The morning in began with a rigorous hike in Germany’s National Park Berchtesgaden, followed by a boat trip and trek along Konigssee lake, an alpine haven deemed so pristine it required special permission from the Bavarian Royal Family to travel upon it at one time.
All amid the Alps that I was there to hike, I anointed the day perfection. It could be no better, I reasoned. But I was wrong.
Upon returning to my hotel home in Bad Reichenhall, a saline springs town long regarded as a top curative health retreat, a spa visit was suggested.
Locals pay serious homage to healthy lifestyles (evidence was in abundance on the trails – hardy hikers, families trekking with young children and elderly walkers). And the tradition of wellness (translation: routine spa visits) is a significant part of this live-life-to-its-fittest equation.
The saline therapies of Bad Reichenhall are legendary. Due to the area’s salt content (as high as 24%, Europe’s most concentrated), this remote corner of Germany is especially sought out for treatments of skin ailments and respiratory disorders (including sinus infection, asthma and chronic bronchitis).
Though I needed treatment for none of the above, I wanted to spa where salt is significant.
Architecturally, Rupertus Therme was instantly impressive – scores of pillars evoked a classic Greek style and floor-to-ceiling glass propelled the spa well into the 21st century.
With 10,000 sq. feet of indoor and outdoor water areas, the multi-level wellness facility was a salt-water playground.
Among the main attractions of this therapeutic theme park were a brine grotto with a floatation pool, sound and light pool, saline steam bath and irresistible indoor saunas. Predigtstuhl sauna (45% humidity) showcased the surrounding Alpine panorama and Untersberg featured personalized aromatic infusions.
Two children’s pools and fresh water hot and cold pools were an additional part of this fun medicinal mix, with many of the water areas sporting bubble loungers and aqua massage jets – enhancing the already relaxed-to-the-max experience.
An immense terrace beckoned sun worshippers and the popular beer garden (a welcomed reminder of the German locale) guaranteed mountain views for the spa’s social scene.
Traditional treatments such as massage, body scrubs and specialty baths (using local Alpine salts, brine, Laist and pine oils) were available. But for me, it was all about the water – I was not disappointed.
With the country’s 300-plus modern health centers, 48 medicinal sea spas, 62 Kneipp spas and approximately 160 mineral and mud spas, Germany did not disappoint.
For additional information visit Bavaria Tourism Marketing, www.bayern.by.