Maria Alm in Winter
The village is part of the Hochkoenig Ski Region, with over 150 km of piste,33 lifts and dozens of typically Austrian mountain restaurants stretching over 5 mountains linking Maria Alm to Hintermoos, Hintertal, Dienten and Mulbach. It has an excellent snow record and whilst it is well known to Austrians it is less so to the British, so the pistes are generally quiet with very few serious queues. The Hochkoenig Region is part of the Ski Amade, described as Austria’s greatest ski paradise with 860 km of ski slopes, 270 ski lifts & 25 ski resorts in Styria and Salzburg. For even greater flexibility there is also the Super Salzbergerland pass, which not only covers the Ski Amade area but all 22 major ski areas in Salzburgerland and neighbouring areas, including the nearby ski resorts of Zell am Zee (11 miles – 18 km away) and Leogang (8 miles – 13 km away), which is linked to the Saalbach Hinterglemm ski area. Lift passes can be pre-ordered over the internet or bought at the Intersport shop, the Dorftjet lift station in the middle of the village, at the bottom of the Aberg lift or at various other places throughout the ski area.
The apartment is only a few minutes walk from either the Dorfjet lift in the middle of the village or a t-bar up the Natrun, from where you can ski to the Arberg (depending on conditions), or, if you prefer, the ski bus stops outside the Billa, taking you within five minutes to the bottom of the Arberg at the start of the main ski areas.
The two main après ski bars, the Bachwirt and the Dengl Alm, are within sight of the apartment. There are a number of other bars and restaurants in the village ranging from Chilis-bar for the younger crowd; the Orgler Keller for disco and live music; the Pic-Nic snack bar and the Dorfcafe for pizzas pasta and take-away food, to more sophisticated eating places.
There are four ski hire shops, Sport Lob, Aga Sport, Sport 2000 and Intersport, all of whom do discounted and family ski packages and these can be booked over the internet. There are two ski schools, Ski Schule Maria Alm and Edelweiss, both of whom have English, Dutch and German-speaking instructors and are very family and beginner-friendly. Both offer packages for families and will take children as young as four years old into their kindergarden classes. Children up to six years old get free passes, and there are family passes too. Note, however, that children under 16 must now wear helmets. There are easily accessible beginners areas at the bottom of the Natrun in the village itself, and on the Aberg.
As well as skiing there is tobogganing, with two floodlit runs, each over 2 km long, horsedrawn sleigh rides and numerous cross-country skiing (langlaufing) courses.