Sovata – A Resort Town with History
Discover this unique Romanian thermal spa
Sovata is one of the most beautiful health spas in Romania. Located in the picturesque heart of Transylvania, surrounded by a salt basin, lush pine forests, and majestic mountains, it offers endless options for healing and relaxation.
Millions of years ago, Sovata’s current location was a lagoon in which salt washed in from the sea. The first written accounts of the healing effects of the region’s salty water date all the way back to 1596, and the town of Sovata was first mentioned in 1581. It is named after the Szováts, a noble Szekely-family that ruled the area.
In the second half of the 19th century, a sinkhole collapsed and formed a nearly five-hectare wide lake, known as Lacul Ursu, or Bear Lake. It is the largest heliothermic lake in Europe and is characterised by its deeper layers of water being warmer than those near the surface. Its salty water stores the heat of the sun, turning the lake into a natural, heated saltwater pool. The high salt content also means swimmers can float on the surface of the water, which gave the lake its nickname of the “Transylvanian Dead Sea”. This distinction, as well as the therapeutic power of the water, soon drew visitors. In 1882, the first 200 visitors were recorded.