Feeling tired and tense? Desperate for some fresh air and in need of a relaxing detox from busy lifestyle? Probably your reaction is "Duuh, but what can you do?". Well, you can book your ticket in a second and plan a chill weekend. I know, upon reading this title, you probably thought it is rather redundant, as you have heard that Belgium is the mother of spas, with the city that in fact gave them its name. However, I must disappoint you and tell you that you are so mistaken. Allow me to reveal you the hidden thermal beauties of my beautiful home country, Serbia. And if you think "Why would I even go all the way there for a spa trip?" then I accept the challenge of trying to convince you the opposite.
What you didn't know for sure is that Serbia is ranking itself among the richest areas in the world for its natural healing factors, including some 350 so far known and examined springs of different curative mineral waters, as well as over 25 health with exceptional healing and ecological values. Thus, it is often reffered to as the Republic of Spas. Mineral waters are very diversified, since their properties and abundance strictly depend from the geological composition of the area in which they are located. In fact, springs in Serbia appear even in the regions which are over 500 m above the sea level, which is exceptionally rare. Quite often, the springs are accompanied with the appearance of medicinal gases and mud, as a result of interaction of waters and soil in their surroundings. Moreover, spas in Serbia are located either in the valleys or on the hill slopes, they are almost always surrounded with forests, meadows and orchards.
What is more, great variety of modern accommodation facilities, monuments, parks, sport fields, swimming pools as well as sport and recreational centers make the spas both cultural and entertaining The amazing thing is that every single spa is surrounded by untouched nature, well-kept surroundings, parks and footpaths. The healing resorts are situated at the height from 450 to 1.500 above sea level which makes them easily accessible and the diverse flora and fauna, sub-Alpine climate,is rather beneficial for both body and soul. The resorts are mostly build for relaxation, recovery, and treatment of some diseases and especially for athlete's preparations. The friendly staff and locals are aiming to provide you with the rich and expert medical services not only for treatment but also for the mere recovery and pleasure. In my humble opinion all this, friendly, hospitable people, extremly affordable prices and great cuisine are just some among many other reasons why you should consider to visit some of the spa locations in Serbia. Just to get a closer idea and some of the inside scoop where to go, let me introduce you with some of the best and most popular thermal spots in the country.
Niška Banja - This wonderful thermal resort is located at the south of Serbia, close to the town of Nis. Niška Banja lies at the foot of Koritnik, a branch of Suva Planina, at an altitude of 248 m. Natural medicinal factors in Niska Banja are mild, moderate-continental climate, thermo-mineral waters and natural mineral mud. Niška Banja has three facilities "Radon", "Zelengora" and "Terme", modern equipment for diagnostics, treatment and rehabilitation of rheumatic and cardiovascular diseases and for operative treatment in the field of orthopedic surgery. In the vicinity of Niška Banja is the forest Košutnjak, with trim trails. Niška Banja is suitable for preparation and competition of sports teams, as but for some artsy souls it also has a library, an art gallery and a summer stage, which during the hot months become a hit spot of numerous events united in the manifestation "Cultural Year in Niska Banja".
Banja Koviljača - is located in the western part of Serbia, in the region of Podrinje, on the right bank of the Drina River, at the foot of Mount Gučevo, and at an altitude of 125 m. Archaeological research has determined that the area of Banja Koviljača was inhabited even in Roman times. In the Middle Ages, under the walls of the "Koviljka's town", people of this region visited the sources of medicinal water. Sophisticated mineral waters and medicinal mud are the natural healing factors of Banja Koviljača. Moreover, the spa is surrounded by one of the largest and most beautiful parks in Serbia, suitable for walks and recreation. The well-known spa hall "Kur-salon", will impress you with its beauty, while the rich interior will carry within itself the spirit of lavish past times.
Sokobanja - famous for its large health center and a well-known spa town. The healing properties of the Sokobanja thermal springs were acknowledged even in Roman times. What makes Sokobanja attractive is thermal mineral water, ideal altitude, temperate continental climate, clean mountain air with lots of oxygen and beautiful, untouched nature. It belongs to the renowned tourist centers, with the longest tradition of organized tourism for 170 years now. Natural medicinal factors Sokobanja are thermo-mineral springs and gas radon with favorable ionization. There are five hotels in the spa: Sunce, Moravica, Zdravljak, Tourist and natural health resort Banjica. This spa has the most up-to-date equipment for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation using natural healing factors, as well as swimming pools with thermal water, gym, small sports shops and tennis courts. Sokobanja rests on the slopes of the Ozren Mountain and the Rtanj Mountains, surrounded by spacious and beautifully landscaped parks and picnics. There is also Bovanska klisura and Bovansko lake, then the largest waterfall in Ripaljka, the Lepertija, Kalinovica as well as a significant number of caves.
Vrnjačka Banja - The spa got this name by the village of Vrnjci, where the mineral springs were discovered. Also known as the Queen of Serbian tourism, with its healing waters, helps in the treatment of diabetes, gastrovascular diseases, gynecological diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Vrnjacka Banja is located in central Serbia, 200 km south of Belgrade, on the slopes of the Goch mountain and in the Vrnjacka and Lipovac valleys. Sports and Recreation Center "Raj" has three grassy football fields and an athletic track, and there are also small sports grounds, for those of you who like to have sporty weekends. Guests can use saunas, bowling alley, outdoor and indoor swimming pools and fitness centers. On Goch mountain there are ideal conditions for hunting in a landscaped hunting ground. For those who prefer river and sport fishing, 10 km from Vrnjacka Banja, in the Western Morava there are Danube pubs.
Prolom Banja - located in the very south of Serbia, with moderate-continental climate and lush vegetation, Prolom Spa stimulates the human organism. It is included in the well-known healing climate treatment facilities, with its several sources of thermo-mineral water. Otherwise, Prolom water is a well-known bottled water, which is a confirmation of water quality and is taken by everyone both young and old, so definitely give it a try. As a guest of Prolom Spa, you will have at your disposal a gym, kinesiology hall, swimming pool and "health trails".
Finally, this has been only a small preview so that you may get a glimpse of some healing features of Serbia. I suggest you start thinking about your spa trip and to stay tuned, as I will bring you more details and inside scoop into the best spots to visit.
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