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Bad Gastein, Austria
Traditional spa resort with huge ski area.

european skiing badgastein austria

The Gastein valley isn’t widely known in Britain. It deserves better: its slopes are impressively extensive, and mainly quite challenging – great for intermediates who are happy on real red runs. But the place doesn’t cater properly for air-package

holidaymakers without a car. With five mountains, of which only two are linked, the valley really needs an efficient bus service instead of the current token offering.


With its grand hotels, trinket shops and cramped gorge-like setting, central Bad Gastein itself is a far cry from your standard chalet-style Austrian village. But staying above the center near the lifts offers a more normal winter sports experience, and both Bad Hofgastein and Dorfgastein, respectively a few km and a few more km down the valley, are equally well worth considering as a base.

What's Great

What's Not-So-Great

+ Four separate, varied areas with a huge number of slopes both above and below the tree-line

+ Great for confident intermediates, with lots of long, challenging reds – and great cruising and carving in the Schlossalm sector

+ More snowsure than most low-altitude Austrian resorts, with the high Sportgastein area as back-up

+ Lots of good, atmospheric, traditional mountain restaurants

+ Plenty of off-slope facilities, many related to its origins as a spa resort

Unless you have a car, you need to choose your location with care or budget for a lot of pricey taxi rides – the lift bases are widely spread and the bus service is a disgrace

Spa-town atmosphere is not to everyone’s taste, and Bad Gastein itself can suffer from local traffic on the narrow streets; Bad Hofgastein is a better base for many people

Near-beginners and timid intermediates must be wary of leaving the Schlossalm sector


Learn more about Bad Gastein

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