Natural hot spring spas in Bulgaria
Want to marvel at the local beauty while taking a dip in a hot pool? We have prepared a list of some of the best spa hotels in Bulgaria
Written by Bozhidar Ivanov, edited by Scott Green, photos by Unsplash and Wine & Spa Complex Starosel
With over 700 natural hot springs, Bulgaria is second only to Iceland in Europe for its abundance of hot springs. Many have been used to heal Roman soldiers thousands of years ago, and their medical qualities have not diminished over the centuries.
We offer a short list of the most popular natural mineral springs in Bulgaria, which often come in towns rich in natural and historical beauty. Give your body and your mind a rest by visiting these wonderful places.
Known as the "Spa Capital of the Balkans," Velingrad is located in the West Rhodope mountains and is home to some of the best balneological resorts in Bulgaria. Maxi Park Hotel and Spa is a five-star highlight.
Set atop the largest pinewood park in Velingrad, the hotel overlooks the stunning cityscape below. It offers various spa therapies, two outdoor and three indoor pools, a children’s playground, and more. For nature lovers, the hotel offers walks in the surrounding forest and pinewood park, as well as fishing opportunities in the nearby lakes. Accommodation prices range from 140 BGN for a single room during the weekdays to 280 BGN for a double room on weekends.
In ancient times, Roman warriors used the healing thermal water of Kyustendil to rest after a battle, and for centuries it has been known as the “town of springs”.
Strimon Garden Hotel takes inspiration from the Roman and Thracian history of the region, and combines it with modern luxury, offering a wide range of spa and medical procedures. Its springs have a high content of sulfide components, which helps treat locomotive and inflammatory ailments.
Kyustendil is also a cultural hub, and the hotel can help you arrange tours to the medieval fortress Hisarlaka or the “Vladimir Dimitrov – the Master” art gallery, where you can see works from one of Bulgaria’s most famous artists. Prices start from 200 BGN.
Located on the north side of Rila mountain, Sapareva Banya is another highlight for Bulgarian natural springs. The town boasts the only geyser fountain in Europe that reaches a temperature of 103 degrees Celsius. Located alongside it, the hotel takes its name from the geyser’s temperature. It offers luxury in a minimalist style and contains a mineral pool, Finnish sauna, steam shower, salt room, massage rooms, beauty studios, a gym, and much more. A newly opened sky bar offers a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains, which you can marvel at while relaxing in a jacuzzi. Prices range between 150 BGN and 250 BGN, depending on room size and extras.
Located in the picturesque town of Sandanski, this five-star hotel offers a number of mineral pools and a modern spa facility. If you’re looking for rehabilitation, the hotel offers a range of balneological procedures, such as hydrotherapy, underwater massage, physiotherapy and kinesitherapy. Due to its clean air, Sandanski has been recognized as the best natural clinic for bronchial asthma in Europe. Close to the town are the two largest monasteries in Bulgaria – the Rila Monastery and the Rozhen Monastery, as well as the “Roupite” nature reserve.
Prices range from around 130 BGN for a single room, to 300 BGN for an apartment.
A “Best SPA Hotel of Bulgaria” winner, the Hot Springs Medical & Spa Hotel stands at the foot of the Rila, Pirin, and Rhodope mountains, a stone’s throw away from the biggest ski resort in Bulgaria - Bansko. If its stunning location isn’t enough, the hotel also offers a spa and wellness centre which is a five-star delight: apart from the impressive indoor and outdoor pools, it boasts a salt room, two Finnish saunas, an igloo, a classic Turkish hammam, and more. It complements that with an expert medical team and a range of therapeutic services including Balneo treatment, physiotherapy, kinesiotherapy, and mud therapy, which will guarantee you leave much healthier than before.
Prices range between 200 BGN and 300 BGN.
Wine & Spa Complex Starosel
If you take your spa hotel with a glass of wine, then Wine & Spa Complex Starosel is the place for you! Located close to Plovdiv, the hotel includes an outdoor pool with hot mineral water, a hot tub, sauna and a steam bath, as well as its own winery, complete with wine and brandy tasting tours, and even wine massages! The hotel is decorated in a traditional Bulgarian style and offers authentic Thracian cuisine in its restaurant. With its price tag of around 120 BGN for a nights’ stay, it is one of the more affordable options for enjoying Bulgaria’s mineral water spas.
Fancy being surrounded by vast mountain peaks while taking a dip in a hot water mineral pool? Then Hotel Alfaresort Chiflika is the place to be! Located close to the town of Troyan in central Bulgaria, the hotel offers an outdoor hot mineral pool, with a view of the local Beli Osam river. The Spa is also worth mentioning, as it includes a sauna and a Russian bath. Cycling and hiking activities are also available, and you wouldn’t want to miss the surrounding landscape! Prices start from 130 BGN for a double room.