Bad Kleinkirchheim in Carinthia:
Skiing & Spa or Hiking & Spa
Bad Kleinkirchheim is a popular tourist destination in Southern Carinthia, near Spittal an der Drau, with a clear sales point: It offers simple, gentle mountains ideal for beginners, families and elderly people for both skiing and hiking; plus it has hot springs that feed two modern, public thermal spa pools. This in combination with lots of up-market hotels that offer good food and shelter, and the vicinity to the southern border makes Bad Kleinkirchheim hugely popular with Italians, as well as families from Austria.
Bad Kleinkirchheim is seen as the ideal area to start skiing by many Austrians, and the relatively low prices - especially off season - has made the small Carinthian town rather successful. Bad Kleinkirchheim lacks the usual ski resort attractions of nightclubs, crazy sport events and gogo-girls. Instead, it offers a gentle version of hiking and skiing holidays, and it is doing well this way: Bad Kleinkirchheim usually ranks among the 20 most-visited tourist destinations in Austria.
Things that Bad Kleinkirchheim offers
Bad Kleinkirchheim offers access to the pseudo-National Park Nockberge, which are not an internationally approved National Park, but an impressive chunk of nature nonetheless. In terms of sightseeing, there are a few old churches and theme hiking tours, but what you really want in Bad Kleinkirchheim is a relaxed holiday in the Austrian mountains. Note the church of St. Ulrich, the oldest building of Bad Kleinkirchheim. It probably dates back to around 1000 AD and was first mentioned in a document from 1166 (see history, link below).
The originally Romanesque church was upgraded to Gothic later, then struck by lightning in 1710 and re-built in Baroque style. The church St. Katharina im Bade or simply "St. Kathrein" is a late-Gothic church of pilgrimage, built in 1492 at the first spring of Bad Kleinkirchheim. The third Catholic church of Bad Kleinkirchheim is the Kirche St. Oswald, built in its current style in 1510. It contains frescoes from 1514. There is one plain, wooden Protestant church from 1938.
Sightseeing, Skiing & More in Bad Kleinkirchheim
For a very old farmhouse, see the Egarter Hof in St. Oswald, dating back to the 17th century. There are several old mills in and around Bad Kleinkirchheim that can be explored by foot or mountainbike. Speaking of mountainbikes: The nearby Panorama Road of Nochbergstraße is among the most scenic roads in the Austrian Alps. Here the "Alpenfahrt Classic-Ralley" is held annually since 2002, an old-timer race. The second "big event" that happens annually in "BKK" is the recording of a folk music TV show that is called "Wenn die Musi spielt" and hugely popular with a geriatric audience in Austria.
Skiing, skiing and more skiing: The "Schiclub Kirchheim" (the village′s skiing association) was founded in 1947, has 2,000 members and works on the training of young skiers and holds competitions. These competitions go to the highest level: In 1978, Bad Kleinkirchheim was the venue for the FIS Skiing Worldcup. The Worldcup is frequently held in Bad Kleinkirchheim′s 3,200 metre long Weltcup-Piste, which is up to 80 percent steep (ie. altitude difference of 80 metres on a distance of 100 metres - that IS steep).
For more ordinary skiers, Bad Kleinkirchheim has a network of 26 lifts and cable-cars that take skiers to a total of 100 kilometres of slopes. An army of snow guns ensure that Bad Kleinkirchheim (which often had problems with a lack of natural snow in the previous years) can maintain its slopes using artificial snow.
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