I certainly can make the bet that you have not heard of the small town of Bad Gleichenberg, were you can breathe healthy clean air, enjoy a mild climate, and take in the idyllic landscape of the Austrian wine country, away from mass tourism. Wonderful trails for hiking and biking, tennis; golfing and relaxation in one of the local bed & breakfasts are a delightful change from the everyday hustle and bustle of city life.
Bad Gleichenberg is best known for its thermal springs and outdoor/indoor water pools. These include Turkish, Finnish or color light therapy saunas, with their steam baths and whirlpools. They are suited for therapeutic applications treating problems with respiration, heart-blood circulation, rheumatism, psoriasis, gastrointestinal tract, musculoskeletal system, and fibromyalgia. The healing water, stemming from seven natural springs, is infused with varying minerals and is full of natural energy. Pleasantly warm thermal springs are the signature trait of this region; relax, recuperate, unwind and rejuvenate, enjoy sports and culture, enjoy life – that is their motto.
The great regional writer Peter Rossegger wrote in 1906: “This heaven on earth I love. Bad Gleichenberg is a soft palanquin covered in flowers, where you can devote yourself with ease to sweet idleness and nonentity.”
It is this gentleness that captivates you right from the first moment and time appears to be standing still. The small but spotless houses feature window boxes with blooming flowers and wood balconies. Fruit trees and gardens are a staple in all homes, most meals are prepared fresh and with technology far behind dryers are rare (even though available) so the laundry is still hung outdoors on clothe lines. That is how it always has been, and that is how the natives like it.
The sizeable park of Bad Gleichenberg is a major feature of the city and highlights some of the stateliest and impressive trees you will ever see. You can truly call it an oasis of calmness and harmony.
Tradition is paramount. The yearly Biedermeier Fest features original costumes of the Kaiser Franz Josef era. The whole town dresses up for this gathering in the park, sporting marching bands, horse soldiers and weapons from long ago. After a great day at the spa or after your enjoyable walk through the woods you can finish up the day in one of the ‘Buschenschaenken’ (local inns) for a glass of Styrian wine and homemade Speck (smoked bacon). Other delicatessen include homemade Schnaps (liquor), Styria pumpkin seed oil and of course the famous regional wines. Life is good.
Welcome to Bad Gleichenberg!