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Germans have long been devoted to wellness, and spas proliferate throughout the country. Any German town with the word “Bad” in its name originally became known for its curative springs or invigorating air.

Today the country lists more than 300 health centers or spas, from the old and famous, towns such as Baden-Baden, Wiesbaden and Bad Homburg, to newer, elaborate pool and wellness complexes in many non-Bad towns.

Visitors can even have a Kur (cure) at a spa — rest, relaxation and treatments for specific problems — partially paid by their health insurance. Those covered by Germany’s national health insurance can request a Kur, and the insurance will pick up the cost of the treatments, but not hotel costs.

Those with serious ailments can get a Kur prescription from a doctor. If approved by the insurance carrier, all costs, including lodging at a medical Kur facility, are absorbed by insurance. As the national health insurance has been in financial trouble in recent years, however, a prescribed Kur is not as frequent as it once was.

Last year Baden-Baden recorded some 700,000 overnight visits, with 15 percent of its guests enjoying its healing waters. In addition to bathing, visitors can try a range of treatments, including anti-stress massages, Far Eastern Shiatsu, Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi, algae-based Thalasso therapy and Ayurveda, a holistic system of healing that originated in India more than 6,000 years ago.

Many spa towns offer package visits. The three-star Bad Hotel zum Hirsch in Baden-Baden, for example, offers two-overnights, breakfasts, gourmet dinner, casino entrance and a glass of sekt starting at 120 euros per person. The same is available at the three-star Deutscher Kaiser hotel from 109 euros per person.

Information is available, in English, at Follow the links for special hotel packages that might be perfect for a Valentine’s Day getaway.

For more information about Baden-Baden or a copy of the brochure, “Time for Health, Beauty, Well-Being,” contact Baden- Baden Kur & Tourismus GmbH, at Solmsstrasse 1, 76530 Baden-Baden, Germany. Its telephone number is (+49) (0) 7221-275266 or e-mail


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