Tassajara is the mountain retreat centre of the late great Zen Master, Shunryu Suzuki. In the summer it's open to visitors, and a day's visit to the Japanese style thermal baths here is unforgettable. Beautifully designed in every detail, the inside plunge pools of natural hot springs (separate pools for men and women, so clothes are optional) are properly hot and created to soothe both the body and the soul. Outdoor plunge pools too, sunny decks for relaxing, and the glorious cool plunge in the river, surrounded by trees and perfectly arranged boulders. You won't want to leave, which is why you can stay for a few days in the simple accommodation.
The largest alpine thermal spa in Europe, with 10 indoor and outdoor pools on four levels, ranging from blissfully warm to an almost-can't-stand-it natural cave watery sauna at 43 degrees. Water jets pummel and massage every part of your body. Family friendly, with a huge curly waterslide for children. And the view! At 1400 meters high, you can stare across the valleys to the Matterhorn as you soak away the days' hiking (summer) or skiing (winter). In a word (or two) watery bliss.
Burgerbad, Rathausstrasse 32, CH-3954 Leukerbad
+41 (0) 27 472 20 20,
Google map: bit.ly/hFHLUE
Fly to Geneva and then the train/coach link takes you straight to Leukerbad.
Better still, do the whole journey by rail; eurostar, French rail to Lausanne, change for train to Leuk; a coach meets every train for the final stunning ascent into Leukerbad. Lots of hotels and self-catering to choose from.
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