Austria is a perfect destination for a spa holiday. Not everyone knows it, but this wonderful country hides many thermal springs, which have been frequented since centuries past and are still in operation today, converted into modern establishments equipped with ancillary services such as spas and wellness centres.
Austria’s thermal resorts are scattered all over the country; the complexes and establishments have swimming pools and a range of treatments; some are free and open to the public, others are housed in hotels or high-standard facilities with all the comforts and services. Needless to say, standards are always very high, this at the expense of the cost of admission which is not always cheap. But a great advantage of spas in Austria is that many are also open to families with children, so that they can all enjoy a wonderful experience of relaxation and well-being together.
Of all the spas in Austria, we have chosen five that represent the epitome of what this country’s spas have to offer.
Bad Gastein, in the Salzburg region, is one of Austria’s most famous spa resorts. It is mainly frequented by skiers, but for those looking for hot springs and wellness treatments, this charming town has a lot to offer.
Of all the establishments in Bad Gastein, the Felsentherme is the one most worthy of mention. It is located in the centre of the town, opposite the railway station, right along the main road through the town. One of the distinctive features of the Felsentherme is its altitude, at over 1,000 metres: especially in winter, the contrast between the cold outside and the boiling water is a priceless sensation.
Inside the complex, the water comes from no less than 18 different thermal springs, with temperatures reaching 46 degrees at the source. The water, channelled directly from the spring to the pools, is therapeutic for the cardiovascular system and for alleviating muscle pain. For those seeking all-round wellness, the outdoor pool area of the Felsentherme is the ideal destination, with a 24-degree pool, a 34-degree pool and a children’s area.
The indoor area, on the other hand, is truly unique: it covers an area of 600 square metres and consists of two pools and a series of amenities such as sun loungers, whirlpools, geysers, a children’s pool, a 70-metre slide, a thermal stream channel and a grotto with waterfall.
In Carinthia, Bad Kleinkircheim is one of the most famous spa resorts thanks to the Romerbad, the ancient Roman baths, which are among the highest in Austria and in the whole of Europe. Bad Kleinkircheim is a ski resort, so the thermal baths are also popular in winter with skiers, eager to recover after a tiring day on the slopes.
The Romerbads are located in the centre of the village, along the main road, and are therefore very convenient to reach. The waters have a high radon concentration, which is ideal for curing rheumatic diseases and stress-related tension and sleep disorders. The temperature is around 33 degrees for the indoor pools and 28 to 32 degrees for the outdoor pools, but in addition to these, there are 13 sauna treatments in the Romerbad complex on three floors and a series of areas inspired by ancient Rome, such as the Romanum area with a Roman-style sauna with calidarium, lacomium, tepidarium and a sudatorium, the Noricum area, dedicated to beauty treatments and massages, and the Maximus area, dedicated to wellness and declined in a more modern sense, with steam baths, infrared sauna and herbal sauna.
Those who are in Austria to visit its magnificent capital Vienna can still spend a day at the Therme Wien spa. This spa is the largest in Austria and at the same time one of the most important wellness centres in Europe. It is located in the Favoriten area, a district 5 kilometres from the city centre full of green areas and fitness zones, and overlooks a huge spa park with a number of attractions such as a Japanese garden and numerous ponds and pools.
It is the Oberlaaer spring that feeds Therme Wien, which gushes out at 54 degrees, making it one of the hottest thermal springs in Europe. The pools, however, are kept at temperatures ranging between 27 and 36 degrees. The spring water is rich in sodium and other minerals such as calcium, sulphur and chlorides; it is a real wellness boost, with relaxing effects and a beneficial effect on the skin.
Therme Wien has outdoor and indoor pools, waterfalls and jets, water massages, salt baths, a whirlpool area and even an Olympic-size pool. Needless to say, there are plenty of wellness treatments available to centre-goers, including regular or salt saunas, a Kneipp path and a hot-stone massage. Finally, it is worth mentioning the salt grotto, a wonderful facility that allows salt steam baths that have a calming effect on the nervous system.
It is impossible not to mention the St. Martins Therme & Lodge, located in Frauenkirchen, a modern, futuristically designed spa complex in the Burgenland region, just a few kilometres from theHungarian border.
The first thing that stands out about the entire establishment is its design, with futuristic, modern architecture and a huge thermal lagoon set in open countryside. The St. Martins Therme & Lodge is less crowded than other complexes, as it is not easy to reach and located in a less touristy area.
The thermal spring that feeds the St. Martins Therme & Lodge is the Seewinkel, from which comes out water at 43 degrees that is very rich in sodium, carbonic acid and chlorides. It is beneficial for rheumatic diseases, degenerative joint diseases and the cardiovascular system. Inside the facility you will find open and indoor pools, water-jet seats, experience showers and a series of relaxation rooms with panoramic terraces.
Inside the thermal complex there is also a children’s area, with long slides and water games, and a 32-degree pool. Worth mentioning is the presence of the mini animation club, run by the hotel staff, which allows children to have fun and play in complete safety.
The Aqua Dome in the Tyrolean town of Langenfeld is one of the most famous thermal spas in Austria.
The water of the Aqua Dome spring gushes out at 40 degrees Celsius, and comes from almost 2000 metres underground. It is rich in sulphur and trace elements, and remains unchanged until the pools.
Inside the Aqua Dome you will find a series of pools at 34-36 degrees, and five areas: the first is the largest, and consists of the facilities under the large crystal dome, the true icon of the entire complex. Then there is a series of architecturally remarkable, cone-shaped floating pools with a magnificent view of the surroundings. The other three areas are the river pool, the sports pool and the activity pool, all three of which are very interesting and very well constructed.
Children, too, will find what they are looking for at the Aqua Dome: the area dedicated to them is called Alpine Noah’s Ark, and it is a thermal area designed for their enjoyment with two pools, a huge 90-metre long slide, a series of splashes and water jets, and a doughnut slide.
In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article