Hungary has been known as one of Europe’s best spa destination for hundreds of years. Over 80 million litres of richly mineralized water is poured out from natural hot springs every day. With more than 1300 hot springs in the country, only 300 are used for bathing and medicinal purposes. The oldest spas in Hungary have been build by the ancient Romans and Turks over thousand years ago.
Cave Bath in Miskolc-Tapolca
150-m Cave Bath (Barlangfürdö) in Miskolc-Tapolca is the most spectacular in Hungary. Dicovered in the 16th century, the caves have been attracting bathers ever since. Today, a vast resort has grown around the caves, including a large park with a rowing lake and a cave chapel.
Cave passages have been created by nature in hundreds of thousands years. Thermal water of the caves arise from the depths of the Bükk mountains and has a nice temperature of 30°C (86°F). The water is high in calsium and magnesium, which is especially good for you if you suffer from joint or back problems. The cave baths include bath hall, old cave basin, two thermal basins, roman hall and star hall.
Széchenyi Baths in Budapest
Széchenyi Baths is the largest and probably most outstanding complex of spa baths in Europe with its vast network of indoor and outdoor baths. A Hungarian geologist discovered a hot spring in Széchenyi while drilling a well in 1897. The outstanding Neo-Baroque building was contructed to the same place couple of decades later in 1913.
Its hot springs bubble up from a depth of 930 m (3,180 ft) and are rich in minerals that are also reputed to have healing properties. This makes Széchenyi Baths the deepest and hottest in Budapest. The water in Széchenyi Baths is recommended for treating rheumatism as well as disorders of the nervous system, joints and muscles. It is as popular with tourist as it is with locals who can be seen to play chess at outdoor pools all year around.
Saliris Resort and Spa in Egerszalók
Saliris Thermal Spa is constructed next to a thermal spring erupting from deep in the earth and limestone hill created by water runoff, known as “salt hill.” The hot water rich in mineral content continually builds jagged, white formations, offering an imposing and interesting spectacle. It’s a unique sight in Europe, with similar natural formations found only in two other places in the world, in Pamukkale in Turkey and in Yellowstone National Park in the United States.
The water from the hot spring contains calcium magnesium hydrogen carbonate, sodium and a significant amount of metasilicic acid – ranked as one of the best in the sulphuric medicinal waters category. Calcium has been said to have an anti-inflammatory effect, and sulphur makes an important component of cartilage in the joints.
3 Tips for the Spas in Hungary
- Remember to bring your own flip-flops to the spas!
- Spas are usually poorly signed and usually only in Hungarian
- Avoid weekends when spas are packed with locals and very noisy