The Alpine village of Bad Gastein is one of the world’s oldest health resorts, dating as far back as ancient Roman civilisation. By the 13th century, the Gastein valley was firmly established as a health-promoting destination, primarily for the wealthy and royal.
In Austrian, “Bad” refers to bath and bathing and the healing properties the region’s famous natural thermal hot springs provide. Since the late 1950s, Bad Gastein is also one of Europe’s most popular ski and snowboard resorts, especially among younger travellers.
It takes less than two hours to get to Bad Gastein from Salzburg via train, and as soon as you get to the station, you’ll see the village’s gondola. Take it up the majestic Stubnerkogel, a 2168 meter tall mountain and enjoy an absolutely extraordinary 360-degree view of some of the southern alps most dramatic peaks.
In the spring, summer and autumn, Bad Gastein is increasingly popular among visitors that want to enjoy an invigorating walk, hike or bike ride around the Gastein valley.
Bad Gastein offers an abundance of trails, paths and routes through lush, green canyons and up majestic mountain tops. The variety is remarkable and there’s really something for every level of fitness.
For a day off, the village offers plenty of restaurants, bars and cultural venues, including several galleries and art exhibits. www.artbadgastein.com
Feel like eating Mexican food? MEX Bar & Taqueria has you covered! And if you’re more into traditional Austrian cuisine, Gasthaus Jägerhäusl has a huge menu and offers wonderful service and ambiance.
For a soothing spa experience, spend a few hours at Felsentherme where the mineral-rich spring water in various pools and saunas will warm and sooth.
Architecturally, Bad Gastein is famous for its Belle Epoque buildings that today house the village’s many fine hotel and apartment hotels. See our guide below for more information.
Thanks to the short train ride, spending a night in the beautiful city of Salzburg, where from most international guests arrive and depart, is easy to arrange during your stay in Bad Gastein.
Here’s an itinerary we can recommend:
1. Bad Hofgastein
Walk above the Gastein valley along a great trail that leads you to Bad Hofgastein. For the return journey, stroll along the Gastein Ache creek until you reach the amazing Waterfall way (Wasserfallweg) and the steep steps back up to Bad Gastein. There’s plenty of porta potties and benches along the way. Just above the village of Bad Hofgastein, there’s a traditional alpine/Austrian restaurant, Café Gamskar that serves some of the best goulash we’ve ever eaten!
Take the Gondola up to Stubnerkogel and experience several stunning viewpoints. Take a daring walk over the suspension bridge before heading back down to Bad Gastein via a gravel road or by hiking the “Panorama Trail” to the village.
3. Alpenhaus Prossau
Hike through a beautiful valley to Alpenhaus Prossau. This is a perfect excursion destination, in the middle of the national park Hohe Tauern. Great for leisurely hikes or bike tours in all weather.
Take a bus, ride a bike or hike up to Sportgastein where a broad valley floor surrounded by tall mountains and absolutely idyllic scenery awaits. The ride and walk take you pass several magnificent waterfalls and lush forest.
For a shorter walk, enjoy a leisurely hike along Kaiser-in Elisabeth Promenade parallell to the Ache creek all the way up to the village of Böckstein. From there you can either continue walking or take the bus to Sportgastein.
Take the chair lift up to Graukogel and pass above and through enormously tall pinewood trees. The Zirbenweg hike takes you through a centuries old stone pine tree forest near the Graukogel mountain station with its adjacent restaurant. We don’t recommend petting the Valais Blackness Sheep if do you see them. Their beauty is best enjoyed from a safe distance. From Graukogel, you’ll have a breathtaking view across the Gastein valley. You can hike down back to Bad Gastein through either a narrow trail or an easier gravel road.
Here comes 8 hotels that we like to recommend in Bad Gastein
Das REGINA Boutiquehotel Bad Gastein
More of a townhouse than a hotel, styles are skilfully mixed: original golden venetian meets Italian country style and shabby chic. Living room by the fireplace with lots of magazines and books. 32 newly designed room, terrace, spa, sun deck and restaurant with fresh cuisine.
Alpine Spa Hotel Haus Hirt
Small, charming hotell with amazing views. Haus Hirt is a homage to both modern and classic design – the interiors is cosy with a relaxed atmosphere inspired by their guests, their love of architecture and the mountains. Spa, Yoga and restaurant & bar with local organic, carefully chosen food.
Residenz Boutique Suites
From the panorama terrace, you have a view of the Gasteiner Valley, up to the peaks of the Hohen Tauern, and over the roofs of beautiful Bad Gastein. All apartments are equipped with comfortable boxspring beds for relaxing sleep and dreamy nights. The rooms feature designer kitchens, including basic equipment.
Villa Rosa is your cozy base camp in the mountains. It is a place of peace for family and friends, a retreat – far away from the hustle and bustle. 5 apartments, fully equipped kitchen with dining area, a cozy bedroom, a modern bathroom with toilet/shower and a balcony with a marvellous view.
MONDI Hotel Bellevue Gastein
Large hotel, not far from waterfall, spas and cable car and a fantastic mountaintop panorama. Choose between comfortable studios, apartments and suites in the 4-star category. Consisting of an impressive main building and three separate villas. With complete kitchenettes and mostly private balconies or terraces.
Spend some time in Salzburg, its picturesque old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Salzburg is also the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Hotel Cocoon Salzburg is a really nice boutique hotel with an ideal location near the train station where you find frequent departures to Bad Gastein. The train trip takes 1 1/2 hour.