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Spa town in Beautiful Surroundings?

I'd like to spend as long as a week in a small spa town (Kurort) in Bavaria and hope someone can recommend one from personal experience. There are so many, and I find it hard to select one. I will not have a car and am not able to do any hiking or major walking. Thus, I'm looking for a place that has a nice park, restaurants and shops and maybe a small museum, with the possibility of using local transportation for a day excursion. A view of lake or mountains would be great. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

I'm thinking of going on to Salzburg from there and therefore the same kind of place in Austria instead of Germany is also an option. I'll post in the Austria Forum, as well.

Posted by
12040 posts

OK, as requested, I'll limit my comments to personal experiences.

The place I've visited most isn't technically a Kurort, but an all inclusive resort on the outside of the medium-sized town of Erding. This is, of course, the fabulous Therme Erding, the world's biggest spa resort. Love it, love it, love it. Erding itself is pleasent enough, if nothing particular special. Should you desire, you can easily catch an Sbahn into Munich.

Probably more of what you have in mind is Bad Kissingen. It's kind of like a Bavarian version of Baden-Baden, but quieter and with a fraction of the bling boutiques. I didn't visit the main Therme in town, mainly because my hotel had a perfectly adequate set-up. The town's Kurgarten is particularly large. No lake, but Bad Kissingen is in a (low) mountainous region of northern Bavaria. The town also has a high-class casino (high class, as opposed to the shady little Spielotheke you find all over the country), but I didn't check it out.

I only visited the Therme in Bad Staffelstein and not the town itself (what I saw looked pleasent if unremarkable). It's in an attractive valley near several interesting towns (Bayreuth, Bamberg and Coburg). The Therme could use an update from the 70s style decor, however.

Finally, I'll mention Krystal Palm Beach, which is another large indoor waterpark/Therme, although not nearly as large as Therme Erding and it also doesn't have attached lodging. It's in Stein, a close suburb of Nürnberg. The Therme section has a very nice selection of themed saunas, although don't bother if you're not comfortable with public nudity.

Posted by
30282 posts

Two years ago I discovered Nidda and Bad Salzhausen in Hesse. Not in Bavaria but not a million miles from Aschaffenburg which is, with a train station and easy access to the autobahn network.

The spa across the road didn't ring our chimes - we're more Erding or Palmenparadies types really - but my gosh the old spa hotel certainly did.

We were going from Wuppertal to Dinkelsbühl and Bad Salzhausen was a good overnight on the way. We booked for one night and extended to a full week.

Great breakfast, very large and very comfortable room at an excellent price, a very relaxing lobby (with a pet parrot), in a sculpture park, train station just through the park, bus stop a couple of hundred metres away, and the spa (very mild) sits in a beautiful free botanic garden with water features.

It was a great discovery.

Posted by
16890 posts

One of our staff, who is German, has made a spa-related Web site. Unfortunately, the link isn't working on my web browser, but try accessing it from the Facebook page (where she has also gathered a number of articles):

Posted by
1411 posts

Bad Windsheim. It is an attractive small town. There is the Freiland Museum in addition to the Kurort park. This museum is a collection of historical buildings from around Franken (Franconia).

We had a couple good meals in Bad Windsheim, though I do not remember specific names. A member of another board recommended the spa to me.

Rail connections are adequate, You can fairly easily reach Würzburg, Nürnberg, Rothenburg, Marktbreit, Ochsenfurt, Iphofen, etc.

Sorry, no mountains or lakes.

Posted by
18679 posts

There is a spa, the Watzmann Therme, in Berchtesgaden (mountains and lake), and it's a short distance from Salzburg by train or bus. Although I have been in a number of German Thermes, I have not been to this one.

Berchtesgaden has shopping and restaurants. The Berchtesgaden Schloß is a museum, and, of course, the Dokumentation Zentrum in Obersalzberg is a museum about the Nazi rise to power. There is a good system of buses to get you places in the Berchtesgaden area.

Posted by
949 posts

Just south of Munich is the Tegernsee area with Jodschwefelbad Bad Wiessee and other wellness hotels as well. Right on a lake in the foothills of the Alps with great tourist infrastructure (local transport around the lake, walking paths, ferries on the lake, good restaurants, etc). You can easily access it from Munich using the BOB train.


Posted by
63 posts

All of you who replied with suggestions: thank you very much! I've already checked out most of them and they are so tempting, especially a couple of the hotel suggestions (Salzhausen, with the beautiful park and also Gaestehaus Friedwiese near Koenigsee.) This will be my only chance to see something of the alps, so I'll likely select southern Bavaria. It's not the thermal baths I'm interested in but the ambiance of the spa town - after all, they have to offer the guests something besides fun water. Also, they usually have beautiful parks for easy walking. There are so many choices and I have a hard time deciding. Maybe I just ought to stay in Salzburg? If there are any more suggestions, I'd love to have them. Luckily, I'm fluent in German and so can check out the websites of the towns, which sometimes are only in that language.