It is often the simple, natural things that do us good, that relax and heal. This is what makes the teachings of Sebastian Kneipp and the topic of natural health so interesting for us again today. This year, the whole of Germany is celebrating Kneipp's 200th birthday! Reason enough to take a soothing time-out yourself, where you can gently gather new strength. In the spas and health resorts in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, you can do just that:
Balance over a suspension bridge, feel bark mulch and pebbles with bare feet and then dare to go into the mud. The feet are quickly cleaned again in the ford of the crystal-clear Habach ... The barefoot path in the Aatal takes guests far away from everyday life and right into the green. And it fits very well with the teachings of the natural healing teacher Sebastian Kneipp, for whom movement - preferably barefoot - was one of the five pillars of health.
The small Kneipp and climatic health resort is located in the northern Sauerland, and its great treasure is a water-rich natural environment. Bad Wünnenberg is considered a particularly charming hiking area with a total of 250 kilometers of designated routes of all levels of difficulty through the surrounding gentle mountains and forests. In addition to brooks, rivers and ponds, there are in Bad Wünnenberg the large Aabach dam, which supplies around a quarter of a million people with drinking water. It is actually logical that Kneipp treading pools and arm pools in the town invite you to enjoy the Kneipp healing element of water extensively. Or as Sebastian Kneipp already knew: water strengthens the body's defenses and immune system in the long term!
Clean air and great nature bring in Bad Fredeburg at the foot of the Hunau deep relaxation. What is the Hunau? An impressive mountain ridge and one of the highest elevations in NRW. The nature around Bad Fredeburg with its mixed beech forests, ravine forests and many 1000 year old hillside spring moors is one of the most beautiful landscapes of the federal state. It has been under nature protection since 1955 and is still home to rare species such as the wildcat and the black stork.
Bad Fredeburg is therefore a good place to dedicate yourself extensively to the Kneipp healing factor "movement". If you then want to prevent sore muscles in the evening and relax further, book a ticket at the SauerlandBAD with its large bathing and sauna area. Not to be missed: The original Sauerland slate sauna, which was made especially for the SauerlandBAD. The slate slabs there ensure a particularly pleasant sweating temperature. Afterwards, take a warm walk through the sauna garden and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Incidentally, the Kneipp spa is also geared towards allergy sufferers, and not just because of the high-altitude air. In the Abela Heilstollen, those seeking relaxation breathe in pure air free of dust particles, pollen and pathogens. And numerous hosts are certified as particularly allergy-friendly.
Shop in small, friendly stores, stroll through a unique park and occasionally bike or hike out into nature: Bad Driburg in the northeast of North Rhine-Westphalia brings together several worlds in the most beautiful way. As a guest in the count's spa, you can count on diversity at any time. Countly? Yes, indeed! Because the beautiful, old half-timbered spa facilities in the mud and mineral spa have belonged to the Counts of Oeynhausen-Sierstorpff for many generations. First and foremost, the 64-hectare Gräfliche Park with its 800,000 plants, themed gardens, many old trees and a game preserve is exceptional.
Bad Driburg completely redesigned its network of hiking trails a few years ago. You can also play golf. And the natural healing expert Sebastian Kneipp would certainly have had his true joy in the culinary landscape of the spa, because here you can eat particularly good and healthy. And, for those who like to take a dip: The thermal spring of the Driburg Therme is rich in health-promoting substances that revitalize the body and help it stay healthy. If you like, you can book a full or partial body wrap with the local sulfur peat. With the help of its valuable plant parts, this is said to improve blood circulation in the muscles, relieve tension, stimulate the metabolism and alleviate joint complaints.
Extra Tip: a visit to the Glass Museum, which tells the 500-year history of glassblowing in the region.
Bathe, drink, inhale: At the Salzuflen state spa, the name is half the program. The brine comes from nine wells and springs. And that's why there's usually a sea breeze even in the city - imposing graduation towers act there like a large open-air inhalatorium. An impressive 600,000 liters of brine trickle over the blackthorn walls every day, creating a microclimate almost like on the coast, but right in the middle of NRW. You can also take a deep breath in the walk-through adventure graduation plant in the spa gardens, which were generously laid out in the style of an English landscape garden. While inhaling, you can listen to soft music under the colorful, changing starry sky in the brine cloud chamber inside. And if you really want to bathe in brine, you can take a bath in the Vitasol Spa a time out.
The State bath Salzuflen is not only a brine spa, but also a Kneipp spa since 2013, and is also particularly well adapted to people with disabilities and allergy-friendly. Which in turn benefits everyone: It is a small town of short distances. From the old town to the spa gardens, to the theater, to the nature park - you can do it all in just a few minutes on foot, so you can also take a break from the car. Another relaxation factor.
Extra Tip: The Externsteine in the nearby Teutoburg Forest are one of the most imposing natural monuments of the region.
Fancy a little trip around the world with plenty of swim and wellness stops? The Carolus Thermae in Aachen take you through different worlds. You'll recognize Rome, because there are ancient columns around the thermal pool. The oriental hamam may remind you of Turkey. And outside, in the sauna garden, there are log cabins like those in northern Europe. The beauty of this trip is that everything remains pleasantly relaxed and quiet, without the usual travel stress.
Aachen has a 2000-year thermal spa tradition, that's record-breaking. And in fact, Aachen is actually called Bad Aachen and is a thermal and mineral spa. In the old imperial city in the border triangle of Germany-Netherlands-Belgium, therefore, both city travelers and those seeking peace and quiet will discover their favorite corners and activities. And in the end, it's probably the combination of relaxation and culture that makes it there. You should definitely pay a visit to the world-famous Aachen Cathedral, Germany's first UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's really impressive. And it's generally quiet there, too.
Extra Tip: Aachen is also the starting point for the Eifelsteigwhich leads in 15 daily stages through the fascinating low mountain range landscape to Trier.
State bath Salzuflen
Cover photo: The Gräfliche Park in Bad Driburg is one of the most beautiful landscape parks in Germany thanks to its old trees, winding paths, hedge garden, rose garden and many bridges © Tourismus NRW, Dominik Ketz
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