Pleasantly lost in paradise: Therme Erding is the world’s biggest thermal spa
Text: Cornelia Brelowski | Photos © Therme Erding
T herme Erding spans across 18.5 hectares, counts about 4,000 visitors daily and may well be called the biggest spa world of its kind. Five theme parks create inviting environments for guests of all age groups and the widespread layout allows a pleasant way of getting lost in relaxation.
The gigantic layout features the slide paradise Galaxy Erding, the thermal pool Therme itself, the VitalOase as a combined textile sauna and wellness centre, the wave bath and the VitalTherme & Saunen, a combined thermal bath and sauna park.
Test drillings in the early ‘80s brought up sulfurous water and unwittingly created a win-win situation far from crude oil. Shortly after the drillings ended, the first mini thermal bath was created by founder and architect Josef Wund and his son and entrepreneur Jörg Wund, while the city of Erding also since benefits from the thermal water, using it for its district heating system.
A groundbreaking day for Therme Erding, then consisting of a small thermal bath with an adjacent sauna area, was in November 1998 with the opening to follow in less than a year’s time. By and by the facilities were enlarged, first in small steps up until 2007, then with one gigantic stroke as the Galaxy Erding water slide park was opened along with the expansion of the thermal bath and sauna area, doubling the total expanse of Therme Erding from seven to 14.5 hectares.
The sauna area today features 30 saunas. includes textile and textile-free zones and is the largest in Europe. The textile-free sauna area, accessible from the age of 16, features the major part of the saunas 25 to choose from in total. Two steam baths and various other ‘wellness’ attractions guarantee deep relaxation in calming surroundings. The glass roof of the main building can be opened in good weather, a 34-degree warm water pool spans across 1,200 square metres completed with a pool bar, whirlpools, bubble loungers and neck jets, as well as an outdoor pool.
The main sauna building also features a meditation pool and a ladies-only area. Connected with the old sauna area through the Palazzo Veneziano, a leisurely stroll takes one to the sauna garden featuring two extra saunas.
The VitalOase, also for visitors over 16, features a thermal pool, sulfur healing spring, textile saunas, quiet areas and a restaurant. Three health pools allow swimming in mineral-enriched waters, using Dead Sea salt, iodine, selenium and calcium.
The thermal bath itself takes up 27,500 square metres with one third being indoors and two thirds forming the outside thermal gardens. The glass dome spanning over its entire width can be opened in summer to 50 per cent and inside, the 1,450-square-metre-large thermal pool, grotto, pool bar, waterfall, bio sauna and Kneipp parkour, a small children’s area and a restaurant are all assembled under one roof. The thermal garden outside features an outdoor pool, beach volleyball, a beach bar and an outside slide amongst other attractions.
In total, the flashy Galaxy water park today features 26 slides, five of which are suitable for small children under the age of six. The “slide paradise” was built under a 25-meter-high metal dome which, like the glass dome, can be opened in summer. It features the world’s longest tyre slide amongst multiple other attractions. But it does not stop here. Galaxy 2.0 is already in the planning, which will add new slides.
An exclusive Royal Day Spa Wellness area was opened in 2009.
Since the opening of Therme Erding, more than 100 million euros have been invested and more than 600 jobs were created. In 2014, a large new hotel, designed after the ship HMS Victory, was opened adjacent to the wave pool. Apart from 128 theme rooms up to 50 square metres in size, the Hotel Victory features two conference rooms, two restaurants and a bar. The adjacent gigantic wave pool area provides ample space for relaxation and bathing. Five different stages of wave activity, bubble loungers, a “crazy river” and a pool bar invite to a fun stay.
As co-founder Jörg Wund states: “We offer a unique and diverse product world through which we are reaching all kinds of target groups from five to 85. The thermal baths attract the health tourists, the sauna world speaks to wellness customers and the Galaxy slides of course draw the families in. With the theme based accommodation on top, this place has regular guests returning up to 100 times a year, spending most of their leisure time in one of our paradises. Holidays on the beach with healthy thermal bath water on top – right in the middle of Bavaria!”
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