From the archives 2004-Spas of Hungary


Sarvar sauna 001Wellness is the translation that they like, Beathaisnéis is closer to the Hungarian word for the life-changing experience that the splendid array of Hungarian spas and recovery centres offers.

Hungary has 75pc of the thermal water resources in Europe, and over 100 spa resorts. It also has its own hot water lake, Lake Hevis, which translates simply as hot water and in winter, when a cold wind cuts along the lake, offers one of the most refreshing lake swims on this earth..


Woman swims in Lake Hevis

The spring is in the bottom of the crater-style lake, and renews the water in the lake every three days. During the summer months the water temperature is 33 degrees dropping to 25 degrees in winter. Mud from the lake’s bottom is a favourite mudpack treatment.

The Hevis area has five four star hotels of which the Hotel Europa is the most impressive, with a range of health treatments, and about thirty kilometres away the Kehida Thermal Hotel has a huge pool, different temperature saunas and thermal pools.


The Hunguest Hotel Pelion in Tapolca is a different proposition altogether. The finest new facilities (it was opened just two years ago) on top of one of the oldest health treatment facilities in the land.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tapolca is famous for the series of karst caves, discovered by well-builders in 1903, and later used by the local hospital for treatment of asthma and respiratory diseases. For the stout-hearted, there is a punt ride through the caves where you steer yourself gondolier like along passages that barely seem wide enough on a boat that takes on a mind of its own in the deeper pools and tilts nervously when you are in the tightest corner.

It is the cave’s microclimate that interested Dr Tibor Szabo, who treats patients in a series of beds in the chalk caverns, like a war hospital. He says the microclimate of 14-15 degrees Celsius, the 100pc relative humidity and extremely clear air with a higher than average carbon dioxide content suit the treatment of patients, and ideally takes people for a five to six week programme, but even a few hours underground are extremely useful for anyone with asthma, bronchitis, or respiratory allergies.

The new hotel is expected to boost the Tapolca product further, offering dentistry, check-ups, pulmonology and rheumatology, and a Gator programme for special gynaecological complaints.

Wellness, they say, brings you close to nature, and in this hinterland west of Budapest, east of Vienna, at Kápolnapusta Buffalo reserve you can meet some of the sturdy animals which populated the great plains since before the Magyars arrived.

They like their new role as hosts for visiting tourists, and will roll over for the friendly.


  • Kehida Thermal Hotel in Kehidakustany 003683-534500 Fax 003683-534524
  • Naturmed hotel in Heviz, 0036-83342930 Fax 003683-340468
  • MenDan Thermal Hotel in Zalakaros 0036-93542141 Fax 0036-93542254 www.mendan.huHotel Europa in Heviz 0036-83501187 Fax 0036-83501181 Kolping Csaladi Hotel 003683-344143 Fax 003683-344142
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