Bad Gastein Ski Holidays

Bad Gastein Ski Holidays

While not widely known internationally, Bad Gastein is one of Austria’s most famous spa towns, boasting healing thermal baths and a thriving spa industry. It’s also popular with those in-the-know as a ski and snowboarding resort, due to its year-round reliable snowfall and history as the host of the Alpine World Ski Championships in 1958. This combination makes it an ideal destination for those looking for an active, healthy getaway and a more subdued bar scene than other resorts.

One of three resorts in the Gastein Valley and part of the Hohe Tauern National Park, Bad Gastein shares five skiing areas with Bad Hofgastein and Dorfgastein. Bad Gastein itself has a large population of around 15,000 people, giving it a buzzing atmosphere on the slopes. Lifts can get a bit crowded, but there are enough slopes to mean the runs aren’t peppered with people.

The area has 250 kilometres of slopes, including 12 black runs, 42 red and 18 blue. The altitude is 1050 metres, rising to 2700 metres above sea level at the highest peaks. Best for confident intermediates, Bad Gastein has 117kms of red and blue intermediate slopes, including mogul runs, carving hills and bumps.

There are 16 lifts across Bad Gastein, but only two of its five mountains are linked, making it difficult to get around without a car. Unless there is some serious cash to flash on taxis, it’s a good idea to hire one for the duration. The roads are well-maintained and easy-to-drive on, so it’s not too much of a hassle to get around.

In contrast to other Alpine resorts, Bad Gastein has its own distinct architectural style. It’s dominated by regal-looking buildings from the belle époque era, which add to the luxurious feel of the spa town.

The spa itself, Alpentherme, is worth the trip to Bad Gastein. Far from being just an outside hot spring, the baths have been built up into a whole experience including ‘sauna world’, which features its own mountain and lake. The modern architecture, range of restaurants and glass bar with 360 degree views of the snow-capped peaks are well worth the entrance fee, too.