Factbox: Bulgaria's most popular spa resorts
(Reuters Life!) - Bulgaria is among the richest countries in Europe in terms of geothermal resources, boasting hundreds of mineral springs and dozens of spa resorts, some of which were founded by the Romans.
The Black Sea country is now trying to revive its traditions in balneotherapy, neglected since communism collapsed 20 years ago, and attract tourists from the Balkans, Russia, Israel, Germany, the Scandinavian countries and beyond.
Following is a list of the most popular spa resorts.
Tucked away in the western Rhodope mountains, far from the commotion of the big cities, Velingrad has been crowned the Spa Capital of the Balkans and for a reason -- it has 80 mineral springs, the hottest one pouring water at some 93 degrees Celsius.
The springs vary in their chemical content which makes their mineral water beneficial for treatment of different medical conditions varying from kidney stones to gout.
The combination between the mineral water and the clean mountain air which has made Velingrad a favorite place for many Bulgarian, as well as Russian tourists, is also a renowned resort for prophylactics of respiratory ailments.
The town, 150 km (93 miles) southeast of capital Sofia, boasts several four- and five-star hotels, and among them two which are certified by the European Spas Association.