I never go on any trip without doing a fair bit of research. Having in the past been forced to get up in the freezing cold at 3am to catch a bus taking three-and-a-half hours to get from a ski resort in eastern Switzerland to Geneva Airport for a 9:30am departure to Edinburgh, nowadays I always pay attention to transfer lengths and flight times. Of course, sometimes these can change in between booking a ski holiday and actual departure, especially if you book early (when discounts are sometimes available).
For our recent ski trip to Saalbach, the flight departure times in both directions were quite reasonable, and the transfer time from Salzburg was two hours. Austrian ski resorts usually have short transfer times. Even so, we always seem to be the last to be dropped off in the resort, and the first to be collected on the way home.
Another thing I look for is the existence of a blue run back into the chosen resort. If you’re not a great skier, you’ve been skiing all day and the legs are burning, the last thing you want is a tricky, icy red between you and the sauna at the end of the day.
Saalbach has numerous blue runs, though someone we spoke to reckoned that Saalbach Skicircus blues were the equivalent of easier reds in other resorts. I’d agree with that.
I may not be a great skier, but I still like an extensive ski area. The Skicircus has seventy lifts and enough kms of piste to keep anyone happy (something like 200kms).
Snow availability is always at the back of my mind, but we’ve always been lucky in this respect. A long, long time ago we went to La Molina, in Spain – it’s not a place that is in most brochures nowadays. There had been no snow at all lower down, but on the night before we went there, it received half a metre and we could ski to the door!
Over the years we’ve stayed in hotels, chalets, chalet hotels and self catering apartments. They have all been good, though the hotels we stayed in, in Grindelwald and Arabba, and the chalet hotel in St. Christoph, were outstanding.
I hope you enjoy this short video of our recent trip to Saalbach. It includes a performance by an Elvis tribute act at our hotel!