Bad Gastein: The Under-the-Radar Austrian Ski Town with a Fabulous Spa Culture

Bad Gastein: The Under-the-Radar Austrian Ski Town with a Fabulous Spa Culture

Just a 90-minute drive from Salzburg, this under-the-radar Austrian ski town promises reliable snowfall, secluded slopes and a superior spa culture. Swerve the Courchevel crowds with a winter escape to the belle-époque beauty of Bad Gastein


Bad Gastein, Austria.

Why now?

It’s ski season (duh), and demand is higher than Mont Blanc
this winter. We’re avoiding crossing skis with the Courchevel
crowds by seeking out lesser-visited locales for our annual snow
fix, and Bad Gastein’s belle-époque beauty and top-notch spa scene
has put it high on our list while looking at where to book.

There’s something distinctly Wes Anderson-eque about this elegant Austrian
town. Once a favourite of European royalty, who found its curative
waters and restorative mountain landscapes suitably de-stressing,
it’s now where in-the-know Austrians and Germans head to hit steep,
relatively empty slopes and carve up scenic cross-country routes.
Bad Gastein is higher than most Austrian resorts, so you can count
on the powder to be uber-reliable – and considerable snowfall is
expected across the region for the 2023 season, too.

A snow-covered church in the mountains
A cross-country skier

Bad Gastein’s belle-epoque elegence, left, and a skier on
the slopes. | Photo credit: Nikolpetr /

Don’t miss

A spa day. The word “bad” means “spa”, so pampering comes with
the territory. Dip into wellness retreats dotted across the area –
our favourite is Felsentherme, where mineral-rich indoor and
outdoor thermal baths fill with water from 18 different mountain

Where to stay?

Stay at architect and hotelier Ike Ikrath’s Hotel Miramonte for sweeping valley views, a
private Aveda spa and 36 elegant, yet intimate, bedrooms.

Where to go for dinner?

People climb mountains (literally) to enjoy the wood-fired
pizzas at Jägerhäusl (Kaiser Franz Josef-Strasse 9, 5640).

And for a drink…

Try The Blonde Beans, a Swedish-owned café serving coffee
made from Malmö-roasted beans and Gastein mountain water. The
sticky homemade kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) are a bonus. You’ll
find the café across the street from the train station.

Lounging sofas strung from ceiling at Hotel Miramonte
A snowy restaurant terrace

Hotel Miramonte’s distinctive lounge area, left, and the
outdoor terrace.

Who to take with you?

A keen skier. With 760km of pistes, 270 lifts and 45km of
cross-country ski trails on offer, you’ll want the company of a
snow pal who knows their salopettes from their ski pants.

Essentials to pack

Talking of salopettes… we’re making Free People’s All Prepped Colorblock Bibb part of our
slopeside wardrobe this winter.

How to get there

Take a direct flight from London Gatwick to Salzburg, from where
you can hop in a transfer shuttle and be buckling your ski boots in
just 90 minutes.

This article was updated 28 November 2022. It contains
affiliate links, which means SUITCASE may earn a small commission
if you click through and book.

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