Bad Gastein is one of the more unusual ski resorts in Austria, being built on the slopes around a waterfall and with large spa hotels on the various levels connected by stairs, elevators and small alleyways.
The town is the highest of the main ski resorts in the Gastein valley - the others, Dorfgastein and Bad Hofgastein, are located lower down and closer to the entrance of the valley - and offers three different ski areas.
Elevation: 1002 metres
Location: 5640 Bad Gastein - Salzburg - Austria
Bad Gastein was known as Badgastein until just over a decade ago, when the local council decided to formalise the word Bad ("spa" in German) in the name. The second part, Gastein, is thought to relate to the water of the river or waterfall ("grey waters").
The waters of the area or, to be more precise, the healing springs have been renowned since the days of the Middle Ages, when counts and kings used to visit to relax in the thermal baths. Up until pre-war days the town was a fashionable destination for the rich and famous - these days however, the tourism is more based around active holidays in summer and winter.
Hotel accommodation is either in the historic centre or the expanding settlement above around the train station and the ski lifts.
The main Bad Gastein ski area is on the Stubnerkogel, which rises to 2250m
and also connects in with the skiing at Bad Hofgastein via the Angertal connection.
Two more smaller areas are also interesting to visit - the highest is Sportgastein
(2686m) above the settlement of Böckstein while the Graukogel chairlifts
face across the valley from the Stubnerkogel.
More information about skiing in the main Bad Gastein ski area
More information about the Sportgastein and Graukogel Ski Areas
The Gasteinertal (the Gastein valley) is relatively easy to access, with good
road and rail connections. The most convenient airport is Salzburg airport.
More information about travel to Bad Gastein
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Bad Gastein is a town unlike many other ski resorts in Austria, with its elegant hotels and thermal baths dating from the days when the rich and famous used to flock to take the waters. Although the town has a number of top-class spa resorts, there is also plenty of more reasonable hotel accommodation available.
The accommodation is spread over a fairly wide area, both in terms of distance and altitude - with hotels available on the 'valley floor', on the way into the Kötschach valley, and in the 'high' part of Bad Gastein around the spa facilities and lifts.
The boxes below detail four star hotels offering half board in Bad Gastein. A wider selection of star ratings and different types of accommodation can be found by using the search box to check availability in the resort for your stay.