Mineral water springs are the great wealth of the Małopolska region. They have been circulating among the rocks for thousands of years, flushing out precious minerals that are helpful in the treatment of many illnesses, diseases and ailments. They improve the well-being and vitality of our body. It’s these mineral springs that have contributed to the creation of numerous health resorts, especially in the Carpathian mountain valleys of the Małopolska region.
Why do we like health resorts? Because there’s probably no better place to relax. Everything here is conducive to relaxation. This mostly means a beautiful site, a power of tourist and recreational attractions, but also a specific atmosphere of a summer holiday siesta. There are promenades, cafés, and the purely leisure atmosphere.
But don’t think that any place can become a health resort. This status is determined by special regulations. They require the given site to have:
- sources of water with scientifically proven healing properties,
- a climate conducive to health improvement,
- health resort treatment facilities,
- an environment fully protected against pollution.
Only then does the government give such a place the rank of a health resort. And where will you find the best ones? In the Małopolska region, of course!
Not only for seniors
Gone are the days when only the sick and the elderly came to the health resorts, and the only attractions were mugs with mineral water and the traditional five o’clock tea meetings or afternoon parties, i.e. dances with live music during which seventy-five-year-old men pulled much younger, sixty-year-old partners onto the dance floor.
Today, in addition to their curative functions, health resorts play an important beautifying and fitness role. They are visited by more and more middle-aged and even younger people for whom keeping their bodies in good condition is not only a natural need but also a kind of investment. It’s a way of relieving stress, recharging batteries, improving physical condition and mental resistance. These are, finally, also places for the so-called nature enhancement, or entire beauty kits.
Health resorts are therefore usually places where typically therapeutic procedures (water treatments, procedures improving the functioning of individual parts of the body) accompany the entire recreational system, starting with the spa and ending with an organised and planned physical activity under the supervision of specialists. But don’t worry – the recommendations of trainers are not necessary to relax here.
Welcome to the health resorts of the Małopolska region.
Krynica-Zdrój. Call her the queen
Mineral waters: ‘Jan’ – ideal for the treatment of kidney stones; used in the treatment of atherosclerosis and diabetes, as it lowers the level of sugar and cholesterol in the blood; ‘Józef’ - used in the case of diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract, primarily urolithiasis; ‘Kryniczanka’ – known for its beneficial effect on the body (calming, detoxifying it and protecting against stress); ‘Mieczysław’ and ‘Słotwinka’ – treat inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, diseases resulting from a magnesium deficiency: neurosis, stress states; they help remove heavy metals from the body; ‘Zuber I, II, III, IV’ – cure ulcers of the stomach and duodenum, lower the level of sugar and cholesterol in the blood and are used in the treatment of diabetes, and relieve unpleasant symptoms of alcohol abuse. And the peat from the Czarny Dunajec deposit is used to treat musculoskeletal, female, metabolic and skin disorders.
Basic health resort procedures: mud treatment, therapeutic baths, massages, inhalations, gymnastics, crenotherapy, electro- and light therapy.
Krynica-Zdrój – is the capital, the pearl, the queen of the Polish health resorts. It’s simply the most curative and the healthiest of the Polish health resorts. In the 1930s, Krynica occupied the top of the list of the most fashionable holiday destinations in Poland, and it has basically stayed there ever since. Struggling for first place with Zakopane (which, however, is not a health resort), Krynica, without losing its charm of providing a lazy holiday site, has in recent years also become a real laboratory of SPA and relaxation treatments offering the most sophisticated methods of body and spirit intensification.
One can add to this the charming mountains of Beskid Sądecki and Low Beskids, amazing old buildings, hiking and cycling trails and incredible wooden churches and Orthodox churches. See also: Seven pearls of Krynica-Zdrój or the health resort where even beggars become celebrities
Szczawnica. No wasted time
Mineral waters in Szczawnica are abundant and their therapeutic potential is enormous, hence the fame of this health resort dates back to the mid-19th century. Briefly, they offer the following properties: ‘Jan’ – for the treatment of respiratory diseases; ‘Józefina’ – recommended for throat and nasal infections, inflammations, asthma and obesity; ‘Stefan’ – recommended for the treatment of urinary tract diseases, kidney stones, rhinitis, pharyngitis, bronchitis, asthma; ‘Magdalena’ – recommended for diseases of the digestive tract and obesity; ‘Pitoniakówka’ – recommended for diseases of the digestive system.
The basic natural healing procedures offered include: saline inhalations, throat rinses as well as nose and throat inhalations, ultrasound inhalations with oils, mineral baths, hydrotherapy, massages and gymnastics, laser treatment.
If you add to this one of the most beautiful locations: between the ranges of Pieniny and Beskid Sądecki, with all the Pieniny peaks, the Dunajec Gorge ,Homole Gorge the White Water Valley and one of Poland’s biggest tourist attractions, i.e rafting down the Dunajec Gorge through the Pieniny National Park, with its extensive network of hiking and cycling trails, you know that time here won’t be wasted for sure.
Rabka-Zdrój. A charming resort
The local mineral waters are mainly brine, which already in the 19th century became known as the strongest brine in Europe. Healing waters from Rabka-Zdrój are used primarily in the treatment of respiratory diseases. Just to remind you: Rabka specialises in treating children. Basic health resort procedures include: salt baths for adults, inhalations, hydrotherapy, underwater and dry massages, individual therapeutic gymnastics and the particularly valued climatotherapy.
In addition, Rabka-Zdrój is a great starting point for excursions to Gorce and Island Beskids and the town itself captivates with the style of an old resort.
Muszyna. Ambitious one
Therapeutic waters helping mainly in the treatment of respiratory diseases, among others, include: ‘Anna’, ‘Antoni’, ‘Milusia’, ‘Wapienne’ and ‘Grunwald’. Basic health resort procedures: mineral baths, hydrotherapy, massages, electro- and light therapy, aerotherapy, kinesitherapy.
Muszyna has no other choice but acting with ambition. Located only 10 km from Krynica, it has to emphasize its charm. It’s quite successful at this, as there are more and more people coming to Muszyna, attracted by its charming location among mountain peaks and streams on the Polish-Slovakian border, in the valley of the Poprad river and its two tributaries – Szczawnik and Muszynka streams. This is mainly due to investments such as the leisure pool complex and themed gardens, as well as the ever-beautiful old market square, which has just been embellished with a rebuilt town hall with authentic old cellars.
Złockie – A novelty in the Małopolska Region
On 21 June 2022, a new spa was formally established in the village of Złockie. The phenomenon on a European scale consists of three spas within the Muszyna Municipality. Numerous mineral water springs and a mild submontane climate create excellent conditions for rest, rehabilitation and spa treatment, as well as walks and mountain tourism.
The beautiful location and sizeable mineral water resources influenced the rapid development of the village, transforming it into a sanatorium and holiday resort. Treatment and rehabilitation are done by applying natural resources – mud, mineral waters and healing salts. The healing water made available is 0.16% bicarbonate-calcium-magnesium brine. The climate prevailing in the spa area can be used to treat, among others, digestive system ailments, rheumatism, upper and lower respiratory tract afflictions, endocrinological problems, heart trouble and hypertension, nervous system disorders, women's illnesses, and obesity.
Piwniczna-Zdrój. Intimate health resort
The healing waters ‘Piwniczanka’ and ‘Julian’ – are recommended for drinking to treat peptic ulcer disease and kidney stones; ‘Łomniczanka’ and ‘Stefan’ – recommended for drinking in cases of inflammatory conditions of the alimentary canal and constipation; ‘Wierchomlanka’ recommended for drinking in cases of ulcers and kidney stones; ‘Zdrój’ – recommended in the treatment of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Basic health resort procedures include: mineral baths, mud procedures, hydrotherapy, massages, gymnastics, inhalations, electro- and light therapy.
Piwniczna-Zdrój is a relatively new health resort, where therapeutic waters have been used since the 1930s, but their quality, and above all the fact that many of the intakes are kept in their natural state, i.e. at the place of their outflow, is especially attractive to visitors. Piwniczna is actually a series of mini resorts located by the Poprad river (Głębokie, Kokuszka, Zawodzie, Łomnica, Wierchomla, Zubrzyk), hence it’s a place for all who seek peace, tranquillity and contemplation.
Żegiestów-Zdrój. From another world
The local healing waters here have been known since the middle of the 19th century: ‘Anna’, ‘Zofia II’, ‘Żegiestów II’ are with the highest magnesium content in Poland, which as we know is one of the elements of life. Basic health resort procedures include: baths, massages, hydrotherapy, kinesitherapy, inhalations, mud treatment.
In our opinion Żegiestów is one of the most amazing Polish towns. Situated on a high slope by the Poprad river, it simply enchants with its stylish buildings: on the one hand, there is the monumental ruin of the Spa House (one of the pearls of Polish Modernism designed by Adolf Szyszko-Bohusz himself) which is currently being reconstructed, and on the other hand the cosy villas hidden in the forest. It is a land from a completely different era, emerging either from mists or from green or autumn-coloured beech forests.
Kraków i Wysowa. Surprises
There are also two health resorts the location of which may seem surprising. They are located within the administrative borders of Kraków – Swoszowice and Mateczny, reopened in August 2021. The first is one of our oldest health resorts, where the treatment is carried out with sulphurous waters. Despite its metropolitan location, it’s a real health resort with spa buildings, villas and an amazing old park. It offers treatment for rheumatic, digestive and dermatological diseases. However, this health resort has above all great potential for development as a centre of biological regeneration and active recreation (including sports fields, tennis courts, stud farm) with visitors attracted by the offer of Kraków and its surroundings. Mateczny is located in a triangle of busy roads, but has a century-old tradition and a newly opened pump room with sulphurous and saline waters named ‘Mateczny Zdrój’ and ‘Anton’.
Wysowa-Zdrój situated in the middle of the quite isolated Low Beskids, has the precious healing waters ‘Franciszek’, ‘Józef’, ‘Henryk’ and ‘Aleksandra’ used in the treatment of respiratory, digestive and urinary system diseases. The full range of health resort procedures makes it a full-blown resort, although far away from the big busy world.
Wapienne. The smallest and almost the oldest
Wapienne, a tiny Lemko village on the edge of the Magura National Park, in Low Beskids is one of the smallest Polish health resorts and one of the few that meet high standards of water and air purity. Its sulphide mineral waters: ‘Kamil’, ‘Marta’, ‘Zuzanna’ have beneficial effects on rheumatological ailments, skin and respiratory diseases, the digestive system and female diseases. The local sulphurous waters were known and used as early as in the 17th century and the first spa was established here at the beginning of the 18th century. It is said that soldiers of the Great Army of Emperor Napoleon returning after the defeat at Moscow in 1812 were treated here. The great advantage of Wapienne is its almost complete isolation from large towns, the absence of the hustle and bustle of famous health resorts, and the beneficial effect of its unpolluted nature on the psyche. Let’s add to this a complex of outdoor swimming pools and the wild Low Beskids awaiting you to discover.
Wieliczka and Bochnia. Underground health resorts
Although Wieliczka and Bochnia are not health resorts as such, the salt mines located here certainly fulfil the role assigned to health resorts. This is mainly because of the peculiar microclimate that is present a few hundred metres below the ground. And if you add to this a whole range of typical health resort treatments, what else can be needed?
In the Wieliczka Salt Mine , for example, at a depth of 135 m, there is a sanatorium where, at a temperature of a dozen degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of 74-90 per cent, a therapeutic aerosol is created from the crystalline air, which is used to treat allergies, bronchial asthma and other respiratory diseases. In the Bochnia mine , the air contains a large amount of sodium chloride, which makes it almost 10 times cleaner than the air on the surface. Due to the specific microclimate of the salt chambers, a health resort for the treatment of upper respiratory tract diseases was established here.