HOME / THINGS TO DO / SAALFELDEN
Located just 10km from CLC Alpine Centre, Saalfelden has been a market town since the 14th century and attracts visitors from all over Europe.
Ritzensee Lake and the adjacent Kollingwald forest provide a wealth of leisure opportunities throughout the year. The lake is used in summer for swimming and in winter for ice skating, while the forest offers a range of trails for hiking, walking and cross-country skiing.
With a population of just 16,000, Saalfelden lies in the centre of the Saalachtal Valley and is surrounded by the spectacular mountain ranges of Steinernes Meer, the Hochkonig Massif and the Leoganger Steinberge.
The picturesque town is also home to beautiful chateaus, castles and churches, including the parish church of Saalfelden, which has links back to the Middle Ages, despite its Gothic appearance.
The Hermitage in Saalfelden Leogang
Look up towards the Steinernes Meer from Saalfelden and you will see a white, glowing chapel just above Schloss Lichtenstein, which sits among the rocks. This is the last inhabited hermitage in Europe and has existed in Saalfelden since the 17th century.
An easy hike up to the hermitage is worth it for the stunning views alone. Enjoy a stimulating conversation with the hermit or simply enjoy the silence around this powerful place.
The first hermit, a Franciscan monk, lived here permanently. Today the resident hermit changes every few years.
A visit to the Hermitage in Saalfelden Leogang is a wonderful way to spend a morning or afternoon, enjoying a pleasant 60-minute walk through forest up to green Alpine meadows, with guide signs to the flora and fauna you may encounter on the way.
Summer Toboggan Run
Guaranteed fun for all the family, the Summer Toboggan Run on Biberg in Saalfelden is one of the most popular attractions in the region.
Zoom around 61 curves over 345 vertical metres and activate your own gear lever to determine the speed. The run is 1.6km in length with three jumps and accompanied children of all ages are welcome.
In bad or rainy weather, the toboggan run is closed and only the Huggenberg chairlift is open.
Christmas in Saalfelden
If you are lucky enough to be in town during the festive season, the annual Christmas Market in Saalfelden is one of the highlights of the year. The smell of mulled wine, home-made biscuits and incense waft through the Rathausplatz.
Open during the weekends before Christmas, the market stalls are packed with delicious cakes, spiced biscuits and festive food. Sample the stolen, full of fruits and marzipan, laced with a punchy kick of booze or roasted chestnuts – a perfect winter-warmer.
The Town Hall Square is beautifully-decorated and hosts lively plays and musical performances with a festive theme.
Ask at CLC Alpine Centre reception for details of tours and excursions.
photo credit : Igby