The list of majesties who ennobled Bad Gastein to a spa town is almost endless; Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Sissi being at the top of the list of course. For members of the nobility, politicians and artists alike, a visit to Bad Gastein was a must, a question of etiquette.
During the historical stroll through Bad Gastein you will come across many important names and memorable events of the "Belle Epoque". As part of the activities programme for our guests, we offer a weekly "historic walk" through Bad Gastein.
Cultural functions and events
Bad Gastein's calendar of cultural events held in the modern Congress Centre boasts international flair.
Traditional processions and concerts
These mostly take place during the "Bauernherbst" (farmers' autumn) and give visitors an insight into the Gastein traditions..
Jazz concerts and events
A contrast programme for the younger generation. The Gastein Cultural Circle provides an extensive range of events in the Gastein valley all year round. Theatre, cabaret, film and literature are on the programme as well as a wide array of music ranging from classic to chansons and folk music.
Cattle drive to and from the summer pastures
Each June the century-old tradition takes place: The farmers drive their herds up to the summer pastures from the Gastein valley. The cattle thrive on the full-flavoured alpine herbs and flowers and mountain air. The dairy products, which are made are especially delicious; discover some of the 55 alpine meadows in Gastein.
A special event in mid-September is the traditional herding down of the sheep in Sportgastein. A meadow hike is suddenly transformed into a festival, if you are lucky to chance upon the herding down of cattle. The animals are festively decorated as they make their way down from the summer mountain pastures back to the barn, where they spend the winter. At the farmers' markets delicacies from Gastein can be purchased. A tasty roast lamb is traditionally prepared at this time and should not be missed.
When the sun's rays start to lose their intensity and the woodland foliage is bursting with vibrant colours, then it's time to welcome the autumn!At the end of August the harvest festival begins with an exuberant opening. The local population from the valley adorn their surroundings with festive decorations and dress themselves in traditional costumes. Experience the colourful side of Gastein with its genuine traditions, maintained throughout centuries. Gather lots of new impressions at the Harvest Festival which lasts until the end of October!
Gastein "Krampus" celebration
On December 5 each year a "Krampus" run takes place all over Gastein, the main event is in Gastein itself. Fearsome creatures with devil's masks carved from wood and with goats' horns attached go from house to house accompanied by St. Nicholas.
Beneath the disguise are young boys. They are dressed in lamb fleece and have large cowbells round their midriff which cause a hellish racket, audible from afar.
The Gastein "Perchtenlauf" has been in existence for centuries, and is one of Salzburg province's oldest traditional customs. Every 4 years (2014, 2018, ...) the "Perchten" in Badgastein and in Bad Hofgastein are out and about all day and all over the valley on January 1. and 6. from 7 a.m. till late in the evening.
They dance around with their heavy headgear. The witches sweep incessantly, the workmen offer their services, meanwhile the music strikes up. This is a special occasion for locals and participants alike. Women are not allowed to take part, following the age-old tradition.
Experience the mountains from the inside. Discover the wonder of the world's biggest ice cave. You will see ice palaces of crystal clear beauty, which will take you to a wintry ice world even on hot summer days.
For more information click www.eisriesenwelt.at
Take a trip to Europe's most famous panorama road. Enter a world of ice and rock, go through fragrant mountain woodland and blooming Alpine meadows and feel the chill of arctic conditions at 2369 m altitude.
The Großglockner High Alpine Road is open from March to October.
For more information click www.grossglockner.at
A trip to the "Salzwelten" salt mines will take you back in time to the age-old tradition of salt mining. Via the mine railway, miners' slide and raft, you will be taken to the very heart of the mountain, a mystical spot.
The salt mines Bad Dürrnberg are open year-round.
For more information click www.salzwelten.at
Unforgettable images and impressions! A ride in Europe's biggest open-top diagonal lift will take you to the breathtaking high mountain range. Enjoy the unlikely combination of high tech and nature. The Electricity and Ice Adventure World and the guided tours of the dam walls will round of your trip.
The Kaprun high mountain reservoirs are open frome June to October.
For more information click www.tauerntouristik.at
Visit the legendary, world famous gorge in St. Johann. Situated in the heart of the Salzburg state, this is a worthwhile attraction. The Liechtensteinklamm is not just the most beautiful but also one of the deepest and longest gorges in the Alps.
The "Liechtensteinklamm" is open from May to September.
For more information click www.liechtensteinklamm.at