Situated 2km west of the resort of Saalbach, at the upper end of the Glemmer Valley (Glemmtal) in the Zell am See District of Austria's Salzburgerland, Hinterglemm is the quieter twin of the internationally renowned Saalbach-Hinterglemm Ski Circus resorts.
Although these two neighbouring villages are roughly the same size, Hinterglemm lacks Saalbach's cosier radial layout and is really no more than just a collection of houses, hotels and apartments, strung out along one main street. The valley road bypasses the village via a tunnel, at least leaving this main street more pedestrian-friendly and lending the village some central focus and somewhere for residents and guests to head to for an evening stroll.
What Hinterglemm lacks in classic Alpine cuteness it makes up for in friendliness and facilities, and it is perhaps the better of the two resorts for families and beginners; its slopes are also the highest and most varied in the valley, making this a great resort for intermediates and more advanced visitors too.
The cirque at the head of the Glemmtal forms the backdrop to Hinterglemm and gives it the highest and most snow-sure slopes in the Ski Circus, particularly on the Spieleckkogel and Reichendlkopf summit sectors, to the north-west above the hamlet of Lengau, and on the north-facing flanks of the Zwolferkogel to the south-west.
All of the principal access lifts from the outskirts of the village are gondolas and the majority of lifts serving the upper slopes are fast, canopied chairlifts, although queues can still be a problem in high season because of the sheer volume of visitors.
Linked in a circuit with Saalbach, via the Schattberg peaks on the southern side of the valley and the Reiterkogel and Bernkogel peaks on the northern side, the pistes are mostly well-groomed wide motorways, with some pleasant wooded areas on their lower sections, and well-served by plenty of good mountain bars & restaurants.
The links work well both clockwise and anticlockwise around the circuit (as far as Saalbach and back anyway - beyond that, Vorderglemm and Leogang are satellite stations out at the eastern and north-eastern extremities), with just occasional short strolls into lift terminals needed at some points.
Almost the entire area is covered by a well-thought-out network of snowmaking equipment, but south-facing and lower slopes do still suffer from periods of patchiness and slushiness. Off-piste potential is limited, but some enjoyable long powder runs can be found when conditions are favourable.
There's a spacious beginners' area, fenced off from the main pistes, plus a good snowpark with a halfpipe and a bordercross course, on floodlit slopes next to the village.
Off the slopes and apres ski
This is definitely a snowsports-centric destination, with not much for non-skiers to do, although pedestrian access to the mountains is very good and the local bus service via Saalbach connects Hinterglemm with the lovely lakeside resort town of Zell am See. Other than those options, attractions away from the ski area are limited to scenic walks, horse-drawn sleigh rides, tobogganing, and the swimming pools and spa facilities of the leading hotels.
Hinterglemm is noticeably less raucous than Saalbach when it comes to village nightlife, but there's no lack of buzzing apres-ski bars, some of them at mid-station altitudes, such as the slope-side Bigfoot and the very popular Goasstall, packed with party people swarming around the snow patios and umbrella bars next to the slopes and bopping along to a pulsating soundtrack from DJs and/or live bands from mid- to late-afternoon.
Later on in the evenings, Hinterglemm's handful of pubs and cool hotel-based bars, including the stylish poker saloon at the Alpine Palace Hotel, together with the London Pub nightclub, do provide an adequate choice of entertainment venues, but many people choose to take a taxi or bus down to much livelier nearby Saalbach.
Bars and clubs