Why a fairytale wellness escape to Bohemia is the perfect way to relax

When you want to wash away the world-weary tensions of everyday life, there’s nothing quite like nestling up in the soothing confines of a tranquil spa to help you feel truly rejuvenated. Pair the calming perks of a spa with picturesque architecture, charming old town vibes and the fairytale aura of one of Europe’s most beautiful regions, and it’s a match made in heaven. 

Bubbling with mineral-rich hot springs that have had the wealthy and well-to-do flocking for a dip for hundreds of years, the spa towns of the Czech regions are a must when you’re looking for some well-deserved R&R time. Follow in the footsteps of the European aristocracy and make a beeline for the thermal springs, Art Nouveau charm, and awe-inspiring natural beauty of the Czech landscape.

Centuries’ old spa traditions in Karlovy Vary

If you’re looking for a wellness break that can combine culture with a little restorative relaxation, the mediaeval spa town of Karlovy Vary fits the bill. Karlovy Vary literally brims with healing waters, with hundreds of natural springs and 13 thermal springs. The pretty town was founded in the 14th century, after the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV, found the warm waters did wonders for his aching knee, and a plethora of sugar-almond hued Baroque spa resorts grew around the region. 

Today you’ll find the springs at several elegant colonnades around the town – one of its most famous springs, the Vrídlo Geyser, shoots water up to 12 metres in height, with temperatures reaching 73 ºC. While taking a dip in the warm water is one way to enjoy it, local aficionados also swear by sipping on the mineral-rich springs from a traditional porcelain jug to get the most out of them.

Wellness escapism a stone’s throw from Prague 

For a restorative spa day less than an hour from the bustling sights of Prague, the romantic town of Poděbrady is packed with UNESCO-listed Gothic treasures, verdant parks and of course, some renowned mineral springs, making it an ideal destination for a day trip from the city. Said to help treat issues related to the circulatory system and metabolic disorders, the local waters are rich in iron and used for both bathing and drinking.

Surrounded by meadows and woodland as well as boasting beautiful riverside scenes, Poděbrady has plenty to explore once you re-emerge from its relaxing waters, from pretty walking routes to golf, horseback riding and yachting for those with a new burst of energy.

Bohemian romance in the forest landscape of Marianske Lazne

Sandwiched between the dense and verdant Slavkovský Forest on one side, and the wild remoteness of the Bohemian Forest, the character-filled town of Mariánské Lázně was the 19th century’s most fashionable place to take the mineral-packed waters.With local springs said to aid treat a variety of ailments, renowned writers, composers and royalty amongst its most exceptional guests. 

Today its opulent colonnades and avenues are bustling with tourists making the most of its therapeutic offerings, with a tempting choice of traditional spring treatments as well as contemporary massages and wellness programmes. As well as enjoying the town’s stunning 19th century architecture, you’ll also find a wealth of outdoor activities in the invigorating countryside around the town, where you can hike, cycle, ski and more, in the great outdoors.

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