As the name suggests, Bad Gastein, Austria is best known among local Austrians as a spa town. In German the word bad means spa, which indicates the rise of its popularity in the 1800s as a spa resort for the rich, the royals and the upper crust from all over Europe.
In recent years, however, the spa facilities and hotels in the area have become more available to the average tourist. Bad Gastein, Austria also began to be popular among those who are looking for more than a therapeutic dip in its hot springs. Winter sporting enthusiasts eventually discovered the challenging terrain of the region during winter. Here is a selection of some of the more sought-after facilities and activities in Bad Gastein:
• Winter sports – For its obvious location within the Alpine region, Bad Gastein has many trails that the more athletically inclined can find challenging for various winter sports, such as snow boarding and alpine skiing.
• Hot springs – The region's thermal springs are reputed to have minerals and radon that can cure minor ailments such as asthma, sore joints, arthritis and bronchitis. These facilities are open both in summer and winter. A great number of skiers have also attested to the power of these hot springs to soothe aching muscles after a particularly taxing day on the slopes.
• Summer chill outs – Bad Gastein during summer has plenty of recreational activities to offer tourists. There are facilities for paragliding, horseback riding, mountain biking or just leisurely hiking along the Alpine terrain.
• Cool events in local hot spots – Summer party nights are regularly scheduled at the bar and restaurant of the Euro Youth Hostel with its traditional barbecues, bonfires and live band performances. Another local hot spot is the casino. Nightly shows are featured during the peak season as well as special promotions such as poker tournaments and ladies' nights.
This sampling is proof that a place such as Bad Gastein, Austria feature attractions that many first time tourists would consider either hot or cool – literally and figuratively.