Wellness with salt: The best places in Germany to relax

Ein a walk on the beach with a light sea breeze is the epitome of relaxation and well-being. We enjoy the sound of the waves, the wide view to the horizon and the sand under our feet.

Almost unnoticed, we experience another benefit when a gentle wind evenly atomizes the salty sea water on the skin, refreshing and moisturizing it. Incidentally, this fine sea shower is the most natural and best peeling. In this air, deep breathing is fun and strengthens the immune system.

Thalasso therapy on the North Sea and Baltic Sea

Where the sea is close, the best conditions for a Thalasso holiday are given. Sea water, algae, mud, sand and the salty sea air are the ingredients for a therapy that is beneficial for the skin and respiratory tract, good blood circulation and some rheumatic complaints.

The name reveals the origin. Thalassa is the ancient Greek name for the sea. Even the ancient Greeks recognized salt as a divine gift with great healing powers.

In the Thalasso-Vital-Center of the Warnemünde hotel “Neptun” a young woman gets a pack with French brown algae

Source: pa/dpa/Bernd Wüstneck

There are several centers on the coasts of the Baltic and North Seas that meet the international quality criteria for original thalasso therapy. One with a lot of Thalasso experience is just 20 meters from the beach on the Baltic Sea and belongs to the Warnemünde “Hotel Neptun & Spa” in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

There are other recognized centers in the beach hotels “Kurhaus Juist” and “Georgshöhe Norderney”, in the “Badhotel Sternhagen Cuxhaven” and in the A-Rosa resorts on Sylt and in Travemünde.

Open-air inhalatorium in Rhineland-Palatinate

Salt is not only in the air on the coasts, but also in southern Germany. There are several saline springs in Rhineland-Palatinate between Bad Kreuznach and Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg.

The first graduation works were built to extract salt as early as the first half of the 18th century. A hundred years later, the young Wiesbaden doctor Johann Erhard Prieger introduced brine drinking and bathing treatments, which established Bad Kreuznach’s fame as a spa today. Guests from all over Europe, German emperors and kings as well as big names like Johannes Brahms and Hoffmann von Fallersleben strolled along the Badewörth.

Rhineland-Palatinate: View of the swimming pool in the Bad Kreuznach bath house, which is known for its sauna area

View of the swimming pool in the Bad Kreuznach bath house, which is known for its sauna area

Quelle: pa/Andreas Gillner

Today the Salinental is the largest open-air inhalatorium in Europe. From the original ten there are still six up to ten meter high graduation towers. The brine trickles over the blackthorn hedge walls and sprays a fresh salty breeze.

In winter, the graduation towers are shut down. Then the sauna and bathers in the Bad Kreuznach bath house make themselves comfortable on chairs in front of a slightly smaller graduation tower and take a deep breath.

Salt caves with the power of the Dead Sea

Right next door, in the Crucenia salt caves, there is another opportunity to breathe in the salty air. With dim lighting, relaxing music and a comfortable 22 degrees, guests enjoy a break in utter tranquility in the room lined with Dead Sea salt bricks.

More tips for relaxing:

The salt concentration in the Dead Sea is around nine times higher than in normal sea water. A 45-minute stay, due to the high concentration of minerals contained in the salt, achieves a similar effect to a multi-day vacation by the sea. For families there is another salt cave where the children can play while the parents relax on the loungers.

Coronation for the Kaiserbad on the Lahn

Nature is kind to Bad Ems. The health resort is located on a saddle of medicinal springs, which lets the water gush from 15 springs. The Badeschloss with marble hall and fountain hall, one of the most beautiful spa parks in Europe, the casino and magnificent baroque buildings are a reminder that from the 18th century emperors, kings and famous artists were spa guests. As a member of the “Great Spas of Europe”, a cooperation of eleven spas, Bad Ems has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since July 2021.

Bad Ems with its Kurhaus and “Häcker’s Grand Hotel” was already one of the most famous bathing resorts in Germany in the 18th century

What: pa/JOKER/Helmut Metzmacher

The salty spring water established the fame of the spa town of Bad Ems. The springs – all alkaline-muriatic acidulous – bubble up to 57 degrees warm and with different mineral characteristics.

When the cold, wet weather causes a scratchy throat and a runny nose, many swear by the Ems pastille and the nasal douche, which effectively flushes away the pathogens. The white gold for the respiratory tract and voice was discovered in the middle of the 19th century and a process was developed with which the thermal water evaporates and the salty residue is pressed into lozenges.

Float in the brine pool with light and music

Bad Sulza is nestled between vineyards and forest in the Weimarer Land. Salt boiling facilities have been documented in the Thuringian town since 1064. In 1828, after a visit to the saltworks, none other than Johann Wolfgang von Goethe recommended starting the spa business. Bad Sulza thanked him and in 1999 installed a copy of his garden house in Weimar.

The place with the liquid sound in the Tuscany thermal baths made a name for itself. This special form of therapy in the brine bath is a relaxing interplay of water, sound and light waves.

How was the concert? Great! First we undressed, then I covered my ears and finally I fell asleep. This joke is often told in Bad Sulza, because this behavior, which seems rather embarrassing for a concert visit, is quite appropriate in Bad Sulza.

Completely detached: natural salt water gives those seeking relaxation in Bad Sulza a feeling of weightlessness

Completely detached: natural salt water gives those seeking relaxation in Bad Sulza a feeling of weightlessness

Source: pa/dpa-tmn/Ortwin_Klipp

You are free to choose where you sit in the circular pool with five percent salt content in the 35 degree warm water. The brave relax quickly and levitate immediately, some fold their arms under their heads and others take a little longer to levitate. No rowing, no paddling, nobody goes under.

And then there is music – Bach, D minor for harpsichord and strings. The orchestra seems to sit completely in the back of one’s mind and the sound experience is different than usual. There is no echo, no reverb and works well with jazz and rock. Important and unimportant thoughts come and go. A state between being awake and dreaming soon sets in.

This pleasure is now also available in Bad Orb and Bad Schandau. Risks and side effects? Yes, you want to do it again and again.

Further information:

Thalasso centers:

Rostock-Warnemünde, “Hotel Neptun Spa & Thalasso”: hotel-neptun.de/erholen

„Strandhotel Kurhaus Juist“: strandhotel-juist.de

“Strandhotel Georgshöhe Norderney”: georgshoehe.de

“Badhotel Sternhagen Cuxhaven”: badhotel-sternhagen.de

A-Rosa Resorts on Sylt and in Travemünde: a-rosa-resorts.de

Spas with saline springs:

Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg: bad-muenster-am-stein.de

Bad Kreuznach: bad-kreuznach-tourist.de

Bad Ems: staatsbad-badems.de


Tuscany thermal baths in Bad Sulza, Bad Schandau and Bad Orb: toskanaworld.net


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