Walking back to happiness with Inghams Holidays

Glynis Sullivan gets in her stride in Austria

Walking is good for the mind, so many of us solve our problems by walking. It can lower your blood pressure and can lengthen life, so look no further than an Inghams holiday to walk you back to happiness in the mountains of Austria.

I had left my heart in Austria and realised now how much I had missed this beautiful country. The glorious hills and rivers will set any heart singing. But for me, it is also a place of reflection and well-being. For compelling views surrounded by mesmerising skylines, Austria is the place to go.

Whether you are a hiker, rambler, ambler or just a cafe-to-cafe walker, Inghams holidays have the summer break for you. There is so much to do no matter what age you are. The onus is on outdoor activities but the Inghams resort representative will guide you to a variety of options so you can choose the best ways to enjoy this spell-binding place. 

We all long to get away from the maddening crowds, after our experiences over the last few years “getting away from it all” has taken on a whole new meaning. Whether you are working or retired Inghams summer holidays take you away to beautiful, breath-taking places where you can relax and feel rejuvenated. The fresh mountain air and the amazing scenery convince you that you can “run up that hill” as Kate Bush has recently been telling us to do! Or just take the cable car to the top of the hill and enjoy the view with a nice cup of tea.

Cable Car

Our hotel

As soon as you arrive at Salzburg Airport you are met by the organised, efficient Inghams staff who will advise you which coach will take you to your hotel. The representatives give you a Welcome Pack that has maps and lots of information about the area. We stayed at the four-plus star Hotelgarden Theresia at Hinterglemm, a stylish, modern hotel that has been owned by the same family for five generations. This is an eco-friendly, comfortable hotel with hillside views and excellent staff. Hinterglemm is a small, interesting village with shops and restaurants plus three cable cars to take you up the mountains. 

The hotel offers a spa and two swimming pools, indoors and outdoors, both heated – wonderful – after a hard day of walking or sightseeing. The sauna and steam rooms help you relax and unwind. The sauna has two areas one space is for adults only and people do go “au natural”. The Jacuzzi is very welcome after a day in the mountains or take a massage in the beauty room and let the stress and tension be soothed away.

The hotel food is organic and delicious with staff who are very obliging, nothing is too much trouble. The buffet breakfast is plentiful and fulfilling and the six-course evening meal is a real treat for the taste buds. Vegetarian and Vegan guests are well catered for with good choices.  There is a different evening meal each evening, six excellent courses which are ordered at breakfast and an example menu is fresh salad, duck breast, broccoli soup, catfish and gnocchi, pannacotta and local cheeses and biscuits plus the wine selection is local and jolly good. The hotel has been awarded 2 toques by Gault Millau for creativity in food preparation and the “Green Bonnet” award for its most organically certified cuisine. 

If you visit this lovely hotel as a couple, family or extended family, the facilities are excellent. There are lots of activities for parents who want to have a short break from their children or vice versa. They can access the wonderful creche for children who can be left in the safe hands of qualified staff. We met three ladies who come back every year to this hotel, sometimes twice a year and this was their 40th visit!! Now that is a serious recommendation. It is also a dog-friendly hotel. 

Whether you like walking, cycling, mountain biking or just visiting the local coffee shop, Hinterglemm or Saalbach have lots to offer, but if you prefer to use the local transport then the Hinterglemm area does have an amazing scheme. It is called the Joker Card, given to you when you arrive, giving you free access to many activities and attractions within the Glemm Valley. You have unlimited use of the mountain cable cars, public buses in the valley, the mini-golf courses in Saalbach and Hinterglemm and access to the outdoor swimming pool in Saalbach. It certainly isn’t a ‘joke’ as it saves you around £300 per week. 

If cycling is for you, then look no further than the slopes of Hinterglemm. It is world-famous for off-road biking and is so well used by ‘daring’ people on their own or hired bikes. If you just like to exercise more gently and take in the views, then the Hotelgarden Theresia has cycles for you to use and helmets plus a bike lock. 

Excursions

The area is full of optional things to do and the Inghams tour representatives can organise good, well-priced tours. There’s loads of information in the welcome pack too. Take a trip to Sigmund Thum Klamm with its famous gorge carved out of the powerful Kapruner Ache (river) that gushes through it. You can access the gorge along a wooden walkway, it is steep but has lots of resting areas to take pictures. A woodland walk brings you to Klammsee Lake which is fed by water from the Kitzsteinhorn. The entrance fee to the gorge is 6.50 euros.

Opt for a visit to Salzburg to visit the home of Mozart and the scenes from Sound of Music. You can’t help singing The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music as you travel to this beautiful, interesting town. 

However, if you wish to take a local bus with your Joker Card, go to Zell am See, a quaint town with the most beautiful lake to sail on either by the large boat that takes 45 minutes and costs 17 euros per person (15.50 for seniors) or hire a small sailing boat and go DIY! 

Visit the Werfen Castle where you can go into the Ice Caves, the largest in the world or see the falconry demonstration with birds of prey which is held twice a day. Also, there is a small cinema showing a documentary on Where Eagles Dare, the movie starring Clint Eastwood, that was filmed here. Or sing on the steps where Julie Andrews sang Do Re Mi in the film Sound of Music. 

We went on an amazing trip to the Grossglockner, the highest mountain in Austria, with marmots and ibex wandering and grazing around the area, oblivious to the many tourists. 

The options go on and on: sadly you do not have the time to do everything do which gives you a good excuse to return.

Beer Festival

Glyn’s Tip Take good walking shoes, this isn’t a dressy holiday so no need for “posh frocks”. If you have any disabilities or food allergies, let your Inghams tour operator know before setting off. The summer season finishes the second weekend in September for most hotels and attractions, so be aware of this when booking.

 As you can see, Austria and the Hinterglemm area have so much to offer, whether you are a walker, biker or just a traveller that wants to see a beautiful part of the world. Let Inghams Holidays take you to explore and use their award-winning skill and expertise, which they have perfected during 85 years in operation, to help you make the most of this stunning area. So put on those walking shoes, strengthen your muscles, improve your sleep, boost your energy and let Inghams Holidays set you on the right path to walking back to happiness.

Fact box:

Gardenhotel Theresia (Hinterglemm), Saalbach & Hinterglemm, Half Board, 09/09/2023 – 7 nights for 2 adults from London Gatwick, from £1, 059pp.

Call our Silver Travel Advisors on 0800 412 5678 to book and for further information.

Glynis travelled as a guest of Inghams.

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Glynis Sullivan

Traveller and writer for Silver Travel Advisor

One Response

  1. Excellent review it brought back so many memories of times I have spent in Austria and definitely makes me want to return

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