A relaxing SPA holiday in Lithuania

Geoff Moore discovers what it feels like to be pampered in Birštonas, a luxury spa town in Lithuania. With other gentle activities and sightseeing included in the itinerary, Birštonas has all you need for a relaxing and cultured holiday. Geoff Moore With a thundering roar the gas burner flashed a huge jet of orange flame into life as the wicker basket slung under a giant bulging yet thin fabric envelope then softly drifted skyward in the clear early morning sunshine. I was taking time away from the pampering procedures and healthy food at the spa hotel in the pretty town of Birštonas in Lithuania as my lungs filled with fresh pine scented air as I flew. Volunteering to help pack the balloon after landing provided some much needed exercise was had too! Therefore the only ballooning your body was likely to be doing on a spa break in the country was of the hot air variety over this, the most southerly of the former trio of Baltic states. Under the control of an experienced pilot the balloon was soon being taken by the gentle wind over my hotel and the river Nemunas that now snaked some 1,500 feet below us. Dogs barked as the cattle and horses scurried around perceiving the balloon a possible threat. Yet over the forests a cacophony of bird song was so clear floating up from the trees below only to be joined later by a clear call of a cuckoo. The excursion by balloon is just one of a number opportunities to see and experience the area around the spa capital of Lithuania. Boat trips, cycle hire, walking and hiking in the forests are encouraged as part of the whole healthy life style package in this delightful health resort town that is awash with mineral water springs who’s tastes are certainly at times an acquired one! Sometimes salty and sulphurous but regarded as a vital part of treatments in this much prized resort town. Located equal distance from the major cities of Vilnius and Kaunas both of which have direct flights from the UK. Both are just over an hour away by road so also they provide perfect exploratory touring ideas. The Open-Air Museum in Rumšiškės contains a collection of 150 mostly wooden buildings making it one of the world‘s largest of museums, and the castle on the lake at Trakai is a must. The many varied treatments on offer from a pampering one and half hour facial or one treatment that lasts just two minutes a session in a ‘Cryo’ chamber that is at 140C degrees below…yes below! Although such a short time it is supposed to leave you with a feeling that is akin to a drug high and many agree too. One machine treatment that the patient is strapped into then turned and tilted to assess and strengthen of spine and surrounding muscles helps to improve posture and health of the upper body. Electric treatments of many kinds are popular too. Part of the philosophy of the town is the work of 19th century doctor Monsignor Father Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897), known as Kneippism. Based around several core areas he did advocate several water treatments and often herbs. Seems relevant today as doctors certainly like us all to have good diets, fresh air and exercise, which were all part of his ideas back then. One simple boost was that of his ‘coffee treatment’ where a morning cup of coffee is substituted for a 30 second cold water arm bathe. Other treatments involved walking in a circle in calf high cold water like a stork. He even extolled the use of walking barefoot over different textured surfaces such a pinecones, gravel, stones, sand and even over the dew-covered grass. Birštonas is extremely popular with Lithuanians and is there little secret! However its now is opening up to the British market to give us Brits access to a range of spas and treatments that if where here in the UK we could only dream of having. Mud wraps lying on a four-inch bed of thick black mud cocooned and covered on a heated table will be something that I will not forget but great fun and certainly a very different experience. An Ayurvedic Kerala style massage at Vytautas Mineral SPA done by the slightest southern Indian woman whose strength and pressure totally belied her tiny frame as my body found out. No pain, no gain…however another experience to enjoy and if you like that particular style of massage then you will be in heaven there. Another Indian style massage was carried out at the Royal SPA Residence a most enjoyable head and neck treatment that left you feeling delightfully relaxed and renewed. Some hotels and spas offer packages that include room, meals and a number of treatments all included, while others charge separately for treatments and rooms. The choice of spas and their style varies with the Eglės Sanatorija you could stay for 2 nights in a standard room inclusive of some catering. Getting also a Doctor’s consultation upon arrival and10 therapeutic treatments according to the chosen programme all for around €77 person per night. It’s more of a medical style of facility but never the less that is great value and very comfortable. Over at the Royal SPA Residence a salt therapy in their ‘Halo therapy’ where a room encrusted with salt where you can sit, rest and breathe in the salt laden air that they say helps to keep infection at bay. Repeated visits are recommended and the atmosphere does certainly feel cleansing. As well as the health giving properties that the local waters bring the food is often local. Serving locally such produced food is all part of the experience. Healthy juices, fruits and quality meat and fish is certainly nutritious and healthy too. Many of the pool complexes also boast of numerous styles of saunas: Russian, Finnish, Turkish, etc. Generally family friendly as children are welcomed at the hotels however there are some restrictions in the times that they can use the pools, etc. Lithuania offers a number of top quality spas to relax, restore and re-invigorate you that is really hard to beat for quality and value. My trip was organised by Baltic Holidays and this type of spa package is one of many they offer in the whole region. Lithuania is now a fully modern, developed country in its own right and free of Soviet restrictions of it’s past and, of course, is now a member of the European Union. Many people speak English therefore most hotel staff but in some rural areas and small towns there can be minor mis-understandings between the languages but all part of getting to know a wonderful country and it’s people.

Full report http://viestramagazine.com/a-relaxing-spa-holiday-in-lithuania-p549-170.htm

Adresas

Savivaldybės biudžetinė įstaiga
Jaunimo g. 2, 59206 Biršton

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Tel./Faks.: (8 319) 65 555
El. p.: [email protected]

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