The Resort That’s 135 Metres Underground: Wieliczka Salt Mines

135 metres underground the Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow, Poland, is a unique resort reaping the benefits of their salt chambers, thanks to their beneficial microclimate. Here, there is an exceptional bacteriological purity of the air, a complete absence of allergens and pollutants and a high level of ionisation. Perfect for those with respiratory issues and allergic ailments, escape to Wieliczka, where underground chapels, lakes and salt chandeliers await you!

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the oldest salt mine in operation. The Mine is located less than 25 minutes from Krakow, with good transport links from the city.
Wieliczka was built in the 13th century and continued to produce table salt up until 2007. The mine consists of 9 levels with a depth of 327 metres and a length of 300 km, and the tour only covers 2% of the mine due to its huge scale.

The Salt Mine was the location for the world’s first underground bungee jump and also the first underground hot air balloon flight. Visited by over 1.2 million people every year, the mine is visually stunning and the experience of the tour is unforgettable. Why not stay?

It’s exactly what the Wieliczka Salt Mine offers! Spending the night in an authentic salt chamber will bring you unforgettable emotions. Everything is completely different underground, time passes more slowly, the air is clean and saturated with minerals, you can quiet down, regain your balance and discover the secrets of underground Wieliczka. Most popular however, are the Wieliczka walking tours.

Walking the Mines – The Tourist Route

You will admire landscapes that can’t be found on the surface: saline lakes and beautiful underground chambers, including the unique St Kinga’s Chapel. You will also learn about old mining tools, machines and the methods of salt extraction and transport used in the past. We weren’t kidding when we said there’s chandeliers made of salt, too.

The tour is available for people of all ages and does not require above-average physical condition, but it is worth bearing in mind that there are more than 800 steps to climb. The overall tour takes around 2-3 hours.

Tickets for this experience are €30, and to book visit wieliczka-saltmine.com.

The Miners’ Route

For those looking for more of a challenge, you can turn from tourist to novice miner. Discover the underground trade, overcome darkness by means of a lamp, and prepare yourself for the extraordinary and unforgettable adventure that awaits you. The Miners’ Route will make your blood flow faster and awaken your senses!

During the tour, you will wander through the underground salt labyrinth, exploring the mysterious and raw chambers around the oldest preserved Regis Shaft.

Tasks also await you, such as searching for salt, testing the air in the mine and finding the right route underground. By performing practical mining tasks, you will get to know the work of representatives of old mining professions, such as methane tester and mining carpenter.

This tour takes 3 hours. Tickets for this experience are €30, and to book visit wieliczka-saltmine.com.

The Health Resort

The Health Resort is a medical centre unique on a global scale, and it is the only facility in Poland where treatment and rehabilitation of the respiratory system is complemented with treatments based on natural brine from the local salt deposit, located at a depth of 255 m.  

Currently, subterraneotherapy, apart from using the natural therapeutic resource of the underground salt chamber microclimate, is also based on active rehabilitation of the respiratory system under the supervision of a team of doctors and medical rehabilitation specialists. The main tools used in this respiratory rehabilitation are breathing exercises, based on the teaching of proper breathing and exercises of respiratory muscles and diaphragm.  Pro-health education is also important in order to achieve the intended rehabilitation goals.

So, how does it work? The microclimate affects the entire body through stimuli, it also has a more localised effect in the respiratory tract thanks to isolation from allergens, irritants and harmful substances. The high concentration of aerosolised NaCL present in the underground spaces stimulates motor and secretory function of the respiratory tract epithelium, and it is also conducive for their cleaning and moisturising.

The Chambers at the Health Resort

Smok Chamber

The Smok Chamber features a kinesiotherapy room with physiotherapy equipment used during exercise sessions and a modern inhalation room.

Wessel Lake Chamber

The main attraction of the chamber is a lake filled with natural Wieliczka brine. Around the lake there are separate places for group and individual exercises and relaxation.

Boczkowski Chamber

The Boczkowski Chamber, which has unique aesthetic values as the only leaching chamber made available in the Wieliczka Salt Mine, has been arranged as a place for relaxation.

Eastern Mountain Stable Chamber

The Eastern Mountain Stable Chamber has two zones – in the first one, patients relax and inhale at a graduation tower. The second is designed as accommodation for up 28 people. The chamber is equipped with exercise equipment.

Daytime Stays

Wieliczka offer daytime stays, where you can attend for 4-21 days. This daytime therapy involves spending 2,5 hours in the salt chambers and aims to improve the quality of life of patients by alleviating symptoms and fear of shortness of breath. The treatment is active, adapted to the needs and possibilities of the patients. The treatment programme includes respiratory gymnastics and physiotherapeutic treatments, maximising the healing effect.

For more information on daytime stays, visit this page.

COVID-19 Rehabilitation Stays

For those who contracted COVID-19 and after recovering are still experiencing negative health effects – fatigue, lower exercise tolerance, low mood, lack of energy, Wieliczka have a dedicated COVID-19 rehabilitation programme. You can find details on it here.

It’s important to note, however, that stays longer than 3 days/nights require a few medical tests to be completed before arrival. You can find a list of requirements here.

‘Healthy Sleep’ Overnight Accommodation

If a stay of a couple days underground sounds a little bit too long for you, Wieliczka offer single overnight accommodation, as well as 1-3 day packages. Same health benefits, less time spent underground! Two chambers are available for this type of stay.

Słowacki Chamber

Wieliczka offers overnight accommodation in the Słowacki Chamber on Level 3 of the Mine. The accommodation complex consists of a recreational area (where you can relax, play dexterity games or read a book) and an accommodation area, with 48 comfortable beds. Spacious bathrooms are also at the guests’ disposal!

Eastern Mountain Stables Chamber

The Eastern Mountain Stables Chamber is an authentic stable, in which horses, working hard in the excavations of the Wieliczka Salt Mine, were still housed in the 20th century. Today, tourists and visitors who want to experience a peaceful and comfortable sleep in the healing microclimate of salt workings are invited to this unique place.

How to Get There

Ryanair flies from Dublin to Krakow on a daily basis, and from there you can take a 25-40 minute bus, train, or taxi to Wieliczka.

To organise your visit to the mines, whether you’re going for a tour of the chambers or staying overnight, visit wieliczka-saltmine.com, but remember…if you end up visiting; it’s tradition to give the walls a lick!


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