Find peace in the heavenly spas of the Karlovy Vary Region
The regenerative effects of thermal springs have been known since ancient times, so it is no wonder thermal spas are still popular as wellness and relaxation spots. Czechia has a number of spa complexes, but the main spa “centre” is no doubt the Karlovy Vary Region. The “spa triangle” of Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně and Františkovy Lázně is so famous it is probably known even to those whose biggest wellness splurge is usually a hot bath. Going to a spa doesn’t just mean subjecting your body to rejuvenating spa treatments. You can also regenerate your soul, mind, and naturally also taste buds.
“Long live freedom! And Františkovy Lázně!”
The town of Františkovy Lázně was immortalized in the following words by the Czech music band MandrageJ, but the healing properties of the thermal springs in Karlovy Vary became famous thanks to Charles IV. He first built a hunting castle close to a thermal spring he stumbled upon, and later also a town, originally named Teplé lázně u Lokte. The King charged the town’s inhabitants to care for the health of all visitors. Karlovy Vary only gained its true fame in the 18th and 19th centuries and no wonder - the city has the highest number of healing springs in the world!
Going to the local spas is much easier than you might think. In many cases, you won’t even need a doctor’s recommendation. You can just pack your things and enjoy the spa treatments that are part of the many wellness and spa packages.
The secrets of the spa!
Spas are a natural social centre, attracting ladies and gentlemen alike. The highest concentration of them can naturally be found by the thermal springs. We don’t need to mention again that there is a plethora of those in Karlovy Vary. You can drink rejuvenating water, perhaps using the truly Czech “spa cups”, from publicly accessible thermal springs in five colonnades. The only exception is the Štěpánka Spring, hidden in Alois Klein’s Arbour on the edge of Karlovy Vary. Yet colonnades are not the only places to have a drink in Vary. For example, you can toast to your health with Becherovka, an herb liqueur, which was invented by Josef Becher, a pharmacist from Karlovy Vary. You can even visit the Becherovka Museum, although they won’t tell you how exactly the liqueur is made, as the recipe remains a family secret. While sauntering through the city, from the Becherovka visitor centres to the splendid Moser glass factory, and admiring its architecture, don’t forget to take a spa wafer on your way. You can buy that literally in every other shop in Vary and other spa towns.
While Karlovy Vary are quite the spa capital, Mariánské Lázně have a slightly more peaceful atmosphere. The town naturally also has a colonnade. Unconventionally, the whole structure was cast in the Blansko ironworks and then assembled on site. During the war, it had almost been disassembled in order for the metal to be used for arms manufacturing. Thankfully, the work by the Viennese architects Miksche and Niedzielski was saved in the end, meaning you can still admire it today, right alongside the town’s other main attraction, the Singing Fountain.