Switzerland boasts some of the most impressive mountains and ski resorts in Europe – including snow-covered peaks mid-summer and sun-warmed patios at 3,000 meters above sea level mid-winter.
But the country made famous for watches and chocolates also offers plenty for the spa and wellness-minded traveler, the Swiss don’t usually associate being fit and healthy with a certain regime or location. Wellness is a lifestyle dating back hundreds of years.
Thinking of going on a spa getaway? Check out the tripatlas.com/new Trip Builder where you can request a quote local travel agents who are waiting to offer you custom prices on your trip.
Spa & wellness travel highlights in Switzerland
Leukerbad, close to the Valais Alps and Europe’s largest Alpine medical wellness centre, is one of Switzerland’s favourite wellness destinations.
At Lindner Hotel & Alpentherme in Leukerbad (www.lindner.de), health and wellness can be traced back to 1497 when the Romans started using the hot thermal springs the resort is still famous for. Visitors can choose between indoor and outdoor thermal baths, a sauna village, 200 different spa treatments, and a private Roman Irish bath.
An extra 70 Suisse Francs (about $65 U.S.) will give you access to the Irish-Roman cross cultural haven located on the top floor, based on a technique introduced by Dr. Richard Bader that combines the Irish dry bath with Roman elements (think sauna combined with a steam bath and a swim).
The two hours you’ll spend making your way through eleven different steps and “stations” is worth both the time and the money. By moving through different rooms and pools with varying temperatures, the body is slowly heated up and cooled down again. The only interruption is an invigorating self administered body scrub with coarsely ground coffee beans and a soap-brush massage.
Following an icy-cold dip at the end, there are warm towels to wrap yourself in as you lie on a lounge chair in a comfortable relaxation room. Include a glass of wine with dinner and you’ll complete an ancient tradition plus sleep like a baby.
Getting outside to explore the surrounding area is also a good idea. Go for a mountain hike or take the cable car up to Gemmi Pass, a mountain pass connecting Leukerbad on the south side with Kandersteg on the north.
On foot it takes about three hours to get to there along a well-marked and beautiful hike. And, the view from 2,350 meters above sea level is spectacular. I was there in October, and although knee deep in snow towards the end of the trail, it was warm enough to feel comfortable in just a T-shirt and tights. I was completely wowed by both scenery and what turned out to be a great work out. Don’t forget to bring snacks and lots of water.
Julie Ryland is an editorial intern with TraveltoWellness.com
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