Travel,  Wellness

Here is Why Bulgaria is a Top Wellness Destination

Maybe you’ve heard that Bulgaria is known to be the oldest urban settlement in all of Europe, but did you know that there are over 700 mineral hot springs in the country? Second only to Iceland, but nowhere near as popular or crowded with tourists.

What is Balneology?

Balneology is the scientific study and therapeutic use of mineral and thermal waters for health and wellness purposes. It encompasses various practices, including hydrotherapy, balneotherapy, and spa treatments, which utilize mineral-rich water sources for medicinal and relaxation purposes.

The roots of balneology can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where natural springs and thermal baths were revered for their healing properties. Throughout history, these mineral waters have been utilized for their benefits in treating various health conditions, such as arthritis, skin disorders, and respiratory ailments.

Today, balneology is often practiced in spa and wellness centers around the world, offering treatments such as mineral baths, mud baths, and hydrotherapy sessions. These therapies are believed to promote relaxation, improve circulation, alleviate pain and inflammation, and support overall health and well-being.

Balneology combines elements of hydrotherapy, geology, and traditional healing practices to provide holistic treatments that nourish the body, mind, and spirit. Many individuals report experiencing positive effects on their health and vitality after participating in balneotherapy sessions. While Bulgaria might not be the obvious choice for wellness getaways, its rich spa history dates back thousands of years.

SPA Towns from Roman Times and Beyond

Hisarya, located south of the Balkan Mountain range, has been inhabited since around 6,000 BC because of its hot mineral springs. Once a thriving Thracian city, it was later named Diocletianopolis by the Romans upon their conquest. Today, although not as bustling as in Roman times, Hisarya still boasts 22 hot springs that range in temperature from 41°C to 52°C (100°F to 125°F). Often people from other towns visit to bottle some water and take it home to drink it daily.

Most Spa Hotels in Bulgaria offer week-long programs to treat conditions of the peripheral nervous system, arthritis, and many other ailments. Embrace the luxury with indoor and outdoor hot springs and a collection of saunas, steam rooms, and an endless array of beauty and massage treatments. Thermal spas are open throughout the year, so any season would make your wellness break a memorable one.

The Spa Capital of the Balkans is located in a valley surrounded by Pirin, Rila, and Rhodope Mountains. The most saturated region in the country with mineral springs is the town of Velingrad. Depending on the health benefits you’re looking to get, there are at least 80 springs with unique mineral levels. The Spa hotels in town utilize them well to create custom wellness packages for every need.

Tips to make sure you have a great time

Explore the local town, the culture, and the history because every place is unique and provides an opportunity to learn something new. One of the most fascinating aspects of traveling to other parts of the world is learning about different cultures. Bulgaria has a lot to offer with its rich history spanning over 1,300 years, with evidence of human habitation dating back to ancient times, Ruins of Thracian and Roman settlements and fortresses can be found all over the country.

Try traditional food and Bulgarian wine (you can thank me later), the cuisine is influenced by Mediterranean, Balkan, and Ottoman culinary traditions, featuring dishes such as banitsa (a pastry filled with cheese), kebapche (grilled minced meat), and Shopska salad (a fresh vegetable salad topped with feta cheese). Studies suggest that a glass of red wine is good for your heart. One type of indigenous grape that grows in the Balkan region is Mavrud and I recommend you try it.

There is no better way to start your wellness vacation than checking in and putting on the white robe and slippers. Book your spa service, whether it is a massage or a facial it will help you feel more relaxed and leave your skin glowing. Visit the gym or try a new activity like archery or yoga. Check with the staff, they may have a suggestion for a walking tour or a great sunset spot nearby. Spend the afternoon by the pool reading a new book or listening to soft music that will help you be fully present in the moment.

Top 10 5-star Spa Hotels in Bulgaria

  1. Casa di Fiore SPA and Medical Hotel, Mineral Pools & Private Beach
  2. Kashmir Wellness & Spa Hotel
  3. Aquahouse Hotel & SPA
  4. Kings’ Valley Medical & Spa Hotel
  5. Hotel Arte SPA & Park
  6. Santé SPA Hotel
  7. Astor Garden Hotel
  8. Spa Hotel Persenk
  9. Grand Hotel Velingrad
  10. Uva Nestum Wine & SPA

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