Spa Breaks

January 9, 2013 Austria Write a Comment 10,792 Views

Spa Breaks: A Few Days Of Spoiling & Relaxation.

After summer, when autumn slowly sneaks in and the days are getting shorter (sometimes with wind & rain that turns into snow drizzling towards the end of the year), you’ll come across some nice options for a relaxing weekend out in the countryside. Especially if you have a demanding job that soaks up all your energy, a Spa weekend away can really do wonders.

Health Through Water.

Even though it’s an urban legend that the origin of the word “Spa” comes from the Latin meaning “Sanus per Aquam” (which means “Health through Water”), I like the meaning of it and (I personally think) it hits the nail on the head. A couple of Spa days throughout the year can really get you back on track.

The whole concept of healing through water starts with finding the right hotel. It should be directly connected to the thermal fountain, fitted out with indoor/outdoor pools, Turkish baths, Saunas, Jacuzzis, seating areas with dimmed lightning and various treatment offers like massages, hot stone treatments or Ayurveda cures. Most places specialize in treatments to bring back your inner harmony and physical fitness.

A Typical Spa Day.

A typical day in your chosen weekend retreat could start immediately after a good night sleep, with a quick jump into the pool and a few laps of swimming to really wake up just in time before breakfast. Breakfast in a nice hotel always has the advantage that you can choose from a variety of things; whatever you feel like, it’s there. And the best thing about it: you have no preparation work at all.

During breakfast you can think about what to do during the upcoming day (in case you haven’t already planned it all ahead), and since you’ve booked yourself into a Spa, you’ll most likely put on your swimsuit and hit the wellness area. Thermal water has many benefits for your body, but it’s still advisable to only stay in the water for a certain time, to get the maximum impact. Afterwards maybe a massage, mudpack or wet pack … whatever you desire. This will get you ready for a light lunch followed by a short afternoon snooze.

As you can imagine, getting up after such a relaxing morning can be tough, but your pampering is not over yet: give a Turkish steam bath a go or check out the Finnish sauna for some hot flushes. And after a jump into the cooling pool – this might cost you a bit of overcoming – you’re totally refreshed and ready to do some stretching. Some Spa hotels also provide yoga classes or Shiatsu lessons, which is a great supplemental offer.

Now, after you’ve done lots of activities (that you normally never do), you’re ready to dress up and hit the restaurant for your well-deserved dinner. Try to avoid the heavy stuff, eat light, treat yourself to a glass of champagne and don’t go to bed too late. After all, it’s not called “beauty sleep” for nothing…

On the second day of your stay, you’ll most probably get up totally relaxed, ready for a long walk through the area. Fresh air in your lungs will get you fit again, until you’re ready for another vacation weekend in a Spa village.

Spas in Austria.

In Austria, we have a lot of thermal Spas all over the country. Most villages with a thermal fountain start with the German word “Bad”, which actually means “Spa”. For example Bad Gastein, Bad Waltersdorf, Bad Vöslau, Bad Blumau and so on. There are hundreds of such towns, each one with its own flair. Bad Gastein is one of the most well-known and frequently visited by locals and tourists. It gained early fame because of the Heilstollen’s (“healing tunnel”) spring water. The Swiss physician & biologist Parcelsus studied the spring water to discover its secrets. Marie Curie and Heinrich Mache helped to discover that it contained radon and as a result, radon therapies began in Bad Gastein. Today, you’ll find many resorts that offer all kinds of Spa therapies in Bad Gastein.

Yes, Spa and hotel breaks are a way of refreshing the body & mind and even though you might not think that one single weekend is enough to completely get back onto your feet, don’t underestimate the wonders of “Sanus per Aquam”.

 Some Impressions of Bad Gastein.
Bad Gastein in Salzburg, Austria.
Bad Gastein in Salzburg is one of the most well known spa places in Austria.
Bad Gastein in Salzburg, Austria.
Bad Gastein is an old health and spa resort in Salzburg with many different hotels to chose from.
The landscape around Bad Gastein in Salzburg, Austria.
The landscape around Bad Gastein, calles “Hohe Tauern” in Salzburg is also well worth a visit.
The landscape around Bad Gastein in Salzburg, Austria.
The “Hohe Tauern” area is a popular spot for hikers, mountain bikers, skiers and thrill-seekers.
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