Taking a Seaweed Bath in Strandhill, County Sligo
Climbing to the top of a wet and foggy Croagh Patrick on Monday qualified this morning’s hike from the beach at Strandhill to the summit of Knocknarea Mountain a cake walk. Even with the the rain pouring down for the last bit of today’s journey, the hike had country roads most of the way and a decent path all the way to the top!
There was one personal highlight from the climb… I met Kim and her family from upstate New York. She’s a regular follower of the blog. Imagine my surprise when she asked, “Are you Corey?” She’s promised to send us pictures from their trip… I’ll be sure to post them when they arrive.
Now Back to that Climb and the Seaweed Bath in Strandhill
Although the climb wasn’t strenuous, I figured I earned a bit of pampering. So when I returned to Strandhill, I peeled out of my dripping wet clothes and slid into a steaming hot bath of seaweed and sea water at Voya Seaweed Baths. The place looks like a modern spa, but the tradition in Sligo goes back well over 100 years when most seaside towns boasted the healing benefits of their bath houses.
My bath began with ten minutes in the private shower/steam room to open my pores, followed by a long soak in the old-fashioned claw-foot bathtub. The sea water in the tub felt slimy at first, and I opted for scooping up the long strands of seaweed and laying them across my chest rather than sitting on the pile of leafy Atlantic greens.
Once I got over the peculiarity of the whole scene, I quickly began to relax. The staff would say that was the treatment’s “detoxifying” characteristics taking affect. I just called it peaceful.
Gotta say, this is one experience I wouldn’t have considered if the women at the Sligo Tourist Office hadn’t talked so highly of it. Plus, I had it in my head that it was one of those things for a “girls day out.” Imagine my surprise when I spotted more men at the bath this afternoon than women. It’s clearly popular with athletes, people with joint and muscle problems, day spa goers and curious tourists like myself.
So there you have it… an Irish seaweed bath. It’s €25, so it’s much less expensive than spa treatments elsewhere, and it’s a very interesting experience indeed. I should also note they have a whole line of spa experiences and skincare products. I’ve got some video I’ll share from the bath, but it’ll take a bit to edit. Also want to thank Neil from Voya for taking the time to chat with me… he also picked up the tab on my bath as well – thanks for that.
Here’s are some pics from Sligo…