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The picture of health: Salzburgerland’s best wellness experiences

Miles of pretty peaks dominating the horizon and lush green landscapes provide the perfect backdrop to Salzburgerland’s many spa and wellness offerings

The picture of health: Salzburgerland’s best wellness experiences
The pool at Forsthofgut Nature Hotel, Salzburgerland

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Something in the water

A dip into one of Salzburgerland’s thermal baths is almost a rite of passage, plus the setting’s pristine, and the results will make you feel more alive. 

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

Salzburgerland isn’t just a top-drawer place for a soothing massage or facial. Treatments and wellbeing programmes here are grounded in science, much of which is based on the healing power of plants dating back to medieval times. The association Traditional European Healing Method (TEH) was founded to ensure this legacy lives on, recruiting farmers, chefs and green-fingered gurus to train as practitioners and spread the word.

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

Salzburgerland wellness experiences: Tauern Spa Kristall Sauna

Tauern Spa Kristall Sauna, Salzburgerland

Top five: quintessential wellness experiences

Honey massage: For an utterly indulgent treatment and an all-round skin overhaul, book a honey massage at the Tauern Spa Kaprun, where you’ll be smothered in Salzburg mountain honey to detoxify the body and invigorate the skin. tauernspakaprun.com

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)