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BKK: THE SKI RESORT & HANGOUT - Katie Bamber, Bad Kleinkircheim
Tuesday March 12, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

It's a 50-50 kind of place. AM on the sunny slopes, PM for downtime, whether that's eating, walking or chilling in the thermal spas.


Im talking about the Austrian resort of Bad Kleinkirchheim in Carinthia.

It's located in the very south of the country in the Adriatic Alps.

It's the borderless area, where Italy, Slovenia and Carinthia meet.

The weather for BKK comes from Italy, meaning it's sunnier than the next batch of resorts around Salzburg, further north into Austria.

Sun, a lot of it, and milder temperatures.

Read my first piece on first impressions of BKK here:
Sankt OswaldSankt Oswald


























The BKK valley has skiing both sides.

The Bad Kleinkirchheim village has skiing on the Maibrunn up to 1,800m.

Most of the slopes are in the shade so though cold and icy first thing, they keep the snow better through the day.

Sankt Oswald, the village on the other side of the valley road, faces south and is sunny first thing.

Wise thing to do is to ski Sankt Oswald in the morning and potter over the BKK in the afternoon to get the best of the snow and the best of both resorts.

BKK has a women's World Cup downhillrun and, of course, the Franz Klammer named after its very own Olympian.

Sankt Oswald is old-school, sunny and a lot of fun.

It's skies to 200m higher than BKK, and a tad windier for it.

The views are spectacular.

You can see the high, white peaks of the Julian Alps and over to Slovenia's highest peak in the national park Triglav.

Down the valley is the Millstatter See, a huge lake that has windsurfing and sailing in summer.

The slopes on both sides are wide and long.

There's a little more variety of runs in St Oswald - the lifts are better in BKK.

BKKLast burst of energy before heading back down to BKK for downtime





















To step up the skiing - and ignore everything I'm saying about taking it easy here in Carinthia - there is the big ski tour for experienced skiers.

The Nockberge Trail takes tourers along the skiing areas of Katschberg, Innerkrems, Turracher Hohe, Falkert and Bad Kleinkirchheim.

Off the high hills:

Cross-country cardio along the valley is sweet.

East to West the valley runs, meaning lots of sun.

So the 8km trail along the valley floor is best enjoyed mid-winter for the white wonderland it can be.

There's another langlaufen track - a shorter 4km - across the frozen lake Brennsee.

It didn't fit in with my zen afternoons, but tobogganing is on the menu, too, with four trails in BKK and three more by Feld am See.

What I'm coming back for:

A sunrise ski with Olympian Franz Klammer himself, two hours carving up the pistes before the lifts even open, followed by brunch at a hut.

And of course the hikes, the family walks the horse-drawn sleigh rides should be mentioned.

Eve AlpaRelax at the eve alpa restaurant for modern food & sun deck, Sankt Oswald



























THE HANGOUT:

Spas in BKK.

Kleinkirchheim claims to be the birthplace of spa culture.

It was discovered back in the 15th Century and the Kathreinkirchlein chapel was built around the source, still there about lovely today.

Just as centuries ago BKK was a sort of pilgrimage for health, it has now become a holiday destination for relaxation.

Where better than deep in the Austrian countryside will you fill up on the sights of mountains and lakes (as well as on the excellent food the area has to offer).

Bad KleinkirchheimBad Kleinkirchheim






















Romerbad SpaRomerbad Spa


















Thermal Romerbad

It's an alpine spa in a modern design.

There are 13 saunas, as well as steamrooms and many more rooms you didn't realise you needed, like the sea salt room, all with stellar views of the Nock mountains.

An indoor thermal pool, outdoor thermal pool a thermal bath, and in the sauna area, the adults zone, an outdoor pool with neck jets and back waterfalls.

There's also a floating pool with underwater relaxation beds and calming lighting.

Positioned best for maximum sunlight the spa looks out onto the pistes are proven restful due to the amount of sleepers on loungers.

Not a napper?

Me neither, until I sauna-ed at 100° and lay out in the glass-fronted relaxation room.

The outdoor pool is perfectly heated and looks up to the World Cup downhill run, the Franz Klammer.

St Kathrein is the second spa.

It's more a family spa but if you pass it by, assuming it to be too energetic and one for the young ones, you'll have missed out.

Try the whirlpool tub filled with thermal water at 34°, which claims to alleviate migraines, rheumatism and joint pain.

But it's gorgeous and has an adult area with saunas and steamrooms.

In fact, sit in the steamroom here and someone will come in and offer you honey to cover yourself in, before coming back to order a shower.

BKKBKK snowshoeing




























How else can you take it down?

Snowshoeing, around the Biospharenparkbahn Brunnach:




Stay at the 4* Trattlerhof.

It's a ski hotel at its best.

Cosy, friendly, luxurious but not at all stuffy.

You'll get the Austrian hospitality and top service whilst feeling like you've been invited to stay and enjoy the atmosphere like a VIP friend in the alps.

I mentioned before, it's spas not bars.

But there is a cabin or two to find.

The most welcoming lodge you could find anywhere in the mountains is Trattlers Einkehr.

It came about as a kind of alpine tennis club house, built in the 70s using 300-year-old wood from knocked down stables.

You'd think it had been here hundreds of years and had seen some evenings unfold from medieval times and on...

Apres around fires outside in wooden chairs covered in fur, and wait 'til dinner time for Austrian dishes with a modern twist.

It is traditional; don't be missing it for something more authentic.

It might be my favourite place I've seen this season in the Alps - and it's been a good year, too.

London Hoxton's chef from Smokehouse has come to add some ideas using local ingredients, and with a glass of Gruner Veltliner and a warming Käsespätzle on the way, you will be very content.

It's a promise of the best of Austrian cuisine and setting.

BKKGuided snowshoeing




























Food

You're between the Alps and Adriatic sea.

It's actually a borderless area, so Carinthia, Italy and Slovenia come together here.

"Fine food literally knows no boundaries," they say.

Always fresh ingredients from the region, traditional recipes and southern ease blend here to make one foodie paradise.

It's not just the favourite Austrian mountain dishes on the menu, but fresh fish caught from the pristine lakes and rivers and dishes influenced by three cultures.

That means the best of the hearty Austrian alpine food and Mediterranean lightness.

We'll have to udpate this one as the delights are too good not to share.

Katie in Sankt OswaldKatie Bamber in Sankt Oswald




























Feld am See is the third prong of this trio of villages.

It's a lake, no skiing, but it freezes over and is a wee winter playground of its own.

Brennsee and the lake Afritz, 10km from BKK, is a beautiful spot for ice skating as it should be on the frozen lake.

Bad KleinkircheimBad Kleinkirchheim
























FACTBOX

Inghams is offering a seven-night holiday on a half board basis at the four-star Hotel Trattlerhof in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, from £864pp based on two sharing in January 2020.

Price includes return flights from London Gatwick to Klagenfurt and airport transfers.

Lift passes, equipment hire and tuition can be pre-booked through Inghams.

To book, visit the website or call 01483 791 114.    

For more information on the resort, visit www.badkleinkirchheim.com.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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