In spring, one of the most visited Slovenian tourist destinations, the coastal Portorož, has gained a new unique offer in its direct vicinity, in the heart of the Sečovlje Salina (Salt Pans) Nature Park. In harmony with the unique natural and cultural heritage of this area, a new open-air thalasso spa has been opened, which intends to enable the visitors to use the beneficial resources of the salt pans; in other words, the salt pans are now becoming a unique boutique ecological tourist destination.
The new spa is located among the abandoned salt pans pools in the Western part of the magnificent Sečovlje salt pans and only a few steps away from the pools where salt pan workers still produce salt using traditional methods.
The spa covers an area of 4,500 m2 (of which 1,534 m2 of built-up area).The purpose of the new spa is not only to provide a unique experience of healing therapies in a unique environment, but also to revive the abandoned areas of the salt pans, protect and restore the natural and cultural heritage of the Slovenian coast and to provide superb preventive and curative health facilities, which have a rich tradition in a truly natural and intact environment.
The spa will provide therapeutic programs that are based on salt and side products of the salt production process, including fango, brine and sea-water. Because of the location in the middle of the regional park, special attention was dedicated to the organization and architecture of the spa. It was designed as “salt-pan houses”. The spa consists of 14 wooden houses, a platform for sunbathing and showers in the central part (which will also be used for fango therapies), one salt-water swimming pool, 4 smaller swimming pools for brine baths and 3 small swimming pools for Kneipp therapies (cold-hot seawater). All buildings are energy efficient and designed in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. 50-60 visitors will be able to visit the spa at a time and about 120 days of operation per year are expected. The beneficial spa programs will be supplemented by the experience of the unique salt pans environment.
The main focus of the spa in this unique environment will primarily be the sea with its salt, salt pans mud and brine. The beneficial effects of the latter have been known since the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans; however, the use of fango, the salt pans mud, has a centuries-long tradition in Slovenia. In the area of Portorož, the indicated beneficial resources were used by Roman soldiers, while the first writings reach as far back as to the 13th century when the Benedictine monks from the St. Lovrenc monastery used the fango from the nearby Sečovlje salt pans to heal patients and pilgrims with edema, rheumatism, respiratory diseases, skin diseases, various wounds and even those who were overweight. Portorož has spa tourism to thank for its blossoming, since the first tourist building, San Lorenzo Villa, which was intended for the healing of Austro-Hungarian officers, was built as early as in 1830.
However, the new spa will not provide accommodation facilities, as it is part of a protected nature area of the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park; moreover, there are enough hotel and private accommodation facilities near the salt pans, especially in Portorož.
Photo of Sečovlje slat pans.