Even if the mild and sunny climate creates ideal conditions for winter sports and snow activities in Carinthia, what could be better after a long day in the snow than withdrawing into a pleasantly warm wellness-oasis.
There are many opportunities to do this in Austria’s southernmost state: local thermal baths, bathhouses, heated in-lake pools and lakeside saunas promise to warm both the body and the soul. A secret recipe to awakening the spirit and recharging your batteries includes the use of regional specialties such as speik, garnet or stone pine.
Bathhouses with a Lake View Included
As early as 1870, aristocrats had already figured out how to relax with a spirit of enjoyment and southern gaiety. The first Carinthian Bathhouse on Lake Millstättersee was built in this tradition. The resort’s outdoor infinity pool is kept at a temperature of 35 degrees, while indoors visitors can find relaxing hot-stone massage treatments and pinewood saunas. The historic Werzer’s Bathhouse in Pörtschach—newly renovated in keeping with the Wörthersee architectural style—offers guests an inviting spa area with lakeside lounge, a restaurant full of culinary delights, and a wellness area directly on the waterfront.
Visitors to Kärnten Therme at Warmbad Villach are guaranteed to depart feeling rejuvenated and recharged. With 11,000 square meters of space spread across 4 floors, the combination of rejuvenation and fun blend harmoniously with fitness and culinary delights. Built out of natural stone, wood and shell limestone, the wellness area occupies two floors with ample space for massages, beauty treatments, saunas and ice baths. Equally as impressive is the fact that nearly 40 million litres of water coming from six thermal springs flow through the resort daily at an ideal temperature of 29.9 degrees. Tip: the full-moon sauna nights from 17:00 to midnight.
The Fountain of Youth
Nearby, after snowmelts and lush rains, the locals keep constant watch over a rumoured fountain of youth. “It’s bubbling again!” That’s what they say when the so-called Maibachl, Warmbad-Villach’s natural hot springs, transforms into a highly secluded swimming area. Here you’ll swim in the open air, with water depth just over one meter and the water temperature at a blissful temperature of 28 degrees.
Swim like the Ancient Romans
From snowsuit to swimsuit: The Römerbad Thermal Spa in Bad Kleinkirchheim awaits tired skiers and snowboarders coming from the slopes. This resort has 13 heavenly saunas spread across three floors of relaxation, as well as a playroom for children and various quiet zones. “Carpe diem” is the motto in this wellness area, which was designed in the Roman style, with a purity enriched by materials such as stone pine and glittering red, gold and silver-toned stones.
Chilly? Not at All!
Nearby, and accessible in bathrobe as opposed to winter coat, one can enjoy the cosy nature of various heated pools within the lake. Directly outside the doorsteps of Hotel Hochschober on Turracher Höhe, Koller’s Hotel on Lake Millstättersee and Relais & Châteaux Hotel Schloss Seefels on Lake Wörthersee, you will find heated outdoor pools within the lake with panoramic views. Traditional spa treatments such as massages with essential oils and relaxing traditional winter hay baths are also available.
A Good Reason to Sweat
From the sauna directly into the lake? In Carinthia, this is possible in many places. Such as at Lake Weissensee, where the lakeside sauna at Lake Hotel Enzian combines 1930’s flair with modern luxury. Comfortable lounge chairs as well as breathtaking lake and mountain views can be found in the massive Panorama Quiet Room.
Winter Wellness on Lake Wörthersee
Whether you’re bobbing around in a floating bath, relaxing in the Feuer-Ruheraum (the relaxation room), training in a fitness centre or immersed in a bubbling beach-whirlpool, in the (S)PAradise on Lake Wörthersee, the lake is always in full view. Many hotels in the region surrounding Lake Wörthersee have invested greatly in wellness infrastructure, so that they can offer fine and exquisite oases of wellness, for example at the Falkensteiner Schlosshotel Velden, or at the Mayr&more-Golfhotel.
A tip for the intrepid: the New Years Swim on January 1 against the backdrop of the Schlosshotel Velden. The refreshing dip in the lake with an average temperature of 5 degrees attracts more than 100 participants each year, and is supposed to bring happiness and vitality.