Close to Salzburg, Bad Gastein has skiing and snowboarding for all abilities with over 200km of ski terrain. There are some lovely tree runs and plenty of red runs, which make it particularly good for intermediates. The four ski areas are well-connected with high speed lifts and it boasts reliable snow cover thanks to the altitude and well-positioned artificial snow cannons.
On the slopes you can enjoy great local food and schnapps in the mountain Hutte and even shop at the highest farmers market in the Alps (during March). Walking across the highest suspension bridge in Europe will test everyone's nerve, as will skiing the breathtaking runs of Sportgastein and the World Championship area on Graukogel.
For those calmer moments, you can visit the Alps' biggest art festival 'Art on Snow' (in January), take a walk to the 341m high Gasteiner Ache waterfall in the old town, or just relax those aching limbs in the world famous thermal baths.
Bad Gastein offers something for everyone.
The fun isn't confined to the mountain, however - Away from the piste, visitors to the town will find plenty of distractions to pack their apres-ski time. Restaurants serve up local cuisine such as tafelspitz (boiled beef fillet), wiener schnitzel (pork in breadcrumbs) and hochzseitssuppe (herb and vegetable soup) and several bars cater for a thirsty crowd once the lifts close for the day. Holidaymakers looking for a healthier warm-down should head for one of the town's thermal spas - there's nothing quite like a back massage and a soak in a warm relaxation pool to end a busy day on the slopes.
ON THE MOUNTAIN
With over 200km of groomed snow and super-quick chairlifts climbing to altitudes as high as 2,700 metres, skiers and snowboarders of all standards will find enough thrills to satisfy their alpine wanderlust - leisurely blues that wind around the mountain, the longest red in the eastern Alps (H1, which runs for just under 11km) and a range of angular, mogul-filled blacks make up a diverse and exciting piste map.
Each run is capped with its own reward - Ski huts and restaurants pepper the mountain, meaning you'll never go hungry (or thirsty). Healthy servings of goulash, local soups and catch-all dishes such as spaghetti bolognese mean there's no excuse for flagging energy levels during the day, and with a Ski Miquel guide on hand to reserve tables at Bad Gastein's busiest restaurants, you'll find lunchtime to be just as exciting as the best run of the day.
Bad Gastein is an Austrian treasure-trove that boasts a diverse range of traditional entertainment, charming eateries and lively apres-ski hangouts. For a lively end to the day, head to the Silver Bullet bar, where DJ's and cover bands keep the party vibe going until the early hours.
If you're looking for a quieter night cap there's an excellent option - the Felsentherme, which is a luxurious thermal spa with an outdoor pool of naturally heated mineral water, and any aches and strains picked up on the mountain can be eased away in the massage institute upstairs.
1/ HOW FAR ARE THE SKI LIFTS FROM THE SKI MIQUEL CHALET-HOTEL?
Not far at all. In fact, you'll only have a slow walk of six or seven minutes from your front door to the first gondola up the mountain.
2/ WHAT ARE THE QUEUES LIKE AT THE SKI LIFTS?
Pretty quiet. Six high speed chairlifts have recently been installed on the mountain, so people can move around quite quickly. You won't experience the hustle and bustle of other busier resorts.
3/ WHERE CAN I STORE MY SKI EQUIPMENT?
We'll arrange a storage space for you, which is located in the same building as the gondola station. The only thing you'll need to take with you in the morning is your ski pass.
4/ SOME OF US ARE NON-SKIERS - WILL THERE BE ENOUGH TO KEEP THEM ENTERTAINED DURING THE DAY?
If long walks and relaxing spas are their thing, then yes. The mountain is also easily accessible for non-skiers, so they can meet you in a ski hut for lunch without too much trouble. Alternatively, there's a direct train to Salzburg (journey time 1.5 hours) which is a great day out.