Bad Gastein, Austria Ski and Snowboard Holiday

Bad Gastein has a nearly surreal location. The once internationally popular spa town rises up dramatically from the banks of a gorge, where there's a semi-frozen waterfall that plunges into the River Ache, cascading past the older hotels that loom over the baroque town hall, casino and other revered buildings.

There are four main ski areas in the Gasteinertal (Gastein Valley). The lowest one, Dorfgastein (830m), is joined with Grossarl in the next valley. Bad Hofgastein (860m) is connected with Bad Gastein (1,080m), but Bad Gastein isn't linked with its own satellite area, Graukogel, where some of the steepest slopes are available. Even farther up is Sportgastein (not linked), at 1,600m, a useful but somewhat bland high-altitude ski area that comes into its own in poor snow conditions lower down. There is an abundance of skiing, but because of the aggravating aspect of bussing - or driving - between the resorts, it's better to ski one region at a time. When you include the wide off-piste on Bad Gastein's 2,245m Stubnerkogel and Bad Hofgastein's 2,050m Schlossalm, there is more than enough terrain for everyone.

The Aeroplanstadl ski hut, right on top the Schlossalm mid-station above the Hohe and Kleine Scharte, boasts some home-made dishes (game and pork specialities) and milk coming straight from the cows on its own farm. The Feldinghutte, near Bad Hofgastein's Skizentrum, also uses its very own farm produce. The Achen Cafe at the Europaischer Hof hotel features a sun terrace where you can enjoy coffee and home-made cakes. Skiers having a break at the snow bar at the Hotel Pyrkerhohe at Bad Hofgastein can delight on the splendid view across the Gasteinertal - and take a look at of some bird life.

Apart from enjoying traditional winter activities such as snowboarding, skiing, ice-climbing, ice-skating, curling, walking, tobogganing and sleigh rides, you might also want to indulge in some of the resort's spa treatments. Heated indoor and outdoor pools are plenty, six indoor tennis courts, squash, and horse-riding at the Oberhaitzing Farm. Popular also is the floodlit tobogganing: the Aeroplanstadl-Bad Hofgastein run is 3.3km, and floodlit on Tuesday and Thursday.

Euro Youth Hotel And Krone Euro Youth Hotel And Krone: Image # 1Euro Youth Hotel And Krone
This fantastic new hostel has a wonderful alpine setting and is situated just 100 yards from the train station on a main European line.

Starting at US $22 Per Night

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