Sep 14

A HOLIDAY FOR TWO – TERME ZRECE AND POSTOJNA CAVES, SLOVENIA (POSTOJNSKA JAMA)

If you are looking at an all green type of vacation and relaxation for a week of holiday in late summer, then take the advice of experienced travelers who offer you guidance and suggestions, and go to Terme Zrece in the eponymous town in northern Slovenia a few kilometers further from the motorway connecting Ljubljana with Maribor.

Slovenia is a small country with a wonderful scenery and despite the poor nightlife, at least in this area, take a week of the hectic life and dedicate it to yourselves, to your peace of mind and your physical and mental relaxation, all supported by a wonderful climate, beautiful sunny days, mitigated by the 400 meters of altitude that makes the temperature inviting.

The hotel absolutely comfortable, with well-furnished and spacious rooms, a kitchen that seemed fair. Hotel Terme Zrece offers various packages to the tourists who want to relax in their structure, with different types of massages available. It also offers the possibility to exploit without limits the two swimming pools with thermal water, one indoor and a second covered but in open air. Indoors are also present four different pools for the smaller tub and a spa, even for small children.

In the center, there is also a spa specially equipped for disabled people who come for these services and therapeutic treatments. In the basic package there are also includes two passes to Sauna village and gym that you can attend any time you want, and afterwards you can spend a couple of hours in the sauna and enjoy the steam rooms, or any other relaxation rooms.

If too much relaxing in this wonderful spa might get boring, take a one day trip to Rogla Mountain, where you can climb at an altitude of 1550 meters, which is no more than 15 minutes away from the hotel; here you can enjoy a 360 ° endless expanses of pine forests, that are green and fragrant, with a rich undergrowth of cyclamen. A natural wonder for lovers of peace and tranquility, in this period, the resort is being stormed by all lovers of skiing that suddenly pour into the valley during winter.

A tasty surprise is the craft beer brewed on the spot, which is truly exquisite, light and pure. The only downside is that it lasts a couple of weeks before it gets spoiled so you won’t be able to take home a significant amount, or else there’s the risk to not drink it in time and you will have to throw it away.

The small pond near the hotel is worth mentioning; you can reach it after taking on a bumpy little road, hidden among the pine forests, where locals often go fishing.

On the way back, you must not miss a stop to the famous Postojna caves. Near the large hotel you will find lots of shops, souvenirs, and, despite the obvious mercantile atmosphere, there are less visitors. If you want to have a relaxing holiday, this is the best option.

As for the cave themselves, they are a marvel. A train will lead you inside these caves that have over over two kilometers in length, and during this entire part, you are blessed with a guided tour in several languages, that will explain you everything that you need to know, for a distance of approximately 1.8 kilometers of wavy route, during which the spectacle of nature that surrounds you all around will distract you from your thoughts.

Photo source:

Picture 1: adriatransfer.com; Picture 2: packmeto.com; Picture 3: commons.wikimedia.org; Picture 4: terme-zrece.eu; Picture 5: mountvacation.co.uk; Picture 6: terme-zrece.eu; Picture 7: tripadvisor.com
Jul 21

THE TOP THREE SAUNAS IN EASTERN EUROPE

Europeans love tasty food, good wine and, at the end of the day, enjoying a great time at the spa. From Iceland to Estonia, spas are an integral part of European life (if we go back in history in Greek and Roman times, we will understand why it’s pretty much a part of collective mentality) and often one of the city’s major tourist attractions. But do not think about some New Age scenery that take place in luxurious spaces where you receive hand massages with chocolate and where you can drink Japanese tea. European spas are hot and are located in buildings dating back centuries ago. The great part is that you leave these places feeling rejuvenated and with the feeling that you took part in something special with great tradition.

These three spas that we classified in a top three in the Eastern European region offer not only treatment for body and soul, but also an essential insight into the cultural space where they are located. After all, what better way to know a place than sitting naked in front of the inhabitants? 😀

Szechenyi Thermal Baths – Budapest, Hungary

Budapest was officially recognized “the City of Spas” since 1920, but the hot springs downtown have been enjoyed including by the ancient Romans, whose bathrooms are still running nowadays. There are many options in the surroundings, but one of the best is the Szechenyi spa complex, situated in a grand building with 10 indoor and three outdoor baths. Here you also have saunas, hot tubs and turbulence tubs in which you can relax.

Kalma Sauna – Tallinn, Estonia

Estonians, just like their Finnish neighbors, have a cult of saunas. They are good for the heart, skin and also a great place for socializing. In any house having a sauna is mandatory, and if not, there are public ones, as it is Kalma Sauna, the oldest sauna in Tallinn, dating from 1926. Spend a few hours at Sauna Kalma, hopping between cold showers and even colder pools and then back in the hot sauna.

Cagaloglu Hamami – Istanbul, Turkey

Turkish baths are found in all major cities, but nothing compares to the experience lived in an authentic communal bathroom in Istanbul. The oldest and grandest spa is Cagaloglu Hamami, where you can bathe under an amazing Ottoman marble dome built by Sultan Mehmet I more than 350 years ago. You are here in a warm room, accompanied only by the person who takes care of you, and the relationships that you will established here will reach a few different levels, passing through the stage of relaxation to the one of domination, if you keep in mind that you will be massaged and rubbed with a thick glove that will remove more layers of dead skin than you ever imagined that you have. This entire operation together with the massage usually takes more than an hour, but you can linger there as long as you want, while you drink tea and enjoy the warmth around you.

Photo source:

Picture 1: istanbul.com; Picture 2: propertyturkey.com; Picture 3: ferretingoutthefun.com; Picture 4: inyourpocket.com; Picture 5: gotohungary.com; Picture 6: dopaminejunkie.org; Picture 7: isea2011.sabanciuniv.edu