01/27/2013 08:28 am ET

Europe's Most Famous Spa Towns (PHOTOS)


Before the advent of today's sleek and glamorous spa getaways, spa towns were a thing in Europe for centuries, offering refuge to royalty and members of the upper crust looking for a cure.

For ages, people have believed in the healing properties of nature. So, it's no surprise that many of these towns are home to thermal hot springs whose waters are touted as relief for a host of ailments ranging from rheumatism to respiratory issues. As such, everyone who was anyone -- think Mozart, Peter the Great and even Katharine Hepburn -- have visited these places over the years. Hotels and resorts cropped up as the popularity of these locales grew, allowing visitors to take in the sights (hello, Alps!) as well as the healing powers of the landscape.

To this day, spa towns such as the Czech Republic's Marienbad or Switzerland's Leukerbad ("bad" is used either before or after town names to show that that town is home to a spa) welcome guests from near and far looking for remedies.

Herewith, where to find your cure...



Europe's Spa Towns