25 different themed saunas, a very large central pool with swim up cocktail bars surrounded by palm trees all contained within a very large glass atrium, an outdoor garden, more lounge chairs than your average cruise liner, a sandy beach and sculpted shower areas throughout to cool down with deluging water.
Therme Erding, should be somewhere near the top of your bucket list, if you have one. It’s one of the most enjoyable and relaxing places you could ever visit. This complex is one that you could use to compare all other Therme. So much so, you might be unlikely to visit another Therme.
Therme Erding claims to be the largest thermal bath complex in Europe at 145,000 square meters. In 1983, an oil company, after years of geothermal research was drilling near the town of Erding just outside Munich and found a lake of steaming hot mineral rich water. The complex opened in 1999 and has undergone a number of extensions and renovations since. The complex is larger than most shopping centers with 2 separate areas, a clothed family bathing area complete with water slides and a nude sauna section where you must be over 16 yrs old to enter – this report will focus on this nude section.
The complex is easy to find, being just outside the village of Erding, its well sign posted and marked on local maps. Another attraction of the area is the local brew Erdinger beer, which is now available outside Germany and is naturally available in the complex.
Entry to the complex is from the car park area, the sauna section has its own entrance to the left. You will decide how long you wish to stay and pay the according rate and given a wrist bracelet containing an electronic tag that is linked to your account. The tag will open your allocated locker, give you access to the sauna area. It’s also used to purchase drinks and food within the complex. If you stay longer (which you probably will) the extra charges will be added to your account and you will pay when you leave. Some may claim the fee is a little overpriced, but if you travel around the world or visit once in a while, maybe it’s a worthwhile indulgence.
After changing in the locker area you make your way through the shower area and into the sauna area. You will need a towel and they are available for hire with robes at the entrance. Unusually the shower area is gender specific – the only part in the complex which is apart from a few ‘ladies only’ areas and one ‘Men’s only’ sauna that naturally serves beer. The sauna area, like most other German saunas is nude and you will need to comply, otherwise you will be approached and asked to respect this or leave. The pool area and showers are also nude. You may wear a towel between saunas but that is it.
The complex has some 25 separate saunas each with a different theme, including Citrus, tropical, Bavarian Zirbelstube, Finnish Kelo, Icelandic Geysirsauna, Celtic Stonehenge throne room, salt cave and Roman baths. They range from the very basic to opulent and unbelievable. Some of these saunas are built with various species of wood to enhance the theme. Each sauna has a different temperature and humidity level, ranging from 35 degrees Celsius to 103 degrees Celsius. During the day are a series of Aufguss or sauna rituals in various saunas, in the German language but you will get the idea if you don’t understand German. You may need to arrive a couple of minutes early for these as they are very popular and are a great experience.
The complex hosts a some special events thought out the year and is very popular during the winter months. The complex is well supported by the locals and tourists alike. The complex is open well into the night and takes on a very different atmosphere.
A number of pools are also in the complex including mineral salt pools, plunge pools of freezing water, floating pools and relaxation pools, but the main attraction is the large central heated pool, featuring a swim out to the outside pool with a current strong enough to carry you around the pool.
The complex is so large, it will take you a few hours to explore and experience the full range of features. There are a number of restaurants, snack bars and bars which sell an excellent range of food including a Thai restaurant. A day spa is also available as are massage services and other health and beauty treatments.
The complex includes a hotel and offers a variety of packages that include multi day tickets and passes which include both the nude and textile areas and day spa visits.
Therme Erding is located on the outskirts of Munich, and is a short taxi ride or drive from Munich airport, it’s easily accessible by regional rail (S2 to Altenerding) from central Munich. On weekdays, there is a shuttle that runs from the station to Therme Erding. On weekends, it’s about a 10 minute walk, and there will be plenty of people on the train with you. If you’re driving, their website has printable maps, and they have plenty of free parking in the form of a multi-level car park. Accommodation is available in the nearby town of Erding and other villages.
It’s best to is to pack your spa bag, and buy the full day pass. You may be disappointed if you only buy the 3-hour card and some days it can be very busy, but it could be one of the best days you have experienced in quite a while.