Just a few minutes from Tarragona, next to Tamarit and river Gaià’s mouth, there is a small natural piece of paradise: the Hort de la Sínia. Its first steps, 15 years ago, were bound to ecological agriculture and environmental education; values still very tangible thanks to Joan Vives. However, the country house offers, from the current season, new features and services, and it is starting to stand out due to the so-called Espai de Benestar (Welfare Area), a natural centre which combines balneotherapy techniques, natural and thermal cosmetics, therapeutic massages, and corporal and facial treatments made using medicinal herbs, so that anyone can enjoy their properties.
We could talk about homemade vegetable patches being rent out to families so that these can then seed –under the their advice– the season’s fruits and vegetables; about the different kinds of workshops available every month; about the ‘Garden of the senses’, where aromatic plants are grown for their future sale; or about the facilities themselves. On this post though, we are going to focus on the newest part of the Hort de la Sínia: the Welfare Area.
The Welfare Area, managed by Núria Cosialls, specialist in balneotherapy techniques and natural therapies, offers a variety of aromatic baths, that use medicinal plants so that anyone can make the most of their properties; mud baths, that will allow users taking advantage of the benefits of this natural product; pediluvis or footbaths, at various temperatures while making use of several aromatic plants; a sensorial path made by different types of stones and tree bark that will stimulate our feet sensations; a Finnish sauna –the jewel in the crown!– which will show how beneficial sweat can really be; and the shade of relaxation, an area where anyone can swing lying on a hammock surrounded by vegetation. Besides, the Welfare Area also has a spectacular yurt, the typical Mongolian tent, where therapeutic massages are performed.
Núria Cosialls, the coordinator of the area, highlights the fact that all facilities are outdoors, surrounded by nature, and that these are accessible to everyone, since the centre has been transformed to suit both people with reduced mobility or impaired vision or hearing. ‘It is an ideal place for anyone to forget about the everyday routine, relax and enjoy a welfare experience with the partner, family or friends, in a relaxing and private environment’, says Cosialls.
Aromatic baths will provide the experience of sinking one’s body in an ergonomic bathtub that will cause several sensations. Depending upon the medicinal plant chosen, users will get either a relaxing, stimulating, purifying, blood tonic, cold preventive or revitalizing effects.
Pediluvis will bring peace to users through their feet, by means of medicinal plants together with cold or warm water, or by alternating temperatures, depending on what is the condition to be treated. Núria recommends a combination of footbaths and a little barefoot walk along the sensorial path, or a foot reflexology massage.
Mud baths create a certain initial reticence, but after a first try, there is generally a great success. This is due to the multiple curative properties mud has. It erases toxins, it purifies our skin leaving a smooth sensation, it relieves inflammatory pains, it absorbs body heat, bringing a fresh feeling, and it provides a sedative and relaxing sensation.
The sauna-dome is an area of sweat which will make users get rid of toxins while getting a stress release. The sauna, Finnish and dry, is the jewel in the crown of the Welfare Area, and it was designed and built by architects still on their bioconstruction master’s degree. In the same way massages at the yurt are the most relaxing section of the route, the sauna-dome is the most energetic one. Thanks to its structure, one gets a sort of sensation, once in it, that reminds of going back into the womb and, at the same time, right into the earth’s core. For a correct use of the sauna-dome, Núria recommends a combination of 5 minutes in, and brief uses of the cold water sink.
Each welfare tour –all in the same day are not allowed, since that would produce too many body stimuli– has a duration of 60 minutes.
How to get there?
Take the AP-7 motorway. Then take Slip road 32 (Altafulla-Torredembarra). Continue on the N-340 A-road towards Altafulla. Take the road towards Tamarit on the right, and before Tamarit Campsite’s reception, take an unpaved road on the left that will get to the actual area. There is a sign that says ‘Espai Natural desembocadura riu Gaià – L’Hort de la Sínia‘.
Altafulla-Tamarit station. 20 minutes away on foot along the beach.
L9, Aiguamolls del Gaià stop. 10 minutes away on foot towards the beach.
Línia Penedès, Altafulla petrol-station stop. 10 minutes away on foot towards the beach.
Timetable and reservations:
Welfare routes, massages and treatments: Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 2pm & 6pm to 8pm.
Prior reservations are mandatory: (0034) 655 486 115 / (0034) 655 388 578
30′ massage —– 25€
60′ massage —– 35/40€
Facial and corporal treatments —– 40€
2.- MUD BATHS
Mud treatment (60′) —– 20€
Massage (30′) + Mud bath —– 42€
Massage (60′) + Mud bath —– 52€
Relaxation area (20′)
Sensorial path (10′)
3.- AROMATIC BATHS
Corporal bath using medicinal plants (30′) —– 20€
Massage (30′) + Aromatic bath —– 42€
Massage (60′) + Aromatic bath —– 52€
Relaxation area (30′)
Footbaths using medicinal plants (30′) —– 20€
Massage (30′) + Footbath —– 42€
Massage (60′) + Footbath —– 52€
Relaxation Area (30′)
Sensorial Path (20′)
Sauna (60′) —– 20€
Massage (30′) + Sauna —– 42€
Massage (60′) + Sauna —– 52€
Relaxation Area (20′)
Sensorial Path (10′)
6.- SENSORIAL PATH AND RELAXATION AREA
Access to these areas is included in the above mentioned services. Users can still make use of these last 2 services at a price of 6€ each.
Mention of the Hort de la Sínia at the TV show ‘GR’ (TV3, Catalan TV – minutes 15:25 to 22:45)