There are more than 1300 mineral sources in Slovakia that are used like curative water and high quality mineral water for drinking. There are 21 thermal spas built on these mineral springs, usually divided in three groups according to their kind:
- Balneological spas: Piešťany, Trenčianske Teplice, Bojnice, Dudince, Sliač, Smrdáky, Brusno, Lúčky, Sklené Teplice, Turčianske Teplice
- Climatic spas: Štrbské Pleso, Nový Smokovec, Štós, Tatranské Matliare, High Tatras
- Mixed spas: Bardejov, Rajecké Teplice, Číž, Nimnica, Vyšné Ružbachy
Slovakia is literally overflowing with hot springs, mineral water sources, spas and even a geyser. While in the U.S. spas are generally expensive and considered a luxury, the Central and Eastern European spa tradition stresses affordability, health and relaxation.
There are 1,160 “registered” sources of healing water in Slovakia and 22 spa resorts. Besides being relaxing, restorative places for healthy people, spas have long been used in Europe to treat medical conditions – such as respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, immunological and other disorders, even infertility. In fact, each spa specializes in one or more of these disorders.
The main focus of the “cure” is often drinking water from the spring (and it usually tastes like medicine), but all of the spas listed below also offer soothing soaks, massages and other restorative therapies, as well as swimming and other recreational opportunities in beautiful natural settings. Many of the spa pools are open to the public. Because spas are considered serious medicine in Slovakia, you can also receive affordable medical treatment from physicians during your stay at any of these resorts.
Some spas use mud or peat as a cure. You haven’t lived until you’ve had a mud bath – your skin will feel fabulous afterwards. And be prepared: in same-sex bathing facilities, you’ll find most Europeans are not embarrassed to soak or walk around in the nude.
Make arrangements for your spa stay either directly with the spa or through local travel agencies in Slovakia.
More detailed description of the most famous thermal spa resorts in Slovakia follows below.
Vadaš Thermal Štúrovo
The recreation complex Vadaš Thermal in Štúrovo is well known abroad. Thanks to its capacity of 10000 guests, refurbished swimming pools of variable size, indoor swimming pools, rebuilt buffets and sporting facilities, it provides ideal conditions for relaxation to all fans of sun and water. There are 7 external and 2 indoor swimming pools in the swimming complex, including a massage pool, external all-year sitting pool and a unique swimming pool with artificial waves, the only one in Slovakia, a Lagoon of 3800 m.
The pools are supplied with thermal water from the depth of 130 m with a temperature of 39 °C. The history of the swimming pool starts in 1973 when the first geologic bores were done. The construction of the recreation complex started in 1976 and the first pools were opened two years later. The swimming complex was gradually equipped with buffets, bungalow accommodation and in 1983 with a hotel. Later, parking places and an info centre with a currency exchange office were added.
After a period of stagnation in 1999 a new era of development started when an indoor swimming pool with a 25 m long pool and a smaller pool for kids were opened. In 2001 the old unaesthetical buffets were removed and in the 2002 season the visitors were welcomed with a brand new row of buffets with 600 seats. In that year a new sitting pool with pearl massage was built as well.
Thermal Corvinus Veľký Meder
First recreational pool in Thermal Corvinus Veľký Meder was started in 1974. Since the beginning, the spa has been supplied by two geo-thermal bores. In 2001, an indoor complex was built with a large pool, a bubble bath and a pool for kids. From 2004 the pools were gradually reconstructed. Since 2008 all the pools have been equipped with filters.
- TARZANIA Veľký Meder – the longest rope park in Slovakia (650 m)
- Tortoise Castle and the Castle of the White-tailed Eagle – an atypical playground for kids, made of acacia wood
- Sauna Centre – 4 types of saunas: infrared, steam, herbal and Finnish saunas with Jacuzzi
- Restaurants – fast food restaurants, cafe, bar, outdoor restaurants and buffets
- Beauty salon
- Massage – classic massage, reflexology massage, aromatherapy massage, relaxation massage, sport massage
- Salt Cave – this salt cave is a room built from natural blocks of salt from Pakistani and Polish salt mines, Dead and Adriatic Sea
- BEMER 3000 – the novelty of our indoor complex is magnetic therapy which runs under the leadership of medical workers
- CERAGEM – thermal acupressure massage bed developed in South Korea; it helps to refine bloodstream, restores defects and reduces inflammation in the organism
- Water toboggan slides – 3 toboggans for the summer and 2 toboggans with flash effects can be enjoyed throughout the year
- Aqua aerobic
- The Island of the Tinies (from 1st July until 31st August) – on this popular Island children are entertained under the leadership of experienced instructors
Spa of Piešťany
Worldwide known Spa Piešťany is located in western Slovakia, only 86 km from the capital Bratislava in the northern part of the region Dolné Považie. Beautiful spa island with its luxurious park has a rich cultural and social life and numerous relaxing possibilities.
Spa Piešťany offers capacity of 2000 beds and every year there are more than 40000 patients treated. Patients come to get their treatment from all over the world – 60% of the guests are foreigners. Most of them are from Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and Arab countries.
The spa became the largest and most famous spa in Slovakia thanks to medical geothermal water and medicinal sulphuric mud. Hot mineral springs reach the temperature of 67-69 °C and contain 1500 mg of mineral substances per liter. In combination with mud it gave the perfect conditions for development of the spa and its therapeutic facilities.
Spa specializes in chronic rheumatic treatment and in arthritic diseases post-accident lesions of joints and bones. It is also very successful in therapy of locomotion apparatus. Spa has various rehabilitation methods and techniques, mud procedures, water-treatment procedures, electric treatment, remedial gymnastics, massages.
The Social Center of the spa, located in the northern part of the island, offers many cultural and artistic programs such as theatre festivals or gallery exhibitions. Excursions to the local architectural and historical monuments are organized regularly. Sometimes there are international congresses and conferences held. And, of course, the center gives opportunities for many sport activities like: volleyball, handball, tennis, golf, swimming pools, cycling tracks along the Váh River, possibility of nautical sports and fishing.
On a wooded island filled with gardens and sculptures, connected to the town of Piestany just one hour from Bratislava, is Slovakia’s best-known spa. Piestany’s sulfur hot springs and healing mud are used to treat rheumatism and those with neurological or locomotive disorders, as well as recent injuries or post-operative trauma. The spa has several historic buildings, dating from the 19th century, including the Secessionist-style (Viennese Art Nouveau) Thermia Palace. One of the springs is named after Beethoven, just one of many illustrious patients to take the water at Piestany. Don’t forget to look at the Balneology Museum – all about spas.
Live Webcam of Spa in Piešťany, Hotel Thermia
Specific Spa Smrdáky is situated 80 km north-west from the capital Bratislava, 241 m above the sea level. Strong characteristic smell of the sulphate in the spa area earned the name Smrdáky which was derived from the Slovak word smrdieť which in English means stink. Spa Smrdáky belongs to Spa Piešťany.
Due to the composition of local mineral water – high contents of salts of sodium, magnesium and calcium (3400 mg/l) and hydrogen sulphide (680 mg/l) the spa specializes in therapy of skin diseases and also locomotive apparatus disorders. Procedures for treatment are chosen from the following types: mineral bath, mud pack, whirlpool bath, massage, paraffin packs, electro treatment, and rehabilitation.
Castles Smolenice and Červený Kameň in the surroundings are possibilities for history and culture loving visitors. Sport activities include: fitness centre, tennis court, volleyball court, cycling and running trails.
Spa of Trenčianske Teplice
A piece of Orient in western Slovakia – that is spa of Trenčianske Teplice. Spa, that is also called Pearl of Carpatiens, lies in wonderful Strážovské Mountains only 14 km from Trenčín. Mineral springs, spa, nature, parks, beautiful landscape are only a part of the interesting offer of the Spa. Spa of Trenčianske Teplice is one of the most visited and the oldest spas in Slovakia – the first written record is from 1397.
There are more houses of treatment in the area of spa, some of them were built in more classical style, some are modern, but all of them offer great services. Probably the most interesting is the architecture of the bath Hammam situated in spa building Sima that is decorated in oriental style of Turkish bath from 19th century. It is an original copy of a summer residence in the Moorish style that was originally prepared for the Egyptian governor.
Springs of mineral water with temperature of 37-40 °C and with chemical composition of sulphur-calcium-magnesium-thermal-hypotonic mineral waters make the spa the ideal place for treatment of some diseases. To mention a few: mobility rheumatic diseases, apparatus defects, arthrosis, sclerosis multiplex, organic nervous diseases. Other therapy methods include hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, acupuncture, sauna, massages and others.
Spa of Trenčianske Teplice is an important cultural centre, too. Every year an international Art Film festival and the Summer Music Festival Pohoda is held here. Interesting trips are organized to Trenčín and its castle; and also to a small village Čičmany. Thanks to the many parks and the mountains it is a small paradise for the ones loving walks. The English park with a little swan lake located in the area of the spa is very romantic.
This spa town near Trencin is more than 100 years old, nestled in a valley amongst green hills. The local hot springs used to treat those with locomotive disorders and post-traumatic conditions are just part of the reason to visit; architecture buffs will be impressed by the Bauhaus-style Green Frog (Zelena zaba) swimming pool complex hidden in the woods, as well as the Mahnac building. The exotic Turkish interior of the Hammam bathhouse (part of the spa) is also worth seeing.
Spa of Dudince
Dudince Spa is the youngest medical spa in Slovakia. It is situated in the southern part of the country; this region is known for its wineries and beautiful landscapes. It is very clean, because there is no industrial pollution. Spa is surrounded by hills what provides a great continental climate, fresh air and many opportunities to experience nature.
Patients from all over the world suffering from diseases such as diseases of locomotion apparatus, cardiovascular and rheumatic disorders including hypertension, joint pain, heart diseases, neurological disorders, hypertension, arthritis or stress, receive the best possible treatment. To attain the expected result the patients can use several kinds of treatment: mechanotherapy – hydrotherapy and massage, gas injection, laser, mineral baths, dynamic therapy, paraffin wraps, electrotherapy, magneto therapy, fitness ball exercises and acupuncture.
Public thermal pool is opened from May to September. Sport activities include: swimming, tennis court, cycling tours and others. Free time can be spared by walking in surrounding nature, visiting castles, museums or fortresses. There are interesting cities – Banská Bystrica, Zvolen and Banská Štiavnica very close to the spa.
Spa Sliač is situated between Banská Bystrica and Zvolen over the valley of river Hron, surrounded by extensive forests, plains and parks. It became famous as the spa with the most favorable position thanks to its sea level altitude, suitable climate and temperature averages of 8 °C.
The first written mention about the springs in Sliač dates back to 1244; the first therapeutic activities started in 1657. Many historically important people visited the spa, such as former Czechoslovak President T. G. Masaryk, Russian politician N. Chruščov, Hungarian revolutionary Lajos Kossuth or Czech novelist Božena Němcová.
Springs contain magnesium and calcium, sulphate, carbohydrates, high level of carbon dioxide and reach the temperature of 33 °C. There are only three similar spas offering this kind of water in the world, one in Argentina, one in Australia and in Spain.
Wide range of diseases are treated in the spa: cardiac disorders, ischemic cardiac disorder with anginas attacks and conditions following the implant of a pacemaker, conditions following a severe heart attack, hypertensive disorder of the III. stage in WHO classification, hypertensive disorder of the I. and II. stages (based on WHO classification), aggravated through, ischemic cardiac disorder, little cerebral strokes. Procedures for treatment are chosen from the following types: water treatment procedures (underwater massages, floatation baths, Scottish streams, and tread-bath), carbonic bath, gas injections, vacuum press, electrotherapy procedures, inhalations, and paraffin baths.
Many interesting sport, sightseeing and other opportunities are offered by surrounding nature. Travel agencies offer trips to historical towns Kremnica and Banská Štiavnica or to High and Low Tatra Mountains. The Cultural Summer of Sliač organized every year offers symphony concerts, music shows and other performances of domestic and foreign artists.
Located just 15 km from the city considered the heart of Slovakia, Banska Bystrica, is a spa renowned for its treatment of circulatory and cardiac conditions — Sliac. First references to Sliac’s mineral springs were in 1244, although they were not used for curative purposes until the 17th c. The surrounding Zvolen basin offers many attractions: Zvolen castle, which hosts a theater and performing arts festival every summer, the city of Banska Bystrica (center for the anti-fascist movement during World War II) and the awe-inspiring Badinsky ancient forest.
Live Webcam of Spa Sliač
Spa of Štrbské Pleso
The climatic Spa of Štrbské Pleso is situated in the heart of High Tatra Mountain. Štrbské Pleso is not only a famous spa center but also visited tourist destination with a wide range of ski opportunities in winter. The sea level altitude is 1355 m; it is the highest situated climatic spa in Slovakia. The spa area is surrounded by huge forests and the highest hills in the country. First spa facilities in Štrbské Pleso were built at the end of the 19th century.
Great conditions created by the nature help the treatment of many disorders such as the respiratory disorders – the Asthma bronchiole, Bronchitis chronic and allergic illnesses particularly of children. Many types of treatment are available: hydrokinetics, physical exercise, inhalation, electrotherapy, reflex massage, classical massage, acupressure, infrared therapy, diathermy, lava herm, laser therapy, vacuum therapy, oxygen therapy, and sauna.
Unforgettable beauty of High Tatra attracts people from all over the world. Interesting are also typical Tatra villages like Starý Smokovec, Tatranská Lomnica and many others. Limitless sport activities are provided on every corner, for example: covered swimming pools, fitness, sauna, five-a side fields, basketball fields, volleyball fields.
Located at 4,445 ft. above sea level in the Tatra National Park at the foot of the High Tatras, Strbske Pleso – also the name of the Tatra’s second largest glacial lake (pleso) – has an unmatched setting. Offering treatment for respiratory conditions, such as asthma and allergies, the spa makes a perfect base from which to explore not only this compact Alpine mountain range, but also the nearby historic regions of Spis and Liptov.
Spa of Bojnice
World famous Spa of Bojnice is located in region of Upper Nitra. First thermal houses were constructed in 16th century. They were owned by Matúš Csák Trenčiansky and by prominent Slovak families together with the Castle of Bojnice. Later, it was bought by the famous Czech shoe magnate Ján Baťa.
Locomotive organs diseases and diseases of nervous system are treated by natural, curative, hydrogen-carbon-sulphate, calcic-magnesium hypotonic thermal water reaching temperature from 28 to 52 °C. Visitors can choose from 9 different hot thermal springs – 7 hypothermal and 2 isothermal pools. The therapies include: thermotherapy, hydrotherapy, balneotherapy, reflex treatment, rehabilitation, therapeutic physical exercise, electrotherapy or oxygen therapy.
One of the biggest possible attractions is visiting the romantic Bojnice Castle. The castle also offers many cultural performances, such as Summer Music Festival and International Festival of Ghosts. Sport activities include many opportunities: tennis courts on the premises, mini golf, horse riding, fishing and others.
The best reason to visit this thermal spring spa is its location near Slovakia’s most famous castle, Bojnice Castle, site of the annual Festival of Spirits and Ghosts. The spa’s hot springs offer relief to people suffering from rheumatism, other joint/spine conditions, recent injuries or surgeries. Another nearby attraction is the historic town of Prievidza, with a baroque church and monastery.
Spa of Bardejov
Historically rich Spa of Bardejov is located 4 km north from town Bardejov in Low Beskydy Mountains. The first written mention dates back to 1247 to the reign of Hungarian king Béla IV. Spa is used for regular treatment since the 15th century. Services of the spa were enjoyed by many well-known historically famous persons such as Elizabeth (Sisi, wife of the emperor Francis Joseph), Marie Louise (wife of Napoleon I.) or Russian czar Alexander I.
The biggest treasure of the spa is its natural mineral waters, but also great microclimate and location. Springs contain hydro carbonic, chloride, sodium, carbonic hypotonic with medium mineralization and relatively rich in boric acid. The total mineralization ranges from 1600 mg/liter to 9400 mg/liter, and that of carbonic oxide from 2200 mg/liter to 3800 mg/liter.
Spa has great conditions that are necessary for treating diseases of the respiratory system, circulation conditions and digestive tract. The spa is an ideal place for treatment of diseases like blood circulation problems, diseases of gastrointestinal system, renal and urinary tract disorders, non-tubercular disorders of the respiratory tract, oncologic problems. Other therapy methods include mineral water drinking cures, inhalation therapy, gymnastic, hydrotherapy, classical and under-water massages, electro-therapy, rehabilitation. Many patients are treated for psychical and mental fatigue.
Many interesting services are offered in the spa area: shopping centre, post office, cinema, theatre, church, the Museum of Popular Architecture, cafés, restaurants, amphitheatre for summer concerts, bowling bar, ski lifts tennis courts, mini golf course, fitness centre.
The healing properties of drinking from the 17 cold mineral springs near the remarkably well-preserved medieval town of Bardejov were known as long ago as 1247 and are considered most beneficial for treating digestive, non-specific respiratory and metabolic disorders. Located near the Polish border in East Slovakia and surrounded by pine forests, this spa was once a favorite of Austro-Hungarian and Russian aristocrats. Bardejov is a perfect base from which to explore the many charming wooden Greek-Catholic churches of the area, most from the 18th century and usually found in Rusyn villages. In fact the spa has its own open-air museum with wooden churches, thatch-roof cottages and other folk architecture moved to the site from nearby villages. Another day trip from Bardejov is to Medzilaborce to visit the Andy Warhol Modern Art Museum.
Spa of Rajecké Teplice
Rajecké Teplice Spa is situated in the valley of Rajčianska River only 15 km from Žilina. The local alkaline thermal springs of the spa have been known since 14th century; the reconstruction of the spa began during the 17th century and soon became one of the most famous spas in Slovakia. Nowadays, the newly constructed spa buildings Aphrodite furnished in antique style are very attractive as they are fully equipped with the most modern therapeutic and diagnostic apparatuses.
Rheumatic diseases of locomotion apparatus, neurosis (neuromuscular degenerative diseases, Parkinson disease, and stress), occupational diseases, non-tuberculosis diseases of the respiratory system, polio, diseases of bone, joints, muscles, and tendons are treated here thanks to natural springs reaching temperature of 38 °C. To attain the expected result the patients can use more kinds of treatment: electro-treatment / electro-stimulation, laser therapy, magnet therapy, thermotherapy, paraffin packs and peat baths, hydrotherapy / balneotherapy, bath in the carbonic calciferous and magnesium thermal waters, hydro massage baths, oxygen therapy, massages, gas injections.
Unlimited possibilities of trekking or hiking are offered by nature of surrounding mountains. Two thermal pools are available for swimming. For the ones loving sport activities there are many possibilities, such as: mini golf, tennis courts, fitness center, mountain biking in the surroundings, possibility to rowing on the pond, jogging, skiing.
Close to the Mala Fatra mountains at the foot of hills with extraordinary rock formations lies a spa known for the curative powers of its thermal waters since the 14th c., Rajecke Teplice. Considered beneficial to those with neurological, psychological and locomotive disorders, the spa’s springs also feed swimming pools, which are open to the public. From the spa it’s easy to visit the ruins of Lietava castle or the early 20th c. chateau of Kunerad.
Spa of Sklené Teplice
The name (translation: glass thermal springs) comes from the fact that a glassworks existed here as long ago as 1340. Sklene Teplice spa in the hills of Central Slovakia was begun in the 17th c. and was famous enough by the 18th c. that geologists held an international convention here in 1786 to discuss natural thermal waters. The very hot waters (up to 145°) treat nervous and locomotive disorders. One of the most striking features is a thermal bathing pool in a cave. From the spa, it’s easy to walk to the foundations of a medieval castle, Pusty hrad (“the deserted castle”), destroyed in 1602.
Spa of Turčianske Teplice
If the Lucky spa is dedicated to the treatment of female conditions, Turcianske Teplice – one of Slovakia’s oldest spas – is for the men. Hot thermal springs (to 116°) were known for their healing powers as early as 1402, and today are used to treat diseases of the urinary tract, kidneys, prostate, as well as inflammation and degeneration of the joints and spine. The picturesque spa is graced with an extensive, peaceful wooded park and a 19th c. Moorish-style bathhouse topped by a striking blue dome.
Spa of Vyšné Ružbachy
The majestic peaks of the High Tatras form the backdrop of this small, scenic spa at the edge of a pine forest. A favorite with hikers and skiers, as well as those visiting the historic sights in the area (particularly the medieval town of Levoca), Vysne Ruzbachy was known as a source of thermal springs as far back as the 15th century but had its heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It also features the largest thermal pool made of travertine in all of Slovakia, with an enormous tree growing on an island in the middle of it. This spa treats those with nervous disorders and high blood pressure.