Special recommendation: ERMITAGE Wellness- & Spa-Hotel
Recharge at one of the best spa & wellness resorts in Switzerland. The ERMITAGE Wellness- & Spa-Hotel is located on the sunny Schönried plateau above Gstaad, surrounded by lush forests and offering breathtaking views of the Bernese Alps. It is one of the top wellness- & spa-hotels in Switzerland. Its beautiful outdoor and indoor solar pools as well as the 10 saunas and steam baths offer a great variety and space to completely unwind.
Discover the most modern wellness oasis in the Bernese Oberland, spread across 3,700 sqm and taste the fabulous ERMITAGE cuisine.Discover the Ermitage
These are our top tips for spas in Switzerland
As the most mountainous country in Europe, Switzerland is renowned for its natural thermal springs, with beneficial and therapeutic qualities. Many of these thermal springs were discovered as early as the Roman times. It would be impossible to give a comprehensive list of all the spas and thermal baths scattered all over Switzerland. Instead, we present a guide to the range of spas you can enjoy. Wherever you live in Switzerland, you won't be far from a spa.
Spas in & around Basel
Probably the most exciting waterpark in Switzerland © Aquabasilea
Vying for the title 'most exciting waterpark in Switzerland' is Aquabasilea in Pratteln. It is a large and beautiful spa and wellness centre which has everything – leisure and vitality pools, a sauna area, spa facilities and a fitness centre all under one roof. Attractions include water slides, a wave-pool for children and whirlpools.
The sauna area has a choice of different types of sauna (with separate zones depending on whether you want to keep your swimsuit on or prefer to go without). If you're used to small intimate saunas, the large sauna holding up to about 50 people at once is rather a different experience.
Spa facilities include everything from massage to facials and cosmetic treatments, which you can discover in detail here.
Sole Uno Wellness-Welt
© Sole Uno Wellness-Welt
The baths at Rheinfelden have expanded their facilities and been re-christened Sole Uno Wellness-Welt. Part of Rheinfelden's Parkresort and including a lovely hotel by the river and a rehabilitation centre, Sole Uno is very popular and with good reason: the water provided for the pools is Rheinfelder Natursole® and the whole place has a lovely atmosphere. Again, there are separate zones for the clad and unclad.
The swimming pools have relaxing water jets under the surface and sculpted waterfalls. Downstairs, you can enjoy a quiet area with a saltwater pool to float in, and shower rooms with water dripping from the ceiling like a tropical downpour. There are three Finnish saunas (indoor and outdoor), complete with wood stoves.
Our Sole Uno tip: try the Wenik-Ritual, a Russian sauna where you're plied with tea, fresh fruit and vodka, whipped with birch branches (the essential oils are apparently good for circulation) and given a honey-and-salt rub. If you find the sauna too hot, there is also a bio-sauna and steam room.
Elements Thai Spa
The Elements Thai Spa is inspired by traditional Thai massage and the philosophy of the four elements: earth, water, wind and fire. These are in perfect balance, ensuring well-being and a healthy lifestyle. In the spa, you can enjoy expert use of specific essential oils. These high-quality, organic oils are individually blended according to the needs of each specific client. You'll enjoy the aromatherapy, and feel relaxed as the oils soothe the tension away from body, mind and soul. The trained staff is highly skilled, so you'll be able to immerse yourself in the world of the Far Eastern tradition and enjoy the soothing and relaxing effects of diverse treatments.
Visit the Elements Thai Spa website and start envisioning a wonderful trip.
Spas in and around Zurich
If you don't have the time or money for an all-out retreat, you can enjoy a number of spa experiences right in the city of Zurich.
Thermalbad & Spa Zürich
© Thermalbad & Spa Zürich
This is one of the most popular spas in Zurich, in the old Hürlimann brewery in Enge. The thermal baths are designed to look like huge versions of the beer barrels they have replaced. The spa also offers an Irish-Roman spa ritual, a two-hour progression through steam and water baths of various temperatures, including a body peel, and (for an additional charge) several massage and clay body wrap options. Perhaps the most enticing feature in good weather is the rooftop bath, with its view of the Zurich skyline.
Children, accompanied by an adult, are welcome in the baths but not the spa area, and the spa area is reserved for women on Tuesdays. Swimwear is required throughout, although it can be rented (as can bath towels).
Indigo Fitness, Zürich
© Indigo Fitness
Indigo Fitness is one of the most exclusive fitness clubs in the country, with a luxurious wellness area that boasts a sauna, steam bath and relaxation room. You can get to know them with a trial 14 days membership thanks to our exclusive deal.
Airport Fitness, Zürich Airport
© Airport Fitnes
Few people would associate airports with relaxation, but those that would have probably visited the fitness and wellness centre at Zurich airport. Airport Fitness has mixed, women's and men's, saunas, a Turkish steam bath and plenty of places to relax. There are a wide variety of massage options, including even a hot chocolate massage, as well as facial treatments, manicures and waxing. Spa users are also welcome to use the fitness facilities, including classes — and if your training shoes and clothes are already checked in or haven't yet arrived, you can even rent a kit. Find all info here.
Spas in Central Switzerland
Rigi Kaltbad Mineral Baths and Spa
© Rigi Kaltbad/ Lorenz Andreas Fischer
Rigi Kaltbad Mineral Baths and Spa is located on the top of the Rigi mountain, nestled between Schwyz and Luzern. Designed by super-star architect Mario Botta, this spa is not only gorgeous in itself but offers breathtaking views of the Alps. There are many pools that are open to guests of all ages. The Spa Area requires the guest to be a minimum of 16 years old, and features a large herbal sauna.
Spas in and around Bern
When the Bernese feel the need to get away from it all for a few hours, there's no better place than enjoying a spa.
Hammam & Spa Oktogon Bern
© Hammam & Spa Oktogon Bern
The spa's name comes from its octagonal-shaped building that once housed Berne's first gas-fired boiler. Located below the Bundeshaus and just across from the Marzilibad, Oktogon is practically in the center of Bern, but once you step inside you'll feel you've left Switzerland and traveled to the land of the Arabian Nights.
Warm colors, dim lighting and flickering candlelight give it the ambience befitting a hammam. At Hammam & Spa Oktogon, you can experience this age-old tradition on their hammam circuit. After you check in and change into a pestemal, a linen cloth to cover your body, the first stop is the Sogukluk, where warm herb-infused steam opens your pores and begins to loosen your muscles. Don't linger too long in this room; it's just the first of eight stations.
Splash yourself with refreshingly cool water and head out to the central bathing room, the Sicaklik with its impressive 13 meter high cupola. The centerpiece of this room is the warm water pool where you can soak for as long as you like between visits to the other rooms, which encircle the pool. In the Kese room, you exfoliate your skin with a rough mitt that removes dry flaky skin while stimulating your circulation.
In the Bingül, whatever tension you have will melt away in the 45C herbal steam. At the Lif station, you'll lather up with an olive oil based soap and massage it in with a special mitt for a peeling effect. Afterward, you can relax in the warm pool, or lounge in the Nabelstein area where you can sit or lie on hot-stone heated benches. This is where you'll wait for a hammam attendant to pick you up for your traditional soap bubble massage. After the massage, you might like to try another natural beauty treatment, the Rhassoul, which is a mudpack made of Moroccan clay.
Once you're thoroughly cleaned and steamed, you'll leave the wet area of the hamman and go upstairs to dry off, change into a dry pestemal and chat with your friends while enjoying a cup of tea in the Hammam bistro. One floor higher, in the Camekan, you can relax or even take a nap on comfortable mats with plenty of pillows.
Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa
© Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa
The Victoria Jungfrau in Interlaken is an absolutely stunning luxury hotel that sends Grand Budapest Hotel vibes and is often referred to as 'The Grand Dame of Swiss Luxury Hotels'. With a gorgeous location, you can enjoy the spectacular view while you relax in the luxurious spa facilities. The spa is huge, and there's also an outdoor salt pool. If you book a spa treatment, you can also use the Sensai Select Spa facilities, complete with exclusive saunas that are divided by gender, and a well-appointed rest room.
Spas in Romandie
Les Bains de Lavey
© Les Bains de Lavey
For those who haven't got a whole day to spare, there are many spas that open late into the evening. Whether it's after a day's skiing, or a day at the office, there is something quite special about being able to swim under stars surrounded by the outline of the Alps. One such place is Les Bains de Lavey where you can swim or soak till your heart's content until 21:00 during the week and until 22:00 Fridays & Saturdays.
These baths in Valais are one of the closest to Lausanne/Geneva and around 15 kms from Aigle. If you want to stay overnight there is hotel accommodation provided on site.
The Bains de Lavey have some of the warmest thermal waters in the country. It has three pools (two outdoor and one indoor), the temperature of the water is maintained at 32-36C and here you will also find neck massage showers, whirlpools pressure jets, waterfalls and more. The spa's own website says: "A fairy-like atmosphere descends after dark, when the largest outdoor thermal pool is illuminated." Once you have soaked in the waters, you can walk (quite quickly in the invigorating outdoor air!), to the 'pavilions' which house both a Nordic centre with saunas and cold water wells, or the Serenity pavilion where you can relax in ultra violet lighting, soft fragrance and music, or simply read a book in the relaxation area by a fireplace. Away from the pavilion and in the main building, the Oriental Centre has a mixed hammam, separate Turkish baths, water fountains and another relaxation area for more de-stressing. Thankfully, the prices of swimming under the stars are not astronomical either.
Bains de la Gruyère
© Bains de la Gruyère
A little further afield, the Bains de la Gruyère in Charmey also offer thermal bathing, massages, water therapy and wellness packages. These baths are situated in a stylish modern building amongst the stunning Fribourg countryside. Discover more here.
Spas in Ticino
Splash e Spa Tamaro
© Splash e Spa Tamaro
A short train ride from Lugano, this waterpark and spa has something for the whole family to enjoy. Children and fun-loving adults can enjoy one of the five slides and wave pool. For those seeking relaxation, the spa has four different saunas, and outdoor salt pool. Discover more here.
For those seeking a longer wellness break, Thermalp Ovronnaz could be the ideal answer. At just under two hours' driving time and at a distance of less than 160km from the centre of Geneva, the Valais village of Ovronnaz lies at 1350m on the south-facing slopes above Rhone Valley between Martigny and Sion. The village is situated just 10 kms off the main Martigny-Sion autoroute, and can be reached by winding zigzags through steeply terraced vineyards. It is flanked by a dense evergreen forest and mountain peaks of stark but natural beauty.
Thermalp is situated towards the top of the village. Fed by the naturally warm springs piped up from under the ground near Leytron (a village below on the Rhone plain, famous for its Humagne vines), the centre has two outdoor pools kept at a constant 34 ℃ (the strong waterjets are wonderful for an underwater massage), an indoor pool with a separate baby pool and a jacuzzi only for adults (38 ℃), as well as all the facilities associated with alpine wellnes', including a sauna and separate steamroom. There's a fully equipped gym, with daily aquagym and fitness classes.
Offering a full range of therapies conducted by the medical centre, there are also therapeutic and beauty treatments carried out by qualified staff. Many clients come to Thermalp on the recommendation of their GP, and medically related treatments are often compensated by the clients' healthcare insurance. The attraction of a resort like Thermalp at Ovronnaz is its friendly atmosphere and emphasis on inclusivity, especially as children up to the age of seven go free.
Spas in Graubünden
7132 Vals Thermalbad
© 7132 Vals Thermalbad
7132 is the very definition of special and exquisite. It is definitely among the best-known and beloved thermal baths in Switzerland. With its stunning architecture by Peter Zumthor and amazing landscapes, the waters of the facilities have been well visited for the past hundreds of years. It's important that you book in advance, as the spa can only accommodate a limited number of guests per day.
Spas in St. Gallen
Bad Ragaz, Tamina Therme
© Tamina Therme
Bad Ragaz is home to the Tamina Therme, a spa and wellness centre that's part of a hotel, but is also open to the public. With its beautiful architectural details, it is an oasis in the canton of St. Gallen. The Tamina spring is the source for the water and was discovered in the 13th century! In 1872, the site became home to Europe's first thermal water indoor pool. It is home to a two large indoor pools, one large outdoor pool and has a very good sauna area as well.
One last tip
Many thermal baths and spa centres close down for maintenance in mid-summer. So make sure you check the opening details of your intended spa before visiting it.
Wishing you a relaxing time, wherever you choose to go
Our contributors have tried and tested most of the spas included in the article and we've tried to select the very best in each canton. One thing's for sure, Switzerland loves spas & wellness centers and we'll never manage to cover them all. But if you have suggestions for places you loved that you think should be included on our guide, do let us know.
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