Ski holidays: if you’ve ever been on one, you’ll know just how fun they are. On the other hand, you'll know just exhausting they can be, too — ask anyone, skiing is way more of a workout than you'd expect it to be. What's more, skiing is only part of it. There's also the culinary delights, with dishes like fondue and raclette to warm you up. And then there's the glorious après-ski (and the inevitable hangover).
For the moments when the aching muscles, the lingering hangover and over-feasting on melted cheese get too much for you, though, there are also the thermal spas. And what could be a better cure than steam, soothing water and lots of it? Ditch the slopes and get yourself along to these affordable European spas for the full works.
Recommended: London’s best spas
Superb European thermal spas
These public baths in Le Monêtier-les-Bains, France are the perfect antidote for weary folks fresh off the slopes – and they’re affordable. Various outdoor pools and showers, plus indoor Roman baths combined with a stunning view of the Alps make for quite the hot spot.
Les Grands Bains du Monêtier, Le Monêtier-les-Bains, France. €18.50 for two hours. www.lesgrandsbainsdumonetier.
This stunning location offers a rooftop pool looking out over a beautiful Swiss city, as well as a steam room, shallow pools and an Irish-Roman spa. The spa is situated inside an old brewery, for added atmosphere.
Thermalbad & Spa Zürich, Switzerland. Day admission is €36. Massages start from €21 for 25 minutes. www.thermalbad-zuerich.ch
Situated in the picturesque Alps of northern Italy, there are eight saunas at this bathing complex, including one in a treehouse. That’s not all: there are also a total of 25 pools. That’s a helluva lot of water. Which, as an added bonus, is apparently anti-ageing. We love the glass façade of the spa, which is a beauty to look at.
Terme Merano, South Tyrol, Italy. A thermal baths and ski ticket is €45, including three hours in the baths. www.termemerano.it
This beaut of an Austrian spa is attached to a swanky hotel, but you can still pop in to use the facilities even if you’re not staying over. Plus it’s near to Salzburg Cathedral: this could be the perfect combination of ski, arts and relaxation.
Hotel Ebner’s Waldhof am See, Fuschl am See, Austria. Rock oil baths and saline baths in natural Bad Ischl salt spring water are €27. www.ebners-waldhof.com
This French spa town’s history dates back to the sixteenth century, when archbishops used to visit these baths to relax and benefit from the mineral water. With outdoor pools and many special treatments, this is a place to look forward to when you’re in need of unwinding.
Thermes de Brides-les-Bains, France. A hydromassage treatment with a therapist will set you back €55. www.brides-les-bains.com/
These are the highest thermal baths in France at 1,250m – and won’t you believe it when you get in the mountain-view Jacuzzi. The naturally heated waters will be the perfect antidote to a big day (or a big night).
Thermes de Barèges, France. €16 for two hours in the spa.
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