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Ukraine boasts over 500 mineral water sources, with 80 of them being actively used by 50 spas. There are medical centers that use these mineral waters providing therapeutic baths and all sorts of medical treatment.
Mineral water is also bottled and sold at supermarkets across the country.
One of the major mineral water centers in Ukraine is the area of the Carpathian Mountains. We shall move from place to place in that area, providing highlights of each.
The mineral waters in Skhidnytsya are good for treating: chronic cholecystitis, kidney and liver; dysfunction of the gall passages and of the gallbladder itself; chronic hepatitis, chronic pancreatitis, chronic cystitis, diabetes and other diseases.
Skhidnytsya sits in the valley among the mountains. The air is balmy, the mountain sights are gorgeous. The surroundings are of the kind that you want to never stop enjoying their beauty Ч and if you have a camera with you, keep snapping pictures.
But itТs not only the mineral water and the sights that Skhidnytsya boasts Ч not far from it there are ruins of an ancient fortress, Tustan, and in the neighboring village of Urych, you find a museum devoted to Tustan.
I was told that the village of Skhidnytsya used to be called Zolota Banya (Golden Dome). During the Mongol invasion of the thirteenth century, the village was burned down, but later, the people who had fled into the mountains, began to skhodytysya, that is Уto gatherФ Ч to move back to the village. Hence the name Ч Skhidnytsya, that is a place where people come together.
Skhidnytsya offers 13 mineral water sources (of the Naftusya kind). There are restaurants, stores and a local market that provide meals, food and entertainment.
It used to be a very quiet place, but as the number of tourists and health seekers keeps growing, it has turned into a rather bustling center.
The prices for rooms at the hotels and medical centers vary but they are comparatively affordable. The prices depend on the season and on the medical course of treatment you opt for.
Skhidnytsya is next door to the national nature park Skolivski Beskydy. The city of Lviv, the cultural center of Western Ukraine, is not far either.
The mineral waters in Truskavets are good for treating: kidneys and the urinary tract; digestive system; cardiovascular system; the respiratory organs; skin and the locomotive system.
Truskavets is a town, not a village. Its central attraction is the mineral water called Naftusya. It is described as hydro-carbonate, magnesium-calcium water with low level of mineralization but with a high content of organic substances which are by-products of natural oil.
Truskavets has 14 mineral water sources, each source with its own name: Naftusya, Yuzya, Mariya, Sofiya, Bronislava, to name but a few.
Not far from Truskavets (4 kilometers, or less than 3 miles), is located the town of Boryslav, known, among other things, for the substance called УozokeriteФ Ч naturally occurring odoriferous mineral wax or paraffin (locals call it Уmountain or black waxФ) offered for sale to treat inflammations. It has antiseptic properties and is good in treatment of the organs of digestion, the body locomotive system (for example, arthritis, osteochondrosis, etc), and the genital system.
Truskavets is also known for its salt, called Barbara which is produced from local highly-mineralized brine and which can be used in treatment of the gallbladder which can help prevent invasive surgery.
Truskavets offers a wide variety of hotels and other kinds of accommodation. The sprawling medical center includes a diagnostic center and spas.
The prices vary depending on the season, the kind of treatment you choose, the kind of food you want to have, and locality.
Truskavets seems to never stop growing but luckily it is not losing its relaxing and benevolent atmosphere.
The mineral waters in Morshyn are good for treating: chronic hepatitis, chronic cholecystitis, pan-creatic remissions, gall stones, digestive system, ulcers of the stomach and duodenum; digestive system; dysfunctions of metabolism; liver; locomotive system and urinary tract; obesity; neuroses.
Morshyn can easily compete with such spas as Carlsbad. There is evidence that as long ago as in the fifteenth century, the locals knew of the medicinal properties of the mineral water and used it for treatment of health problems.
Morshyn is a small town which, in spite of its status of a major mineral water spa, has preserved its quiet disposition.
The properties of the mineral water sources differ a little but most of them share enough of properties to be called Morshynska. The Morshynska mineral water contains a lot of hydrocarbonates and sulphates.
Morshyn offers a great variety of places where you can stay; there are a lot of what used to be called УsanatoriyФ, built in the soviet times which combine accommodation with medical treatment.
But there are quite modern hotels too, with sophisticated, all-inclusive services to choose from.
The prices vary depending on the season, treatment and location of the place you stay at.
Guided tours are organized to visit the lake of Synevyr, the Pochayivska Lavra Monastery and other tourist sites.
The mineral waters in Polyana are good for treating: digestive system; stomach ulcers; liver and gallstones; spine, joints and muscle diseases.
The village of Polyana is located in a valley surrounded by forested mountain ridges and the beauty of the location enhances the effects of medical treatment.
The two main attractions of Polyana are its mineral waters, Polyana Kvasova and Polyana Kupel which are good for dealing with the abnormal acidity of the stomach and for purging all sorts of obnoxious substances from the body.
The oldest accommodation and treatment center in Polyana is 130 years old.
Besides medical treatment, Polyana offers mountain skiing facilities.
Those who like mushroom hunting and gathering will find Polyana in spring an ideal place to go to.
The mineral waters in Solochyn are good for treating: chronic diseases of the digestive system; liver and gallbladder, diabetes; metabolism dysfunctions; respiratory and cardiovascular problems; diseases of the central and periphery nervous systems.
This village is located in a highly picturesque place surrounded by scenic mountains.
Solochyn offers 15 mineral water sources, most of which are located at the villageТs edge.
One of the sources, at the foot of Tesanyk Mount, has excellent medicinal properties but does not smell or taste too good because of the high content of sulfur and hydrogen. Some people pinch their noses when they drink it Ч but it works!
Mostly, for medical treatment purposes, hydrocarbonate-sodium mineral waters used are: Luzhanska-4, Luzhanska-7, and Polyana Kvasova.
Solochyn is a place which is attractive at any time of the year Ч mountain hikes, mushroom hunting, mountain skiing are on the agenda in addition to mineral water treatment.
Herbal tea is a local specialty.
The mineral waters in Borzhava are good for treating: chronic diseases of the digestive tract; locomotive system; diseases of the central and periphery nervous systems; cardio-vascular diseases; the respiratory tract; the endocrine system; metabolism dysfunctions; the endocrine system; periphery vessels; varicose veins.
This spa is located right in the center of the Land of Zakarpattya on the bank of the mountain river Borzhava.
The area is reputed to be ecologically clean.
The mineral waters Kushnytska-12, Kushnytska-876, Borzhavska, Olehivska and Teplytsya have properties which are very useful in treatment of various health problems.
In addition to mountain hikes, you can take horse rides, rent horses from one of the accommodation centers in Borzhava.
The Valley of Narcissuses, a place of a very high tourist attraction potential, is located at a distance of 34 kilometers (about 20 miles) from Borzhava. If you get there at the end of April, you will see an amazing sight Ч a large field of white narcissuses framed by bright-green grass. The flowers are not planted by man Ч they are put there by Nature.
The mineral waters in Shayan are good for treating: diseases of the digestive and urinary tracts; gall ducts; liver; metabolism dysfunctions; chronic respiratory problems including bronchial asthma.
The spa sits on the bank of the River Tisa. This area of Zakarpattya is often referred to as УUkrainian Switzerland.Ф
Local lore is rich in sad and cheerful stories, some of which explain, in their own way, the names of the three mountains in the vicinity and the origin of mineral water springs.
Whatever the origin of those springs, the mineral water from them can easily compete with Georgian Borjomi, Russian Esentuki or French Vichy Selection.
Thanks to its location, Shayan is well protected from winds and enjoys excellent weather all the year round.
Guided tours are organized to many destinations to see old castles and other sights. Trout fishing is a popular activity, as well as mountain hikes.
In winter, mountain skiing attracts many tourists.
The mineral water center in Morshyn.
The Hotel Mirotel, recently opened in Truskavets.
Interior of Med-Palace in Truskavets.
Carpathia Health Center in Shayan.
One of the pools at Med-Palace in Truskavets.
Kvitka Polonyny Health Center in Solochyn.