For centuries, thermal spa pools have been hailed for their health benefits, alleviating and in some cases, curing, an assortment of ailments. With a composition that includes myriad essential minerals, even the healthiest people could feel rejuvenated after a quick dip. No wonder spa breaks are so popular.
Here's our quick guide to Europe's best spas, perfect for those in need of some pampering.
Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
In eastern Switzerland, close to the Liechtenstein / Austria border, is a resort in the snowy mountains called Bad Ragaz and one of its biggest draws is the Tamina Therme spa. Set within a beautiful building, architecturally designed to soothe, the thermal pools are heated to a constant 36.5 degrees and offer individual recliners baths, a steam bath, warm water grotto and outdoor pool. It also features a lovely café for a little post-spa hot chocolate.
Famed for its reputably medicinal 'waters', Bath is not only a beautiful and historic city but also one that offers some of the continent's nicest spas. For centuries the benefits of the Roman Baths have been extolled and the Thermae Bath Spa is the place to go - perfect for a girls' weekend away. It offers access to a range of facilities, including the steam rooms, an indoor bath and the stunning open-air roof top pool. Open late into the night, this provides the perfect combination of relaxation and amazing views.
No capital city boasts as many thermal spas as Budapest; that's a fact not many people know. One of the most popular and largest complexes is the Szechenyi spa, which welcomes residents and visitors alike from dawn till dusk. At 100 years old, the 15 indoor and three outdoor spa pools are situated in/outside a grandly imposing building and it is possible to get a quick treatment or two. The spa offers the unusual-sounding 'drink therapy', said to be beneficial for those with stomach complaints and acid reflux, among other conditions.
One of the most famous spas in the world, arguably, is the Blue Lagoon in Grindavik, close to the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik. It's bright blue mineral-rich waters attract locals and tourists alike, who bathe outdoors surrounded by craggy volcanic rock. The pool itself is man-made, filled with water from a geothermal source. The waters are said to be particularly soothing for those with skin conditions.
Why not consider a spa break yourself? Take in the sights and sounds of a new city, then relax in the thermal water, safe in the knowledge that it's good for your health.
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