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resorts offer more than just a holiday. They are also a place to relax, and be
pampered. Sometimes it is also to recuperate. Natasha Blair visits Birstonas in
Lithuania, known for its therapeutic spa waters to see what the town has to
bigger than a village, the town is situated within one of the countries largest
regional parks. The majority of buildings are no more than two or three stories
high, and with very little pollution breathing in the fresh, unpolluted air is
a treat. The water underground has a wealth of therapeutic health giving minerals
with a distinct taste from a combination of both salt and sulfur. Many of the hotels
have their own boreholes so guests can help themselves to the water as often as
they like. As well as the waters the area is also known for its curative peat
mud. There are two types, black and white. The black is used for medical
purposes while the lighter apparently slows down the aging process.
philosophy, the maintenance of good health through the natural powers of water,
plants and herbs plays a prominent role in the treatments. In the centre of
town there is a mineral water pavilion, and the Kneipp Garden. Here people can
practice his water philosophy by placing their arms in cold water, and walk
barefoot on the stoned therapy footpath. Both are supposed to make the body
more resistant, and strengthen the immune system. In the mineral water graduation tower visitors
can experience open-air inhalation. Mineral water flows down the tower
evaporating naturally producing the same effect as breathing sea air. A statue
of a whale symbolises the one used to close the mineral water source in the
hotels differ in the facilities and treatments they provide, as well as the length
of treatments. The choices are extensive although all have a doctor who sees
you at the start to advise on what is best for you.
Vytautas Mineral Spa is the newest, and smartest hotel in town with an award-winning
spa in a luxurious atmosphere. This is the place to come to be pampered. The
waters tend to differ from one to place to another, and at Vytautas they claim theirs
has similar healing properties to those of the Dead Sea. Buffet service appears
to be the way food is served everywhere. This allows visitors to sample the
traditional food, primarily sourced locally, as well as more familiar ones.
Sanatorium is a hotel with a spa but the main reason for visiting is their extensive
medical facilities. People come for a variety of reasons from diagnostics, to physical
medicine, and rehabilitation. The place caters for the whole family so while
one member may need the medical facilities, everyone can enjoy the spa with its
swimming pools and numerous saunas and steam rooms.
care home, the Royal Spa doesn’t have the luxury or extensive medical
facilities of the others. However, with 87 different massages and therapies it
has very competitive prices for anyone wanting a cheap, relaxing health-oriented
country is very flat so excellent for cycling. The River Nemunas virtually
encompasses the town, and leisurely boat trips are one of the past times. For
the more adventurous, ballooning is another. The views of the undulating river
and countryside are apparently spectacular.
afield is an open-air ethnographic museum, one of the largest in Europe, with
buildings from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. The route
covers ten kilometers but fortunately cars and bicycles are allowed although
visitors can also hire a pony and cart.
is the other must-see place to visit. Formerly the capital the red castle,
built at the end of the 14th century, was home to Lithuania’s Grand
Dukes. Now it houses the Trakai History Museum containing archeological objects,
coins and crafts. Said to be the only castle in Eastern Europe built on an
is in the euro-zone, which usually means that everything is expensive. In
Lithuania, however, prices are a lot cheaper. An added bonus is that because it
is, any calls and data used in your mobile package are included.
is conveniently situated in the middle of Lithuania which, as the country is
small, means that visitors are near its Capital Vilnius, and its second largest
city Kaunas, both of which have direct flights from the UK.
resort is family friendly and children are welcome. A plus if you want a
holiday with younger members. English is widely spoken, but as it is often only
learnt at school it can sometimes be difficult to make yourself understood. If
booking independently, there is a Birstonas Resort fee of €1 per person per day
for anyone over the age of 18 that is not included in the price.
trip was organized by Baltic Holidays.
National Express operates coach
services direct to the terminal for all major UK airports 24 hours a day with
1,100 airport services every day.
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