We are interested in visiting a thermal bath while we are in Europe this December. We will be travelling by car between Garmisch, Lindau, Konstanz, Basel and Strasbourg. I have found a couple of listings that are between Basel and Strasbourg so far. I wondered if anyone has visited any in the areas we are travelling to recommend.
One of our favourite places is just across the river from Colmar, in Germany, at Freiburg im Breisgau.
Have a look at Eigen Keidel Mineral Thermal Bath
In the upper right corner click on GB and the language will change to English.
There is a Bad in Oberstaufen, on the way down to Lindau from Garmisch. I think most of the time it is fairly "tame".
I know of three in the northern Black Forest, a little north of Strasbourg, Siebentaler (Seven Valley) Therme, in Bad Herrenalb, Panorama-Bad in Freudenstadt, and the Palais Thermal, in Bad Wildbad. None of these is for the bashful, as they are "textile frei". Palais Therme, which was built by a Duke in the 1800s, is particularly elegant.
Nigel: Is the Eigen Keidel Mineral Thermal Bath you mentioned (ahem) "textile frei," too?
The website doesn't explicitly say, but there is a layout of the spa, and it looks like a common locker room (wink, wink).
Much like most spas in Germany and Switzerland, Natherlands, Belgium, the general pools and river current areas require suitable bathing atire; saunas and pools within the sauna area require no clothes of any sort. Towels are rentable or you can take your own, and you must sit or lie on a towel in a sauna.
I've just seen Lee's wink wink. Nothing to wink about. All the cubicles in the changing area have both a front and back door and are private from each other.
In the sauna areas are pegs and small lockers for bathing atire and other small items, and hooks for towels near the showers. The toilet areas are sex seperate, the sauna showers are common.
Nothing to see here. It is a wonderful experience.
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll start checking out the ones listed and see which one falls into our schedule the best. It's a bit out of our comfort zone for "textile frei" but we think it will be a wonderful experience, especially on a cold December day.
I might as well suggest the famous Friedrichsbad in Baden-Baden (about 45 min north of Strasbourg). As far as textilfrei goes, I liked the letter Rick Steves published a couple years ago from an American woman living in Germany-- her parents came over from Michigan, and they all went to Baden-Baden. The subject of the nude Friedrichsbad came up, and the father said, "Absolutely not." After reading a bit more he decided to give it a go, and enjoyed it so much he went back the next day.
Have spent a month in Germany for the last 5 years and have been to the Caracalla baths in BadenBaden every time for an overnight trip. I prefer the clothing optional baths but my husband has used the saunas and steam in the upper area. We just returned from a very relaxing 4 hrs at the baths. We have stayed at Hotel am Market recommeded by RS. Very reasonable and I give it a 10. I encourage you to take advantage of the baths which ever one you pick. We travel by train so BB is the best option for us. Have fun.
I also was initially intimidated by the textile free at Freidrichsbad(sp?) but after the first few minutes, was relaxed. no one pays attention to you at all. it's extremely relaxing and enjoyable. I want to go again and trying to fit it in my itierary.
I wouldn't not try it.. it's fabulous!!
Thanks everyone. We are going to try one of the places suggested above. Time to come out of my comfort zone. I think it is going to be a wonderful experience once I get out of my initial shyness.
As for going sans clothing in the sauna areas, a number of people were surprised that I would give it a try, I suppose thinking all sorts of thing, but I did point out that, at least in Germany, many of the older population frequent the baths as therapy...so do not think you will need feel self conscious about your own body...or get much a chance to "observe" the scenery...so to speak. It really is just a very relaxed normal atmosphere, one I would not miss just for the experience.