Bad Gastein Ski Holidays
Bad Gastein is quite a unique ski resort. Sitting at a modest 1,080 metres altitude in the Gasteiner Valley, it is surrounded by the neighbouring resorts of Dorfgastein and Bad Hofgastein. The Gasteiner Valley is a popular tourist attraction thanks in part, to its breathtaking scenic backdrop of the mountain ranges. What is even more interesting about the Gasteiner Valley is that it forms part of the relatively unknown but impressively large, Ski amadé ski area in Austria which has up 760 kilometres of slopes, stretching across 5 ski regions and 25 ski resorts. The ski area in Bad Gastein is mainly around the Stubnerkogel and Graukogel mountains respectively. The slopes here range between 859 metres and 2686 metres altitude, providing a combined 200 kilometres of pistes to cover. Although not joined together and sitting at opposite ends of each other, connections between both ski areas can only be accessed via shuttle bus.
Bad Gastein is more than just your typical ski resort. It also doubles as a world-renowned spa village that is known for its natural hot springs and therapeutic caverns which produce some sizzling temperatures. It has always been historically known for its spas and welcomed visitors who came specifically for its thermal baths way before the village was recognised as a ski destination and before the lifts were built. Bad Gastein has since developed into a classy resort that is set within very impressive surroundings. Its culturally relevant structures depict a Belle Epoque theme that it very much keeps up with currently. The village is also an aesthetically pleasing sight for nature lovers. From its waterfalls and gorges which cut through the village to its old quarter, elegantly dotted with cafes, shops and restaurants.
Although it is small and relatively calm, Bad Gastein does have a simmering atmosphere helped on by its several bars and lounges which all offer a very decent evening out on the town. It is a great resort for both young and old couples on a romantic retreat filled with pampering and self-indulgence. The accommodation in Bad Gastein is mostly made up of boutique hotels and modern chalets, a classy reminder and an elegant reflection of the general theme of the resort.
Bad Gastein has 2 local ski areas on opposite sides of the resort and are only linked via shuttle bus; the Stubnerkogel ski area and the Graukkogel ski area. The Gastein Valley however, forms part of the Ski amadé ski area which is one of the largest ski regions in Austria and a ski pass that grants access to over 700 kilometres of pistes across 25 ski resorts. If you are skiing locally, the pistes around the resort and in the aforementioned Stubnerkogel and Graukkogel are best suited to confident intermediate level skiers.
Beginners are best off heading to the nursery slopes at the bottom of the Stubnerkogel gondola lift. There is also a beginner area at Angertal close to the kids’ area. Stay on Stubnerkogel after you master your early ploughs and turns, it has the best blues for beginners with some long and gentle slopes perfect for gaining a bit of confidence.
Whilst we’re on Stubnerkogel, there are some challenging reds sure to peak a few advanced skiers' interests, however, Graukogel at 2492 metres has a few steep black and reds. They also have fantastic off-piste opportunities especially between Kreuzkogel to Heilstollen; however, as always, we will recommend hiring a local guide.
Intermediates arguably have the most fun at Bad Gastein with several long winding reds both on Stubnerkogel and Graukogel offering some exciting options from tree-lined forest cruises to challenging blacks coming down Kreuzkogel at 2,686 metres.
The QParks snow park is Bad Gastein’s fantastic snowpark perfect for all ski ability level snowboarders. With the majority of the slopes and terrain not suitable to beginners in general, the QPark is a haven for beginning snowboarders visiting Bad Gastien.
Intermediate to advanced free-riders have a run of the manor and can pick and choose where to go at Bad Gastein.
Freestylers will find the best hits within the park with a good amount of rails boxes and kickers. On the slopes, however, hits are few and far between but still just enough to get the blood pumping.
Snow Conditions in Bad Gastein
Bad Gastein has very good snow conditions with both Stubnerkogel and Graukkogel sitting at 2,251 and 2,492 metres respectively. Kreuzkogel also sees very good snow conditions at 2,686. The resort can also rely on its efficient snowmaking facilities which cover over 80% of its pistes. Over the last 10 years it has averaged 198cm each year and with its largest single snowfall averaged at 20cm.
Bad Gastein has a buzzing apres-ski scene and is arguably the nightlife capital out of the Gastein Valley and the other resorts of Bad Hofgastein and Dorfgastein. It has an interesting range of nightspots from fancy cocktail bars and chic lounges, to sports bars and Alpine taverns.
Silver Bullet Bar
There’s only one place to start at Bad Gastein, which is its busiest bar, the Silver Bullet. It is a large Alpine bar that stands two floors high and features a North American and Canadian theme. Popular with both locals and visiting tourists, it has a very lively atmosphere and is constantly filled with friendly and merry patrons. Throughout the winter season, it features live music and visiting bands from around the area. The Silver Bullet has once been voted amongst the top 3 apres-ski bars in Austria! It serves a wide range of drinks from beer and it also has a tasty food menu. Interestingly, its sausage bar is open until 2 am every day and is a favourite amongst merry drinkers heading off back to their accommodation. It can host up to 300 visitors and has been the venue of some of the biggest parties in the Gastein Valley with Redbull Play Street parties as well as the Snowboard World Cup parties hosted there.
Bellevue Alm Gastein
Sitting at 1,265 metres altitude, Bellevue Alm Gastein is a large umbrella bar located on the slopes. Featuring a breathtaking panoramic view of the Gastein Valley, Bellevue Alm offers both indoor and outdoor sitting with a wide range of drinks and a tasty food menu. A friendly Alpine bar with a traditional wooden interior and a cosy atmosphere, Bellevue Alm is a great place to start your apres-ski if you are coming off the slopes.
Haggbloom Bar is a contender for party central. Open every day until the early hours of the morning, Haggbloms offers everything from themed party nights, live DJ sets, international live music acts and so much more. It is popular with young crowds and party animals at Bad Gastein and if you are looking for tabletop dancing and loud singalongs, look no further than Haggbloom bar.
Translates as Leather Trousers but we still haven’t worked out the cultural reference! It’s Bad Gastein’s smallest bar but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in substance. Lederhosenbar is renowned for being one of Bad Gastein’s most crazy and legendary bars. It’s loud, crammed full with people due to its popularity and has an indoor mezzanine but it also features some great live music and DJ sets and offers some very memorable nights. Open till early!
Bad Gastein is very well equipped with more than enough facilities to ensure all visitors to the resort are catered for both on and off the slopes.
If you are travelling without any ski equipment, you will have quite a few options of ski hire shops to choose from in Bad Gastein. Some people prefer to travel light, others may have forgotten or had a faulty piece of equipment and need a quick replacement. Either way, you can visit any ski hire shop for a replacement. That being said, we would always recommend hiring your ski equipment directly with us at Erna Low, as part of your overall holiday booking. We have very good working partnerships with some of the most reputable ski hire businesses not only in Bad Gastein but across Europe. Arranging your ski equipment hire with us is a straightforward process that allows you to travel light and enjoy a smooth journey to Bad Gastein. On arrival, you only need to pick up your equipment from the branch of the ski hire shop and hit the slopes!
You can get both the Ski amadé and the Gastein Valley ski passes at any of the ticket offices and the majority of the ticket machines at the resort. There are machines usually at the bottom of the lifts whilst the tourist offices are dotted around the village. For ease of mind and convenience, we would strongly recommend obtaining either of the Bad Gastein ski passes directly with us at Erna Low. You can simply add your ski pass to your holiday booking and pay for it as part of the whole package. Avoid all the long queues at the ticket machines, trying to get a ski pass for you and your family; no need to locate a tourist or ticket office to inquire about a ski pass. All you need to do after securing your ski pass with us is simply pick up your ski pass upon arrival, and hit the slopes immediately. It really is that straightforward.
When it comes to spa’s, saunas and wellness centre’s in the Alps, there are hardly any other ski resorts that offer as great a wellness experience as Bad Gastein. For centuries, this resort has always been historically recognised for its natural, mineral-rich, hot springs which have been boiling underground for millennia. In more recent years, this resource has been harnessed and since becoming a very much sought-after service by locals, visiting skiers and even holidaymakers over the summer. Looking into spas and swimming pools in Bad Gastein, there is no other place to begin other than the world-class rated Felsentherme Spa; the biggest spa centre in the Gastein Valley. Located at 1,100 metres altitude, it’s the perfect stop to conclude your skiing for the day. The Felsentherme Spa has access to up to 18 natural springs which gush upwards from the Hohe Tauern mountains below it. There are more than 8 different spa and steam rooms each providing a different experience from Finnish baths, Zirbe Sauna made of pinewood, a Tunnel sauna, Saline Grotto, Infrared Cabin as well as a panoramic sauna within large glass walls, which give you a view of the valley whilst having a sauna recovery session. The Felsentherme Spa also has heated outdoor and indoor swimming pools, open-air hot springs and whirlpools. There is also an outdoor sundeck that offers panoramic views of the valley. Interested in a massage treatment, there is an extensive list of body massages, skin and thermal treatments, and therapeutic classes. Additionally, the majority of the hotels in Bad Gastein have very well equipped resident spas, wellness centres and swimming pools as well. Look up Villa Excelsior Hotel & Kurhaus, Cesta Grand Aktivhotel and Spa and the recently built Das Regina Boutiquehotel Bad Gastein. If for any reason you find yourself in the neighbouring resort of Bad Hofgastein you can also check out the Alpentherme Spa and Relax World, an equally impressive world-class spa facility in the Gastein Valley.
You can find just about everything you need on a ski holiday at Bad Gastein from clothing and high fashion accessories to groceries, souvenirs and memorabilia. Austrian ski resorts are well known for having high-end fashion stores at their resorts and Bad Gastein is no exception in this regard. There are a good number of shops in the resort which could offer a lovely stroll of window shopping along with a good selection of cafes and bakeries for a nice pit stop. Look out for local shops selling handmade accessories such as wooden sunglasses, leather bracelets and other souvenirs. Feeling a bit thirsty, stopover at Bad Gastein Moonshiners for some local schnapps. Self-catering visitors to Bad Gastien will be pleased to find a good number of grocery shops to supplement any depleting supplies.
Whilst its reputation for being a world-class spa village might precede it and create an impression of being a self-indulging ski resort, Bad Gastien is also perfectly set up with great facilities for young children. There are several fun-filled engaging activities as well as child care facilities that cater to children ranging from very young ages to young teenagers.
There is a good selection of ski schools in Bad Gastein and independent ski instructors that specialise in giving children’s ski lessons. However, if you are visiting with your children, you can also book your children's ski lessons directly with us online as part of your overall holiday booking. We have established very good relationships with some of the very best ski schools in the resort with accredited instructors who are multilingual and very fluent in providing classes in English. Booking your children's ski lessons as part of our integrated holiday booking is a very convenient service that makes it so much easier to plan your ski visit and free up your holiday itinerary. Most importantly, it saves you precious time searching and inquiring about a ski school upon arrival. All you need to do is head out to the slopes, locate your instructors and with the children already registered, they can join the classes immediately whilst you make your way to the lifts to enjoy a couple of hours on the slopes.
There is a world of fun awaiting young children at Bad Gastein. Starting at the slopes, there is a dedicated children's area with playful characters and sculptures. Away from the slopes, children can enjoy several thrilling games beginning with Eisschiessen (which translates as Ice Stock shooting in English), which is very similar to Olympic curling. Bad Gastein also has an ice rink which is a big hit with families. Older and braver children (with equally brave parents!) can try out their hands in zip lining across the large gorge that runs across the village. Horse-drawn carriage rides and dog sledging are also a massive hit with the kids and the perfect event to create long-lasting memories with the children. If you fancy getting out of the cold, wet snow, head to the Stubnerkogel Fun Centre with your kids for some indoor fun. It shares the same building as the Stubnerkogel lift station and has a climbing wall and ball pool. The Felsentherme Spa also has children's pools and access to some of the facilities.
Childcare is fairly easy to come by in Bad Gastein. Inquire with the tourist office for any recommendations for experienced and accredited childminders. There are also kids clubs available on the resort; inquire about the Schneesportschule Bad Gastein mini-club, a great kids club for children between the ages of 3 and 4 years old.
Bad Gastein is flanked by Stubnerkogel at 2,251 metres and Graukkogel at 2,492 metres with Kreuzkogel at 2,686 sitting further north of them. There are no lift connections between Stubnerkogel and Graukkogel with both these mountains sitting opposite each other on either side of the resort, however, there are modern lift facilities connecting Stubnerkogel to the rest of the Gastein Valley including Bad Hofgastein and Dorfgastein and the ski areas of Schlossalm at 2,050 metres and Hohe Scharte at 2,300 metres.