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Escape To The Spas Of Switzerland

Relax in these scenic high altitude spas

Swiss bliss comes in many forms but perhaps the most blissful is a wonderful spa. You lie back on a bubble bed, neck deep in hot water and let all your worries literally soak away. But imagine doing that and having stunning Alpine scenery to go with it –craggy cliffs, crisp fresh air and snow-covered peaks around you as you unwind. In Switzerland you can have that, and here’s how.

We have chosen five of the best scenic spas in the Swiss Alps. They are not necessarily attached to posh hotels, nor do they require membership. Their exclusivity comes from their location, up in the mountains so that you can relax in outdoor pools surrounded by nature at its finest. And in winter, you can sit amid the rising steam as the snow falls (and also indulge in all the usual treatments). How heavenly is that.

Recommended: The most luxurious hotels in Switzerland 

7132 Vals 7132 Therme, Vals

7132 Therme, Vals

There can few spas more stunning than 7132 Therme in Vals, and not just thanks to its setting, 1,250 metres up in the mountains of Graubünden. Twenty years ago this historic spa was given a striking makeover using 60,000 slabs of local quartzite. It is sleek and stylish, minimalist and monumental, and definitely a place for calm. The springs (which are also the source of Valser mineral water) are naturally hot at 30°C, and the spa makes great use of this, with pools varying in temperature from the Ice Pool at 16°C to the Fire Pool at 42°C. Alongside classic massages and treatments are a few signature ones, such as the Singing Bowl massage from Tibet or, if you’ve been hiking in the mountains, the Swiss Heavy Legs Help, which really does make exhausted legs feel fresh again.

Mineralbad & Spa Rigi Kaltbad

It’s undoubtedly hard to design a spa that has to compete visually with stunning views across Lake Lucerne to the Bernese Alps. The answer was to call an architect who knows how to make an impact: Mario Botta. He transformed the Rigi Kaltbad mineral baths into a gem of a spa, where the scenery seems to be part of the buildings. His trademark stark lines and bold shapes are all there, but almost blending themselves into the Alpine backdrop. This spa at 1,446 metres up on the slopes of Mount Rigi was famous for its cold mineral water (Kaltbad means ‘cold bath’) that drew visitors here for over 600 years. Gone are the days of immersing yourself three times in the cold water then running around the chapel before praying. Thank God for that! Instead the water is heated to a relaxing 35°C, using wood from local sustainable forests, so you can enjoy the picture-perfect views while soaking in the indoor and outdoor pools, before going on to have a sublime treatment or rejuvenating sauna.

Related: Natural swimming in Switzerland

LeukerbadLeukerbad, Valais

Leukerbad, Valais

For a choice of scenic spas head south to Valais, where natural hot springs bubble up everywhere. Most famous is Leukerbad up at 1,402 metres and the largest thermal resort in the Alps, thanks to its endless hot water. Every day 3.9 million litres gush from 65 springs into the various baths, including the Leukerbad Therme. This is perfect for a family spa day, with fun for the kids and me-time for the adults.

Bains OvronnazLes Bains d’Ovronnaz, Valais

Les Bains d’Ovronnaz, Valais

A few metres lower down is Les Bains d’Ovronnaz, with superb views over the Rhone valley, best enjoyed from the two outdoor pools. They are particularly picturesque in winter, with steam against snow. And if your nose gets too cold, you can slip inside for something more comfortable, such as a massage. 

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Les Bains de Lavey, Rhone Valley

Not the highest but certainly the hottest is Les Bains de Lavey, in the Rhone valley (and just in Canton Vaud). The water springs up at a scorching 69°C, making it the warmest in Switzerland. Don’t worry, you won’t have to get into water that hot as the pools are cooled to a more agreeable 35°C.

And relax!

1 7132 Therme
2 Mineralbad & Spa
3 Leukerbad Therme
4 Les Bains d’Ovronnaz
5 Les Bains de Lavey