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Sovata – A Resort Town with History

Discover this unique Romanian spa town

Discover this unique Romanian spa town

Sovata – A Resort Town with History

Sovata is one of the most beautiful health spas in Romania. Located in the picturesque heart of Transylvania, surrounded by a salt basin, lush pine forests, and majestic mountains, it offers endless options for healing and relaxation.

Millions of years ago, Sovata’s current location was a lagoon in which salt washed in from the sea. The first written accounts of the healing effects of the region’s salty water date all the way back to 1596, and the town of Sovata was first mentioned in 1581. It is named after the Szováts, a noble Szekely-family that ruled the area.

In the second half of the 19th century, a sinkhole collapsed and formed a nearly five-hectare wide lake, known as Lacul Ursu, or Bear Lake. It is the largest heliothermic lake in Europe and is characterised by its deeper layers of water being warmer than those near the surface. Its salty water stores the heat of the sun, turning the lake into a natural, heated saltwater pool. The high salt content also means swimmers can float on the surface of the water, which gave the lake its nickname of the “Transylvanian Dead Sea”. This distinction, as well as the therapeutic power of the water, soon drew visitors. In 1882, the first 200 visitors were recorded.

Spa Town

A large number of the villas in the town were built from the 1860s to the 1880s. In 1884, Sovata was first recognised as a spa town. In 1901, the Sanatorium at Bear Lake was opened, part of which was destroyed during the First World War, but is still in use today. After the war, Sovata – which until then belonged to Austria-Hungary – became part of Romania. In the 1920s, Sovata’s salt baths enjoyed a golden era with numerous famous guests, including the Romanian royal family. Since 1954, the spas have been open all-year-round. In the 1970s, the Communist regime opened more hotels and used the town, as well as other Romanian spa towns, to provide therapy and treatments to workers and bureaucrats. In 2009, the town was fully renovated and new hotels were built. Since many of the buildings from the town’s Golden Era were preserved and/or restored, today Sovata is a jewel of a spa town, well worth a visit all year round.

Powerful salt water and healing mud

The salt-rich water of Bear Lake and the other smaller lakes around Sovata, and their mud, have anti-allergic, bacteriostatic, bacteriocidic, as well as anti-inflammatory properties. The healing water soothes pain, relaxes tense muscles, and increases joint mobility. Sovata’s medical spas treat respiratory diseases, mobility and nervous system problems, as well as gynaecological and skin diseases.

We pay attention to women

Historically, Sovata was widely known for its gynaecological therapies. The salt water and mud of Bear Lake were not only used to treat women’s infertility – Sovata actually offered the only natural treatment centre for infertility in Europe – they also help alleviate the uncomfortable and troublesome symptoms of menopause. That’s why the locals have long called Sovata the town where the women are happy.

Spa, Wellness, Sport, Culture, and Entertainment

Spa treatments, wellness programmes, as well as countless options for leisure, sports, and entertainment make Sovata an attractive destination for invigorating your mind, body and soul. Health-minded tourists, families, and active travellers come here for relaxing and exciting holidays.

Energise and relax in Sovata

Enjoy your saltwater spa treatments, the sights, hospitality, landscape, and the Romanian zest for life, and return home both physically and mentally refreshed. The dedicated staff at all three of our spa and wellness hotels in Sovata look forward to welcoming you.


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