Terme Lendava: A Warm Welcome, Unique Paraffin Water, and a Feast of Bograč!

My visit last weekend to the Terme Lendava Thermal Spa was my first visit to the Lendava area, in the far north-east of Slovenia, on the border with Croatia and Hungary. After the warm welcome I received from all those that I met there, I have a feeling it won’t be my last!

I’ll confess that on arrival at the 3-star Hotel Lipa, I wasn’t expecting much, as the hotel’s exterior is showing its age. However, in a clear case of ‘not judging a book by its cover’, within minutes of entering the hotel I was made to, and was in fact instructed to, ‘feel at home’.

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If I were judging the thermal spas that I’ve visited thus far based on friendliness, then this one would win hands-down, and it can be no coincidence that it’s one of the Sava Hotel Group’s most popular hotels in terms of returning guests, despite being far from the plushest.

Yes, it’s not the most modern and well-equipped, yes its showing its age, but, on the plus side, the rooms are clean and well-appointed, as are the pool areas, the staff go that extra mile and offer a personal approach, and, despite the hotel being almost full, it was very peaceful and I had one of the best night’s sleep that I can remember for a long time (no ear plugs required!!!), which for me is priceless!

The setting for the Olympic-size swimming pool is idyllic, with the backdrop of the Lendava Gorice vine-covered hills.

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In addition to the Olympic-size pool, the water park with thermal paraffin mineral water covers over 1,800m2 and comprises eight indoor and outdoor pools of various shapes and sizes, as well as an infra-red and Turkish sauna and 2 Finnish saunas, the latter with crystal- and chromotherapy.

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In the resort’s modest but pleasant grounds, where there is a pleasant lawn area where you can seek shade under the linden trees, there is a preserved trunk of a giant oak tree discovered in 1981 and estimated to be 1570 years-old -give or take 100 years – with a girth of 120cm at its base, and a height of 30-40 metres.

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The Terme Lendava Spa is known for its unique paraffin water, which, in particular, is known for its healing and rejuvenating properties. For the ultimate in baby-soft hands, try the signature paraffin bath treatment for hands. There is also a full range of wellness treatments including massages, baths, facials etc.

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Also in the grounds is the Energy Park, which guests can visit for added feel-good benefits. There are six energy points, each with information explaining the beneficial properties, number and length of time of visits. I gave it a go since it promises, amongst other things from which I could benefit, relaxing muscles and tension, easing tiredness, cleansing the body’s energy etc.

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In addition to the 3-star Hotel Lipa, the resort has a large camp suitable for motorhomes and campers, and the 3-star Lipov gaj apartment village. Guests staying at the camp have unlimited access to the pool areas and can also avail of the entertainment services, restaurant, café etc. There’s even an area for nudists (no photos of that!).

After a buffet-style dinner, which was plentiful and tasty, I listened to live music on the terrace of the café, from where I had the chance to watch the setting sun, something I rarely see these days, as in the Gorenjska region where I live, the sun sets behind the mountains, so it was the icing on the cake for me!

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Day two of my visit coincided with the annual, and highly popular, Bogračfest – a festival and competition in cooking the traditional dish Bograč, held in Lendava. If you are foodie – yes, I am – then this is a ‘don’t miss event’. This year around 90 teams, from Slovenia, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, took part in the competition to cook the best bograč.

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Bograč is a traditional dish from the Prekmurje region, which is on the border with Hungary – hence its similarity to goulash. Traditionally, this hearty stew is cooked, and often served, in a cauldron and contains four different kinds of meat as well as onions, potatoes, pork fat, peppers and spices. You can also taste bograč at Terme Lendava, and even, as I did, buy some to take home, together with homemade gibanica, another speciality of this area.

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From the resort it is just a 10 minute walk, alongside the river, to the town of Lendava itself, where there are plenty of sights of interest including Lendava Castle, the Vinarium Tower and the Lendava Gorice wine-growing hills. It’s also great cycling territory, and you can even cycle in 3 countries in just one ride – well why not? Alas, it would be too much to cram all that I saw and did into just one blog post, so more to come in an upcoming blog here – https://adeleinslovenia.com/

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© Spas in Slovenia

Terme Čatež – A Whole World of Water and More!

I knew from browsing the internet prior to my visit that the Terme Čatež Thermal Spa was big, however, it wasn’t until I actually visited and saw it for myself that I realised just how vast it is. Bigger than many Slovene villages, some towns even! How I’m going to fit everything into one blog post, I don’t know, but I’ll give it a go!

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Thermal springs were discovered here near the banks of the Sava river over 200 years ago and the power of the natural thermal water became the basis for the development of the Terme Čatež Thermal Spa.

The choice of accommodation at the resort is so wide that it would be easier to say what there isn’t! 2 four-star and 1 three-star hotels, various apartments and camps, an Indian village, Pirates Bay …

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Pirates Bay

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The Indian Village

I stayed in the four-stay Hotel Terme, the exterior of which belies what lies within, and is the pick of the bunch if budget isn’t a top priority. It is also in a slightly quieter part of the resort, so ideal if you are looking for a little peace. The superior rooms are very well appointed and air-conditioned throughout.  What an amazing view of the sun setting I managed to snap from my balcony.

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The sun setting above the nearby town of Brežice

At Hotel Terme, meals are taken either in the main dining room (self-service buffet) or in the a-la-carte MM Restaurant, where I was treated to quite a feast!

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The four-star Hotel Toplice is set closer to the action and connects directly with the Winter Thermal Riviera.

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Hotel Toplice – Photo: Archive Terme Čatež

If you have kids who love water, then you need look no further than Terme Čatež. In summer the Summer Thermal Riviera is the place to be. At over 10,000 m2 it is by far the largest outdoor pool complex far and wide. There is water-based fun in every shape, size and form.

Photo: Arhive Terme Čatež

The covered Winter Thermal Riviera is open 365 days a year and particularly comes into its own, as the name suggests, in winter. It offers over 2,000 m2 of water with toboggans, slides and myriad other attractions.

Photo: Archive Terme Čatež

Other onsite facilities include a casino, a wellness centre, a health centre, a dental centre, and a tourist information centre, where bikes can be rented and trips, such as wine tasting, can be arranged in the local area. I set off early to beat the heat!

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Off exploring by bike!

The Terme Čatež Energy Path leads up through the forest to the Church of St. Vid, from where there are far-reaching views and where, according to legend, one must ring the church bell three times for good luck, which I duly did!

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A little effort rewarded by a wonderful view!

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Terme Čatež is located close to the banks of the Sava river. In bygone days, boats and ferries regularly transported people and goods from one side of the river to the other. Nowadays, the special ‘brod’ ferries offer short pleasure trips along the river.

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A free bus takes guests to see the sights of interest in the nearby town of Brežice. Plenty more about that coming soon here – https://adeleinslovenia.com/

You can find everything you need to know about Terme Čatež here – http://www.terme-catez.si/en/

© Spas in Slovenia