Sauna rituals, waterfall, and caves: saunas as an experience

The Žilina region boasts of a number of unique spas and water attractions where you can find everything from adventure to relaxation.

Sauna ritual in BešeňováSauna ritual in Bešeňová (Source: Courtesy of Bešeňová)

While true that there is no salt water near Slovakia for beach relaxation, Slovakia does have springs of mineral water that crisscross the country. In the Žilina region, there are several such locations where you can bathe, undergo procedures, relax and rest.

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One day or week long

Spa Lúčky is a popular stop for tourists visiting Liptov. Just a short distance from Ružomberok is a village with rare mineral springs and a nice view of Veľký Choč mountain. Many also head here for the popular Lúčanský waterfall, whose cascades create a small lake. Bathing is also allowed in it.

Only a few hundred meters from the waterfall is the Lúčky Spa. Their uniqueness lays in the medicinal mineral water, which contains up to 606 mg of calcium per liter, half the calcium content in milk, says Peter Mičko from the spa's marketing department.

"It is therefore very suitable, among other things, for the treatment of the musculoskeletal system, osteoporosis and helps with the absorption of coenzyme Q10 into the human body," Mičko added.

However, the spa also invites those people who have long-term problems after overcoming Covid-19 disease to stay, as they were one of the first in Slovakia to prepare specialised treatment programs that are directly intended for the treatment of this disease.

"Our quick reaction was also due to the fact that we have extensive experience in treatment of the musculoskeletal system, neurological problems and problems of the respiratory system," said Mičko.

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In 2021, the spa added an innovative treatment with a modern MLS laser to the usual procedures, such as physical exercise, oxygen therapy, inhalation, mineral baths, salt cave and others. It helps with the treatment of post-covid syndrome and, according to Mičko, they have seen very promising results in this area.

However, the spa is also suitable for one-day visitors, who can pre-order treatment procedures and combine them with a visit to the AQUA-VITAL Park with healing mineral water, outdoor and indoor pools or a vital sauna world, said Mičko. They can also visit the salt cave in Dependance Liptov and enjoy various massages.

They also offer relaxation procedures in conjunction with natural French GERnétic cosmetics, the only one in Slovakia, and a unique peat wrap with local mineral water.

Last but not least, there is a charger for e-bikes in the area, which you can also rent and set off to discover the beauty of Liptov. After a bike tour, a visit to the completely renovated Lúčky Cinema, which shows films in the Choč Spa Hotel, is a good idea.

When staying in the sauna turns into an experience

Just a few kilometers from Lúčky is another popular destination for people who like to swim - Bešeňová Water Park. Here you will find indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpools, a wave pool, a children's zone with a pirate ship, and six water slides open all year round - from the mild slides to ones where you plunge down headfirst.

There is also a wellness and spa area which has regularly organised suana rituals.

Peter Kolenčík from the Bešeňová Water Park says that it is generally known that sauna use has very beneficial effects on the body and, above all, on building immunity.

"We have transformed our long-term experience into the services provided and instead of regular saunas, we offer clients a more modern version, the so-called experiential sauna accompanied by an experienced sauna master," explained Kolenčík.

So what do sauna rituals look like? Kolenčík explains that the sauna ritual lasts between 12 and 15 minutes and consists of three rounds. It is not an ordinary sauna, but a sauna theatre with elements of a show. Saunas are also subject to trends, so there are several types of sauna rituals. For example, relaxation-meditation rituals, show rituals, sauna theatre with story presentation, beauty and peeling procedures.

"During the ritual, an experienced sauna master pours water over the lava stones, then uses crushed ice with the addition of 100 percent natural essential oils or extracts from dried herbs to aromatise and disinfect the sauna space," described Kolenčík.

On the heated lava stones, the water begins to quickly evaporate, resulting in a gradual increase in the temperature and humidity of the air in the sauna. Subsequently, the saunamaster, using various tricks, disperses the hot air with a sauna towel, fan, or flag, which makes the sauna process significantly more efficient, explained Kolenčík.

"Special peeling procedures aimed at detox and regeneration of the skin are also very popular," added the saunamaster.

Sauna rituals must certainly not lack emotions, according to Kolenčík - a gradual increase in heat, a professional, even theatrical presentation of the story, good music and a costume must match the theme. With professionalism, charisma and tricks with the sauna towel, the saunamaster stirs up the atmosphere in the sauna and enhances the client experience.

"Today, sauna rituals are literally an art that can captivate sauna users," concluded Kolenčík. "Thanks to various individual and creative elements, sauna masters are able to make sauna use a spectacular show with an emphasis on the health effects of sauna use."

Spa and water park in one

Our last spa stop is Turčianske Teplice. The spa and adjacent water park can be found in the centre of the city, surrounded by the greenery of the spa park.

Turčianske Teplice is often visited by people looking for rest and well-being. In addition to several-day stays, visitors can also stop for one day to taste the healing water and have fun in the Spa & Aquapark, which is part of the spa. In the spa section, you can enjoy, for example, relaxing directly at the spring of healing thermal mineral water in the Red Bath, or regenerating in the People's Bath. A swimming pool, a pool with attractions, two water slides, a whirlpool and a slide as well as a pool for small children await you in the water park zone.

"I like that the water park has such a cosy atmosphere," praised Anna Jesenská, who goes to the water park with her children. They enjoy the outdoor attraction that resembles a wild river the most. The water in it swirls in one direction.

The outdoor area is open all year round, with the exception of the children's pool. For the summer season, a bar opens on the island, where you can find a volleyball court and a relaxation area.

Those who would like to taste the healing water can do so at two freely accessible places in Turčianske Teplice - you can find the Živena spring in the colonnaded areas of the Royal Palace spa hall. Opposite the main entrance to the Royal Palace is the second traditional Kollár spring.

The article has been brought to you thanks to a partnership with the Žilina Tourism Region - www.zilinskyturistickykraj.sk.
Implemented with the financial support of the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic.

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