In the Southwest corner of the map of Bulgaria there is a special place. It is located very close to the highway connecting Bulgaria and Greece, two hours by car from Sofia. This place is the Specialized Rehabilitation Hospital in the small village of Marikostinovo.
I hadn’t heard of it until I got pain in my waist. My GP recommended it to me as one of the best in Bulgaria for the treatment of spine problems. I checked that it was relatively close to Sofia, prepared all the necessary medical documents and received a check-in date. It made a pleasant impression on me that compared to other sanatoriums in the country, they accepted here faster – up to a week or two after the initial call.
A friend told me that there was a new luxury hotel next to the sanatorium. It turned out that my entire eight-day stay in the sanatorium on a medical path financed by the Health Insurance Fund cost as much as half a night at the hotel in question. True, the conditions are different, but from the point of view of health, what I received in the sanatorium was much more.
In fact, the most important resource of Marikostinovo is the natural lake with mud and mineral water, around which the entire Specialized Hospital for Rehabilitation is built. The water is warm and you can enter the lake even in winter. It is recommended to stay there for 5 to 20 minutes a day. Small fish swim in the water and try to eat the skin of the visitors. In addition to mud therapy, there is also a center for physiotherapy, massages and underwater gymnastics. The procedures are suitable for diseases of the motor, genital and peripheral nervous systems.
It is 15 minutes by car to the nearby borders of Greece and the Republic of North Macedonia, as well as to another, much more famous balneological center in Bulgaria – the tourist town of Sandanski. But I like the peace and solitude of Marikostinovo better and I will definitely come again next year.