Bad Ragaz

Bad Ragaz is one of Switzerland’s oldest spas – some say, the oldest – first mentioned in the year 843. It’s located in the southeastern corner of the canton (state) of St. Gallen, on the border with Canton Graubünden (also known as the Grisons). Also nearby is the Principality of Liechtenstein. Bad Ragaz is on the main rail line and highway between Zurich and Chur. It is also easily accessible from Germany, Austria, and the eastern Swiss metropolis of St. Gallen.

The Tamina River, which runs through Bad Ragaz, begins in a narrow gorge above the village, and supplies a constant flow of thermal water at exactly 36.6° Celsius, year around. The landmark in the village is the five-star Grand Hotel, where the rich and famous have been going for generations to take the waters and to “get away from it all”. But this is not a resort only for the rich – there are public facilities for any budget, including hotels and restaurants.

Bad Ragaz has been known for a long time for its water-based medical treatment facilities. Perhaps this is what attracted Johanna Spyri to come here. In any case, the village figures prominently in her story of the Swiss mountain girl, Heidi, which has become world famous. The area around Bad Ragaz is so closely connected with the story that it’s even referred to today as “Heidiland”.

In addition to the spa tradition, Bad Ragaz offers golf, walking, hiking, and cycling in summer, and skiing in winter.

A gambling casino is another attraction, and is of an international standard. It is discreetly located behind the Grand Hotel.