Why go to a spa in Bulgaria?

Why go to a spa in Bulgaria? To answer this question, we have to clarify what is SPA and what are the advantages of balneotherapy in Bulgaria.

There are different versions of the origin of the term ‘spa’: from the Belgian city of Spa; from the Babylonian word espa (fountain); an acronym for Latin phrases meaning “health through water”; from a Latin expression that came to us from ancient Rome and meant “water safety”. Regardless of which version we accept, the word “spa” is associated with healing mineral springs, health restoration, hydrotherapy (balneotherapy), relaxation.

Hot spring in Sapareva banya, SPA in Bulgaria
The geyser in Sapareva Banya is one of the hottest in the world – 103oС

SPA in antiquity and now

The ancient Romans used hot mineral springs in the 4th century BC. Since then, the territory of Bulgaria has been a preferred destination for the treatment of diseases and stress. Balneosanatoriums have been built near the mineral springs, even settlements such as Augusta (Hisarya), Pautalia (Kyustendil), Akve Khalide and Thermopolis (Burgas Mineral Baths), Germaneia (Sapareva Banya), Tanzos (Sliven Mineral Baths), Ulpia Serdika (Sofia). Currently, in Bulgaria, there are 47 spa resorts and the country is second in Europe in the presence of thermal mineral waters (the leader is Iceland).

The total annual volume of exploitation reserves of mineral waters is 109 million cubic meters (with a flow rate of 5000 liters per second). And only half of that is used. 225 are the deposits of mineral springs (natural or by drilling). They have different chemical and physical compositions, with different temperatures. The localities with temperatures from 37°С to 50°С are predominant, in Northern Bulgaria the cold ones prevail, and in Southern Bulgaria, the warm and hot waters prevail. There are hyperthermal waters in the valleys of the rivers Struma and Mesta. The hottest locality (103°С) is in Sapareva Banya. In Bulgaria, we have such wealth which we can use for treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation for many diseases, stress relief, rest.

The most popular places for SPA in Bulgaria

Now let’s see what mineral springs there are in different places in the country and what are their healing and relaxation qualities.

Velingrad is titled the SPA capital of the Balkans. The city ranks first in Bulgaria in the abundance and diversity of its mineral waters, whose temperature varies between 28°C and 91°C. The hottest waters are in the Kamenica district, with temperatures up to 91°С. In Velingrad, you can also find the largest karst spring in Bulgaria – “Kleptuza”.

Around the town of Sandanski, there are over 80 springs with temperatures from 42°C to 81°C. The rich chemical composition of water and the climate have a beneficial effect on respiratory diseases (asthma), arthritis and rheumatism, musculoskeletal system, peripheral nervous system.

The town of Hisarya is one of the most popular and old SPA and balneological centers in Bulgaria. Here, in 1882, the foundations of the organized balneotherapy in Bulgaria were laid. It is distinguished by 22 mineral springs with different physicochemical characteristics and temperatures and with proven healing qualities.

The water temperatures in Devin are from 16°C to 76°C. The waters are applied externally in diseases of the musculoskeletal system, treatment of the nervous system, treatment of the genital system, skin diseases. Drinking from the mineral water is used to treat gastrointestinal, biliary-hepatic, renal-urological, metabolic-endocrine diseases, diseases of the respiratory system.

In the town of Bankya, the mineral waters have temperatures from 36.5°C to 37°C. They are mainly used to treat cardiovascular diseases and injuries of the nervous system.

Varshets is the oldest spa resort in Bulgaria. The water there does not contain limestone, which makes it among the softest in the country. Its temperature is 37°C. And nature there contributes to complete relaxation. Use the mineral waters of Varshets for eye and skin problems, diseases of the nervous, cardiovascular, urinary systems, to strengthen the musculoskeletal system.

In the town of Pomorie, spa treatments with mineral water are upgraded with the healing salt lake mud (extracted from Lake Pomorie) and the iodine-saturated air. Here you can relieve diseases of the musculoskeletal system, gynecological, surgical and traumatic, skin problems, peripheral nerve diseases, cardiovascular diseases, liver diseases.

Sapareva Banya SPA resort is famous for its hyperthermal mineral springs. The majesty of the Rila Mountains and the proximity of the Rila lakes contribute to complete relaxation.

Любими места за спа в България - Долна баня

Pavel Banya is a popular resort with healing thermo-mineral waters, which are used to treat diseases of the peripheral nervous system, degenerative neurological, vertebrogenic, and orthopedic diseases, traumatic injuries of the central nervous system, mainly of the spinal cord.

Narechenski Bani is a spa resort whose mineral water contains radon and has healing radioactivity. There are three mineral springs, with a water temperature between 21.5°C and 29 C. Here are treated a number of diseases of the nervous system, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, endocrine-metabolic, hypertension, and diabetes.

The mineral water of the Haskovo Mineral Baths is hyperthermal with a temperature of 57°C and unique in its chemical composition and healing properties. It springs from 14 springs with a flow rate of 1500 liters per minute. The resort is profiled for the treatment of diseases of the peripheral arteries of organic and functional type.

The mineral spring in Ognyanovo is known as “Miroto” and has been exploited since ancient times. The healing properties of its water have benefited people in the Roman era. The healing mineral water, favorable climate, and picturesque natural views make Ognyanovo a favorite place for recreation.

Zheleznitsa mineral spring will amaze you with the forest “jacuzzis” built by volunteers. This is a complex of two pools, powered by a hot mineral spring. Water helps with stress, fatigue, and skin diseases.

Momin Prohod is famous for its mineral springs, known since the time of the Roman Empire. Now the mineral water from 9 springs, with a temperature of 56°С, is collected in a drainage basin. The water of Momin Prohod comes second in healing radioactivity.

Dolna Banya has a rich and centuries-old history. The healing mineral waters attracted Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Slavs, Proto-Bulgarians. The geothermal spring has an initial temperature of 62°С – 65°С.

The warm mineral water, which springs near the village of Rudartsi, and the wonderful nature at the foot of the southern slopes of Vitosha, make it a preferred resort village. The complex of three outdoor and one indoor pool is supplied with mineral water with proven healing qualities.

The Stara Zagora Mineral Baths were declared a national balneological resort in 1967. The mineral water comes to the surface from a depth of 1600 meters with a temperature of about 40°С.

The temperature of the mineral water in Pchelin Mineral Baths is 72.8°C and treats diseases of the musculoskeletal system, peripheral nervous system, gynecological and skin diseases.

The mineral springs near the villages of Shipkovo and Chiflik are three with a temperature of 18°C to 35°C and treat liver, kidney, stomach, neurological, and eye diseases.

Where to stay for our spa experience?

For some time now we have been methodically collecting our favorite spa hotels and, in general, accommodation which gives us access to the mineral springs and balneotherapy. We have stayed in all the places we write about. Sometimes we publish reviews of the places where we stay, located in the Where to stay section.

Midalidare Spa and Winery

We hope that you no longer have any doubts about the benefits of SPA in Bulgaria. There is no way the ancient Romans were wrong. And nowadays, we have to take care of ourselves more than ever and going to а spa in Bulgaria is a wonderful way to move towards our well-being.

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