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The Pfarrkirche (Parish Church) of this tiny village is late Gothic, dating from the late 15th century, although it has a baroque altar. Some sights, such as old houses with turrets, are reminders of the gold-mining days of the Gastein Valley. In the 16th century, the nearby gold mines made Bad Hofgastein rival even Salzburg in wealth. A rich mining family lived at the 15th-century Weitmoserchlössl, which has now been turned into a cafe.

The Gastein Valley and Bad Hofgastein are attracting more and more winter-sports fans. Some 50 gondolas and ski lifts provide access to more than 241km (150 miles) of well-marked and well-groomed ski runs. Thanks to the high capacity of an updated funicular, a mono-cable rotation gondola lift with cabins for six passengers, two quadruple chairlifts, and a triple chairlift, skiers don't have to wait in long lines. The Dorfgastein-Grossarl connection and the lift network from Schlossalm via the Angertal and Jungeralm ski center up to the Stubnerkogel (the largest lift interconnection in Land Salzburg) provide some of the most enjoyable ski runs in the valley.

Also available are cross-country skiing on well-maintained tracks, tobogganing, skating, and riding in horse-drawn sleighs.

Spa Facilities

The thermally heated waters of Bad Hofgastein originate in the same high-altitude springs that feed the spa facilities of Badgastein, 8km (5 miles) away. Bad Hofgastein is the newer of the two, and a bit more upscale and glamorous as well. The waters are rich in radon, a controversial element that doctors once dismissed as harmful but now say is beneficial in small doses of no more than 20 minutes of immersion per day.

There are no public facilities here as in Badgastein; instead, three local hotels have built full spa facilities on their premises. You won't have to move between buildings for treatments, a bonus during cold or snowy weather.

The most complete Bad Hofgastein spa lies within the Grand Park Hotel. The spa treatments are great for the foot-sore (and leg, and back, and more) traveler. You can get all types of massages, electrotherapy, aromatherapy, saunas, steam baths, and mud packs, or take part in aerobic classes or gymnastics. Less scientific "cures" include lying prone on plastic bags filled with dried flowers, or being partially buried in tubs of wet straw that have been soaked in the hot thermal waters.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.