We took this picture from our room in Zurich, just before checking-out and departing to Bad Gastein (Austria) .View from our hotel window in Zurich
Bad Gastein is a spa town in the state of Salzburg that lies in the Gastein Valley, which is famous for its many hot springs. It has less than 6 000 habitants and is an important tourist destination all year round.
The Gastein Valley is a part of the Hohe Tauern National Park which encompasses one of the most beautiful areas in this part of the Alps.
“Bad” means “spa“, reflecting the town’s history as a health resort. It’s a year round destination: Skiing on its steep slopes during winter and pleasant and mild weather in summer. There are many tourists from the Middle East who travel there in summer to escape from the heat in their native countries.
It’s also called Badgastein (the two words written together)
The distance between Zurich and Bad Gastein is around 500km, most of it crossing the Alps.
Although the roads are perfect, and we were driving during summer, I would say it’s kind of a stressful drive. There are dozens of hairpin turns and we have to cross many tunnels along the way, one of them more than 25km long!
On our way we crossed tiny Vaduz (Liechtenstein) but we didn’t stop there.
As soon as we got to our hotel in Bad Gastein, we dropped our luggage and went out for dinner, accompanied by a large and super cold draft beer. Yes, after driving during many hours…. we sure deserved it! 🙂
On the following day, we had an early breakfast and went out for a lovely bike ride along the scenic river.
Bad Gastein is situated 1000 meters above sea level and it gets really cold at night. As soon as the sun goes out in the morning it gets warm and very pleasant.
It’s very pleasant to go biking in Bad Gastein and in Bad Hofgastein (they are very close one from the other). The trail along the river is awesome and the views are superb!
An attraction that should not be missed is Gastein Waterfall. Located in the city center, it is very easy to find although the hiking for the scenic view point can represent a little challenge for some people.
The Gastein Waterfall: A popular landmark in the city
After admiring the waterfall from the bridge in the centre of town, it is worthwhile to have a look at it from other vantage points. In Straubinger Platz you will see steps going up, they are part of the path that winds uphill, ending at the level of the upper bridge. The view of the upper segments of the waterfall is really spectacular.
It was tough to go to this place! I was scared (due to the narrow trail and the altitude) but after complaining for a while…. I made it! 🙂
Beer! Beer! To celebrate life and an awesome day in beautiful Austria!
We were “habitués” of this restaurant / pizzeria in Bad Hofgastein. The pizza is delicious and the draft beers are to die for! 🙂