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Bad Gastein

With a population of 15,000, Bad Gastein is a sizable resort town that has a long history dating back beyond the arrival of snow sports in the area. Originally a spa resort, the records of the healing powers of its 17 natural springs date back at least to the 13th century, and the resort remains a major year-round spa and wellness destination to this day. There is water everywhere, in many indoor spas and out in streams, rivers and a spectacular local waterfall.

Thanks to this status, the resort’s infrastructure and the range of shopping, restaurants and other activities available are far better than for many seasonal ski resorts. It also makes Bad Gastein a good choice for those with non-skiers in their party.

Although not originally built for skiing, Bad Gastein has become one of Austria’s leading ski resorts and has been since the earliest days of winter sports. Austria’s first cable car for skiers opened here 60 years ago and the ski slopes have extended to join neighbouring resorts in the Gastein Valley with a world class network of 250km (170 miles) of piste.