The air is crisp and clean. The cloudless sky looks like the ocean. The blinding sun is starting to warm up the chilly morning air. And the lift is right outside your door. Sounds like an ideal ski day. Except it’s July. Even the snowy Austrian Alps take a summer break.
But that doesn’t mean the area is off-limits during the warmer months. The snow has mostly melted, the mountains are green, wildflowers are blooming, and there are no crowds. It’s the perfect time to visit the twin towns of Saalbach-Hinterglemm, traditional farming villages built on the mountainside. Only an hour from Salzburg, you’ll be surrounded by rugged peaks, crystal lakes, and alpine pastures. Go hiking, mountain biking, and bird watching. Or sit in a hot tub and enjoy the view from Wiesergut.
Located near the Saalach river, Wiesergut is a 14th century farmhouse that has been turned into a design hotel. The exterior is classic and homey, while the interior is modern and minimal. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out over the slopes. Untreated wood, hand-blown glass chandeliers, and weathered leather fill the rooms. Herbs and vegetables are starting to grow in the garden.
Start the morning with fresh juice and eggs, plus crusty Wiesernbrot. The bread recipe is probably older than the farmhouse. Watch the baker make the bread in the piazza. Do laps in the stainless steel pool. Ride the Reiterkogel gondola to search for the goblin’s hat on Mount Kodok or the Schattberg X-Press to hike the Pinzgau Ridgeway. Pick wild blueberries and raspberries. Visit the nearby Krimml Waterfalls–the highest waterfall in Austria–and wooden alpine chalets. And return to Wiesergut’s hot tub to enjoy a glass of Riesling and warm chestnuts on the terrace before the evening’s BBQ in the courtyard.
Skiers will love curling up by the fireplaces when their legs ache after full day. But for now, it’s peaceful, quiet, and all yours.