Hungary has a great wealth of beautiful baths and spas, with water from medicinal springs awaiting visitors at a number of locations around the country. But what is the difference between medicinal water and thermal water, what are the benefits of medicinal waters and how long should we stay in thermal water?
Medicinal waters may have beneficial effects on completely healthy persons, too, as they are also effective for prevention, relaxation and recreation. The minerals dissolved in the water are absorbed through the skin and exert positive effects on the nervous system, strengthen the defensive mechanisms of the human body and initiate processes of regeneration, while the negative ions in the atmosphere of bath houses offer a stress-reducing, calming, restful experience to bathers.
Not all thermal water is medicinal water. The term ‘thermal’ simply refers to the temperature of the water. In Hungary, between 1953 and 1984, natural spring water reaching the surface at temperatures over 35 °C was classified as thermal water, but as in other European countries springs that hot are quite rare, today, water over the temperature of 30 °C is considered thermal water.
The effects of medicinal waters vary as a function of the minerals and gases they contain. They should be used judiciously: the usual prescribed length of a single session is 20 to 40 minutes, and cures of 15 to 20 sessions are recommended. It is also important to know that in some cases – for instance cardiovascular disorders – medicinal waters may be specifically contraindicated. Always obtain information to ensure that you get the right treatment for your health condition.
Lake Balaton and its environs are rewarding photographic themes in every season: along with the lake itself, the surrounding landscapes are also astonishingly beautiful. The natural areas and the hidden wildlife around the lake are favoured themes for many photographers – and the autumn sunrise lends a spectacular splendour to the Balaton Uplands and Mount Badacsony, captured this time by Josef Jordan.
The Old Lake at Tata is Hungary’s oldest artificial lake, created before the Hungarian conquest by building a dam across the Átal-ér Stream. There is a comfortable footpath around the lake, but it is a popular destination not only with hikers but also with migratory birds. Tens of thousands of wild geese and ducks spend the autumn and the winter on the lake.
30 km from Budapest, Hungary, near the town of Vác and the village of Sződliget, there is a hidden treasure: a romantic little fishpond that is a veritable entrance to the world of fairy tales. The lake’s shore is composed of a series of tiny coves, with idyllic little lodges of reeds and wood hidden under the gigantic floodplain trees.
Lake Fertő is an increasingly popular destination for nature-lovers: it has a cycle path all around it, many exciting beauty spots, atmospheric small towns and inviting, beautiful landscapes. Although it lies partly in Hungary and partly in Austria, the open border means that the Fertő Region still forms a single unit.
The Sárvár Medicinal and Wellness Spa, completed in 2002, is the largest bath complex in Western Transdanubia. The spa offers thermal pools, giant slides, kiddie pools, a climbing wall and wellness services to entertain visitors looking for relaxation and recreation.
The small town of Makó in Hungary, famous for its excellent onions, has a veritable thermal bath complex in the town centre. On a plot of 12 thousand square metres, the complex offers 18 different pools, 8 kinds of saunas, a steam cabin as well as leisure, therapeutic and wellness services, offering visitors an unforgettable recreational experience.
Along the with its pools of thermal water for those seeking its therapeutic effects, the unique Miskolctapolca Cave Bath also offers visitors an opportunity to bathe in naturally formed cave passages and chambers.
The most famous sight of the town of Tapolca is hidden underground and may be explored in an extraordinary fashion. The Tapolca cave lake, unique in Hungary, is not famous for its spectacular stalactites and stalagmites, but the underground boating that it offers.
There is a special lake near Oroszlány, Hungary, by the foothills of the Vértes Mountain: meandering wooden piers and boardwalks lead to the small, red, blue and yellow cabins floating on the water. The Bokodi Lake is the artificial lake of the Vértes Power Station, but it offers a living
fairy-tale world for visitors.
Riverbanks with ancient trees, a diverse birdlife, branches arching over the water: amazing backwaters await nature lovers along the Tisza River outside the town of Mártély in Csongrád County.