Spa tourism in Małopolska, or how to fix your body in the mountains, forests, and among natural springs
Healing body and soul
In the past, people used to go to the water to rest and heal their rattled bodies and spirits. Today, it is exactly the same, although the expression to “go to the water” seems a bit old-fashioned. It has been replaced with the word ‘spa’, the origin of which is associated with the name of a city in Belgium, which already in ancient times was famous for its hot thermal springs bringing relief to the body and senses. The word is also associated with the acronym of the Latin sentence Sanus Per Aquam, i.e. health through water, which perfectly defines the purpose of such places, that is healing of the body and soul, using, among others, mineral waters, oils and herbal mixtures. For years, ‘spa’ meant nothing less than spa towns, health resorts or sanatoriums where natural springs were treated. Today, along with the development of technology, spa denotes a place for biological regeneration, a small paradise for the body, where clients undergo healing, cosmetic, protective and regenerating treatments. Massages, saunas, hydro massages and baths have been improving the condition of the body for years. Relaxation, recreation and getting rid of stress-related tensions are invaluable in today's world, and if you can additionally treat yourself to this relaxation in places close to nature, close to attractive trails or monuments, it is even more fun.
Wellness and SPA
Spas, hotels and health resorts in Małopolska (description of health resorts in Małopolska) offer a stay in a wellness & spa zone. Today, spa is an umbrella term for all body treatments that improve its condition. Wellness, on the other hand, is a way of thinking and living, a philosophical path through a healthy lifestyle and practices that allow you to achieve harmony of body and spirit and make you happy. Enjoying the sauna, massages or therapeutic baths is also a great way to achieve this state. Therefore, when choosing a spa, it is worth considering what is best for your body and what it needs, whether it be a Shea butter massage, deep tissue massage or exfoliation.
Małopolska spas pamper you with a whole range of treatments, including:
• exfoliation (chemical, salt or sugar peels, cavitation peeling),
• oxydermabrasion, microdermabrasion, vitamin C treatments, sonophoresis (ultrasounds for the face, neck, neckline and eye area), needle-free mesotherapy of the face, neck, neckline and eye area,
• massages (including full body massages, individual massages, relaxing massages, chocolate / honey / oils / hot stones massages, Hawaiian / Balinese / Thai massages, lifting, draining, anti-cellulite, smoothing etc.),
• rituals (consisting of herbal, fruit or flower exfoliation, massage, masks, moisturizing wraps, also: brightening treatments or improving skin tone),
• Finnish sauna, steam sauna, caldarium,
• pool and jacuzzi overlooking the mountains,
• swimming pool.
Some sites also offer aesthetic medical treatments.
Microclimate and water
When your body is doing well, your spirit also feels better, you regain harmony and well-being. So, if you are looking for such spas where you will not only find peace and beautiful nature, but also interesting architecture, they will probably be the same spots that for years have been famous for their exceptionally favorable microclimate and healing waters. Today, they are sanatoriums which bring generations together; with an offer aimed both at children, young people and those who say that they have just started their golden years. It is where anyone, regardless of their age, can cleanse their spirit and body, knock a few years off and feel better. Here are some examples:
Wysowa-Zdrój. If you set your feet here, you will reach the heart of Beskid Niski, where the traditions of treating body ailments date back to the 18th century, which is when mineral waters were discovered here. In the following years, Wysowa-Zdrój gained more and more recognition and made a name for itself. Thanks to the sources of saline water, available today in the spa house and in the Spa Park located in the middle of the village, it has become internationally renowned, and people who have problems with their kidneys, respiratory tract, and those suffering from gastrointestinal diseases come here to treat those ailments. It is a perfect place to go hiking, see Lemko churches, and get spa treatments. Give your body and mind a rest and forget about your duties.
Szczawnica. The Sapieha, Potocki and Lubomirski families came to the waters in Szczawnica. They came because, as the highlanders used to say, sour ‘sorrels’ could work miracles. Here, Sienkiewicz chased after the beautiful Helena Modrzejewska, here you could see Ludwik Solski, who delighted the ladies with the concert role of Old Soldier in “Warszawianka” (Whirlwinds of Danger). Today, the resort has regained its former splendor and European standard. If you choose this place to indulge in body treatments and regain harmony in the process, you won't regret it. It is the perfect place to catch your breath and set off to the Pieniny trails. In the winter, you can use the ski slopes, and in the summer – relax in the Spa Park. And, it goes without saying, you absolutely must climb or take a chair-lift to Palenica and admire the views.
Rabka-Zdrój. It is said to be an ideal place to live, attractive at any time of the year, with beautiful boulevards, graduation towers and the Spa Park. The climate is perfect to take a break from the hustle and bustle and regain some positive energy. The first bathing and treatment facility was opened in Rabka Zdrój in 1864. The pleasant microclimate made the city famous as a children's health resort for treating tuberculosis. Today, it has as many as nine deep water intakes, many cultural attractions and a wide selection of spa treatments. Another advantage are the Gorce Mountains, where Rabka is located. It is the perfect place for hiking and contact with nature.
Zakopane. A spa with a view of Giewont? Why not! And it’s not on Krupówki and it’s off the usual tourist routes. If you want to combine your love of mountain hiking and skiing with a fitness plan, you won't be disappointed. In the capital of the Tatra Mountains, you will find many good spots, close to hiking trails, in the forest and away from all the commotion. It is worth remembering that Zakopane has attracted people who have wanted to heal in the vicinity of the Tatra Mountains (description of the Tatra Mountains and Zakopane) for years. In 1873, it was even home to a popular doctor from Warsaw, Tytus Chałubiński, later called the “explorer of Zakopane” and the “King of the Tatra Mountains”. Zakopane has been a good place to treat tuberculosis, rheumatism, anemia and neurosis. And whose nerves are not shredded nowadays? So, relaxing in the shade of the Tatra Mountains sounds perfect.
Piwniczna-Zdrój. The acidic waters have been treating pancreatic diseases and diabetes here for years. Here you can enjoy mineral baths, mud therapy and massages which will take care of your body. Also, it is always good to drink ”piwniczanka” mineral water. Piwniczna Zdrój is also a picturesque town on Poprad River, a place for walks, mountain trips or horseback riding trips. Those who are looking for adrenaline will also find it through whitewater rafting. Those who do not like to overexert themselves, will not feel disappointed. The market square with the town hall and the historic well is also a good place for walks and to rest.
Krynica Zdrój. If you choose Krynica Zdrój spa, you will get to the city of Nikifor, Kiepura and music. And, mind you, nothing soothes the nerves as well as art. Especially in combination with body treatments and waters that have secret powers. Behind those powers there are sorrels, i.e. mineral waters highly saturated with free carbon dioxide. Here, you can drink the famous mineral waters: Zuber, Jan, Tadeusz and Mieczysław, and you can drink them in four different pump rooms, which give you a worthwhile glimpse into the spa architecture. The graduation tower is a must-see. You will find it in the heart of Beskid Sądecki, among the beech, fir and spruce forests of Jaworzyna Krynicka and it is the highest point of the area. It is always worth coming to Krynica Zdrój.
You can read about the greatest advantages of the health resorts of Małopolska HERE
The list of places where spa treatments are worthwhile also includes:
• Gródek on the Dunajec River
• Bukowina Tatrzańska
• Białka Tatrzańska