Childhood memories of the mountains
For me developing this tour means ‘back to childhood’. In my mind I turn back the clock and can vividly remember little Christina, who always enjoyed going to the mountains. I started hiking as soon as I could take my first steps. I remember those first hikes and the popular stop at an alpine hut with my parents and brother. Sometimes that was the only source of motivation for us to hike for ‘miles’. When we arrived at the hut, we were rewarded with a delicious lemonade, which we only wanted to drink through a straw, and some tasty Kaiserschmarrn. In Pinzgau there are also wonderful Buchteln, variations of strudel, dumplings and the well-known goulash and ‘frittaten’ soup. Of course, a ‘hop lemonade’ was also drank by our mum and dad! 😉
On the adventure trail
Surrounded by numerous peaks, I start my tour in Saalbach-Hinterglemm. With the Joker Card, all cable cars and use of the adventure swimming pool are free.
On the first day the cable car takes you to the Kohlmais summit. ‘Montelino’s adventure trail’ starts here. At the cash desk I get a sticker pack for the exciting puzzles I will solve on the hike. Past giant cubes, game reserve, circus, squirrels’ nest and puppet theatre, the owl shows me the way. I can puzzle, play and learn anywhere. Well, I stick my stickers in my book, because afterwards I get a reward from the clown Montelino. If that’s too much play for you, you can simply hike along the Kammweg top the Bernkogel-Rasthütte, where a delicious reward awaits you in the Spielberghaus.
Panorama tour with a pointed cap and Devil’s Water
On the second day things get a bit more demanding: I have decided to do the ‘Talschluss Panorama Circuit’. For this I have to hike uphill for one to two hours, but afterwards rustic alpine huts beckon and I can watch the cows on pasture. The extensive hike on exciting paths leads me to ‘Teufelswasser’ (Devil’s Water). A huge water playground where you can spend hours building dams, driving water wheels and splashing around. Finally, I visit the Baumzipfelweg and march over the swinging suspension bridge to a spectacular hiking trail built into the treetops.
Little dragon’s adventure world
Schmidolin’s Adventure World awaits me the next day – an exciting adventure course in the middle of the mountains. Anyone who thinks this is only for small children is wrong! There are a total of 15 stations to master and some of them are not easy. Here you have to walk along wobbly boards, shimmy from swing to swing, zoom down steep slides and climb high spider webs. You meet the dragon in its cave and look for a way through the labyrinth. Everywhere you have to determine the colour of a flint and mark it with a punch in your card. After I’ve mastered all the stations, it’s time to move on. Because the pirate ship on the mountain lake is waiting for me. A circular path through the woods and meadows leads me there. I could already take the cable car down the valley, but I wanted to do another hike that is also suitable for children, so I’m starting again. From the Schmittenhöhe mountain station, I hike on the promenade. I also receive a riddle pass for this at the cable car ticket office.
I have to recognise funny animal figures along the way and enter the appropriate letters. For this I receive a reward at the valley station. For the big hikers there are exciting information boards about nature and history along the mountain nature trail. It goes down to the Sonnkogel, where the water playground ‘Schmidolin’s Club awaits. Here you can let off steam once more. Directly opposite is the Sonnkogel hut. There is even a small climbing wall and herb garden. If you want, you can continue on the legend trail through the mystical forest. A great atmosphere in the middle of the trees. Now I come to the Schmiedhofalm, where I have a delicious apple strudel and elderflower lemonade. The last cable car takes you back down into the valley to watch the water show on the Zeller lake promenade. A spectacle of water fountains and coloured elements is presented here with musical accompaniment, impressive and a fitting end to the day with ice cream sitting on the bank. The legendary Pinzgauer Lokalbahn takes you back to the hotel in Schüttdorf.
By boat across the lake and from the castle to alpine pastures
Today a boat takes me to the north shore of Lake Zell. From here I leisurely hike across the meadows to Schloss Kammer, which looks like a fairytale castle to me. A castle wall surrounds the main area, where there is a swimming pond, huge playgrounds and plenty of space to run around. Parents can relax in the ‘hay barn sauna’ and a delicious home-cooked meal awaits them in the beer garden. After my rest, I start again in the direction of the mountain, directly behind Schloss Kammer. In the middle of grazing castle lies a small wooden hut, here I get a traditional snack with homemade apple juice and bread and butter from the dairymaid. Lovely! The descent to ‘my castle’ is not difficult. And tonight there’s another giant pan of Pinzgauer Kasnocken (cheese noodles).
Sliding on the Prinzenberg
One last action-packed day is ahead. After a hearty breakfast, I’m already sitting in the cable car that takes me up to the Prinzenberg Natrun. Today’s hike takes me past the animal enclosure with small goats to the ‘Prinzenwald’ climbing park, before I continue on to the Grammeralm. There is an adventure playground with many towers and houses right by the hut.
Then, back to Prinzenberg, where numerous slides await me. The forest slide park is really the fastest way to get to the valley. A total of four metal slides take you downhill. In between, I walk a few metres on the hiking trail to the next slide. It’s fun! And I’m back in the valley again.
A few minutes’ walk to the cable car before I head back up to enjoy the slides once more. With the Hochkönig Card, the use of the cable car is free so I can easily go up the mountain. After extensive sliding fun, I still have two hiking destinations ahead of me. First to Prinzensee at the highest point of the Prinzenberg. Here the peaks are reflected in crystal clear water and comfortable loungers invite you to relax. An exciting path then leads me through the mountain forest to Jufen. A great mountain inn and farm with lots of animals. So now it’s time to say goodbye, because I have to continue down to the valley. It’s back to Maria Alm on simple paths. At the end I meet the pilgrim’s path again, which leads me along the rushing brook into the centre of the village.
The end of a great week of hiking
In the evening there is live music in the village. The boys and girls in their traditional Pinzgau clothing look great! And they can dance well, you have to give them that! Today I only dance towards my bed. As the first star shines above the lake, I lie in my bed. So much action makes you tired. Tired and satisfied.
‘What a hiking week’ thinks little Christina and already dreams of the next trip. Maybe you’ll soon be heading to South Tyrol or the lakes of the Salzkammergut?