Where to have a free open-air mud bath in Bulgaria?

Тази статия може да я прочетете и на: Български

Atanasovsko lake – basins with lye and healing mud bath in the southern Burgas salt ponds, Bulgaria

A long time ago there used to be a train traveling between the cities of Burgas and Pomorie on the Bulgarian Black sea coast. Today it is only a memory shared by a few people. But a part of the rail line is still there. We crossed it a few days ago – at the Atanasovsko lake, north of Burgas. If you go there today you would never guess that a passenger train was travelling here. Nowadays there is a nice bicycle and pedestrian lane connecting Burgas with the salt ponds where you could enjoy a free open-air healing mud bath in the summer.

Sunset ar Burgas salt ponds

Sunset ar Burgas salt ponds

Burgas view from Salt Pans - Atanasovsko Lake

Burgas view from Salt Pans – Atanasovsko Lake

Burgas salt ponds

We parked the car just next to an old bunker and headed to our destination which is both exotic and very accessible. Burgas salt ponds are not only a place for industrial production of salt but an increasingly popular attraction for tourists with a variety of interests. It is both an open air spa center, a balneotherapeutic spot where you can take a free mud bath and an attraction for photographers and bird lovers. However, Burgas salt lakes are probably most popular for the lye and therapeutic mud that is being naturally produced there.

the southern Burgas salt ponds, Bulgaria

The southern Burgas salt ponds, Bulgaria

The black beach near Burgas salt ponds

The black beach near Burgas salt ponds

Burgas Salt Pans

Burgas Salt Pans

Burgas Salt Pans

Burgas Salt Pans

The healing lye and how salty you could become?

When you enter the area you see a sign saying “Do not enter! Private area!” but none respects it anymore. Instead most people head to the red lye basin which is reachable by a short walk by a small wooden bridge. There is a sign telling more about it: “Black Sea lye has a proven medical effect – it is used for treatment and prevention of diseases associated with the locomotor mechanism, skin sores and wounds, varicose veins, and colds. It is recommended for treatment of osteoarthritis, arthritis, tendovaginitis, disc hernia, joint dislocations and sciatica. It is good to sit in the lye for no more than 20-30 minutes to avoid too much pressure on the heart.”.

Healing lye basin, Burgas salterns

Healing lye basin, Burgas salterns

Healing lye basin, Burgas salt ponds

Healing lye basin, Burgas salt ponds

The therapeutic lye basin

The therapeutic lye basin

In the many articles about Black sea lye I read that it was even more healing than the Dead sea baths. I don’t know if this is right but I can try to compare my experience with the Dead sea (I went in Israel a month ago) to the Burgas salt ponds. The water in the Dead sea was quite stinging on my skin and it felt quite bad if it gets into your eyes or mouth. Black sea lye was quite less aggressive and it felt better. You can float on the water on both places. Dead sea, of course, has its own exotic and charm and I would visit it again but I liked our ponds very much as well.

Dead Sea

A photo from Dead Sea :)

Therapeutic mud bath or how black you can get?

Therapeutic mud bath is another gift from the Burgas salt ponds. Now again I will copy what the signs say about it: “Therapeutic mud is a sedimentary product of the closed Salt Lake. It is pure and homogeneous, dark gray to black in color and smells of hydrogen sulfide due to the many decaying microorganisms. It contains inorganic ingredients such as silica, sand, gypsum, iron and aluminum compounds, hydroxides and salts. This composition was formed by millennia of decay of single-celled organisms, algae, fish, crabs, mussels. One centimeter of therapeutic mud is formed for at least one year.

People having mud bath at the Burgas salt ponds

People having mud bath at the Burgas salt ponds

The essence of mud treatment is an overall impact on the entire peripheral nervous system. The thermal properties of the mud expand the blood vessels and open new capillaries. This reduces swelling and pain, heals and reduces scars, enhance metabolism and regeneration processes. In addition to healing, the mud makes people look younger and more beautiful because calcium, iodine, phosphorus, etc. pass through the skin. The mud can treat almost the entire range of skin diseases, arthritis, disc hernia, gynecological problems, plexitis. It is counter-indicative only for tuberculosis, venereal diseases and cancer.”

People having mud bath

People having mud bath

Healing mud bath - basin, Burgas salterns

Basin with healing mud at the Burgas salterns

When you decide to take a mud bath, you cover yourself with mud. Then you have to wait a while to dry and then you can wash yourself in the Black sea. You could also have some rest on the nearby beach which is covered with black sand – because of the iron content.

На плажа край Бургаските солници

Плажът с черен пясък на Бургаските солници

The beach with black sand at the Burgas salt ponds

Our trip to the salt ponds was a little impulsive but I am happy we made it. I was very impressed that the area becomes more tourist-friendly with the wonderful bike lane. Some bars are also expected to open for the summer. Another great thing is that the area is still easy and free to access and use.

How to get to the Burgas salt ponds?

You can reach it by foot or bike from the north beach of Burgas. There is an alley connecting the city with the salt ponds. If you are going by car, you need to take the road to Sunny beach. There is an exit with a sign Solnitsi (Солници) a few kilometers after Burgas and before the quarter of Sarafovo. It is also nice to go there early in the morning on sunrise or in the evening, on sunset, to enjoy the view to Burgas.

Бургаските солници / Burgas Salt Pans

Navigation: – Burgas salt 
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