skiing to one of the other resorts. As a ski instructor I have noticed how much the kids enjoyed making such a daytrip. To them it's like travelling to a whole new world of skiing which they happen to find very exciting.
At my ski school, Snowacademy we had a massive Kinderland (the largest in the area) and this is the perfect place to learn younger children how to ski.
What does the ski school do to give the kids the best experience?
Our boss and the person responsible for all children groups was amazing. He was a master in spotting the skiing level of the kids and in dividing them into groups, so that all with the same level were paired together. After each day all kids-instructors showed up to "Abmeldung", reporting about how each kid fits into the group regarding their skiing ability. By doing this we ensured that every kid fitted into his/her group. Our boss had a 'Landes 2' (the second-highest education a ski instructor can have) so he knew perfectly how to run the ski school.
Besides the way in which the ski school ensures that all kids receive optimal guidance, the Snowacademy also arranges many activities for the kids. Each Friday a race day is organized, where all groups are mixed and a big race will find place. The race is quite unconventional regarding participation requirements as all kids are allowed to join, even those who have only had a single private lesson. The setup is very classic with numbered pullovers, medals and more. The parents watch from the side-line and participate in the award ceremony. Afterwards the kids can choose to participate in ski school the rest of the day or leave with their parents.
A train is used to transport the kids from and to the main gondola and this is often much appreciated by all kids. The train is also used for daytrips when the kids in Kinderland are in need of a break. Having the possibility to take a nap in the fresh mountain air is seen as a welcome bonus by most parents as the kids tend to like it.
Tips&tricks for the family traveling to Saalbach?
Don't be afraid to explore the terrain. It's massive and has so much different to offer. The scenery is incredible and most part of the connected skiing areas have child-friendly slopes. The easiest way to explore the terrain is to use the many available slopes for transportation where most of them are very smooth to ski on. Also remember to explore the town of Saalbach, the soul and Austrian atmosphere in the village are priceless. Together with your family walk around the town and consider having a hot chocolate or a quick meal at one of the many restaurants. The neighbouring city, Hinterglemm has many activities to offer as well.. Here you can watch the ”Pistenbully show” or the ski show at New Years arranged by the instructors of the ski schools. The first mentioned is a freestyle show that takes place once a week with massive kickers, acrobatic 'parkies', and halftime entertainment with concerts and fireworks.
Three "must do" experiences in Saalbach?
Visit Hotel Peter and order a "Felsensteak". You will not only enjoy a marvellous beef, but maybe the owner of the Hotel, Peter, a large Austrian man, will serve and spice it for you while you'll hear his beautiful Austrian singing. You also get to keep your apron which is not the worst souvenir! Another restaurant to visit is the Bäckstätt Stall which is a cosy traditional Austrian restaurant. The entrance is shaped as a cave and is an attraction itself. A third restaurant (my personal favourite) is a more modern place called Hendl Fischerei and is located in Leogang. It reminds you of a fancy restuarant in Aspen and they only serve three dishes, but all three are best described as amazing! Most of the dishes consist of finger food, like grilled chicken and spareribs, but my recommendation is to order a big glass of homemade lemonade and combine this with their spareribs and "knoblauchstängeln" (type of garlic bread). In my opinion the spareribs along with the beautiful view give you a never to forget experience. Restaurant Bergers is perfect for teenagers and young adults. The happy hour is between 3:30 and 4:40, and the staff is very welcoming. The bar closes at 6 o'clock and afterwards you have to ski down yourself. If you wish to 'pubcrawl' down the slopes (also called 'Hütten Rally' in German) head past the Mais Alm and Hinterhag Alm on your way down the mountain. My last recommendation is the "NIGHTPARK" in Hinterglemm. It's a huge slope with a slalom course and a snow park. Everything is lighted up until 09:30 in the evening every day except for Sunday. A gondola will carry you to the top and at the bottom you will find après-ski and much more. If you don't feel like rails and large kickers, there always is the option to use a snowtube that is much closer to the ground!
As a former ski instructor, would you recommend Saalbach?
Saalbach is a massive skiing area and is connected to many other areas that all offer something different. It's like skiing in four different ski resorts that are all connected by ski lifts. The town in Saalbach is a major bonus with its atmosphere and all activities. So yes, I definitely recommend going on ski holiday to Saalbach!