Wellness tourism: The (thermal) heat is on in Austria

When it comes to spas and wellness, Austrian spas may not often appear in many “best of” lists, but don’t let that fool you. In the Global Wellness Tourism Economy 2018 report, Austria ranked sixth in the Top 20 Wellness Tourism Destination Markets. Apparently, the country known for The Sound of Music is also a go-to place for a sound mind and body.

What makes Austria a premier destination for wellness? Thanks to the Alps, the country is blessed with an abundance of natural thermal springs (or as Austrians call them, therme) that flow from former volcanic zones. Because of these springs, spas and wellness centers have sprung up to harness the health benefits that the warm waters offer.

[img src=”/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/iStock-1130969569.jpg” alt=”Wellness travel, Austria”]

The states of wellness

In each of the nine federal states of Austria, you can find spas blessed with natural hot springs, fresh Alpine air, and a gorgeous view of the mountains.

Vienna – It may well be the only capital city in the world with its own thermal spa. Therme Wien is the biggest city spa in Europe, with 6,000 square metres of health and fitness space that includes 26 pools heated by sulphur springs, 24 saunas and steam rooms, and around 2,500 lounge chairs. Vienna also has many day spas and luxury boutique spas. Then there’s City Wellness Medical, which offers cosmetic procedures alongside other wellness treatments.

Burgenland – One of the most popular thermal baths in this state is St. Martins Therme & Lodge, located near Lake Neusiedl-Seewinkel National Park. The spa has four-star offerings in its spacious complex, plus breathtaking scenery that greets you when you step outside. Other notable thermes are the family-friendly Loipersdorf Spa, featuring lots of sports facilities, and the Stegersbach Allegria Thermal Spa, with 14 pools featuring separate ones for babies, toddlers, and children.

Carinthia – With over 200 lakes and more than 60 curative spas, this state is a wellness holiday haven. Of note is the Thermen Resort Warmbad-Villach, a resort park with three hotels and several thermal spa facilities with healing waters supplied by six springs. Another outstanding therme is the Thermal Römerbad, named one of Europe’s most beautiful. Designed by celebrated architect Behnisch, the spa’s interiors and exteriors merge water and mountains — a stunning example of nature integrated into the construction.

Lower Austria – One of the highlights in this state is the Therme Laa, a wellness complex with a hotel, a health center, and even a silent spa, where the only thing you hear is the sound of gently lapping water. Pure bliss! Meanwhile, the health-giving sulphuric waters at the Römertherme health resort entice visitors to immerse themselves in its pools, just like the Romans did centuries ago. A session in its outdoor pool is sure to give you healthy, glowing skin.

Upper Austria – Warm, deep spring waters feed Upper Austria’s spas, providing luxurious relaxation as well as healing to spa-goers. The EurothermenResort Bad Schallerbach offers a South Sea flair to a wide variety of visitors — couples, whole families, friends, and more. Kids will especially enjoy the Pirate World Aquapulco attraction. At the EurothermenResort Bad Ischl, visitors can enjoy the popular therapies with salt and brine, while those who go to EurothermenResort Bad Hall can seek rehabilitation with iodine brine treatments.

Salzburgerland – Unlike the other regions with their sprawling thermal spas, this state focuses on smaller, leisurely boutique facilities. This may be the reason why a couple of their thermal spas are often mentioned in Austria’s “best of” lists. Alpentherme Gastein is touted as one of Europe’s most modern wellness resorts, its wood and stone structure blending with the tranquil views of the Alps. But you may prefer to stay outdoors and enjoy the alpine surroundings along their 120 kilometres of hiking trails. Another outstanding therme is Tauern Spa. Located in the heart of the Hohe Tauern National Park, this wellness complex boasts of a four-star water world resort, with a variety of saunas and steam rooms, 11 swimming pools, and 15 treatment rooms.

Styria – Known as Austria’s “Green Heart,” Styria is home to one of the most distinctive structures in the country. Rogner Bad Blumau is a creation of world-renowned visual artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, whose offbeat aesthetics is on full display here. Buildings with round shapes, colourful facades, and curved lines blend in harmony with nature. Another notable spa is the Healing Thermal Baths Bad Waltersdorf. Its pools offer warm, mineral-rich waters that relax the mind and body, ease aches and pains, and boost the immune system.

Tirol – The region was known for the curative properties of its “Längenfelder Baths” back in the 16th century. Today, Tirol’s largest, most modern, and most distinctive thermal spa is the Aquadome, featuring three outdoor pools that resemble giant flying saucers floating weightlessly above the resort. Another relaxing getaway option is the Krumers Alpin Resort & Spa, a four-star resort that’s an oasis of calm. Run by the Albrecht family, this wellness and sports hotel is a perfect choice for a holiday filled with active and relaxing experiences.

Vorarlberg – This mountainous province is regarded as one of the most important pioneers of the New Alpine architecture, which combines tradition and modernity with clean lines and the use of glass and local wood. This aesthetic is on full display in their 21 wellness hotels and four spa hotels, all stylishly designed and located in the middle of nature. These wellness hotels offer natural health remedies to guests seeking a rejuvenating getaway.

Wheel & Anchor’s Austrian Spa and Wellness program (women only)

On April 2020, Wheel & Anchor brings back our popular wellness program designed for women only. Participants will be able to enjoy the best spa experience Austria has to offer in an exclusive, for-women-only health spa.

La Pura Women’s Health Resort is a four-star health resort in Lower Austria that caters to women’s wellness. Their programs were developed from specialists’ findings based on medical diagnostics and personal consultations. The resort’s architecture was developed to be a space “that meets women’s needs.” Women can enjoy its many amenities: warm pools, different saunas, a variety of baths, rain-simulation showers, relaxation rooms, and so many more. And their gourmet selections are excellent, with an emphasis on organic, low-calorie, healthy cuisine. You’ll never go hungry — or fat — during your stay at La Pura.

This is a 10-day tour from April 16 to 27, 2020. Since La Pura is only an hour away from Vienna, we’ll also be staying for three nights in Austria’s historic capital. If you’re itching to experience a blissful wellness tour with like-minded adventurers, then sign up to be a Wheel & Anchor member today.

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