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Balneological resorts of Russia

There are several well-known balneological resorts in various regions of Russia. In most of them, medical procedures are carried out at mineral water springs. However, there are resorts where therapeutic mud is used for medical procedures.
In this review on the online guide Geomerid you can read about the most popular balneological resorts in Russia.

TOP10 balneological resorts in Russia:

1.    Marcial waters
2.    Pyatigorsk
3.    Kislovodsk
4.    Zheleznovodsk
5.    Yessentuki
6.    Yevpatoria
7.    Matcesta
8.    Hot Spring
9.    Lake Elton
10.    Lake Baskunchak
11.    Old Russa

Marcial waters

The balneological resort of Marcial Waters is located at a considerable distance from major cities among Karelian lakes and forests. It is the very first resort in Russia, founded personally by Tsar Peter I in 1719. The nearest city of Petrozavodsk is 55 kilometers away. 

Tsar Peter I traveled a lot in Europe and visited balneological resorts there. After returning from one of these trips, he ordered everyone to look for mineral water sources in Russia. The first of them was found a source 55 kilometers from Petrozavodsk.

Mineral water has a high content of iron ions, so it was called Marcial, in honor of the god Mars. The resort itself was named Marcial Waters. Tsar Peter I came here 4 times in 1719, 1720, 1722, 1724. He loved this resort very much and said that the waters really brought him relief. 

In 1964, a sanatorium was built at the resort of Marcial Waters. Modern medical buildings are located on the basis of springs and healing mud of Lake Gabozero. It treats cardiovascular diseases, iron deficiency anemia, digestive and respiratory organs. 

Read more about the Marcial Waters resort


In Pyatigorsk, at the foot of Mount Mashuk, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and radon sources are concentrated, which determined the specialization of Pyatigorsk sanatoriums: treatment of the musculoskeletal system and musculoskeletal system. Also, in some sanatoriums, skin, urological and gynecological diseases are treated.

In the balneological resort of Pyatigorsk there are many complexes where vacationers can take baths: Pushkin baths, Ermolov baths, Pirogov baths. Radon baths in the Pirogov Baths complex were built in 1861.

In addition to the possibility of treatment, you can come to Pyatigorsk to see the historical and natural attractions. There are many places in Pyatigorsk connected with the last days of the life of the great Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov. 

Read more about the Pyatigorsk resort


The Kislovodsk balneological resort is located 20 kilometers south of other resorts in the Mineral Waters region. It is built on narzan mineral water springs. Narzan Water is a famous brand that everyone in Russia knows. By its composition, narzan water belongs to the category of calcium-magnesium bicarbonate-sulfate. Water comes to the surface with a temperature of 12 degrees. Narzan can be dolomitic and sulphate.

Narzan is used both for drinking and for taking baths. The resorts of the Kislovodsk balneological resort specialize in the treatment of the cardiovascular system, respiratory and nervous system diseases.  Some are treated for asthma and tuberculosis.

In Kislovodsk there are not only opportunities for treatment, but also rest or rehabilitation after operations. Here is the largest Resort park in Russia and the second largest in Europe, with an area of 950 hectares. In addition to the park, Kislovodsk has a beautiful city center. Tourists usually relax in the area of Resort Boulevard, the Main Narzan Baths, Narzan Gallery, as well as the embankment of the Olkhovka River, which gradually turns into a Resort park. 

Read more about the Kislovodsk resort


Zheleznovodsk is the northernmost balneological resort in the Mineral Waters region. It is located south of Mount Beshtau, at the foot of Mount Zheleznaya (Iron). There is a Resort park on the Zheleznaya Mountain, and there are many attractions in Zheleznovodsk itself: Pushkin Gallery, the Palace of the Emir of Bukhara, gardens and drinking pump rooms, the Cascade staircase.

The most famous mineral springs of Zheleznovodsk are Smirnovsky and Slavyanovsky. There is a precipitate of iron hydroxide in them. That is why at first these waters were classified as ferruginous, however, the level of iron in the water is small. The mineral waters of Zheleznovodsk are more related to carbon dioxide bicarbonate-sulfate calcium-sodium waters.

The main feature that distinguishes the mineral waters of Zheleznovodsk from the waters of neighboring resorts is a small content of sodium chloride, which does not irritate the renal cells. Thanks to this, Zheleznovodsk has earned a reputation as the main balneological resort in Russia, where kidney diseases are treated. 

Also in Zheleznovodsk there are sanatoriums that specialize in the treatment of diseases of the digestive system, gastritis, liver and biliary tract diseases. There is a mud clinic in Zheleznogorsk, where sulfide silt mud from the salt lake Tambukan, which is located 9 kilometers east of Pyatigorsk, is used for treatment. 

Read more about the Zheleznovodsk resort


The balneological resort of Yessentuki is small, compared to Pyatigorsk and Kislovodsk, but its importance is just as great. The specialization of the Yessentuki sanatoriums was determined by the composition of the famous Yessentuki-4 and Yessentuki-17 waters, which treat diseases associated with the digestive organs, as well as the liver and bile ducts. Yessentuki-17 is also prescribed for diabetes mellitus.

There are more than 20 springs with mineral water in Yessentuki, but springs No. 4 and No. 17 are the most famous. This water is used for drinking, and not only in the pump rooms of Yessentuki. The water is bottled and sold throughout Russia. Mineral water from other sources is used for bathing. 

A well-known attraction of the Yessentuki balneological resort is the mud baths of Semashko. It was built in 1913-1915 in the style of ancient Roman baths. For mud treatment, sulfide silt mud is used from the salt lake Tambukan, which is located 9 kilometers east of Pyatigorsk. Doctors consider the properties of Tambukan mud to be comparable to the properties of Dead Sea mud.

Read more about the Yessentuki resort


Yevpatoria is located on the eastern coast of Crimea. There are no palaces and mountains, as well as subtropical forests, as on the Southern coast of Crimea, however, in the 19th century Yevpatoria became one of the most famous balneological resorts of the Russian Empire. People are not only resting here, but also being treated. 

Therapeutic procedures in numerous health resorts of Yevpatoria are made with therapeutic mud, which is cultivate and extract in local lakes. Previously, mud was extracted in Moynaki Lake, and in recent years it has been done on Saki Lake, as well as Lake Sasyk-Sivash. In summer, these lakes have a fantastically beautiful pink color. All lovers of photo shoots come here. 

In addition to therapeutic mud and mineral water (brine) from local lakes, Yevpatoria is famous for its wide sandy beaches. The width of the beaches in the city center averages about 50 meters. There are not only sun loungers and umbrellas, but also summer gazebos with white fabrics traditional for the beaches of Yevpatoria. The further away from the port, the wider the beaches become. The widest beaches are located on the Belyaus Spit, 40 kilometers from Yevpatoria. These places are often called "Crimean Maldives". 

Read more aboutresort Yevpatoria


The Matsesta balneological resort is located in the Khosta district of Sochi. The Balneary was founded in 1902 on hydrogen sulfide springs found in the vicinity of the Matsesta River. People come here to restore the skin and scars after surgery, infertility treatment and musculoskeletal system. 

The monumental building of the Hospital (building No. 4), built in 1940, is located in the Old Matsesta area, 3.8 kilometers from the Black Sea coast. It is located on the bank of the Matsesta River, where a stone embankment was built in the same years. On the opposite shore from the hospital there is a sanatorium and a hydrogen sulfide spring.

The advantage of Matsesta over Mineral Water resorts lies in the mild subtropical climate, which was formed on the southern slope of the Caucasian ridge. The high Caucasus Mountains protect the coast from cold winds. Also, people who come for medical procedures can combine them with swimming and relaxing on the beaches of the Black Sea. 

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Hot Spring

The Hot Spring balneological Resort is located on the Psekups River. The composition of the Psekup waters is similar to the waters in the Russian resorts of YYessentuki and Matsesta, and they can also be compared with the waters of the European resorts in Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic) and Baden-Baden (Germany). In the sanatoriums of the Hot Spring, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are mainly treated.

Hot Spring is among the TOP10 most popular balneological resorts in Russia, at the same time, it is one of the oldest. While relaxing in Hot Spring, you can plan a trip to the beaches of the Black Sea. The distance to the nearest resort of Dzhubga is only 60 kilometers, it is about 1 hour by car.

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Lake Elton

The salt lake Elton is located in the Caspian Lowland on the border with Kazakhstan. The nearest major city of Volgograd is 330 km away. Brine mineralization in Lake Elton is similar to the level of the Dead Sea, and externally Elton is very similar to the Bolivian salt marsh Uyuni. 

The term "unique" may well be used in relation to Lake Elton, due to the properties of its brine, as well as therapeutic mud. In 1910, a medical Balneary was opened on Lake Elton. So Elton became a balneological resort. In addition to salt deposits with high mineralization (brine), there is therapeutic hydrogen sulfide mud in Lake Elton. 

Now all medical procedures are carried out in the buildings of the Elton sanatorium, and at the beginning of the 20th century, special wooden baths were built directly on the lake for mud procedures. Their wooden skeletons have survived to this day. 

People come to the balneological resort of Elton for the treatment of diseases of dermatology, musculoskeletal system, gynecology, nervous system. While the tourist infrastructure of the sanatorium and the village of Elton is at the stage of its formation. 

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Baskunchak Lake

The salt lake Baskunchak, located in the north of the Astrakhan region, is a natural phenomenon, the same as the Dead Sea in Israel. The lake is located 21 meters below sea level. The salinity of the lake reaches 300 grams per liter. Swimming in its waters, it is impossible to drown; you can lie on the water and read a newspaper.

The climate on Lake Baskunchak is very similar to the microclimate of the Dead Sea in Israel. There is low humidity, high content of useful chemical elements in the air, including bromine. One liter of water contains 300 grams of salt (99.8% sodium chloride). A similar concentration of salt in the waters of the Dead Sea. 

There are two sanatoriums on Lake Baskunchak: Baskunchak and Bussol. They offer therapeutic procedures based on brine (salt solution), as well as therapeutic mud, which is extracted in the lake. Diseases of the musculoskeletal system, joints and spine can be treated here. People also come here for the treatment of bronchial asthma and upper respiratory tract. 

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Old Russa

The balneological resort of Old Russa is located on the southern shore of Lake Ilmen, not far from Veliky Novgorod. The city became a resort in 1828. Before that, the main industry in Old Russa was salt making. The main source of mineral water, Tsaritsynsky, was discovered during the drilling of a well of a salt factory. By the middle of the 19th century, salt mining in Old Russa stopped, and the city became a resort. 

A visit to the balneological resort in Old Russa in the 19th century was cheaper for residents of St. Petersburg and Moscow than a trip to the Caucasian Resorts or to the first balneological resort in Karelia, Marcial Waters.

Treatment in the Old Russa Resort is carried out on the basis of mineral water, as well as therapeutic mud, which is extracted in the local salt lake. Old Russa water is sodium chloride. It is used to treat the stomach, intestines, gallbladder. Water with a high content of minerals is used for taking baths for the treatment of joint diseases.

Read more about the Old Russa resort