Bad Kleinkirchheim Ski Area
Bad Kleinkirchheim’s ski area includes 64 miles of well groomed ski runs served by 26 lifts. Artificial snowmaking covers 97 per cent of the runs.
The top lift station is at 6,740ft with over 3,000ft vertical down to Bad Kleinkirchheim at 3,580ft. Around 75 per cent of ski runs are graded red for intermediates, 17 per cent blue for beginners and just 8 per cent are classified black for advanced skiers. There is no terrain park yet which is perhaps indicative of the target audience - solid skiers rather than freestylers.
Apart from the uppermost runs, the ski slopes are mostly well wooded and the way they dip and dive through the forest, wide and groomed, has more than a hint of American skiing about it albeit that the altitude here is more comfortably modest. If skiing in a white out, it's a good place to be as tree-lined ski runs help give perspective in bad visibility.
Most of the slopes nearest Bad Kleinkirchheim tend to be shady for much of the day but, because they are north-facing, they hold their snow well. The sunnier, more open slopes are situated above the nearby village of St Oswald with the skiing all interlinked. For days in the sun and long lunches on mountain restaurant terraces, head for the runs above St Oswald.
If you are at all worried about the somewhat low altitude, it's a comfort to know that 97 per cent of the slopes are covered by 700 snowmaking machines with the rest to be catered for soon. This network of snow guns is, interestingly, said to provide the equivalent of 50 centimetres of natural snow.
But relatively low-lying as it is, the combination of weather systems, from north and south, to which Bad Kleinkirchheim is subject throughout winter has brought a reassuringly good snow record. The resort is on the edge of the Nock Mountain National Park and separated from much of the rest of Austria's skiing by the Tauern mountain range.
This means that the Bad Kleinkirchheim area can frequently experience totally different weather to the rest of the country. Often it is said that if it is raining in Venice, it will soon be snowing in Bad Kleinkirchheim. And, similarly, snow may rush down too from the north.
Bad Kleinkirchheim Ski Lifts & Lift Passes
From Bad Kleinkirchheim, which is a fairly long and straggling community, the runs are reached by lifts from different parts of the village.
Bad Kleinkirchheim Ski Lifts
A two-stage gondolabahn rises to the Kaiserburg at one extreme of the ski area. From the gondola top station, a couple of T-bars continue up to the highest runs.
A fast four-person chairlift rises to the right side of the Kaiserburg face at Maibrunn. Here you are still at only 5,775ft which gives an idea of the modest altitude of the area. The highest point in the system is at the top of one of the Kaiserburg drags at 6,740ft.
On the other side of the valley, dominated by the slopes of Nockalm and Priedrof, two successive two-seater chairlifts rise from the village. These slopes link in with those of St Oswald. And half way to St Oswald from BKK, another gondolabahn heads up to Nockalm.
From St Oswald itself a gondola serves the slopes beneath Brunnach at 6,235ft. Brunnach forms the other extremity of the ski area. In this area there are two four-person chairs making the link with the St Oswald and Nockalm slopes.
Queuing for ski lifts is a rare phenomenon in Bad Kleinkrchheim. The uphill ski lift capacity to beds ratio is favourable, the lift bottom stations are spread out on either side of the village and, even when the village is full, many of the guests are there to enjoy the ambiance and the spas rather than to ski.
Bad Kleinkirchheim Lift Passes
Bad Kleinkirchheim Ski Lift Company
Bad Kleinkirchheimer Bergbahnen
Sport- und Kuranlagen GmbH & CoKG
9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim
Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8282-0
Bad Kleinkirchheim Beginners
Bad Kleinkirchheim offers a good choice of beginners' slopes, to be selected according to where you are staying.
Beginner skiing in Bad Kleinkirchheim
Bad Kleinkirchheim and St Oswald each have their own beginners area, but there's a big difference though - Bad Kleinkirchheim 's beginner skiing is close to the village and low - so they may suffer from a shortage of snow in a poor winter season - and because of their low elevation Bad Kleinkirchheim's beginner slopes see little sun in the depths of winter.
In contrast, the beginner ski runs at St Oswald are at the top of the Nockalm gondolabahn and enjoy a much more open aspect with more sunshine. Accordingly, they are usually the warmer of the two beginner locations and aspiring beginners will soon be able to tackle the long blue run that runs the length of gondola from St Oswald.
Ski Schools & Ski Lessons in Bad Kleinkirchheim
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Bad Kleinkirchheim Intermediates
Intermediate skiing is Bad Kleinkirchheim’s strong suit with three quarters of all ski runs classified red for intermediates.
Good intermediates can head out in the morning in Bad Kleinkirchheim and take any lift or any route down without finding anything to terrify them but they will find the opportunity to perfect their technique on long, wide, fairly steep but still flattering slopes. Some of the runs have a respectable 3,280ft vertical, so there's a chance to do them non-stop and get some leg-burning happening.
A favourite is the FIS standard K70 downhill run, which takes you all the way from the top of the mountain to the bottom. You don't have to race down it - it's so scenic, in fact, you should take your time. It's about five kilometres long, so there's plenty of excuse to stop and take in the inspiring views every so often. The K70 run also takes you through an area well away from the lifts, and the bottom section has been cut through trees. It is not the only run that goes satisfyingly from top to bottom, so the mileage can really be clocked up.
The slopes around St Oswald also boast a wealth of opportunities to shred the reds, with T-bars handily located to keep you on the top sector if you wish. In all, an intermediate's paradise, but it's also good for groups of mixed ability because there is a choice of runs down from the lifts and it's very difficult to get lost on the mountain.
Bad Kleinkirchheim Advanced
Bad Kleinkirchheim is not the toughest ski resort as far as challenging skiing is concerned – but what challenging skiing it has it cherishes.
One of the best and most testing blacks is the Franz Klammer World Cup run, which takes you from Strohasack to the gondola base. Well, if you've got a Winter Olympic gold medallist in your ranks you might as well flaunt him.
His own named run is a FIS World Cup course and rated as among the most spectacular and challenging on the circuit - and you can even have fun on it with Kaiser Franz himself on certain days during the season. The old master, Carinthia's most famous son, is still a fanatical skier and he hosts the occasional skiing day through the season when anyone is free to take a run or two with him. If they can keep up!
Klammer learned his craft here. He was born at the farming village of Mooswald, nearby and his mother still runs a gasthaus at the village of Fresach, about 12 miles from Bad Kleinkirchheim, with his brother and sister-in-law. Klammer went on to win the World Cup Downhill title five times, coming first in a record 25 World Cup downhills in the process - as well as enthralling the watching world with his Olympic gold medal triumph with a spectacularly reckless run at Innsbruck in 1976 in the famous yellow catsuit.
That catsuit is now at his mother's gasthaus, along with most of his trophies. And the Kaiser is still happily racing around the Bad Kleinkirchheim runs. 'I'll never tire of skiing, especially in the wonderful surroundings of Carinthia,' he says. 'It's the absolute best. I get to the top of the mountain and I know I want to ski until I'm 80 - at least!' He adds: 'I still ski the same way I always did - but I just choose what mode to go in now: nice and easy or turbo.'
There are a few other designated black runs in the Bad Kleinkirchheim network, with two short and sharp ones below the Kaiserburg and another under the Wiesernock quad chairlift. But the masses of red runs can also be fun for advanced to hone their skills.
And there are a number of off-piste adventures to be had, with guided off-piste tours arranged through one of the ski schools. These will involve a bit of climbing and hiking and can include striking out towards the Mallnock and Klomnock peaks, a tour which starts from the top of the gondola from St Oswald.
Another popular area for off-piste is the Falkert mountain, a short taxi ride from Bad Kleinkirchheim. A T-bar takes skiers some way up the Falkert, where you need to hike before the real fun begins.
Bad Kleinkirchheim Boarding
Bad Kleinkirchheim has its fair share of snowboarders, and although they and skiers co-habit ski area perfectly well, this is very much a skiers' resort.
Bad Kleinkirchheim's ski lift system includes a high proportion of draglifts, which are not the most popular with less-experienced boarders. And so far the resort has not gone in for a half-pipe, or terrain park. Similarly, freestylers have to make their own fun and find their own jumps.
Bad Kleinkirchheim Mountain Restaurants
Bad Kleinkirchheim has twenty-two mountain restaurants – mostly rustic and welcoming with their fair share of gemutlicheit – and there are more eating places at all of the valley lift stations.
If the extent of its intermediate slopes is Bad Kleinkirchheim's strong point, it comes only just ahead of its many and varied mountain restaurants - one restaurant on average for about every five kilometres of piste.
For cosiness and traditional cooking, try the Ausflugsgasthaus Pioninger, the Buschenschank Hublbauer, the Larchenhutte, the Buschenschank Mati Sepp or the Falkerthaus. Tucked away on the runs are the Brentlerhutte, the Wiesenhutte, the St Oswalder Platzl and the Zum Sepp. Or for larger restaurants with bigger menus, there are the Bergrestaurant Waldtratte, the Nockalmhutte, the Rossalmhutte, the Alpengasthof Brunnach or the Panorama Restaurant at the Kaiserburg.
Carinthia has its own distinctive style of cooking, and many of these restaurants will offer dishes such as Karntner Brennsupp's, which is seasoned with marjoram and includes an egg. Or Karntner Kasnudeln, which is large ravioli filled with crumbly cream chees and herbs and mint. Also popular is Gamsngulasch - goulash made with chamois meat.
Another local speciality is Gelbe Supp'n (yellow soup), made with mutton, beef and pork and enriched with saffron, aniseed, cinnamon and nutmeg - Bad Kleinkirchheim, still at heart an old farming community, is one of the best places in the Alps to experience cooking that has been transferred directly from the farmer's wife's kitchen to the mountain huts. So lunches are substantial - a plate of Ritschert, a stew of smoked meat, barley and haricot beans will keep out the cold on the snowiest day.
Mountain restaurants in Bad Kleinkirchheim
Bӓrenhӧhle (Walter Bachler) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8469 or 8427
Bergrestaurant Kaiserburg (Joesf Pulverer) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8467
Bergrestaurant Waldtratte (Walter Bachler) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8469 or 8427
Groar Keusch'n (Gerlad Hinteregger) Tel: + 43 (0) 4240 8605
Maibrunnhűtte (Familie Ortner) Tel: +43 (0) 676 739 2257
Rosalmhűtte (Josef Pulverer) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8466
Strohsack Skibar (Walter Bachler) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8469 or 8427
Zum Sepp (Josef Prӓgant) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8468
Mountain restaurants in St Oswald
Alpengasthof Brunnachhof (Josef Hinteregger) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 478
Brentlerhűtte (Werner Hintergger) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 262
Falkerthaus (Maria Gritzner) Tel: +43 (0) 676 572 4090
Lorchenhutte (Familie Steinkellner) Tel: +43 (0) 664 568 2666
Nockalmhűtte (Sigrun Labacher) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8705
Bergrestaurant Nock IN Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8282 510
Oswald Platzl (Klaus Miggitsch) Tel: +43 (00 4240 20646 or 8690
Panoramahűtte (Joesf Brunner) Tel: +43 (0) 676
Zum Weltcup Poldl (Leopold Gruber) Tel: +43 (0) 664 184 4353
Mountain restaurants in Buschenschanken
Aufegger (Ernst Aufegger) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8254
Hűblbauer (Familie Walder) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 337
Matl Sepp (Familie Schleiner) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 685
Streitnig (Gűnther Unterweger) Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8416
Bad Kleinkirchheim Town
Bad Kleinkirchheim is an old spa town – more of a small town than a village, and spread out along the valley. But it is attractive and development has been cautious, with most buildings in chalet style and timber-faced.
There is a substantial, affluent feel about Bad Kleinkirchheim - as one would expect of somewhere with a history going back 1,000 years or more - and plenty of opportunity for shopping. Popular designer shops include the Boutique Jesse, for Armani, the Alter Moda, Trachtenmoden, and Intersport Gruber, which stocks Bogner, Emmergi, Goldwin, Killy and Spyder. There's also a perfumery, a jeweller, an antiques shop and several arts and crafts shops, as well as a Craft Museum, four banks, a supermarket, a florist and a bookshop, but if not skiing or when not skiing, best of Bad Kleinkirchheim's non-skiing treasures are the thermal spas.
Spas and Saunas
Legend has it that the recuperative powers of the local mineral water became known after the badly wounded fugitive Count Palatine Poto hid out in the Kirchheim Valley in 1055 - and saw his injuries miraculously heal after quaffing some water from a fresh spring. It was some early excellent PR for the area.
In 1884 a local hotelier put out a brochure extolling the health benefits of staying here and it became a destination for the infirm seeking the 'cure'. In 1934 the first outdoor thermal pool was built and the following year Kirchheim was granted the right to add the word Bad (designating it as an official spa resort) to its name and in 1969 came an indoor thermal pool and ten years later the Roemerbad (Roman spa) thermal bathing centre was opened.
The Roemerbad was completely refurbished recently and is an impressive facility which has been transformed into a 15-million euro 'wellness oasis', the highlight being a fabulous sauna centre. There's also a new expanded massage area, state-of-the-art beauty salon, meditation area for total relaxation and an adventure areas for children, both inside and out.
With saunas of all shapes and sizes, covering 4,000 square metres, the Roemerbad sets new standards in the sweat stakes! One of the best things is that the Roemerbad is perfectly situated at the foot of the Franz Klammer ski run, so it could hardly be more conveniently located when legs are burning at the end of a tough ski day.
You'll find thermal pools, with temperatures ranging between 28 degrees and 34 degrees, saunas of varying heat levels, including a tepidarium where it's comfortable to stay a little longer, steam rooms, solarium and a hot-tub. There are also water slides, waterfalls and massage jets in the pools. What a great way to unwind and get ready for the evening!
The spa aspect of the resort is not just to do with pampering yourself. The resort is keen to promote the health-giving properties, especially as far as the sports-minded are concerned. The claim that water therapy is the perfect way to keep your body fit for skiing or boarding - it keeps you in shape while being gentle with your joints.
The thermal water in Bad Kleinkirchheim is said to promote good circulation, reinforce the immune system against disease, strengthen connective tissue, alleviate rheumatic symptoms and nerve degenerative conditions, fight cardiovascular disorders and help the healing process after surgery or illness. So there you are - get in there!
Bad Kleinkirchheim Bars & Restaurants
Bad Kleinkirchheim apres ski can start fairly early in the afternoon in bars such as the Almstube, the Viktoria Pub, Club MC 99 and the Take Five Dancing Club. There’s also offers a wide choice of restaurants specialising in local dishes and fine dining available.
Bad Kleinkirchheim Apres Ski Bars
Much of the après-ski scene seems to take place in the hotel bars. But one of the advantages of Bad Kleinkirchheim is that après-ski can mean anything from a few drinks in a lively apres ski bar after skiing and in the evenings to a quiet glass of wine, or a gluhwein, in a rustic, cosy bar - all tastes are catered for. And you also need to allow time to take advantage of the wellness facilities and spa treatments - a sauna or hot-tub plus a massage after skiing is hard to beat and there's no lack of choice here in that department.
Almstube (Arnulf Sagmeister) Schneerosenweg 6 Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8200
Bistro Pub "Die Tronke" (Peter Tieber) Dorfstrasse 77 Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8333
Brechlstube (Familie Krenn) Maibrunnenweg 15 Tel: +43 (0) 4240 293 2056
Club MC99 (Familie Sagmeister) Schneerosenweg 6 Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8200
Country Stűbert (Maria Gritzner) St. Oswald, Rosennockstr. 34 Tel: +43 (0) 4240 690
Die Grotte (Bjӧrn von Schӧnebeck) Dorfstrasse 63 Tel: +43 (0) 4240 20672
Kir Royal & Prosciutteria (Werner Hrastnik) Dorfstrasse 43 Tel: +43 (0) 4240 354-7
Peso (Peter & Sonja Pertl) Maibrunnerweg 5 Tel: +43 (0) 42409 20472
Take Five Dancing Club (Arnulf Sagmeister) Schneerosenweg 6 Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8200
Viktoria Pub (Arnulf Sagmeister) Schneerosenweg 6 Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8201
Bad Kleinkirchheim Restaurants
There is a wide choice of restaurants specialising in local dishes, but also some fine dining available. The three top establishments are probably at the Thermenhotel Ronacher, the Gasthof Drage and the Loystube restaurant at the Thermenweit Pulverer. For traditional home cooking, the top choices are the Restaurant Einkehr, the Landhausstuberl, the Dorfwirt, the Gasthof Alt Kirchheim, Gasthof Dalnig, Restaurant am Golfplatz, Gasthof Sportalm, Gasthof Hinteregger, Restaurant Berghof and Junge Romer at the Spa Romerbad.
Alt Kirchheim, Dorfstraße 71, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim Tel: +43 4240 241
Almstube, Schneerosenweg 4, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim Tel: +43 4240 8200
Gasthof Dalnig, Dorfstraße 84, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim Tel: +43 4240 228
Gasthof Ruanig, Zirkitzer Weg 44, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim Tel: +43 4240 357
Kirchenwirt, Margeritenweg 2, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim Tel: +43 4240 8890
Loystub'n, Thermenstraße 4, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim Tel: +43 4240 744 26
Einkehr, Teichstraße 7, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim Tel: +43 4240 8114
Landhausstuberl, Dorfstraße 36, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim Tel: +43 4240 688
Dorfwirt, Dorfstraße 87, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim Tel: +43 4240 353
Gasthof Ploninger, Mohnweg 8, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim Tel. +43 4240 587
Golfrestaurant, 9545 Bad Kleinkirchheim Tel. +43 4275 593 email@example.com
Gasthof Drage, Rottensteiner Weg 1, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim Tel. +43 4240 277
Restaurant Junge Romer, Dorfstraße 74, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim - Tel: +43 4240 81200
St Oswald Restaurants
Gasthof Pizzeria Sportalm, Rosennockstraße 53, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim Tel: +43 4240 8202
Gasthof Hinteregger, Rosennockstraße 56, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim Tel: +43 4240 477
Restaurant Berghof, Rosennockstraße 55, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim - Tel: +43 4240 479 or 468
Zur alten Schmiede, Schmiedweg 9, 9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim -Tel: +43 4240 491
Bad Kleinkirchheim Other Activities
There’s no shortage of other activities in Bad Kleinkirchheim, for both the active and the more sedentary, including cross-country skiing, winter-walking, snow-shoeing, tobogganing, horse-riding
Cross-country skiing in Bad Kleinkirchheim
Cross-country skiing is popular in Bad Kleinkirchheim and the ski schools run courses in what many would claim is the original skiing style. Bad Kleinkirchheim and the surrounding area have 56km of prepared cross-country trails, including some at altitude in the Nockalm area. Cross-country skiing is a big feature in Bad Kleinkirchheim, where many Austrian families head out at the weekend with their langlauf skis and no thought of using the lifts. It's a good way to enjoy the scenery away from the marked pistes and the cross-country network extends from Bad Kleinkirchheim to Gnesau and the small and delightful village of Reichenau.
Snow-shoeing, ice-skating and curling in Bad Kleinkirchheim
Another snow sports option is snow-shoeing, with two-hour guided hikes available through the ski school for 30 euros. Of course, all this off-slope activity helps ensure the pistes are even less crowded, which is a big bonus for skiers and boarders. There's also an outdoor ice-rink that offers curling as well as skating.
Toboganning, snowtubing and horse-riding in Bad Kleinkirchheim
You can go snowtubing down an icy run on a lorry inner-tube, or try the thrill of the two and a half mile toboggan run. Or you can saddle up for some horse-riding in the snow (the horses have special shoes to stop them slipping) or sit back for a horse-drawn sleigh ride.
Winter walking in Bad Kleinkirchheim
One of the great attractions at Bad Kleinkirchheim for non-skiers, or for those who just fancy a break from the slopes, is the superb network of winter walking trails, with 60-kilometres of prepared trails for hiking in winter. Treading these cleared winter walking paths is a rare opportunity to really get away from the hurly-burly. The trails don't just keep to the valley as many cleared paths do in other resorts. The local topography can be gentle enough to take walkers high up for fabulous views.
Shopping and excursions
Bad Kleinkirchheim has a range of shops, with some designer goods - but you can also visit the charming town of Villach, which is about 35km away and has wonderful shopping and restaurants. Those with a car at their disposal will find this easiest, but you can also take the post-bus to Villach. For a real excursion you can even carry on past Villach for a cross-border outing to Italy.
For more information about the activities listed above contact the Tourist Office:
Bad Kleinkirchheim Tourism
9546 Bad Kleinkirchheim
Tel: +43 (0) 4240 8212
Fax: +43 (0) 4240 8537