By Liz Galloway
Many people have recently settled back into the winter routine. Work days don’t way-lay into
long summer nights, kids have school, activities, play dates. And parents have long days and
full schedules. Any thought of last summer’s vacation pictures, have been filed away on your
Let’s play hooky for a minute, and daydream about next season’s getaway. As you begin to plan
for next years’ getaway, why not make it a real therapeutic holiday, and explore some of the
healing secrets of the Mediterranean.
For many, the Mediterranean stirs up visions of fit, bronzed bodies, svelt from a diet of olives,
healthy proteins, olive oils, fish, nuts, seeds, and beans. It evokes dreams of wading in
turquoise waters, bathing in hammams, and soaking in famous hot springs. Don’t worry, you still
have time to get into shape.
People have been seeking out the healthy lifestyles and salt water therapies of the
Mediterranean for centuries. It’s beauty and allure attracts 1/3 of the worlds’ international
tourists. There must be a reason why the region is known for health, and a staple of the Medidiet, olives, is said to be produced by the tree of life.
I’ll give you my short list here on finding your own healthy tree of life. Prepare to dream.
The Mediterranean includes eastern islands such as Cyprus, Malta in the central islands and
the western islands of Ibiza and Mallorca for starters. It includes miles of coastline in both the
EurAfrican and European countries. Making up an area of approximately 2.5 million square
kilometers, it gives you plenty of perfect places to find balance.
Turkey, one of only seven countries worldwide that boasts vast natural thermal pools, has been
made famous by health and wellness vacations, including salt water therapies
(thalossotherapy). Supported by the Tourism Ministry, and 1300 natural thermal springs in
Anatolia alone. Traditional spa tourism is on the rise. While you’re there, stop in at the 5 star,
Gloria Verde Resort for a little sea therapy.
Highly mineralized salt water thermal pools, such as those in Turkey, are said to have been
soothing the Greco – Roman gods in the same way, 3000 years ago. Turks refer to the source
waters of thermal pools as “llica”, later to become “kapalicarsi”. Meaning covered thermal pools.
Emerging from this, spas, or “kaplica” became the healing place where they combined the
hamman and the traditional Roman bath. Giving us the “Turkish Bath” so popular today.
To begin with your own Thalsso-therapy, or maybe delve into something a little more mystifying,
there are many world class spas and resorts along the coasts of Turkey, Italy, France, Spain
and Portugal. Almost every city facing the Mediterranean utlilizes salt water therapy, and
thermals for health and wellness.
THALASSO – MARE (SEA -CURE)
Talasoterapia Canarias, is a 7,000 square meter Thalasso center, in the Canary Islands. One of
the biggest in Europe, it offers its guests, high pressure and submarine showers, bubble or
ultrasound baths, submarine jet streams, seaweed treatments, pressure therapies, respiratory
therapies, thermal baths, and mud baths. Throw yourself into history, and polish a little more
than your outside appearance. Relieving stress from the inside out.
Slightly inland from the coast of Spain you can soak up some vitality in the warm waters of a salt
infused coastal lake, at the Archena Spa Resort, in Murcia. Archena has a wealth of mineralrich, medicinal waters, that make Spain popular. Pamper and balance yourself in their thermal
gallery, termalium area, and thermal beauty center.
Spain is also home to Europe’s second largest thermal lake.
A brief list of the treatments offered in Spain provides an example of the broad scope of
treatments available, and a few surprises! There are saunas, underwater massages, Heviz mud
treatments, champagne baths, salmon tunics, Roman-Irish baths, henna application, balinese
massages, zen gardens, patchouli oil therapies, oriental therapies, thai-chi, Hawaian therapies
and crystal therapy.
The suitablilty of Spain as a destination for good living and therapeutic holidays is clear from this
less than exhaustive list of the therapies practiced there. Whatever type of treatment one
desires, chances are very good that you will find it in Spain. This and the centuries of
experience in furthering well being and health that one finds in Spain are responsible for it and
its treatment facilities being amongst the best and most popular in the world.
The literal Latin translation, Medi-Terrain, (In the middle of the earth) becomes our
Mediterranean. Steeped in history, and healthy lifestyle, the Romans called it Mare Nostrum:
In touring several spas throughout the Mediterranean, I looked forward to discovering
environmental purity and of course balancing leisure with work. Spain has become a place I feel
at home with. A unique familiarity and a healthy lifestyle.
Spain and the famous Mediterranean coasts, with their myriad spas are also known as the
European centers of health tourism.
TRADITIONAL YET DIFFERENT
In spa development we are always looking for an edge. One way of doing this is to focus on
enhancing the value of water resources and the need for a sustainable and appropriate use of
this resource. It also aims at promoting the development of this strategic market of traditional
therapies for international tourism.
With all of this beauty and a culture steeped in age old therapies. Here in the Mediterranean life
is more relaxed than most. We enjoy Spanish champagne (cava) as an appertivo, instead of just
a celebrational drink. Why not, we have much to celebrate in wellness.