Czech Spas

Virtually any body part that's broken, rusting, fraying, or just plain misbehaving can be fixed with the gentle labors of the experts at Czech spas

© Lifestyles Magazine®. Reprinted with permission.

By now it's no longer a well-kept secret that the network of 38 health spas cradling the Czech Republic offer a full range of treatments for body, mind, and soul. Some of the best health practitioners in the country await the world-weary with open arms, and will guide you to a few of the several hundred mineral springs and the natural supply of mineral-rich mud with healing properties.

Virtually any body part that's broken, rusting, fraying, or just plain misbehaving can be fixed with the gentle labors of the experts at Czech spas. But if you’re feeling like you just need a tune-up, don't overlook the special anti-stress or fitness and wellness holidays, ranging from a long weekend to a couple of weeks. Or check in for your own special beauty therapy (for women) or "Elixir of Life" therapy (for men).

There's also a long list of unique and charming cultural activities on offer to refresh your spirit while your body is going along for the revitalizing ride. Here are just a few spas to choose from:

Roman and Celtic coins discovered in the hot springs in the Teplice region indicate that the Ancients had their circulation, cardiovascular, and mobility problems, too. The waters here can help with those problems, plus offer a beautifying quality. A full range of cultural activities and events is offered here, not to mention the town's participation in the famous Mitte Europa Festival, featuring performances, discussions, and workshops on the fine arts and culture.

Karlovy Vary
Of course, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival attracts the headlines and major international film stars every year. But did you know that the spa town is famous for its architecture as well? Get out the camera or the paint brushes, or just look at charming eye-grabbers such as the Church of St Andrew, the Eastern Orthodox Church of SS Peter and Paul, the Municipal Theatre, and the Mlýnská Colonnade. The dramatic Krušné Mountains provide a stunning scenic backdrop. And if you like, part of your treatment for metabolic or digestive ailments can include a visit to the four 18-hole golf courses, along with time and space for tennis, carting, hunting, and fishing.

Mariánské Lázně
No matter what condition you're in, you'll want to breathe deep and soak up the artistic atmosphere here -- this is Chopin country. The Polish composer visited this spa (and so did the German poet Goethe). Now, every August leading pianists from around the world come to Mariánské Lázně for the Chopin Festival. Or perhaps you'd prefer the golf courses (both "crazy" and regular), fitness classes, a visit to the riding school or speedway track, or the special "Elixir of Life" program for men. Other treatments include body-forming, anti-cellulite, and body-and-soul regimes, in addition to the traditional treatments for kidney and other ailments.

Františkovy Lázně
How many spas can offer the opportunity to walk or cycle in a nature reserve (the Smrčiny) plus a visit to Komorní Hůrka -- the most recent volcano to become extinct in the Czech Republic? You can take advantage of both here. But perhaps you'd rather spend time admiring the classic 19th century architecture, in between relaxing visits to the mud packs, baths, and inhalation therapy rooms.

Jáchymov and Jeseník
Just in case you're not convinced that spas in the Czech Republic have been developing world-class therapies and setting trends for the past couple of centuries, consider the Jáchymov and Jeseník spas. In 1906, the first radon spa in the world opened at Jáchymov. These slightly radioactive springs contain a high concentration of rare elements found nowhere else on earth. Great for mobility ailments. Meanwhile, over in nearby Jeseník, one Vincenz Priessnitz was experimenting with the effects of the use of pure water, and in 1822 invented various hydropathic treatments still standard today.

But people also visit this gorgeously scenic area on the slopes of the Rychlebské Mountains for fitness, relaxation, and anti-stress breaks.

Slovak architect Dušan Jurkovič's unique buildings in the Folk Art Nouveau style contribute to the lasting impressions and fond memories created at this quiet spa nestled in the wooded hills of the White Carpathians protected area. The 17 springs here bubble out some of the best mineral waters in Europe, good for treating breathing and digestive disorders. This idyllic area is also perfect for hiking, and special programs pamper women, executives, and the elderly.

More details on the individual spas may be found at the Czech Tourism Agency website:

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