Saalbach Skicircus: the free-ride Mekka

Ogi Savic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Skicircus is the third biggest ski resort in Austria. It consists of four** towns - Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Leogang, Fieberbrunn and the ski areas around them, that create one huge ski resort spread over two Austrian federal statesTyrol and Salzburg. It is known among the ski fans as the free-ride Mekka and location where 24 Alpine Ski World Cup **runs were held.

© Ognjen Savic


Skicircus has over 270 km of well-prepared ski slopes of all difficulty levels. Additionally, there are lots of off-piste challenges, so much that the area could be called the free-ride Mekka. The area is very interesting for families because out of 270 kilometres of slopes, 140 kilometres are easy blue runs. The rest has 112 km of red and 18 km of black slopes. Everything is connected thanks to the modern cableways and ski-lifts, precisely 70 of them. It goes without saying that such a huge area has an offer of numerous snow parks, free-riding parks, floodlight slopes and toboggan runs.

Skicircus is one of the rare resorts that offers free-riding parks. These parks are made to accommodate for the latest sports trend, which is a blend of two skiing disciplines - free-riding and free-styling. Free-riding is skiing on untouched slopes, whereas free-styling is an alpine sport that includes skiing with different obstacles, such as half pipes or different types of jumps. Almost 30 million rides on the cable cars and ski-lifts are recorded every year.


Between 1980 and 2018, the Skicircus Ski Resort hosted a total of 24 World Cup competitions in the Alpine Skiing World Cup. Among them - the World Cup Final 1980 and 1988, and the first night slalom for ladies in 1998 - just to mention some of them.  The last time that the World Cup took place here was in December 2018. The races are held on the legendary Zwölferkogel Worldcup run located in Hinterglemm. Why not mentioning that a famous Austrian alpine ski racer Marcel Hirscher won eight consecutive World Cup titles here.


When you are not skiing, you can enjoy one of the 60 cosy ski huts. The offer of gastronomy is enormous. Additional to ski huts, there are numerous hotels, bars and restaurants in the valley.  My personal favourite is AsitzBräu, a huge mountain hut located at the peak of the mountain (1760 m). They offer not just spectacular views and good food but also home brewed beer. Saalbach is the most famous and most visited town in this area. With over two million guests yearly, it is one of the most important tourist hot spots in Salzburg. The town itself is full of restaurants and bars. After skiing, the party goes on in many après ski bars and clubs.

© Ognjen Savic

There is a reason why 24 World Cup runs were held in Saalbach and why millions of ski lovers visit four towns in two Austrian states. Everyone in love with nature, snow and ski sports should visit Saalbach Skicircus, as this is a true free-ride Mekka.

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