Something in the water
Bad Vigaun: This design-conscious spa draws serenity-seekers from far and wide, keen to wallow in its deliciously warm waters and lie back in its Finnish sauna before a refreshing blast of cold in its cold water pool. badvigaun.com
Therme Amade: This welcoming sprawl of a place draws on a wealth of wellness expertise to primp and preen visitors. You can test out every nook, or book yourself into the mermaid workshop, gliding underwater with your very own fin. thermeamade.at
Alpentherme: Young spa-seekers are thoroughly encouraged to whoosh down the water slides, while parents float gently along the lazy river jet stream. alpentherme.com
Felsentherme: The soothing water here in Bad Gastein is great at giving your cells an extra zing and balancing the body. felsentherme.com
TAUERN SPA Kaprun: Sleek and serene, the pool lies in the shadow of the snow-smothered Kitzsteinhorn Mountain, giving you awe-inspiring views whilst you dangle your feet into its energising waters. tauernspakaprun.com
Aqua Salza Golling: Another child-friendly option, where parents can peel off for Ayurvedic treatments in the sauna area where the emphasis is on physical healing at a deeper level. aquasalza.at
Nature & holistic healing
Eat at the table of award-winning chef Johanna Maier, whose experimental and inventive menus incorporate a whole raft of herbs to leave you feeling calm and grounded. Wander through one of Salzburgerland’s terraced herb gardens for an insightful tour of its plants, from herb seminars in Untereggs Kräutergartl to homemade coffee and cakes in Hoadabauer: did you know, for example, you can cool sunburn by applying a large sorrel leaf; or have a restful night’s sleep after sipping on a tea of lemon balm, hops, lavender and valerian?
For sheer natural beauty, don’t miss the Forsthofgut Nature hotel in Leogang, which is surrounded by meadows and forests that provide a pervading sense of serenity. forsthofgut.at
Top five: quintessential wellness experiences
Gasteiner Heilstollen: The calming caves of the Gastein Valley are said to have extraordinary pain-relieving benefits for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers courtesy of their micro-climate, enriched with the anti-inflammatory gas, radon: 80% of those who have soaked up its healing climate have said they are pain-free for over a year. gasteiner-heilstollen.com
Krimml Waterfalls: Plot a course here — the highest waterfalls in Central Europe — and submerge yourself in its fine spray mist. Inhale some of its rejuvenating fine water particles that are believed to relieve allergies and asthma symptoms. wasserfaelle-krimml.at
Alpine Salt wrap: It might not sound like the obvious choice when it comes to restoring your inner calm, but its wellness benefits as a stress buster have been well-documented. An Alpine salt wrap at the Ebner’s Waldhof at Lake Fuschl will purify and unwind both body and mind. ebners-waldhof.com
Kneipp therapy: To fully embrace this wellness wonderland, throw off your clothes and take a dip in any of the mountain streams for some ice-tingling kneipp therapy, the happy by-products of which are improved circulation, blood flow and metabolism.
Published in the Salzburgerland guide distributed with the December 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)