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In the valley of the green pointed hats - a week in and around Saalbach Hinterglemm

Updated: Jan 30

You shouldn't be afraid of heights on the bridge at the head of the Glemmtal valley.

As in previous years, we received an offer in summer 2023 that we didn't turn down for the first time. Through our employer, we once again had the opportunity to take a week's vacation in Austria at a greatly reduced price. From a list of hotels and guesthouses in several federal states, we opted for the Pension Vorderlengau in Salzburg - in the famous Glemmtal to be precise. A family vacation by car.

Fully packed and well equipped, we loaded our two children into the back seat of our diaper bomber and set off for the Westautobahn in the early hours of the morning. We set off a day earlier as we wanted to spend another day and night in Salzburg (see Salzburg blog).

Longer car journeys don't bother us in and of themselves, we're adults after all and have trained ourselves to sit comfortably over the years - our children, on the other hand, are quite different: as soon as they're in the car and know that we're going to be on the road for more than 15 minutes, they switch into argument mode. Mosquitoes become elephants and one wrong look can quickly end in drama in the cheap seats. Tears included. Drama queen meets drama queen and it's not uncommon for us to hastily threaten to drop them off at the side of the road "if we don't put an immediate end to this stupid shit". That was usually the end of it, but it's not a permanent solution.

What to do when children argue?

To prevent conflicts on the journey from the outset, we parents drew up a peace plan for which we deserved the Nobel Prize. We planned to throw the right things in the back at the right strategic moments: Snacks, a tablet with downloaded movies, low-sugar sodas and cocoa and a game book called "Would you rather ...?". - 222 ingenious questions for children to laugh, ponder and join in!". We simply wanted to keep the two squabblers busy all the time and stop them from arguing, which we managed to do pretty well without having to brag. A good start to our vacation in Austria.

The plan worked and the journey to Salzburg and on to Vorderlengau in the Glemmtal valley was largely peaceful. Praise be to paprika potato chips, chocolate milk and stupid question games, we arrived at our destination surprisingly relaxed.

Memories came flooding back

As soon as we checked into the Pension Vorderlengau and were given our first tour by the landlady, old memories were awakened. The rooms, the floor tiles, the old table tennis table, the gym (great for the children), the outdated furniture and the dining room were all too reminiscent of school ski courses from long ago. The guesthouse itself is situated on a small hill just 2 kilometers from the end of the valley. Compared to the lively tourist resort. The guesthouse itself is situated on a small hill just 2 kilometers before the end of the valley. Compared to the lively tourist resorts of Saalbach and Hinterglemm, this is a very quiet location. That's how we like it.

Von der Pension Vorderlengau starteten wir zu Fuß in Richtung Hinterglemm.

Before we set off into the Salzburg mountains for the next six days, we first had dinner, which was excellent. Every time. Fresh home cooking is still prepared here, and even if we couldn't choose from 20 different dishes, we were still pretty spoiled. The children also found something every evening. Good food, good vacation.

A valley with many talents

The Glemmtal valley follows the upper reaches of the Salzach river, which is around 30 kilometers long. It belongs to the northern Pinzgau region and is part of the famous Kitzbühel Alps in an east-west direction. Its main town is Saalbach in the Zell am See district, whose municipal area includes the towns of Saalbach and Hinterglemm - both extremely popular tourist resorts. As soon as you enter the valley near Maishofen, you realize how important tourism is here. For our taste, too much has been and is being built in the rather narrow valley floor, at least until you pass through the two main towns. After Hinterglemm it becomes much nicer.

However, what the strong tourism industry brings with it is a wonderful infrastructure and plenty of opportunities for families, older and younger hikers, winter sports enthusiasts and wellness lovers. With its slogan "Home of Lässig" and the numerous ski lifts and gondola lifts, the Glemmtal is one of the most popular winter sports regions in Europe. With the Ski Alpin Card, you can ski on up to 408 kilometers of well-developed pistes. Every snow tiger will go into raptures.

Suitable for winter and summer

Ski resorts used to be almost extinct in summer. Usually, only a few hikers would stray into the areas with the slopes. That's different today. In the Glemmtal valley, the Saalbach Hinterglemm tourism association has perfected the balancing act between winter and summer tourism. While the ski circus can be celebrated in winter, summer is now a different story. The infrastructure is used perfectly by thousands of cyclists in summer without any major adaptations. The sports stores and hotel operators are well prepared for this trend and the money is rolling in. Over 90 km of "Lines & Trails" and 9 state-of-the-art mountain lifts on 7 mountains ensure boundless biking fun in the Glemmtal. This is not quite as pleasing for hikers as it is for satisfied tourists, but you can usually get out of each other's way.

What have we done in the Glemmtal?

  • Walks around the Vorderlengau guesthouse and a hike to Hinterglemm - not very demanding and a very pleasant route through the valley. You can get back easily by public bus.

  • A ride on the Reiterkogel cable car followed by a hike to the Rosswald reservoir. With the 3.2-kilometre Berk-Kodok adventure trail including a marble run, acoustic playground and several other attractions, this leisurely hike is also a great experience with children. Our kids certainly enjoyed it. We even passed a few small snowfields. Unfortunately, the hut at the mountain station is very expensive - not for families who are on a budget.

  • Descent from the Reiterkogel to Hinterglemm: While Steffi took the children back down to the valley on the gondola lift, Max walked down to the valley in around 90 minutes - a very beautiful but more strenuous route due to the gradient.

  • Ride on the Zwölferkogelbahn 2 to the mountain station and a very strenuous climb to the summit cross of the high Penhab and then walk to the Winkleralm. However, the prices at the "huts" are quite high - if you want to save money, you should take plenty of provisions with you. A hearty snack in the mountains is one of the best things you can do anyway - you don't need a Kaiserschmarren for 19 euros.

That was our visit to the Glemmtal - we were never bored here.

Watch out for the cows! As there are always dangerous, even fatal incidents with aggressive cows, we would like to take this opportunity to once again call for caution. Especially those traveling with dogs should be careful. We also took a longer detour this time because we were unexpectedly attacked by a few cows (shortly before, a woman with a dog crossed the pasture).

  • A visit to the "Tauern Spa" thermal baths in Kaprun. At just over an hour's drive from our accommodation, Kaprun was still within reasonable limits, so we decided to enjoy a relaxing day at the spa. The Tauern Spa turned out to be a wellness oasis to our liking: A fine sauna area, cocktails served at the edge of the thermal pool, childcare and lots of attractions for younger and older kids. We really enjoyed the wellness day and gave our muscles a break. Very nice!

  • A ride on the fabulous valley end train to the end of the Glemmtal valley. Action is also a top priority here and we finally got our long-awaited Kaiserschmarren. The prices in the Talschluss-Hütte are not low either, but the price-performance ratio was right. Families and adrenaline junkies can easily plan two days here at the end of the valley, with attractions such as the impressive high ropes course, the Mega Flying Fox, the Baumzipfelweg, several cheeky goats, the Teufelswasser and Schnitza's Holzpark - for people with a pronounced fear of heights, however, the hiking trails and mountain bike routes that start here are more recommended.

We were really looking forward to visiting the Käptn'n Hook adventure pool, but had to cancel it because one of our children fell ill.


The Hinterglemm Valley has something for everyone. Whether families with small or older children, senior citizens, hikers, winter sports enthusiasts or mountain bikers. The structural change from a pure winter sports area to a year-round destination has spiced up the whole region. However, those looking for peace and quiet should not stay in the main towns of Saalbach and Hinterglemm but, like us, look for quiet accommodation further back in the valley. With the public valley bus, you don't have to rely on your own car. We recommend a trip to Kaprun including a visit to the thermal spa - you can really relax there and the kids will also get their money's worth.

We hope we were able to whet your appetite for this great city, look forward to your feedback and are open to a lively exchange. If you also want to travel, like to travel often and have a question, write to us or simply comment.

Best regards,

Steffi, Max and the kids

(Author of this blog: Max)

Shopping tips for the Hinterglemm Valley and Saalbach Hinterglemm

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