I’ve always been intrigued by thalassotherapy and the concept of “taking the waters” to improve ones overall health.
Facilities in California mostly center around thermal mineral hot springs like Harbin or Esalen. In European countries they are more varied, sometimes using mineral rich water from hot springs, sometimes from the ocean or a river.
While planning a recent trip to Bavaria, I discovered the rich bathing culture of Vienna so I insisted we add a few days to our trip and check it out!
The baths in Vienna are centered around Kurpark Oberlaa in the South East section of the city not far from the River Danube. The park is home to underground hot springs of sulphureous water that has proved to have health benefits for bathing and drinking.
There are numerous public and private baths open year round in the park. We chose to spend the day at Therme Wein which offers spa and fitness facilities in addition to the baths.
The facility is one of the largest I’ve seen, they have multiple indoor pools, outdoor pools, family friendly areas, saunas and a salt room. We actually got lost a few times since most of the signs aren’t in English!
The basic premise of thalassotherapy is a circuit of water jets you can use to “massage” various body parts in a pool of warm mineral water. There are hot pools meant just for soaking and cold pools to plunge between circuits.
Admission is based on time and starts at 3 hours, this may sound like a long time but when you have so many options, time flies!
After soaking in several pools for two hours, we had classic Swedish massages which is the perfect complement to thalassotherapy.
When pairing massage with thalassotherapy, the treatments tend to include long Swedish strokes to increase circulation instead of targeted deep tissue work.
I highly recommend taking an opportunity to enjoy an European style bath house if you get the chance!