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Visitor reviews for Bad Gastein Ski Resort
February 01, 2017
ChrisL from United Kingdom
Had two weeks in the Ski Amade area Jan 17. Conditions were fabulous; fresh snow but very cold with sunshine. First week in Schladming, second week we hired a car and based ourselves near St Johann im Pongau. You really need a car to get the most out of the Amade skipass and we skied a different area every day including Zauchensee, Flachau/Alpendorf, Hochkonig (Muhlbach/Dienten) and 3 glorious days in the Gastein valley. The main Bad Gastein/ Bad Hofgastein area is extensive with a magnificent signature run from the Hohe Scharte high point down to the village of Bad Hofgastein. 1440m of vertical drop; unusually long for the Eastern Alps. Because there is a reasonable amount of terrain above the treeline, there were a fair number of fatplankers doing their freeride thing here and some gentler off-piste closer to the edges of the bashed piste. Dorfgastein, which links across to the Grossarl valley, is quieter but still with plenty of scope. In January chase the sun from the Grossarl side in the morning to the Dorfgastein side in the afternoon. Sportgastein, further up the valley, boasts the highest point in the Ski Amade at nearly 2700m. The rollercoaster pistes are highly entertaining and in January is free of other people; the black way down at the bottom is fairly steep. This is a freeride area complete with transceiver testing station but had been so windswept that, wisely, no-one was attempting it. Sport is snowsure if conditions lower down are not so good.Finally, the Graukogel. If you want to know what skiing was like in the 1960s this is the place for you. The Graukogelhutte at the top has some brilliant B&W photos on the wall of the Ski World Championship held on this hill in 1958, with Austrian hero, Toni Sailer, the downhill winner. As reported below, no snow cannon, slow two man chairs (when I last came here about 25 years ago, the top one was a Billy no-mates single chair), but two great black pistes and a shedload of atmosphere. And hardly another soul on the mountain.
From previous visits to Bad Gastein, the apres-ski is ok but not the liveliest. It does, however, have a casino. For totally mad apres-ski go to the Hofstadl in Flachau.
Bad Gastein Ratings
Overall: 3.9. Based on 10 votes and 7 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Bad Gastein.
Public Transport: 4.4
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Bad Gastein, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Bad Gastein, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.9
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.2
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Bad Gastein.
Ski in/Ski out: 3.7
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Bad Gastein, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Bad Gastein is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Bad Gastein relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.2
(1) There are no snow groomers at Bad Gastein, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Bad Gastein are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Bad Gastein is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 4.0
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Bad Gastein, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 3.8
(1) Bad Gastein usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 3.8
(1) The staff at Bad Gastein are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Bad Gastein are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.3
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.4
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.1
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Bad Gastein has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Bad Gastein, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 3.4
(1) Not even a kicker at Bad Gastein, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Bad Gastein, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Bad Gastein has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.4
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 4.6
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 3.8
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 3.7
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 3.7
(1) Overall, Bad Gastein is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 3.8
(1) Overall, Bad Gastein is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
February 22, 2013
matt from Switzerland
Large resort = large crowds at the lifts and on the pistes. Seems popular with Russians, Danes and Swedes! Lift staff were not very friendly or attentive to issues on the lift. The range of tickets is not really suitable for a family; the so-called family ticket is not useful to most families as the savings only kick in on the third child. There's no option for a mum/dad ski alternate day with the kids. Typical of large resorts, the pricing is set up to gouge as much money out of skiers as possible.
Photographs of skiers are taken at some ski lifts to enforce no-sharing of even 1-6 days ski passes. (There is no notification of this, so be aware!).
Despite heavy snowfalls earlier in the week, which resulted in great powder, the pistes were not well prepared. Many icy patches even at the start of the day, many falls. The valley run was closed all week. There was no sign of snow-cats repairing the pistes during the day.
Will not be returning.
December 29, 2011
A Zulu on Skis from United Kingdom
I went to Bad Gastein for the first time in the 2005/6 season and I have been back many times since then. It is hard to beat the setting of the town with the spectacular waterfall. Despite having had more than 100 days of skiing there on various trips, it has never felt as thought we have been running out of options in the valley. We have had trips there any time from Christmas to a very late Easter and there are always places to ski. The ski bus network is excellent but if it is within you reach, get a car. It will add versatility and get you to where you want quicker, for that early morning ski on those satin corduroy groomed pistes.
In “Kaiser Wetter” (weather fit for a King) Sportsgastein, at 2700m, delivers some of the best views in the Eastern Alps, back down the Gastein Valley and across to Grosglockner, Austria’s highest mountain. After fresh snow there is some great off-piste. The blue run is good for beginners not scared of a challenge and the black from the middle to the bottom will really test your control, as you approach the river at the bottom. It is snowsure to end April.
Stubnerkogel and Schlossalm have extensive linked skiing, snowparks and many “Hutte and Alms” to eat at. My favourite runs are Hohe Scharte Nord (H1) which if skied to the bottom is reputedly the longest run in the Eastern Alps (>14km) and Jungeralm (B19/22), both referred to in our family as “going over the back”. Angeltal is the linking ski centre, you will see a lot of it but I would advise to eat elsewhere on the mountain. It is, however, a great meeting place and fantastic for beginners. If you are one, go there to start.
Dorfgastein and Grossarl is another linked mountain with extensive skiing and well worth a visit. There are some good short wide blue slopes for beginners at the top of Kreuzkogel. I have always found the lift system on the Grossarl side a bit awkward for getting back to Dorfgastein but all in all definitely worth a day or two.
Graukogel, simply referred to a Grau in our family and, as classic onomatopoeia, pronounced with a guttural growl. Difficult to get to, slow lifts, no snow making, basic infrastructure but overwhelmingly my favourite place. Crowds, what are those? Top to middle Black and Red will have you doing circuits because you can’t get enough. The blue run is a fairy tale jeep track that I would take any 1 week in beginner on to really get them on the hook.
Night life, if you are young you have to branch out using “The Silver Bullet Bar“ as your starting point. If you have a family I would recommend doing Bellvue Alm. The rickety single seat chairlift to get up there, the views and the really traditional setting will make it an evening to remember and for those brave enough, take a toboggan to get down.
So that is the Gastein valley but your ski pass can take you much further. If you are a group of 6 or more get up early and arrange a taxi to take you to Zauchensee and do a ski safari back to Dorfgastein from there (~70km), it involves a few very short ski bus or taxi hops but tales of a finer days skiing will be hard to find after that.
February 14, 2011
Iancu from Romania
Just had a great skiing trip in the Gastein valley. The best skiing was not necessarily in the large interconnected resorts of Bad Gastein, Bad Hofgastein or Dorfgastein - which were a bit icy due to lack of fresh snow and sometimes a little crowded - but in the smaller resorts recommended by Arctic Fox and Alick (a big, big thank you guys! The next Lumbumba is on us!): Graukogel and SportGastein.
Graukogel is definitely the hidden gem in this valley, with a superb World Cup red and two great blacks, no crowds, and natural snow that remained impeccable until the last chair up. The bottom slopes were closed, but the three top slopes were worth at least two days! Sportgastein also had some great red runs, great natural snow on the top slopes, and no queues. There was also a fair amount of off-piste skiing going on, on marked and unmarked trails.
February 11, 2009
.... from Australia
Went to Bad Gastein in 2006, 07 and 08. All great trips with great weather, fantastic accommodation and the skiing was terrific. Early morning skiing in the fresh powder at Sportsgatein and Grossarl most days, a hearty lunch then back on to the slopes until 4 30. The nightlife is ok at Bad Gastein but the quieter restaurant atmosphere is more suitable for families.
January 04, 2007
Arctic Fox from United Kingdom
Badgastein is where I learnt to ski some 25 years ago, and I still keep on going back. There is so much skiing in 6 areas (some linked like Badgastein/Angertal/Hofgastein & Dorfgastein/Grossarl)and 2 further areas - the Graukogel (including the World Cup runs) and the high altitude Sportgastein. Each of these areas has its own character & appeal and with such variety, no matter what the weather, there is still always great skiing to find. If the weather is stormy, the Angertal is always shaded through the trees; on a sunny day, there is little that can beat the open runs of Sportgastein looking down to the tree line and up to the cobalt skies. Most people tend to head towards the Stubnerkogel (Badgastein) or Schlossalm with a great number of lifts & runs and great opportunities for all standards of skiers. But my personal favourite is the Graukogel on the opposite side of the valley. With just 3 lifts (2 chairs & 1 T-bar) and being a short bus ride from the main areas, this undiscovered gem has great reds & blacks (including the world cup run & a glorious unpisted black) and for those lazy, sunny afternoons some long relaxing glides through the trees on the blues. This is very much the area for "those in the know" and where the local Badgastein folk come for a few hours R&R. And little can beat a "Lumbumba" (Rum & Hot Chocolate) in Toni's cabin at the top!
Beyond the skiing, there is no end of possibilities in the valley for non-skiers or apres-ski. The Gastein towns originally grew up around the spa waters found in the valley, and Badgastein to this day is full of fantastic Viennese architecture and grand hotels & cafes. There are excellent pool & thermal complexes in each of Dorfgastein, Hofgastein & Bad Gastein offering all sorts of treatments as well as the swimming and many hotels offer their own range of treatments too. Nightlife is varied - from chic cafe's and restaurants to bustling bars, night clubs and a couple of discos ranging from the kitsch to the hip. There is skating, curling, and a night at the rustic Bellevue Alm is a must - a short trip on a private chairlift up to Alm for great food, drink, music & dancing followed by a floodlit tobogan ride back to the valley.
All in all, the Gastein valley is one of Austria's hidden treasures with something for everyone - go once and you'll keep going back!
September 29, 2004
Alick the ice perv from United Kingdom
Went to BadG in late-Jan 2004: had a great time, snow conditions excellent. 5 mountains with good variation in terrain, all worth checking out. Pick a sunny day for SportGastein and take the free skibus. DorfGastein is a large area that is worth two visits at least, easiest by cab from BadG (bus runs from BadHofGastein). When conditions are good you MUST ski the Graukogel: it is a small area but has the best terrain and is virtually deserted. Some good slopeside off-piste there as well. On the whole the area could do with a couple more black runs; the off-piste itineraries seemed to be shut (avalanche risk?) or difficult to find. Total beginners better off in BadHofG. So-so for boarders: some flat blues and draglifts linking one area to the next, but large area makes up for that. Loads of nice mountain huts for lunch. Not expensive for a ski resort either. Definitely recommended.