Visit Styria, Austria, and learn the secret art of relaxing, drinking and eating

VIENNA, Austria — When you think of Austria, a Sound of  Music song may pop into your ear. But this story is not about picturesque mountains and women in dresses singing in meadows.

This is a story about Styria, a state in southern Austria and in the heart of Europe, that may have found the best way for you to leave all your worries behind. 

Styria is known for exceptional wine, great food and thermal baths. Here’s how to relax like a Styrian pro:

Start your day by entering one of the thermal baths. Put on your bathing suit, wrap yourself in a soft bathrobe and enter the steamy-warm building. Take a bath in mineral spring water, relax in a dim-lighted sauna or doze off in a comfy sun lounger.

If you want to soak in a thermal bath that will make you feel like Alice in Wonderland visit Rogner Bad Blumau. This bath was designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, an Austrian-born artist and architect who is famous for his use of vibrant colors and disorienting shapes. No floor is flat, no wall is straight. Take a bath in one of the three healing mineral springs or sweat away in one of the 11 saunas. 

Want to see one of the locals’ favorite baths? Then visit Bad Radkersburg, where you can soak in 93 to 96 degrees of warm thermal water and let the water nozzles massage your body. The bath is located in a gigantic park, where you can wander around in your bathrobe and stay connected back home with free WiFi. Tip: Try the wine cellar sauna. The smell of grapes will make sweating enjoyable. 

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