Heart Healthy Radenci

Mention the word ‘Radenci‘to anyone in Slovenia, and, no doubt, they will automatically think of Radenska mineral water and the 3 red hearts that symbolise this famous health resort, which has a 130-year tradition.


The Radenci Health Resort, located in the northeast of Slovenia, is somewhat different to the other thermal spas in Slovenia that I have visited thus far. Although there is ample opportunity for relaxation, pampering, and water-based activities, its main focus is on health and well-being, and is a renowned centre for cardiovascular rehabilitation.

Accommodation at the resort consists of 2 four-star hotelsHotel Radin and Hotel Izvir.

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High in carbon dioxide, Radenska mineral water is ranked among the richest mineral waters in Europe. Those staying at the resort can benefit from three free daily drinking therapy sessions. The water that comes direct from the spring is proven, amongst other things, to have beneficial effects on the immune system and on regulating blood pressure.


The story began back in 1833 when Karl Henn, then a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine in Vienna, found the springs at Radenci. He became an expert in balneology, returned to Radenci in 1865, purchased the land with the spring and, in just the first year, filled and sold 37,000 bottles of Radenci mineral water, even supplying it to the Imperial Court in Vienna and the Papal Court in Rome. The health resort at Radenci was opened by Dr. Henn’s son in 1882.

Radenci is marked out by its extremely high number of regular loyal guests – some of whom have been coming for up to 60 years! This alone tells the story of the care and dedication the resort strives to provide for its guests.

A good way to get acquainted with the resort’s history is to watch the short film presentation, where you can see how the bottling of Radenska water took place in the past, and you can also visit the nearby bottling plant. After watching the film I headed for to the resort’s park to see the spring up close.


The park is an oasis of calm and an ideal place for a stroll.


St. Anna’s church occupies a prime position in the park.


After my stroll around the park, I headed to the Medico-Wellness Centre to try one of the resort’s famous natural mineral baths – bathing in Radenska mineral water with thousands of tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide that penetrate the skin helping the body to regenerate and improve circulation to flush out waste products. You can also enjoy a range of massages, fango wraps and other treatments.


The centre also has the most up-to-date equipment for cardiac patients including ultrasound machines and offer a range of healthy heart programmes, carried out by highly qualified specialists.

The pool complex comprises 10 pools including an Olympic-size pool for lane swimming, and as well indoor and outdoor thermal pools. The World of Saunas features six saunas as well as special sauna programmes such as honey pampering, menthol heart scrub, and coconut tropical cream.


Continuing the theme of health, the resort has introduced a new colour-coded food system, named  Eat Better, prepared with the in-house nutritionist, which helps guests make healthy choices at meal times. But don’t worry, if you aren’t on a diet, there are also a few less healthy treats, including desserts such as the famous layered cake gibanica and apple strudel made by soaking the pastry in Radenska mineral water.


The surroundings of Radenci are ideal for outdoor activities such as cycling, running and Nordic walking. The annual Three Hearts Marathon is one of the most popular marathons in Slovenia and, since it began in 1981, has been attracting runners from Europe and further afield. You can walk along the Path along the Mura river, or follow the 8km Springs of Life Trail which leads to seven mineral water springs.


I set off by bike to cycle up to the church at nearby Kapelski vrh for wonderful views of the surrounding wine-growing area. There are also a range of organised excursions to nearby places of interest such as Lake Bukovnica and tasting the famous Radgona sparkling wine at the Radgona wine cellar.


Find more information about the Radenci Health Resort here – http://www.sava-hotels-resorts.com/en/radenci/

© Spas in Slovenia




Prime Prekmurje Pampering at Terme 3000, Moravske Toplice

The Terme 3000 thermal spa is located in Moravske Toplice, in the Prekmurje area of northeast of Slovenia. Terme 3000 is among the largest and most popular thermal spas in Slovenia and really does offer something for everyone; thanks to its modern facilitieshealing thermal watersexcellent cuisine, peaceful surroundings, the 18-hole Livada Golf Course, and the range of excellent leisure opportunities in the surrounding Pannonian flatlands.

Hotel accommodation at the resort comprises the 5* Hotel Livada Prestige, where I stayed, and two 4* hotels – Hotel  Ajda and Hotel Termal. This was the view from my room, which also had its own jacuzzi, overlooking the hotel’s pool area and beyond to the golf course.


The pool area at Hotel Livada

In addition to the hotels, for those who prefer to be independent and have self-catering facilities, there is the 4* Prekmurska vas Apartment Village, the 3* Bungalow Tourist Village and the 4* Camping Terme 3000.


The thatched roof bungalows at the Tourist Village

Whether you want to relax, be pampered, play a round or golf, get active, or just sit and enjoy the view, there’s never a dull moment or bad view to be had here!


Sit back, relax and enjoy the view!

During the holidays, children are also well catered for with Viki the Stork and his helpers providing childcare and entertainment, allowing parents to relax and indulge in the spa’s facilities.

Each hotel has its own pools and saunas; in total there are 28 indoor and outdoor pools spread across the resort, as well as a World of Saunas including classic Finnish, Turkish, infrared, a laconium herbal sauna and a caldarium vitality stream sauna.

Kids will love the Terme 3000 Water Park, whilst for adults the pools filled with black thermal mineral water are a unique experience (you have to try it to be able to describe the feeling!). The water is proven to have beneficial effects on the skin and joints.


The 22 metre water slide and aqualoop

The Thermalium Medico-Wellness Centre offers a full range of beauty treatments and medical services, whist the Thai Centre at Hotel Livada specialises in Thai massages.

The Relaxation Room contains rare Septarian nodules discovered in the Slovenske gorice hills. Formed from sedimentary remains on the seabed, it is said that the energy they emit helps to heal the body in a natural way and, amongst other benefits, helps overcome insomnia and strengthens the immune system.


I opted to try a Pannonian meadow massage, which uses massage oil infused with plants and herbs native to the area. A particular highlight, and something I have yet to encounter elsewhere on my spa journey thus far, is being given the remainder of the unused massage oil to take home.

The Prekmurje area is synonymous with gibanica, a layered cake, and Café Praline serves both a traditional version as well as a lighter, though equally sinful, modern version – locata panonia, as well as a range of other speciality cakes, all made in-house.


Gibanica – a traditional Prekmurje layered cake

In my 9+ years of living here, I’ve eaten my fair share of gibanica, so, as much as I love it, for a change I decided to try something different and indulged in a stork’s nest cake, which is unique to Terme 3000, a creation by the resort’s head chef. It is shaped like a chimney and topped with a stork, the symbol of Prekmurje. It looked too beautiful too eat, but damn it tasted good! Visiting a spa doesn’t have to just be about health these days, you know!


Storks Nest Cake – looks too good to eat!

In fact, the food alone would be enough to make me revisit Terme 3000! I was also particularly impressed by the Prekmurje breakfast corner, and, another first, an entire honeycomb, which helped to set me up for the day before my bike ride.


A whole honeycomb – energy for the day ahead!

Although one could quite easily stay within the resort, to do so would be a shame as there is plenty to see and do in the surroundings.

I decided to hire a bike from the Moravske Toplice Tourist Information Centre, which is located opposite Terme 3000. There are 10 well-marked cycle routes, varying in length from 6km to 52km – the longest also venturing into neighbouring Hungary. I set off on the 41km Sladka pot (Sweet Route). I’ll be writing more extensively about this in a future blog post here – https://adeleinslovenia.com/ – but in the meantime, here’s a teaser!


Cycling along the Sladka Pot (Sweet Route)

I also highly recommend a visit to the Passero Country Chocolatier, part of the Passero Estate, located just 2kms from Terme 3000 in Tešanovci. I can attest that the high quality handmade chocolates are delicious, and you can also buy, amongst other items, home-produced pumpkin-seed oil, pates and other dried meats, Read more here – http://passero.si/eng.htm


Testing the chocolates (for research purposes!) at the Passero Country Chocolatier

As is so often the case, there is SO much more I could write about my visit to Terme 3000 and Moravske Toplice, but not wishing to write a tome, that’ll have to wait until the next instalment!

In the meantime, you can find out more about Terme 3000 here – http://www.sava-hotels-resorts.com/en/moravske-toplice/

© 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!


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 …


Pirates Bay


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.


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!


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


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!


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!


A little effort rewarded by a wonderful view!


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.


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


The Rogaška Medical Centre – A World of Health and Wellness

The Rogaška Medical Centre in Rogaška Slatina offers a whole world of wellness and health under one roof. This vast multi-storey building sits at one end of the magnificent Rogaška Wellness Park, which, throughout its 400-year tradition, has been attracting guests from all over the world.


The centre specialises in disease prevention and ongoing treatment and rehabilitation, particularly for patients suffering with digestive and metabolic disorders, as well as offering a very comprehensive array of health and wellness services.

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Rogaška Slatina is inextricably linked with Donat Mg water, thus Balneotherapy plays a large part in treatments. Donat Mg water contains magnesium, which, even in small amounts, can contribute to the healing of various ailments. The miraculous power of Rogaška mineral water was first analysed by alchemists back in 1572. It is known to contain 1000mg of magnesium per litre. The water, even direct from the spring, is mildly carbonated and has an unusual and distinctive, though not  unpleasant, taste.


The medical centre is staffed by a team of experts doctors and therapists, who specialise, amongst others, in areas including specialist examinations and diagnostics, vascular surgery, aesthetic surgery, acupuncture, nutrition consultations, body analysis, preventative check-ups, kinesiotherapy, electrotherapy, magnetotherapy.

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In addition to the vast array of medical services, those seeking some pampering are also well catered for. It was difficult to choose which of the treatments to try, since there are so many! In the end I went for a magnesium bath, out of curiosity and because they are highly popular so there must be something in it! These baths form part of the Balneotherapy programme, and, if taken regularly, are known to have a positive effect on health by improving, amongst others, blood circulation, the immune system, and lowering blood pressure.


After the bath I was wrapped up in a warm blanket and left to relax (yes, me, relax!!), before moving on to my next treatment, an orthopaedic massage. This is just one of a range of classic, specialist, and therapeutic massages, as well as scrubs, wraps, and baths offered at the centre. As someone who is constantly on the go, this was a perfect massage for me, as my weary muscles need a good pummelling. The massage combines use of a vacuum technique (cupping) and a deep tissue massage. Relaxing it wasn’t, but that’s what makes a good massage for me!!! More information here – http://www.rogaska-medical.com/en/massages-scrubs-wraps/medical-and-therapeutic-massages


You are spoilt for choice in terms of accommodation at Rogaška Slatina. There are numerous hotels surrounding the park, most of which have their own leisure facilities with pools, saunas etc. On my most recent visit I stayed at the 4* Superior Grand Hotel Donat. If you’re looking for luxury, try one of the newly renovated luxurious rooms or suites offering VIP accommodation. More here – http://www.en.ghdonat.com/


Of all the buildings and hotels surrounding the park, this magnificent grand old building, the Grand Hotel Rogaška, seen below, forms the centrepiece.


Rogaška is surrounded by beautiful nature which just beckons to be explored. There are 9 marked walking trails, which begin directly from the centre and vary from less than 2kms up to almost 15km in length. There’s even a small ski slope, Janina, though, at just 362m, I can’t imagine an awful lot of skiing goes on there, but snowy fun not doubt at least.

The newly-built Anin Dvor (Ana’s Mansion and Museum) is a cultural-tourist centre housing various collections and exhibitions.


Nearby is the Rogaška Glassworks, which has been producing its well-known and highly-regarded crystal products for over 350 years. Factory tours can be arranged or you can just pop in to the shop and treat yourself, or friends and loved ones, to some of the high quality cut and engraved crystal products.


Photo: Drustvosteklarjev.si

You can find out plenty more about the Rogaška Medical Centre here – http://www.rogaska-medical.com/en/

© Spas in Slovenia 2016

Detox and Serenity at Šmarješke Toplice

The Terme Šmarješke Toplice spa is located in a tranquil corner of the Dolenjska region. It is entirely surrounded by green parkland and is ideal for a complete switch-off from the hustle and bustle of every day life.


My visit at the end of April coincided with unusually late-spring snowfall so it really was a tale of two halves. The first day was very cold and snowy, whilst, by the second day, the sun had made a welcome comeback and I was able to see the area in (almost) its full glory. It was, however, sad to see the destruction that the late-spring snow caused to the surrounding vineyards and forests. A reminder of the power of nature.

This was the view from my room when I arrived.


And this was the view an hour or so later! I know which I prefer! How about you?


I stayed at the four-star superior Hotel Vitarium, which has modern well-appointed rooms. The resort also comprises two 4-star hotels – Hotel Šmarjeta and Hotel Toplice.

Shortly after arrival, and seeeking sanctuary from the blizzard raging outside, I headed to the fitness centre, which I was delighted to find is modern and well-equipped and even includes an altitude training chamber.


The warmth of the sauna also looked rather inviting on such a chilly day! The Sauna World comprises Finnish, Turkish, Roman, and herbal saunas.

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The first medical wellness centre in Slovenia was founded at Smarjeske Toplice over 20 years ago. The centre specialises in the rehabilitation of heart conditions and problems with veins, as well as a full complement of other services. These days, however, it is also home to the very modern Vitarium Spa & Clinique which offers  a comprehensive range of beauty and pampering treatments.   


I opted for the Vitarium massage which uses grape seed oil.


The Vitarium Premium Selection slimming and detox programmes are particularly popular amongst guests, many of whom return every year for an annual detox (or two!).  There are 7, 10, or 14 night programmes, which include a very comprehensive range of services such as a medical check-up, tissue structure analysis, consultations with a nutritionist and personal trainer, massages, Fango mud wraps, detox treatments, Pilates and other exercise sessions, as well as a whole host of other services designed to make you leave feeling fitter and lighter.

For obvious reasons the outdoor pool complex wasn’t open during the time of my visit, however, the outdoor pool at the Vitarium Aqua centre was open as well as the indoor pools and whirlpools, all filled with thermal water.

Terme Šmarješke Toplice, during winter

The next day, wrapped up well, I ventured out to explore the surroundings. Šmarješke Toplice set up one of the first Nordic walking centres in Slovenia. There are daily guided Nordic walks, or, like me, you can just borrow a pair of Nordic hiking poles and head off on a journey of discovery! There are 9 well-marked routes, which start directly from the resort, ranging in length from 2.5 – 12 kilometres.


Less than a 10 minute walk from the resort you can pay a visit to the beekeeper Stane Gorenc, who will be delighted to show you his hives, small museum and shop selling honey and honey products.


The hotel has several restaurants. Those on full or halfboard, and not on a specific medical programme, dine in the Fontana restaurant, which was modern, bright and the food was delicious. Unlike most of the spas I have visited, where half or full board meals are buffet-style, here the starters and desserts are buffet-style, whilst guests can choose a main course from a choice of five daily menus. The focus throughout is on locally produced food, with as few food miles involved as possible. This locally-produced cheese was a nice touch.

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Getting there: By far the easiest way to reach Šmarješke Toplice is by car. If, however, you are reliant on public transport then the nearest major hub is the city of Novo Mesto, from where there are a few buses per day.

Find more information about Šmarješke Toplice here – http://www.terme-krka.com/us/en/destinations/smarjeske-toplice/

© Spas in Slovenia 2016