Drinks on us
Hotel Panther is right in the centre of Saalbach village and its lively atmosphere. It's a great base to explore the village and the slopes are nearby too; there are three lifts within 50m.
Lots of the Panther's guests come back year after year and it's easy to see why. The food is good and plentiful, the staff are really friendly and it's a comfortable place to chill out in too.
Head to the wellness area if you need to unwind. There's an outdoor heated pool, sauna, steam room, or you can pay for massage and beauty treatments.
Nearest lift: 50m
Tuition meeting point: 200m (Snow Academy)
Resort centre: 50m
Saalbach and Hinterglemm are two pretty villages that sit in Austria's largest ski area; the Ski Circus. It has the name because the slopes literally surround you. There's 270km of picturesque red and blue runs with mountain huts dotted all around. This place was just made for the mile-hungry intermediate skier or boarder.
If you want to attempt a full circuit in one day then you'll need to get up early. Or try the long run over to Leogang for lunch to check that your legs are up to it. If you're more advanced, there are some steep blacks and moguls under the Shattberg Express gondola and the freeriding is some of the best in Austria!
The après-ski is a genuine Austrian experience and starts on the mountain at about 3pm. Saalbach is the livelier of the two villages and you can keep going until the early hours if you have got the pace.
Area size: 270km in Ski Circus area
Linked resorts: Leogang and Fieberbrunn
Resort altitude: 630m
Skiing altitude: 630m to 2500m
Number of runs: 70
Range of runs: 45% blue, 48% red and 7% black
Lifts: 24 drags, 21 chairs and 23 gondolas
Night skiing: Yes (Hinterglemm)
Cross country trails: 11km
Snowmaking: 90% of runs covered
Resort bus: Yes
The half board food is good and there's plenty of it. Breakfast is an extensive buffet and the evening meal is four courses with a choice of main and a salad buffet. Once a week they have a speciality buffet and if you stay over Christmas or New Year they put on a festive gala dinner.
The 65 rooms are simple yet comfortable and a good size with neutral décor. Most are Austrian twin rooms but the larger rooms have a sofa bed that could sleep one adult or one child. Each room has free Wi-Fi, a TV, mini-safe, hairdryer and an en-suite with bath or shower.
Official rating: ****
Lounge and bar
Heated outdoor pool
Departure airports: Gatwick, Manchester or Birmingham
Departure day: Saturday
Arrival airport: Salzburg
Flight duration: 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes
Transfer time: approx. 2 hours