In the town Heviz, Mid-Western Hungary lies a geological curiosity. Lake Heviz, Europes largest thermal lake. You can bath in it all year round and but it’s not just the warmth that is the wonder but the property of its water and mud and the effects they have on the body.
On a recent spa research trip to Hungary, I, of course, had to travel down and see this wonder for myself. It is as stunning and unique as the photos suggest. It was a glorious sunny autumn day in mid-October. The trees were just starting to change and as you walk up to the lake you can see all these head bopping around surrounded by beautiful water lilies.
The Lake is fed by different springs which gives it a lovely warm bath temperature of about 35 degrees and the water completely replenishes itself every 72 hours. The thermal water is known for its healing benefits due to its unique composition of different minerals such as sulphur, calcium, magnesium and hydrogen carbonate. While it improves overall health It’s especially good for rheumatic diseases. So good in fact that you’ll find St. Andrew’s Rheumatology Hospital here, which specialises in locomotor and rheumatic disease
The Healing Waters of Lake Heviz
The warm temperature of the water is perceived by the body to neither too cold or too hot, meaning bathers can stay in the water for long periods of time without losing or accumulating heat. This optimal temperature also means there is no stress on the heart and the circulatory system. An added bonus for circulation is bathing in the vertical body position due to the depth of the lake.
This means that the pressure of the water is higher on the deeply immersed feet than on the upper body, which pushes the fluids towards the heart. Floating is also made easier from the different streams of water moving through the lake. All the water is completely refreshed every 72 hours. All of this contributes to being able to stay in the water for as long as you want.
The different gases and minerals in the lake water have a physical and chemical effect on the body. Calcium has an anti-inflammatory effect, while Magnesium helps soothes the nerves (both physically and mentally). The most important is Sulphur. Because the basic compound of joint cartilage is sulphur and it is reduced in locomotor and rheumatic diseases, which is why thermal water containing high levels of sulphur is an excellent natural remedy for joint disorders.
At the bottom of the lake is the famous Heviz mud. Formed by meters of thick turf, the mud has concentrated amounts of the water’s gases and minerals, which enhances the healing effects of the mud. The mud is used in many treatments for rheumatic and inflammatory problems. It is mainly applied as a mud pack and you can find out how I got on when I tried out the treatment for myself.
That fun information aside, it’s a really nice way to spend the afternoon.
After paying in and having a few blonde moments trying to operate the lockers, I set off to explore. It’s a large complex it has many different pool areas inside and different doors leading to various decks, which you could lie out on the beds. It had the same feeling as going to the pool or the beach for the day. Everyone was lazing around in their swimsuits, there’s a café selling overpriced meals and slightly cheesy music being played in the background. I rented one of these foam hoops things that help you float. The water didn’t feel quite as warm as I thought it was going to be but it wasn’t cold. It was blissful bopping around the lake, soaking up the late afternoon sunshine. Unfortunately, I was there by myself so I got a bit bored after an hour or so. But I can easily see how you could end up spending hours relaxing and chatting to friends in the water.
In all bathing in Lake Heviz is definetly one for the bucket list.