Harkány: a thermal remedy for 200 years

Vivi Bencze | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Every country has its own national values that its citizens can be proud of and that the nation is famous for. For the Belgians, there are chocolate and beer, for the French there are lavender and Riviera, for the Italian there are pizza and art, among others. Being a Hungarian girl, my very first choice to your question, that goes “What’s your country’s biggest national treasure?” would be this: thermal water. There are several more examples of what Hungary can be known for to a foreign person, such as wines and one of the most beautiful capitals, yet, I would stick to thermal water and spas. Previously, I already introduced you one of the finest spas in my country, which is situated in Zalakaros, but there are plenty more places in Hungary, where you can replenish your vitality. My current recommendation can be found in Harkány, close to the Croatian border, and it has a reputation of a legendary thermal remedy for 200 years indeed.

© Photo credits to vatera.hu

Found by accident

The usage of the thermal water in Harkány, a little captivating Hungarian town with a population of slightly more than 4000 citizens, originates at the beginning of the 19th century. In the 1820s, increased demand for feeding the local cattle resulted in the necessity of draining all the marshy areas of land. During the transformation works of the appointed territories, in 1823, certain János Pogány, an ordinary worker, discovered that hot water breaks up from below. Although his co-workers weren’t roused by the fact of finding water, they were immediately perked up by the surprise when Pogány’s sore leg recovered after soaking it for a while in the pleasant, warm and sulphurous water found by accident.

© Photo credits to Zsolt Varga

Ever since Harkány is a thermal paradise

In the upcoming year, the construction of the spa’s building had already begun, and ever since Harkány is a thermal paradise – one of the many in Hungary’s unique selection. Today, it's called Harkányfürdő or if you like Spa Harkány. Over long decades, the thermal spa’s reputation has already been highly acknowledged even in the medical circles. As time passed, the interest in Harkány’s miracle water kept increasing, and as a consequence, it was inevitable to create as many hotels and accommodations as possible. Nowadays, there are countless alternatives for booking any kind of room that suits you, starting with cheaper guest houses to 4-star hotels. Providing thermal water with a temperature of 62 degrees Celsius, that even needs to be cooled down, Harkányfürdő can be visited all year round.

The location of the city of Harkány allows the visitor to discover even more than the beneficial effects of the thermal water, which for 200 years now counts as a true remedy for all those who suffer from rheumatic pain. On the one hand, Pécs, Hungary’s fifth biggest city is only 25 mins, while on the other hand, Osijek, Croatia’s “greenest” city is only 1 hour from here. In the latter one, my fellow editor, Marko Radojevic will show you what to do within 24 hours.

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