Introducing Karlovy Vary
If you’ve been hiding a designer dog or an ostentatious pair of sunglasses in your luggage, then Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad in German) is your chance to give them both an airing. This fashionable town is the closest the Czech Republic has to a glam resort, but Karlovy Vary is still glam with a small ‘g’. Well-heeled hypochondriacs from Germany, Austria, Russia and, increasingly, Arab nations make the pilgrimage to try to enjoy courses of ‘lymphatic drainage’ and ‘hydrocolonotherapy’ – all activities that should be outlawed under several international agreements.
If you’re really keen to discover the dubious pleasures of a steam inhalation session or a sulphur bath, you’ll need to make a prior appointment. If not, there’s good hiking in the surrounding hills, and a busy arts and entertainment programme. Sample the tepid mineral-rich water on offer, or just have a drink at the riverside cafés. In our opinion, a beer or a coffee is a better option than the sulphurous gunk everyone else is sipping on.
Karlovy Vary destination guides
Karlovy Vary Day Trip from Prague
Take a day trip through the picturesque West Bohemian countryside to the world-famous spa town of Karlovy Vary. Better known by its German name, Karlsbad (or Carlsbad), this spa town is situated in a beautiful forested valley known for its 12 thermal springs. Karlovy Vary is the most famous Bohemian spa, and was named for the Holy Roman Emperor Charles (Karl) IV.
Czech Spas of Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lazne from Prague
This full day guided coach tour from Prague combines a visit to the world-renowned Czech spas, Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lazne. Discover the rich history of Karlovy Vary and its twelve springs before stopping for lunch.