In Austin Powers, Dr. Evil had himself cryogenically frozen for decades so that he could return to earth to dominate in the future. In Slovakia, you can have yourself cryogenically frozen for about three minutes (future world domination plan not included).
Slovakia, half of the former Czechoslovakia, has largely flown under the radar compared to its Czech neighbour, but some of its ecotourism tricks have begun to get noticed in a big way.
At the foot of the impressive Tatra Mountains is the city of Poprad, home to Aquacity, an eco-park that is almost unbelievable. Most of the eco-destinations we discuss are on a small scale, because typically smaller entities are more efficient. Aquacity challenges that popular belief, with its absolutely massive size and impressive ability to generate 80% of the complex’s electricity through geothermal water, solar power, and wind turbines.
Aquacity’s main attractions are its Aquapark and spa and wellness facilities, which are magnificent and won’t disappoint. The Aquapark’s indoor pools include the Blue Sapphire and Blue Diamond pools, which are filled with thermal water and designed to be relaxing and rejuvenating. The Blue Sapphire pool is even entertaining, with a famous laser show to excite guests every evening. Head outside and the Aquapark’s offerings will astound children of all ages with waterslides, waterfalls, whirlpools, and swimming pools that use UV filtration on thermal water from an underground lake to make it crystal clear.
Aquacity’s spa and wellness offerings include traditional massages, Thai massages, and chromotherapy. Never heard of chromotherapy? You’re not alone. Essentially chromotherapy is an alternative healing method that uses colour and light to achieve holistic balance within a person. At Aquacity, chromotherapy techniques are used in conjunction with the Blue Sapphire massage pools to maximise the benefits.
Looking for less warmth and more icy coldness? Aquacity can help you there. It appears as though Aquacity has everything you could want for ecotourism in Slovakia.
It’s what makes Aquacity famous in Europe – cryotherapy. If you’re into adventure and trying natural experiences that sound totally crazy, this one’s for you. For up to three minutes, head into a Cryo chamber of -120 degrees Celsius, wearing only a layer of moisture-free clothing, then emerge, probably blue in colour, and do twenty minutes of intense exercises to quickly warm your body back up. Known as kinesitherapy, and supervised by medical staff, this process is meant to “stimulate natural production of enzymes and hormones to kick start the body’s healing and regeneration process”, according to the Aquacity website.
Plunging your inner body’s temperature to just above freezing is certainly a different way to spend your ecotourism holiday in Slovakia, but if you’ve got any ailments or conditions, cryotherapy just might be a worthwhile venture.
Slovakia Green Tours
Once you’ve turned yourself blue and back, see what the rest of Slovakia has to offer with Slovakia Green Tours, a family-run company out of Bratislava. Slovakia Green Tours is dedicated to providing nature lovers and ecotourists of all types with enjoyable tours throughout Slovakia, including visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, hiking tours, and city tours of Bratislava.
Some of their best tours include a religious heritage tour, a Jewish heritage tour, and an epic cycling tour that cuts through Slovakia on its way between Budapest and Krakow on the ancient Amber trail. Coming this summer is a Slovakia Wine Tour that’s sure to hit some high notes in the largely undiscovered Slovakian wine regions.
Ecotourism in Slovakia
Ecotourism in Slovakia is more subtle than in other parts of Europe, but there are certainly ways to visit the eastern part of the former Czechoslovakia while maintaining a sustainable mindset. Look out for Slovakia and Bratislava to begin their rise to prominence now that Prague has become so inundated with tourists. Hopefully as Slovakia gains popularity, we will see more ecotourism outfitters cropping up throughout the country.
Photo Credit: Martin Sojka