The hot jar, or «chan» in Ukrainian, is a spa treatment with unique heating that is spread in Transcaprpathians. For those who don't know how «chan» works, it may look a bit terrifying: people get in a cast-iron vat placed on the fire. However, it's not as dangerous as it seems. The temperature in the hot jar reaches the maximum of 45 degrees Celsius, and river stones put on the bottom of jar prevent burns.
The tradition originates from Austria-Hungary, where hot jars have been used as a way to prepare the body before going into a hot spring. As for the Carpathians, hot jars are usually popular for relaxation and treatment of deep-rooted muscle knots, insomnia and psychological stress. Often a decoction of local medical herbs is put in the water for a pleasant aroma.
Oberig in Vorokhta
Often regarded as the Hutsul capital, Vorokhta is also among the most booked ski resorts in winter. However, the village is much more than just a skiing spot: it is home for numerous hiking trails, historical spots and unique Hutsul culture. Besides, it's also a renowned place to enjoy the Carpathian «chan». Oberig hotel is one of the most booked venues in Vorokhta on Booking.com.
The hotel lies in about 20 kilometers from the Bukovel ski resort and has different types of accommodation options that can suit large companies or couples. As for the hot jar, the hotel has one «chan» that can host up to 5 people. Water is preheated three hours before the guests and can be infused with the Carpathian herbs or pine. The price for two hours is UAH 600. You can find more information about the availability at oberig.net in English.
Address: 37A, Bohdana Khmelnitskoho, Vorokhta, Ivano-Frankivsk region
Turyanskyi Dvir near Uzhhorod
In 50 kilometers from Uzhhorod lies Turyanskyi Dvir - a private estate with cottages and a restaurant serving traditional Carpathian and Hungarian dishes. The famous Carpathian tea with local herbs and honey is also served here as a part of the treatment. The famous feature of the estate is treatment in hot jars - Perechyn chans filled with pure mountain water, local herbs and special ingredients kept in secret by the owners.
Guests are offered to take an open-air bath in a huge cast-iron «chan», where the water temperature reaches about 40 degrees Celsius. Afterward, you can submerge in the nearby mountain lake. The hot jar spa treatment costs UAH 500 per hour. Turyanskyi Dvir is placed perfectly to discover the wonders of the region: Vojvodina waterfall, Mukachevo castle «Palanok», as well as numerous ski resorts. You can find more details at turdvir.com.ua in English.
Address: Turya Polyana village, Perechin region, Transcarpathia
Wild buddy's vat in Lumshory
The history of hot jars in Lumshory village dates back to the 17th century when according to a local legend, one of the dwellers found an iron cast left by the Austrians and essentially rebooted the industry in the region. Nowadays, Lumshory is one of the most-visited hot jar spa spots in the Carpathians. The owners of Wild buddy’s vat estate suggest taking a bath in the cold spring after treatment in the hot jar, as the temperature fluctuation keeps the body relaxed and has a favorable effect on the skin.
If you’re traveling with a company, consider the large «chan» installed at the estate - it can hold up to 15 people at once. The price for a small «chan» that hosts 6-8 people is UAH 600 per hour and UAH 800 per hour for a larger one that hosts 8-12 people. You can choose one of the 17 fully-furnished rooms and dine at the local restaurant that offers traditional Ukrainian dishes. The discounts are available if you plan to stay 5 or more days. You can find out the details at chanucimbora.com/eng.
Address: 9 Lakeside street, Lumshory, Transcarpathian district
Karpatsky Ray in Sheshory
Karpatsky Ray, which means "Carpathian Paradise", is a cottage complex surrounded by the green forests of Hutsulshchyna national nature park. The complex is located in Sheshory village, one of the popular resorts of the area. The accommodation options can satisfy large companies or couples: there are two houses and a classic triple room available at Karpatsky Ray.
The local cafe offers various kinds of breakfast from Continental and Italian to vegetarian and American. The hot jar spa here is prepared with Carpathian herbs. Like in other locations, at Karpatsky Ray guests are offered to cool down in an artificial pond after the treatment. The price for two hours in a jar that hosts 6-8 people is UAH 1000, each next hour will cost UAH 400. The detailed information about the venue is available at Booking.com.
Address: 74, Chornovola Street, Sheshory
Ungvarskiy Hotel in Uzhhorod
Ungvarskiy hotel is one of the oldest venues in Transcarpathia. It was opened in 1876 by a local couple, Johan and Ilona Artogi, and was often visited by numerous noble families of 19th-century Europe. Besides, the hotel is located next to Pidzamkoviy park filled with spruce, pine trees and elms. The hotel has 44 rooms that range from standard to suites. The same-named restaurant serves the traditional dishes of Carpathian cuisine and offers degustations of Transcarpathian wines, liquor, honey, and cheese.
The hot jar spa here is called «kupil» and is located 6 meters underground. The balance of perfect temperature and heat fluctuation lets the muscles relax fully. Two hours in a «kupil» for 1-4 people will cost UAH 1400 and three hours for 5-6 people will cost UAH 2100. Note that the prices will go up during the Christmas season. You can view the full price list at ungvarskiy-hotel.com.ua in English.
Address: 29, Elektrozavodska Street, Uzhhorod
Myslyvska Sadyba in Lumshory village
Myslyvska Sadyba located in the Lumshory village has three cottages with five rooms each, as well as Russian sauna and, of course, hot «chan». After relaxing in a hot jar filled with Carpathian herbs, guests can cool down in a mountain river that flows nearby. The water and herb mix formula is calculated individually depending on the guest's age and health peculiarities. Apart from relaxing in a hot jar, visitors also have a chance to go hiking to the nearby waterfalls, visit the 18th-century wooden church in Likitsary village and enjoy specials of Carpathian cuisine in the local restaurant.
There are three hot jars on the premises of Myslyvska Sadyba. The prices for 1 hour start at UAH 500 depending on the jar's capacity. The smallest «chan» for 4-6 costs UAH 500 per hour, a bigger one for 7-9 people - UAH 700, and the biggest in Zakarpattia hosting up to 12 people, is UAH 900 per hour. You can contact the venue to check the availability at avchan.com.ua.
Address: 1, Luhova Street, Lumshory village
Bukovelsky Chany in Bukovel
Bukovel is, without doubts, the most famous Carpathian resort that lies in the Ivano Frankivsk region, surrounded by five mountains. Usually, it's filled to brim in winter and booked long before the start of the new ski season. Luckily, hot jar spa in Bukovel is available around the year. One of the popular spots, Bukovelsky «chany», is located in the very center of the resort on the picturesque bank of the Prutets River. Besides, a Ukrainian cuisine restaurant Kozachok lies right near for those who want to explore local dishes.
The venue has two hot jars - a small that can host up to 5 people and a large one for a bigger company. Both are based on spring water from the local sources. Visitors are offered fragrant Carpathian tea with honey to finish the relaxing treatment. Hookah fans may enjoy one in a lounge area. In 2017, the price for 1 hour started at UAH 780 in a small «chan» and UAH 1280 in a large one. You can contact the venue to check the availability and current prices at chany.if.ua.
Address: Bukovel, Polyanytsya, Ivano-Frankivsk region
The following list is the editor's choice. All businesses are mentioned in a random order.
Photo sources: Facebook and websites of businesses mentioned above. All images belong to their rightful authors.