By Morgan Tilton
Exhausted ski quads are best celebrated with an afternoon soak and spa treatment, preferably in some hot springs with a mountain view. Here are a handful of the best therapeutic mineral pools throughout the Alps, for before or after après-ski.
Bagni di Bormio, Italy
Tucked against northern Italy’s Alps, the medieval town of Bormio is popular for its skiing. However, since the time of the ancient Romans, it has attracted visitors for the wellness and therapy provided by its historic thermal baths. The incredible artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci even visited Bormio in 1493!
At the base of Mount Reit, the Bagni Vecchi—which translates as, the old baths—date back more than two thousands years. Nine thermal springs feed these ancient roman baths, including the imperial bath, which is rectangular, solitary and lit by effervescent light. A dry sauna provides detoxification, while another mineral bath is perched on a cliff—which is perhaps the most prized pool—and coupled with a panorama of the incredible valley and the silhouette of the Dolomites.
Down the street, Bagni Nuovi, which means the “new baths,” is a collection of seven modern, outdoor pools that speckle a large garden, with optional massage therapy or wellness treatment from the Terme di Bormio, meaning “the spa.” The atmosphere is relaxing, the views of the white-capped peaks are stunning and the water’s minerals sooth sore muscles and softens the skin.
Ski Bormio also offers a bonus offers a ski and spa pass.
Les Bains De Lavey, Switzerland
Aside from therapeutic soaking, there are four enclosed hammams—Victorian Turkish baths—full of humidity, flavored vapor and showers. A rest pavilion features a fireplace and foot bath, while the Nordic pavilion, which is a hot sauna, is ideal for detoxification and offers various temperature ceremonies that last for different durations. This place is truly a relaxation-heaven!
Leukerbad Therme, Switzerland
With fun obstacles and relaxation, the Leukerbad Therme baths are an hour north of Zermatt, in Southern Switzerland. There are ten mineral-rich thermal pools to dip into that range from 82–109 degrees Fahrenheit, plus a spa menu. The various soaking areas include a steam bath and leisure pool, those are the general quiet spots, and family play sections that feature two waterslides and a kiddie pool.
Saint Gervais les Bains, France
Not far from Chamonix is Saint Gervais les Bains, the thermal baths of Saint Gervais. The pools are less than an hour south of Geneva and 22 minutes west of Chamonix. Created in 1807, the water is full of purification properties that increase skin vitality, according to Chamonix, and we’re sure the health and wellness factor is also inspired by the epic mountain views, too.
Le Grand Spa Thermal, France
Brides-les-Bains, France, is most known for being the Olympic Village for the 1992 Winter Olympics. The small community also features Le Grand Spa Thermal with après-ski treatments and thermal waters. Visitors can mix and match treatments such as a chocolate or seaweed wrap and hydromassage bath. The thermal waters boost circulation, improve lymphatic actions, enhance relaxation and improve skin tone, according to the spa. Plus, if you drink it, the water will improve digestion!
About the Author, Morgan Tilton
An award-winning journalist, Morgan Tilton is a Bronze medalist and two-time Finalist of the 2015 North American Travel Journalists Association Awards Competition for her travel writing. She covers adventure travel and outdoor industry news with work featured in Outside, Teton Gravity Research, SUP Magazine, Backpacker, TransWorld Snowboarding, 5280 (Denver’s city magazine), and CoBiz among others. Raised in Colorado’s stunning San Juan Mountains, she’s a mountain-ultra-trail runner and snowboarder that loves Bluegrass shows, avocados and trucker hats. Her most recent summit: she and four paddlers made the first SUP descent of Utah’s wild Escalante River. Follow Morgan’s trail @motilton and morgantilton.com.