Tucked ever so sweetly by the border of the Czech Republic, at the Weißen Elster River, lies the Saxon town of Bad Elster — a delight for anyone looking to enjoy themselves in one of the oldest spa towns in all of Germany. Ooh, that means history mixed with spa treatments, doesn’t it?
Inasmuch as anyone who loves themselves a spa treatment (ok, possibly a dozen) the true wonder of Bad Elster is found in the great outdoors — and its natural beauty will have you yearning to spend just about every possible minute communing with nature.
You’ll find 31km of Nordic Walking trails, plenty of cycling and e-bike routes, all on top of the hiking routes found around here in the Vogtland. The beautiful Spring, Summer, and Autumn weather are fantastic seasons to enjoy the nature reserve area known for its orchids and butterflies.
Old Man Winter doesn’t slow things down, mind you. The colder weather just brings out activities like sleigh rides and cross-country skiing.
And no matter the season it seems there’s some kind of festival or cultural event taking place. Between March and April Bad Elster hosts the Mozart Week, May brings on the Spring Festival and Rhododendron Festival, June’s the month for the Brunnenfest (Fountain Festival), August has the Jazztage and the Schwimmbadfest (Pool Festival), September’s got the Herbstfest and Autumn & Wine Festival, and December offers the obligatory Adventsfest.
In between May and October is the Chursächsischer Sommer, a cultural event held in various venues throughout Bavaria, Bohemia, Thuringia, and right here in Saxony. Seems only right, considering Bad Elster is part of the Freunde im Herzen Europas Microregion (Friends in the Heart of Europe).
Bad Elster, you’re wonderful enough to have friends the world over — don’t limit yourself to just Europe. ;-)
All this activity and I almost forgot about the historical side of town mentioned earlier. The St. Trinitatiskirche might present itself as a Neo-Gothic church, but one stood here for a lot longer than this. And in nearby Oelsnitz you’ll find the Schloss Voigtsberg, a medieval castle that’s now a museum.
Bad Elster offers up its own museum, too. The Sächsisches Bademuseum is a great stop for learning more of the town’s bathing history — just as I know the lovely people at the Tourist Office (Royal Spa House, Badestraße 25) will help you if you’re interested in local guided tours around town.
If you’ve even managed to accomplish a fraction of what’s to explore around Bad Elster, you’ve earned yourself a soak in one of the three various brine baths and saunas (using sights and sounds) at the Soletherme to help achieve the ultimate in health and wellness.
So if you’re looking for adventure mixed with an opportunity to relax, look no further than Bad Elster — your fantastic friend in the Heart of Europe.