I have a giveaway for you, dear readers!
You might know that my dream day out in Bavaria is a hearty breakfast, followed by a trip to the monte mare sauna spa at Tegernsee.
While other small spas are lovely for a few hours every now and then, and others are simply too huge to cover in a day, the monte mare at Tegernsee is just the right size. First, you need to get your armbands for the day. With these, you can pop into the restaurant and order without having to bother heading back to the changing room and fumbling around for your purse.
Then, you need to get changed. I know for many non-Germans, this is kind of a big deal, and it was for me too – but now I’ve a full FKK convert. Yes, you need to be entirely naked in the saunas. But you can slip on a dressing gown in between (most people do), and when you head to the restaurant – well, it would be simply indecent to sip soup starkers. So if you’ve yet to try out a sauna experience in Germany, this is your chance. It’s liberating, and far more hygenic than visiting a sauna in a swimsuit.
Once wrapped up in your dressing gown, head into the shower area (you can hire dressing gowns and towels at the spa, should it be too cumbersome to take them with you – also, remember you’ll need two towels – one for the sauna, and one for after you shower at the end).
Once showered, you can start spa-ing.
I normally start off in a 65°C sauna, before heading to the warmer sauna, which is around 75°C (and has a spectacular view of the lake). Then, I head outside, to lie on a sun lounger with my book. The spa’s right next to the lake, so if you’re feeling brave, you can take a dip. In the summer it’s ok, but I dipped my toes in when it was 2°C in winter and it was rather nippy! Many people jump in after an “Aufguß”, where water (sometimes infused with herbs) is poured onto the hot rocks to raise the temperature and to create steam – with the purpose of clearing the airways. Expect lots of deep inhaling.
I normally have a soup for lunch at the monte mare restaurant, but they offer pastas, Thai curries and salads, too. I last went on my birthday, when I treated myself to a Coconut Kiss, a non-alcoholic cocktail. If you want to make the day extra special, I can wholly recommend a glass of prosecco (or two).
Now, if you want to push the boat out, you can organize a massage for the afternoon. Full list available here. I normally busy myself in the whirlpool, and do a salt scrub in the steam room, before having another lie down outside. It’s tough work, this sauna lark! And you really must try out the sauna in the Irmingard, the old ship. The ship’s a hundred years old, and is anchored at the lake for sauna-goers. It’s very cute, though it’s the hottest sauna in the spa – at 90°C. I can’t handle the heat, so I normally pop in for the experience, get sweaty asap, and pop out again.
Now, you’ll have to organize the breakfast part of the day out yourselves, but I can help you out with a day of R&R at the monte mare sauna, for I have two day passes to give away to two lucky readers. To enter, just write me an email at email@example.com with the subject “monte mare” and on September 20, I’ll pick a winner at random to win two passes. Also, you can go in any monte mare spa you choose – they have eleven locations across the country, so if you’re not in Munich, have a look to see if there’s one near you and send me an email!