When the sun had been hiding behind clouds all the time on that February day, and it had definitely become cold in Sardinia, the black sheep longed for warmth and relaxation …
How nice it would be to take a sauna in the wellness temple! Once properly knead, sweat and then drift to Indian sounds in the super relax sky.
On the one hand, this is a cultural question: Finns living in permanent cold are naturally more fond of saunas than Sardinians, who have a relatively warm winter compared to them.
However, it is mainly due to the lack of demand: In the summer and beach tourism, one does not need any extra heat and oily massages are only medium pleasant.
Only for a few locals and a few lost tourists in winter the operation doesn’t pay off. So if anything, everything is a bit smaller and more economical.
And indeed, in Sardinia, as soon as the sun shines and no wind blows, it is so pleasant outside that you don’t necessarily need a sauna.
Everything else – from drinking tea in a nice café, meditation on granite rocks to a relaxing walk on the beach with free flying aerosols – can be done without any problems.
The basic understanding for wellness offers are massages, beauty and healing treatments
Anyone who wants to be pampered by the brush will find many offers. Even in small villages, away from the tourist hotspots and often in the natural tranquillity of the hinterland, there are beautiful possibilities and experienced hands to be pampered.
But Sardinia wouldn’t be Sardinia if it didn’t have a little wellness surprise up its sleeve: natural, warm thermal baths whose water often has a healing effect. Several wellness hotels have also settled there. In addition equal more.
Sauna and spa: off to the hotel
Almost all saunas and spas in Sardinia are part of a hotel. More or less extensive percorso benessere / wellness paths should bring the holidaymaker to the relaxation paradise.
Massages are the main topic in most spas. Some even have medicinal water thanks to natural springs. The wellness path / percorso benessere usually includes a swimming pool, steam bath, thermal showers, perhaps a Kneipp path, and if you’re lucky, a Finnish sauna – but usually without an infusion.
TIP:At home, mix a small bottle of water with a few drops of essential oil (e.g. Olio 31, available in every Erboristeria). Shake briefly in the sauna, pour on, swing towel – the self-made infusion is ready. And they also have time limits: between 30 minutes and two hours for a percorso benessere – depending on type, size and concept.
The reservation of sauna and massage appointments is obligatory and the number of people admitted is always limited. And because English and German are rarely spoken, you’ll probably have to put some Italian sentences on it.
Especially on Italian public holidays it is advisable for day-trippers to call a few days in advance, as the hotel guest has priority and the few places are quickly fully booked. Wanting to go to the sauna spontaneously can end in disappointment in Sardinia.
In winter there are not massage appointments every day, not in the whole range, and sometimes not at all – it just depends on the hotel. Just ask for a massage appointment and they’ll spread out the offer to you. It is best to plan the massage before or after the percorso, as it is limited in time (not all spa staff think along). So you don’t have to play the flute and the whole thing stays relaxed.
TIP :If you are staying in a wellness hotel for a weekend, you should ask for an appointment in the sauna or for a massage at the time of booking or check-in at the latest. Also ask for relaxation packages or weekend arrangements.
Sauna: other countries, other customs
Until a few years ago, ladies and gentlemen “sauned” separately in Italy and in a few arch-Catholic regions on the mainland, this is still the case today. The good news: Sardinia is consistently relaxed – men and women are on the road together.
The main – and more important – difference to Northern Europe is that swimwear is mandatory. Nobody is naked in the sauna. So even in winter you have to pack bikini or swimming trunks (… and flip-flops and large towels or bathrobes. You can also rent it, but it costs).
While the northern Europeans understand their freedom of movement above and below as a great “cultural achievement”, this is rather difficult in the rest of the world. And that doesn’t always have to do with prudery or even oppression. Basically it’s about things like privacy, feelings, dignity, habits, national culture. In any case, it is not appropriate to want to impose our nakedness on the locals as guests in the country. Be respectful and adapt yourself.
Natural spas in Sardinia
There are several natural hot springs on the island. This is due to the volcanic past. There is not a single crater in Sardinia that spits fire and there are no geysers. But to warm water, the energy of the earth’s interior is sufficient.
You can find the most famous natural thermal baths in:
For the sake of completeness: In Sardinian usage, springs with cold or lukewarm mineral water are also referred to as thermal baths, for example:
Rinagghju in Tempio Pausania
Beautifully laid out in a small park, the water is actually reserved for the locals, but nobody will know if you refill your bottle there.
The seven springs of Leonardo di Siete Fuentes:
The water is also available in some supermarkets.
The water of the spring in Villasor
Comes with about 25 degrees from about 60 meters depth. S’Acqua Cotta / the boiled water (which is a somewhat misleading name) is cooled, bottled and sold.