In search of thermal waters – underground treasures of Małopolska
When one looks at geological maps of Małopolska showing what is hidden under the ground, it turns out that this part of the country is simply floating on hot mineralised springs which are the remains of volcanic processes. In many places, geologists have even carried out test boreholes to study the springs, their composition and their healing potential. Mineral waters can cure many ailments and diseases and have been widely used for this purpose since at least the middle of the 19th century. But waters with an elevated temperature, above at least 20 degrees Celcius, have additional advantages. Called thermal waters or thermal baths, they more easily absorb minerals into the human body and have an additional relaxing effect.
What benefits do they give users?
- hot waters with increased sulphur content improve functioning of the joints and spine, protect against atherosclerosis, give relief after injuries and overloading of motor organs,
- brine waters (increased content of sodium chloride), among others, alleviate the effects of respiratory tract diseases (which is important for all those who breathe smog) and have a colossal impact on the human psyche - calming, soothing and improving one’s mood.
Although the chemical compounds dissolved in the thermal waters sometimes have an unpleasant smell, they are extremely beneficial to health. They prevent and even cure some illnesses. They alleviate ailments of the muscular-skeletal system, pains, inflammations, dislocations or even sprains. They strengthen the entire circulatory system, protect against heart disease, regulate the body's hormone balance, improve metabolism, help with headaches and joint aches and speed up the process of convalescence after many treatments and illnesses. Importantly, they relieve stress and provide a feeling of relaxation. Thermal pools are also a great place to toughen up the body, a place where you can maintain physical activity. These waters also have properties protecting the body, improving the properties of the skin, which more easily protects itself from harmful factors.
Before choosing a place for bathing, it is advisable to know the chemical composition of the waters and their properties to choose those that best favour your needs.
Thus, thermal waters are not purely therapeutic waters. Rather, the thermal water complexes in the Małopolska region are places of rest and recreation, with an additional function of supporting health. They are centres of complete relaxation.
Białka Tatrzańska – Bania Thermal Baths
Water up to 36 degrees Celcius.
This place combines the advantages of a water park with relaxation in thermal pools. It offers a saunarium zone with almost all available types of saunas and a brine graduation tower. The offer is completed with massages and body treatments. A special attraction for the facility is the swimming pool basins naturally extended outside in such a way that everyone, without leaving the water, could swim outside and enjoy pleasant and warm baths while gazing at the Tatra Mountains panorama.
Bukowina Tatrzańska - BUKOVINA Thermal Baths
Water of the sulphate-chloride-calcium-sodium type, with mineralisation of 1.5 g/litre, up to 38 degrees Celcius
This is the entertainment, spa and rehabilitation centre for the whole family. There are 12 pools: indoor, recreational, with a depth of 1.35 m and water temperature of 30-36 degrees Celcius, children's paddling pool with slide, with a depth of 0.4 m (30-36 degrees Celcius), children's rushing river, with a depth of 0.7 m (30-36 degrees Celcius), whirlpool, with a depth of 0.4 m (30-36 degrees Celcius), outdoor pool, by the sauna, recreational, outdoor whirlpool, depth 1.3 m (30-36 degrees Celcius), swimming, outdoor, depth 1.5 m (28-30 degrees Celcius), rock grotto and outdoor pool, spa & wellness, slides with a total length of over 100 m.
There are also many saunas, including Roman, Finnish, highland, flower and infrared.
Chochołów - Chochołów Thermal Baths
Water up to 36 degrees Celcius, sulphur and brine.
This is the newest thermal complex in Podhale. It has four zones. Swimming - a complex of outdoor and indoor pools (including swimming), with relaxation and playground equipment, basins with forced water circulation, beaches and areas for children. The therapeutic bath offers barrels and a thermal pool with sulphurous and brine waters. There is a saunarium with a whole complex of saunas (Finnish, bio, dry, steam, aromatic, infrared) and chill-out areas. And a SPA complex. There are several slides (with a sink and pontoon).
Szaflary – Gorący Potok
Water with a temperature of 34-40 degrees Celcius
There are 21 swimming pools, including the Siarcane Coliseum, modelled on the ancient Roman baths, with sulfuric waters. Wartki Potok is an outdoor pool for swimming, as well as granite basins with hydromassages. In the SPA zone, there is a saunarium, mud baths and a set of relaxing and beautifying treatments.
Szaflary – Szaflary Thermal Baths
Potassium-sodium-magnesium-calcium-iron-sulphur waters with water temperature up to 38 degrees Celcius
The facility has five swimming pool basins and a jacuzzi: an indoor swimming pool with a three-track family slide, indoor multifunctional swimming pool with hydro-massage equipment, outdoor swimming pool with hydro-massage equipment, outdoor leisure pool with hydro-massage equipment and a rushing river and an outdoor children's pool with a fountain, saunas, jacuzzi.
Zakopane - Aqua Park
Water up to 32 degrees Celcius
There are, among others, a recreational and swimming pool - 25 m long and a water temperature of 30.5 degrees Celcius, with three separated swimming lanes and a recreational section with water spouts, recreational pool (30.5 degrees Celcius), equipped with a team of hydro-massages, including water spouts, cascades and underwater loungers, outdoor recreation and swimming pool - on the terrace (outside the swimming pool hall), with a view of the Tatra mountains, a wild river, paddling pool for children (33 degrees Celcius) with a slide, 6 jacuzzi tubs, tube slides - with a length of up to 166 m.
Zakopane - Polana Szymoszkowa
Water temperature up to 30 degrees Celcius
There is an open-air swimming pool. The thermal waters are mineralised. It consists of calcium (37 percent), magnesium (36 percent), sodium (23 percent) and potassium (2.3 percent). The swimming pool consists of two open-air pools, a slide with four lanes and a children's slide.
Poręba Wielka – Gorce Thermal Baths
Water with a temperature of 37 oC.
The Gorce Thermal Baths is an underground treasure of the Western Beskids. Water extracted from the borehole in Poręba Wielka is brine, reaching a temperature of 42.1 oC at the outflow. Devoid of taste and odour, it is rich in minerals and elements, positively affecting the entire body. The modern interior of the thermal baths consists of three zones. At its heart is the Relaxation Zone with a thermal pool, where you can take brine baths with geysers and water jets as well as enjoy hydro-massages, saunas or a salt cave. In the Renewal Zone, you can take care of your mobility, strengthen your body and get rid of pain thanks to the physiotherapy treatments offered, while in the Taste Zone, you can satisfy your appetite.