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11 of Europe’s Premier Spa Retreats 2024

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Are you feeling stressed, tired, or bored of your daily routine? Do you want to treat yourself to a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway where you can soak in the healing waters, enjoy the soothing massages, and indulge in healthy yet delicious cuisine? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might consider visiting some of these luxury spa locations in Europe.

A Rich History

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / RossHelen

Europe has a rich and diverse spa culture from ancient times when the Romans, Greeks, and Celts built their baths and temples around the natural hot springs. These springs were believed to have curative and sacred properties and were used for bathing, drinking, and worshiping. Many of these historic sites are still in use today, having been transformed into modern and elegant spa resorts where you can experience the benefits of the thermal waters and various traditional and contemporary treatments.

But where to go? With so many options, deciding which spa destination is right for you can be tricky. Whether you prefer the mountains or the countryside, the classic or the quirky, there is a spa location for everyone. 

1. Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, St. Moritz, Switzerland

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / simona flamigni

For a truly luxurious spa experience, consider visiting Switzerland. The country is home to several high-end spas, including the famous Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in St. Moritz. The hotel’s spa is one of the best in the world, and it offers a wide range of treatments, from massages to facials to body wraps. But the best thing about Badrutt’s Palace is the location. The hotel has breathtaking views in the heart of the Swiss Alps.

Insider’s Tip: Don’t miss the opportunity to take a dip in the hotel’s heated outdoor pool, offering panoramic views of the Engadin Valley.

When To Travel: Visit during the summer for a serene experience or in winter to combine spa indulgence with skiing.

How To Get There: The nearest major airport is in Zurich, from where you can take a scenic train ride or a shorter drive to St. Moritz.

2. Blue Lagoon, Iceland

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jacksoo999

One of the most famous spa destinations in Europe is Iceland. The country is home to several geothermal spas, including the world-famous Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is a manufactured pool filled with mineral-rich seawater heated by a nearby geothermal power plant. The water is said to have healing properties, and many people come to the Blue Lagoon to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. But even if you don’t have any skin problems, the Blue Lagoon is still worth a visit. The water is a beautiful shade of blue, and the surrounding landscape is otherworldly.

Insider’s Tip: Book a slot in the evening to enjoy the surreal experience of bathing under the midnight sun or the northern lights, depending on the season.

When To Travel: Year-round, each season offers a unique experience at the Blue Lagoon.

How To Get There: The Blue Lagoon is located about a 45-minute drive from Reykjavik and 20 minutes from Keflavík International Airport.

3. Gellert Bath, Budapest, Hungary

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / posztos

Another great spa destination in Europe is Budapest, Hungary. The city is known as the “City of Spas,” for good reason. Budapest is home to many thermal baths, including the famous Gellert Baths. The Gellert Baths are in a beautiful Art Nouveau building, and the water is said to have healing properties for everything from joint pain to respiratory problems. But the best thing about the Gellert Baths is the atmosphere. The baths are a great place to relax and unwind, and the beautiful architecture makes you feel like you’re in a different era.

Insider’s Tip: Try the various pools with different temperatures to find your perfect spot for relaxation.

When To Travel: Spring or autumn for fewer crowds and pleasant weather.

How To Get There: Budapest is well-connected by air with major cities. Gellért Baths are centrally located and easily accessible by public transport in the city.

4. Roman Baths, England

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alexey Fedorenko

If you want to experience the original spa culture of Europe, you can’t miss the Roman Baths in Bath, England. This is one of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world and one of the most visited attractions in the UK. Here, you can see the ancient ruins of the temple and the baths, where the Romans worshiped the goddess Sulis Minerva and enjoyed the hot mineral springs. You can also visit the museum to learn more about the site’s history and artifacts.

Insider’s Tip: Visit the Thermae Bath Spa’s rooftop pool at dusk for a magical experience as the city lights up.

When To Travel: Enjoy mild spring or early autumn weather to avoid the peak tourist season.

How To Get There: Bath is easily accessible by train from London, with a journey time of around 1.5 hours.

5. Thermae Bath Spa, Bath, England

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kzenon

But the Roman Baths are not just a museum. You can also enjoy the thermal waters at the nearby Thermae Bath Spa, Britain’s only natural thermal spa. Here, you can relax in the rooftop pool, with stunning city views, or in the indoor Minerva Bath, with massage jets and a whirlpool. You can also try the Wellness Suite, which has steam rooms, an infrared sauna, an ice chamber, and a relaxation room. And of course, you can book a range of spa treatments, from aromatherapy to reflexology, from facials to body wraps.

Insider’s Tip: Book a session in the Cross Bath, an intimate open-air thermal bath – a perfect choice for a more private and serene experience.

When To Travel: Bath is beautiful year-round, but spring (March to May) and early autumn (September to October) offer mild weather and fewer crowds.

How To Get There: Bath is easily accessible by train from London Paddington and London Waterloo stations, with a journey time of about 90 minutes. Once in Bath, the spa is within walking distance from the Bath Spa railway station and is well-signposted throughout the city.

6. Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jorgson Photography

If you are looking for a hidden gem in the heart of Europe, you might want to visit Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic. This picturesque spa town is famous for its hot mineral springs that have healing properties and are used for drinking cures and balneotherapy.

You can stroll along the elegant colonnades, admire the neo-Renaissance architecture, and enjoy the views from the hilltop lookout tower. You can also explore the rich cultural and historical heritage of Karlovy Vary, which has attracted many famous artists, musicians, writers, and celebrities over the centuries.

Insider’s Tip: Sample the traditional spa wafers and Becherovka, a herbal liqueur, for a taste of local flavors.

When To Travel: Late spring to early autumn for the best weather and the opportunity to attend various cultural festivals.

How To Get There: Karlovy Vary is about a two-hour drive from Prague, with regular bus and train services available.

7. Grandhotel Pupp, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Shestakoff

Karlovy Vary has many spa hotels and resorts where you can experience the benefits of the thermal waters and various spa treatments. One of the most luxurious and prestigious ones is the Grandhotel Pupp, which dates back to 1701 and has hosted many illustrious guests, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Goethe, and Casanova.

Here, you can enjoy the Pupp Royal Spa, which has a pool, sauna, steam bath, fitness center, and various massages and beauty treatments. You can also sample the local delicacies, such as the Becherovka herbal liqueur, the spa wafers, and the Moser glassware.

Insider’s Tip: Attend the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for a glamorous experience; the hotel often hosts events related to the festival.

When To Travel: Summer for the film festival and the best weather, though the hotel’s charm is year-round.

How To Get There: Located in Karlovy Vary, the hotel is accessible via a short drive or public transport from Prague.

8. Rogaska Slatina, Slovenia

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / matej_z

If you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path, consider visiting Slovenia. The country is home to natural hot springs, and the town of Rogaska Slatina is one of the best places to experience them. The town is known for its mineral-rich water, which is said to have healing properties for everything from digestive problems to skin conditions. But the real draw of Rogaska Slatina is the beautiful scenery. Rolling hills and forests surround the town, and the air is fresh and clean.

Insider’s Tip: Try the unique “Donat Mg” mineral water, known for its high magnesium content, which is beneficial for digestive health.

When To Travel: Spring or early autumn for pleasant weather and fewer tourists.

How To Get There: The nearest major city is Ljubljana, from where Rogaška Slatina is accessible by car or public transport.

9. Terme di Saturnia, Italy

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / ValerioMei

In the heart of Tuscany, Italy, lies Terme di Saturnia, a spa resort renowned for its thermal springs that date back to ancient times. These sulfuric waters, naturally heated to a warm 37.5°C, are believed to have therapeutic properties, particularly for skin and rheumatic ailments.

The resort offers a luxurious spa experience with a range of treatments, including mud therapy, hydrotherapy, and aesthetic medicine. Beyond the spa, guests can enjoy the stunning Tuscan landscape, with its rolling hills, vineyards, and medieval villages. The resort’s focus on wellness extends to its cuisine, offering dishes prepared with local, organic ingredients.

Insider’s Tip: Explore the nearby medieval village of Saturnia, with its charming streets and historical architecture.

When To Travel: Spring and autumn are ideal for visiting, offering pleasant weather and fewer crowds.

How To Get There: The nearest major airport is in Rome, from which Terme di Saturnia is a two-hour drive.

10. Aire Ancient Baths, Barcelona, Spain

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / Adelaides

In the vibrant city of Barcelona, Aire Ancient Baths creates a sanctuary of tranquility and wellness. This luxurious spa, set in a restored Roman bathhouse, combines ancient traditions with modern relaxation techniques. The thermal baths, with varying temperatures, along with saltwater pools and steam rooms, provide a unique sensory experience.

The spa also offers a range of massages and treatments, designed to soothe and rejuvenate. Set against the backdrop of historic architecture, Aire Ancient Baths offers an escape to a world of calm amidst the bustling city.

Insider’s Tip: Try the exclusive wine bath experience for a unique blend of spa luxury and the rich wine culture of Spain.

When To Travel: Barcelona is delightful year-round, but the spring and fall seasons offer pleasant weather and fewer tourists.

How To Get There: The spa is located in the El Born district of Barcelona, easily accessible by public transportation or a short walk from the city center.

11. Vals Thermal Baths, Switzerland

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / lauravr

Nestled in the Swiss Alps, the Vals Thermal Baths, designed by renowned architect Peter Zumthor, are a masterpiece of minimalist design harmoniously integrated with nature. The spa is known for its therapeutic thermal waters and serene ambiance. The baths are part of a hotel complex, which offers a complete wellness experience with various treatments, saunas, and relaxation areas. The architectural beauty of the spa, combined with the stunning alpine scenery, makes for a profoundly calming and rejuvenating experience.

Insider’s Tip: Reserve a private spa suite for a more intimate and exclusive wellness experience.

When To Travel: Winter for a magical snowy backdrop or summer for alpine hiking opportunities.

How To Get There: The nearest major airport is Zurich. From Zurich, Vals can be reached by a combination of train and bus services, or by a scenic drive through the Swiss countryside.

The Bottom Line

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Image Credit: Shutterstock / NDAB Creativity

As you consider your next retreat, let these luxurious European spa towns beckon you with their promise of relaxation and rejuvenation. Whether soaking in the historic baths of Budapest, basking in the natural beauty of Karlovy Vary, or indulging in the modern luxury of St. Moritz, each destination offers a unique way to unwind and recharge. Remember, taking time for self-care isn’t just a luxury; it’s essential to your well-being. So pack your bags, set your worries aside, and immerse yourself in the therapeutic waters and serene surroundings of Europe’s finest spa towns. Your mind and body will surely thank you.

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The post 11 of Europe’s Premier Spa Retreats 2024 republished on Passing Thru with permission from The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alla Laurent.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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