Fresh mountain air, bright sun and dreamlike landscapes - and all of this almost on your doorstep. In the Gasteinertal in the Salzburger Land you will find what you rarely find on the Baltic Sea or the Mediterranean: peace and relaxation. No screeching, no fighting for deck chairs, no hawkers. And for all those who are afraid of the typical active holiday that their parents always dragged them along to, let me say: The Gastein mountains are made for extensive lazing around.
You can drive there in a few hours from southern federal states. Numerous airlines fly to the nearest airport in Salzburg. With low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, EasyJet or Eurowings, you can get cheap tickets if you book early. When you arrive in Salzburg you have the choice between a rental car and the train. From the Salzburg main station there is a nice direct train connection to Bad Hofgastein or Bad Gastein. The journey takes a little more than an hour, during which you can already see the impressive landscape. If you want to be more mobile, it is best to rent a small car that is easy to maneuver on the winding mountain roads.
Our recommendation to you: stay in the village of Bad Hofgastein. Especially if you don't feel like traveling in tourist groups. Unfortunately, the neighboring town of Bad Gastein is a bit overcrowded. There one hotel follows the next. The gastronomy is also geared towards mass taste. In Bad Hofgastein, just a few kilometers away, idyllic country life awaits you.
There is a large selection of holiday apartments available for a small budget. "Haus Katharina" even offers its guests a natural swimming pond. In many hotels and apartment houses, admission to the local Alpentherme is also included in the price. So nobody has to do without bathing fun. Incidentally, you can also spend the night high in the mountains in alpine huts - a rustic experience.
If you want to treat yourself to something, we can recommend the hotel "Das Goldberg". The entire complex offers a magnificent mountain panorama. And the rooms surprise with a sauna, double bathtub or fireplace. There is also an infinity pool. And at the natural bathing lake there is even a beach feeling.
If you don't stay at the "Goldberg", you should at least stop by for breakfast. With a view of the Gastein Valley, a buffet with numerous local specialties is served here. Our highlights: the homemade liver sausage and the equally homemade hazelnut nougat cream. There are also unlimited coffee specialties made from eight freshly roasted beans - and all for a small price. And in the evening smoked trout from the hotel's own fish pond is served by the chef himself.
Otherwise you should stop by the local farmer's market. Here you can find bread fresh from the oven, milk straight from the alpine pasture, cheese, sausage, butter - everything you actually need. If you like something a little more special, you can try the yoghurt made from goat's milk.
Everyone knows that there are wonderful hikes in the Alps. There are also numerous hiking routes around the Gasteinertal - around 600 hiking kilometers in total. But if hiking on vacation is too strenuous for you, you can take one of the mountain railways comfortably up into the mountains and enjoy the incredible panorama from the peaks without a sweaty ascent. Another highlight awaits you on the Stubnerkogel: a 40 meter long suspension bridge that can be walked on all year round. But you should already be free from giddiness. After all, you can look 28 meters down here.
If you don't want to go that high, you can also explore the world on horseback. There are two riding stables in the area where you can also take riding lessons as a complete beginner, for example at the "Reitclub Gastein". Here, competent riding instructors ensure that everyone who gets on a horse also learns how to handle it. There are no maltreated, willless animals like in many tourist resorts. And no unsuspecting rider is simply let into the terrain here. So safety is taken care of.