Mineral Springs - Information about the Bulgarian Spa centres.
The abundant mineral water resources rank Bulgaria among the leading countries of the world in terms of balneology. The curative properties of mineral water have been known since ancient times. The millennia could not erase the traces of once flourishing spa towns built around mineral springs, of which we have the evidence of numerous archaeological remains from the Thracian, and especially from the Roman era. Examples are the ancient towns of Serdica (Sofia), Augusta (Hissar), Pautalia (Kiustendil) and many others. There are a lot of reasons for this historical continuity of water cure in Bulgaria. Above all, the country has a great number of mineral springs with diverse physic-chemical composition (more than 800), grouped in some 250 mineral water sources according to the places of origin. Their mineral composition includes almost all ingredients that are present in mineral waters elsewhere. Their temperature also varies greatly (from cold to over 101 C).
Location adds to the advantage of Bulgarian mineral springs; usually they are to be found in ecologically pure resort areas, situated in beautiful natural surroundings, with mild climate. For spas, it is particularly important to have a synergy between the balneological and climatic factors. Prominent examples are the resorts on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, in the Rhodopes, Rila and Pirin mountain ranges, along the Strouma River, and many more. Part of the balneo centers meet international standards. Currently, Bulgaria is building new facilities, and is renovating existing ones, in order to ensure full-scale modern balneo therapy and prophylaxis. The spas employ highly qualified medical staff.
The ever-decreasing fresh water supply in the world, coupled with the deteriorating ecological conditions and possible pollution of open water basins, have led to growing interest in bottled “table” mineral waters. Bulgarian mineral waters are now in the position to compete with world-known bottled mineral waters.
During the recent years, Bulgarian mineral waters have been widely used in balneo-medical tourism (BMT), being an offshoot of health tourism. It is well known that prophylaxis is conducted mainly with the use of natural factors. Therefore, balneo-medical tourism, as part of health tourism, will steadily move from medical treatment and rehabilitation to recreation and physical fitness. It will help eliminate the effects of modern lifestyle more fully and rapidly – the so-called “diseases of modern civilization”. This will involve searching for ways and forms of prophylaxis and treatment of these diseases. In this respect, balneo tourism is ideal. The stream of tourists choosing BMT will separate in four major groups:
1. Tourists seeking recreation and physical fitness; 2. Tourists participating in prophylaxis and rehab programs; 3. Tourists participating in medical treatment and rehab holidays; 4. Tourists – sportsmen visiting spas for training before or after sports competitions, as well as for staying in good physical shape.
Bulgaria is rich in mineral springs that vary greatly in physicochemical composition; the country has gathered considerable scientific and practical experience in the treatment and prophylaxis of a wide range of diseases. There are great perspectives for the development of BMT, the bottling industry, manufacture of bioproducts etc