By Liz Galloway
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 Medi-diet, 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 mineral-rich, 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: "Our Sea"..
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.
For further information:
Gran Canaria Spa & Wellness Association
Tel.: + 34 928 384670
Fax: + 34 928 369300
European Spa Association
AETC Secretariat General
1, avenue de la Rennaissance
B 1000 Bruxelles
ANBAL Spanish National Assocacion de Balenarios
ATP Portuguese Hot Springs Association
Termatalia International Fair of Thermal Tourism
Teléfono de Contacto: 988 366 030
Fax: 988 366 204
Quilibra Aguas de Ibiza Resort & Spa C/Salvador Camacho nº9
Hospes Maricel Resort and Spa
Carretera d'Andratx, 11
Liz Galloway is an internationally known spa, wellness, hospitality and fitness developer. Working in the luxury market with developments and investments with innovators, she continues to work with international clients, and write for several industry publications. Find out more at http://www.thelotuseffects.com or contact her direct at firstname.lastname@example.org