Amélie-les-Bains Palalda, France’s premier spa town [photos]

Image by: Chantelle Flores www.51countriesandcounting.com

Amélie-les-Bains Palalda in the southernmost part of France is a little paradise for those who love soaking up the healing powers of thermal water.

Image by Chantelle Flores | www.51countriesandcounting.com

Regenerativing and invigorating, here the water soothes as much as it energises. Its water temperatures reach 60°C at its source and is believed to have magical curative properties. Patients with some lung illnesses and rheumatism have been enjoying these benefits since the Roman era.

Image by Chantelle Flores | www.51countriesandcounting.com

The natural water is rich in sulphur, sodium chloride and carbonates. As a result, it has seen French doctors prescribing patients with ‘les soins’ treatments. These serve as an alternative to modern forms of medication. Only recently, the region has started offering relaxation and pampering packages.

Image by Chantelle Flores | www.51countriesandcounting.com

Roman Baths

Image by Chantelle Flores | www.51countriesandcounting.com

It’s no surprise why the Romans set up shop here. One million litres of thermal water flow each day into the Amélie-les-Bains resort.

Multiple ruins of Roman baths can be seen throughout the town. By the end of the 19th century, there were only two bathing establishments, one of which preserved the remains of one Roman Bath, and the other – the large military thermal hospital.

Image by Chantelle Flores | www.51countriesandcounting.com

The Les Thermes Romains is the more traditional spa, built upon the ancient site of the Roman baths. The building to this day remains classified and has been historically preserved. It is the most luxurious of all spas in the region and offers ultra-functional and contemporary treatments. You can expect hydromassage baths, thermal mud baths and underwater jets.

Les Thermes du Mondony is the more cost effective and busier of the two. Each day 2,500 customers pass through its doors. 

The town

Image by Chantelle Flores | www.51countriesandcounting.com

Amélie-les-Bains Palalda city is structured around the Tech River. Its narrow cobblestone streets follow the shape of the river and combine traidion and modern archetectural syles.

The military hospital is the town’s most notable site. It was built in the 18th century and contains a chapel, that was later built in the 19th century.

The Parish church of Saint-Quentin and the Chapel of Santa Engracia are two notable religious buildings.

Image by Chantelle Flores | www.51countriesandcounting.com
Image by Chantelle Flores | www.51countriesandcounting.com

Equaly important is The Rosary Chapel is in Palalda. A brotherhood was created here following the victory of Christians over Muslims.

Above a rocky peak, you will find the Fort of Amelie which dates back to the Middle Ages. It is a small square shaped fort, today being used as a private residence.

Image by Chantelle Flores | www.51countriesandcounting.com

Events

The town welcomes some famous events. More than 600 international dancers, singers and musicians from all continents come each year to take part in the International Folklore Festival.

Image by Chantelle Flores | www.51countriesandcounting.com

The event brings all the richness of world cultures and has been certified by the  CIOFF (International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals) which is an official partner of UNESCO.

Nature

Image by Chantelle Flores | www.51countriesandcounting.com

The town boasts over 300 days of sunshine per year. In addition, its crystalline-pure air and lush, green surroundings offer peace to those seeking to relax and unwind.

It is also the perfect place for those who appreciate outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, horse riding and canyoning along the tech river.

Image by Chantelle Flores | www.51countriesandcounting.com
Image by Chantelle Flores | www.51countriesandcounting.com

Love the images you see? They are all for sale as art pieces on the 51 Countries and Counting Travel platform. Click here for more information.

 

[“source=thesouthafrican”]