A few words about the waters themselves...
It is interesting that statistically, every third bottle of mineral water on a shop shelf comes from Małopolska. The waters have a very diverse chemical composition and the proportions of individual components. Due to geological conditions, they have carbon dioxide and a high content of calcium and magnesium, which are necessary bio-elements for the proper functioning of the organism. The Małopolska waters hydrate and supplement, and even when appropriately consumed, help cure various illnesses or alleviate their symptoms. We distinguish between healing waters with high concentrations of certain substances that support treatment, mineral waters (low, medium and high mineralised, with various levels of CO2 saturation) used for hydration and supplementation depending on the needs of the body, and spring waters, which have the fewest mineral elements and can be consumed regardless of dietary restrictions. Małopolska, and especially the Poprad Valley region, is an authentic balneological centre. There are many intakes and springs to fill your containers, thus avoiding purchasing water in PET bottles. It is worth visiting the area by bike, following the Mineral Water Bike Trail. Remember! If you buy bottled water, reach for the water in glass containers. Mother Nature will thank you for it!
Resting in spas...
When travelling in the eco-friendly spirit, it is worth stopping by the spas in the Małopolska region, which have become famous for their unique water deposits. Situated in attractive natural areas, they also cure with their unique microclimate. While staying in the spas, it is also an excellent idea to visit the surrounding tourist attractions and take a trip on mountain trails or a bike ride. The spas are perfect starting points for excursions into the countryside.
Most of the ten health resorts in Małopolska are located in mountainous areas, with one on the outskirts of Kraków, in Swoszowice. The unique properties of the local waters used for therapeutic baths are almost at the fingertips of the inhabitants of Małopolska's capital city. Orthopaedic, rheumatological and skin diseases are treated there. When visiting the spa, one can also relax in the beautiful Spa Park. Not far from Krakow, the legendary Wieliczka Salt Mine houses a spa as well. The local brine is used to produce the so-called salt aerosol in a graduation tower for inhalations, physiotherapy treatments, and cosmetics production.
Krynica Zdrój has been deemed the most popular spa known for years. The local waters such as Jan, Zuber, Słotwinka, Tadeusz and Zdrój Główny support the treatment of many diseases through direct consumption or therapeutic baths. In the 19th century, the famous balneologist Jozef Dietl contributed to the rapid development of the resort, and many spa buildings were constructed at that time. Thanks to its fame and beautiful location in the heart of the Beskid Sądecki, Krynica has also become a cultural and economic centre, not losing anything of its unique climate.
Szczawnica, situated between the Beskid Sądecki and the Pieniny Mountains, is another valued spa in our region. The place owes its name to water... the so-called szczawy (sorrels) as the area is incredibly wealthy in acid waters. Henry Sienkiewicz, Stanisław Wyspiański, Jan Matejko and Aleksander Fredro could not resist them, thereby it is a must-try for us. You should visit Szczawnica, especially if you have upper and lower respiratory tract ailments, laryngological problems, post-traumatic disorders and obesity. While in Szczawnica, it is worth taking advantage of rafting trips on the Dunajec River, going to the Homole Gorge and hiking along the trails of the Pieniny Mountains.
The best-known mountain health resort for children is Rabka-Zdroj, which lies at the foot of the Gorce and the Island Beskids in the Raba River valley. Adults can also take advantage of the spa. Rabka's brine springs have been famous for many centuries. The water is used mainly for baths and inhalations, and it feeds a brine graduation tower. It helps in pulmonary, cardiological, rheumatological and skin diseases, hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Besides, brine is used to produce natural cosmetics. Rabka is also an excellent base for eco-tours in the Gorce and the Island Beskids. In the vicinity, there are many tourist attractions worth visiting during your stay. The highly recommended ones include the Museum of Highlanders and Robbers, the Władysław Orkan Museum and the "Rabcio" Puppet Theatre.
In the Poprad Valley, a true Małopolska region of mineral waters, there are three more spas: Muszyna Zdrój, Żegiestów Zdrój and Piwniczna Zdrój. These locations are more intimate, offering a chance to calm down and relax away from the crowds. People suffering from respiratory and digestive system diseases and rheumatological and endocrinological disorders will find solace there.
Located in the Low Beskids, the Wapienne Spa is the only place in the Polish Carpathians that uses sulphurous waters for therapeutic baths in balneotherapy. The waters with feminine names: Kamila and Helena can be tasted at the local spa pump room. The Wysowa Zdrój Spa is also located in the Low Beskids. The local mineral waters were mentioned already in the 17th century. Their diversity is connected to water circulation between alternating layers of sandstone and shale, where they become saturated with minerals. They cure a wide range of diseases, including the digestive system, urinary tract, and metabolic disorders. The unique surroundings, microclimate and idyllic landscape of the Beskid Mountains make it possible to have a great rest and learn about the exciting history, culture and traditions of these lands.
The warming power of Podhale thermal waters...
Another aquatic treasure of Małopolska that we must not forget during our eco-tours is the thermal waters extracted from the depths of the earth in Podhale. Not only does bathing in the warm thermal waters bring relaxation and unwinding, but it significantly impacts our health and skin condition thanks to the high content of minerals. The composition of Podhale thermal waters is very diverse and supports the treatment of many diseases. However, no matter which thermal bath we choose, each bath will reduce our stress level and restore our psychophysical balance. The most famous thermal baths can be found in Bukowina Tatrzańska, Białka Tatrzańska, Chochołów and Szklary. It is worth visiting them in the low season; then you can relax in a more intimate atmosphere.
While eco-travelling in the Małopolska region, take care of your health and make responsible use of what Mother Nature has to offer.
If you want to plan your autumn trips, including the health resorts of Malopolska, the guides „Podróżuj po Małopolsce w rytmie eko” ("Travel in Małopolska in the eco-rhythm") will advise you what to see in the area and how to spend your time actively.
Remember - water is a treasure!