Due to the many thermal water sources of the area, we don’t have to avoid water in the cold weather. Besides floating in the water, we can also get massage treatments; although there’re places we can swim, those who still feel cold can flee from the not-so-kind temperatures into the warmth of a sauna. And let's face it: a spa day is always a good idea – regardless the weather outside.
We previously began to round up the spas around Lake Balaton. To make sure that the list is complete, we decided to check on a further three spots to learn more about their prices, their opening hours, and the great qualities of their thermal water.
The mineral-rich spring that supplies the spa was discovered on the outskirts of Csisztapuszta more than 50 years ago. The erupting 42°C water is scary only at first glance, as it actually cools down to 35-40 degrees in the pools. The vapor provides a peculiar atmosphere in the inner space: it looks like we are bathing in steam, however, the spa's pools aren’t large enough for swimming. The outdoor pool is also small, but in return the romance-meter will be in the skies if we manage to catch the sunset from here.
They use the water here to cure various diseases, and to ease rheumatic symptoms and skin problems. This healing power is caused by the calcium, magnesium and the other nine minerals that can be found in the slight alkaline, sulphurous water, which also has a large amount of carbonic acid in it. The price of the entry ticket also includes the usage of the sauna.
Hévíz is probably the most popular of Hungarian spas and it’s a favored destination of many people from around the world. There’s nothing better than being there right before closing or early in the morning, when there aren’t many people around, and you can be almost alone with the steaming water, which, by the way, is replaced entirely every three days due to the 410 liters per second water flow. The “engine” is a cave at 38 meters deep, and its cold and hot water springs feed the lake; the nearest similar lake is in New Zealand – however, its water is way too hot to be useful. Lake Hévíz is fizzy, and has all the good qualities of thermal waters that contain sulfur, calcium, magnesium, and hydrogen carbonate, plus it has a pretty white hat of steam in the winter, which keeps the water from cooling below 23-25°C.
Bathing in the lake literally gives a tingly feeling, as the bidirectional flow (the hot water goes upward, while the cold goes down), our natural masseur, keeps the water in constant motion. This tingly feeling might increase if we realize that the dark water beneath us is at least 2 meters deep, but at certain spots the depth of the lake can be almost 40 meters, so it’s good to be equipped with a swim ring.
Marcali is 12 kilometers away from the south shore of Lake Balaton, and its leisure center, which was built in 2003, is open regardless the weather. Its thermal water has a significant level of minerals, and it’s not a hard water. You can find it in a smaller circular, or crescent-shaped pool; this is definitely the more relaxed area of the spa, where you can sit down to heal.
Unlike at the other indoor spas, you can swim here at a 25 meters long pool, however, it’s not filled with thermal water. It’s an absolutely fair and square swimming pool, without any unnecessary frippery, perfect for those who want to swim and then relax in the thermal water – even in winter.
Translated by Emma Póli