Bad Ragaz in the St. Gallen Rhine Valley at the foot of the Pizol has a long tradition as a health spa. Today it is a wellness resort with top-class hotels, thermal baths and golf courses. The warm (37°C) healing waters bubble up from inside the mountain in the deep, mysterious Tamina Gorge in nearby Pfäfers.
From the middle of the 13th century pilgrims journeyed to the Abbey of Pfäfers near Bad Ragaz, where the Tamina Valley opens into the Rhine Valley, to bathe in the thermal waters. In 1535 the doctor and philosopher, Paracelsus, became the first doctor in Bad Pfäfers and testified to the healing powers of the thermal springs. Thus began the age of spa tourism. In 1716 the earliest baroque bathhouse in Switzerland was built below the Benedictine Monastery in Pfäfers.
From 1840 the thermal water was piped down to the more easily accessible village of Ragaz, 4 kilometres away, so Ragaz quickly became a renowned health resort. Luxury hotels were built to accommodate wealthy travellers, including Russian nobility, and, like the richly traditional Grand Hotel in Bad Ragaz, they still attract guests from all over the world. Today Bad Ragaz with its Tamina Thermal Spa, offers a broad range of medicinal and wellness packages.
- The natural spectacle of the Tamina Gorge: a wild, mysterious, narrow gorge near Pfäfers with cliffs up to 70 metres high, where the most prolific radioactive thermal water (pure, warm spring) in Europe gushes from a chamber deep in the mountain at 36.5°C
- Ancient Bad Pfäfers: beautiful walk from Bad Ragaz through the thermal ravine to Bad Pfäfers where kings and princesses once bathed, and where there are now two museums and a Paracelsus memorial.
- Tamina Thermal Springs: the thermal spa centre near the Grand Hotel has two indoor pools and one open-air bath with whirlpool, water chute, waterfall, spa bath, spa grotto with massage jets.
- Pizol: at 2220m, the home mountain of Bad Ragaz offers a wonderful view of the Rhine Valley right across to Lake Constance and plenty of trails for hikers, Nordic walkers, cyclists and skiers.
- Heidi experience: the home of this children’s storybook heroine offers Heidi experience trails on the Schwarzbüel Alp, the Pizol and above Maienfeld. Other Heidi attractions are also available.