Salt was once so precious that Roman dignitaries used it as currency when they had to pay interest on their countrymen’s ears. Come to praise today’s Groupon, not bury it: for $35, you get five 45-minute salt-cave sessions at Galos Caves (up to a $70 value).
Galos Caves’ heated salt caves take advantage of the relaxing and healing attributes of Black Sea salt, a fact which has earned the spa a salute from Time magazine. Amidst stalactites and salt statues of sea life, unshod guests relax in recliners, on blankets, or on oversize salt shakers left over since Paul Bunyan was diagnosed with high blood pressure. The Blog that Works reports that the air tastes faintly of salt as it travels into the respiratory system, helping to relieve the symptoms of colds, allergies, and asthma. Salt’s natural anti-inflammatory properties also stimulate the immune system, which protects overall health the way a sneeze-guard protects the Constitution. According to Time magazine, one woman’s doctors vowed her surgery scars are “healing better and faster” since she began regularly attending salt-cave sessions.
Sessions begin on the hour every hour and last 45 minutes. Clients know when it’s time to leave by the glow of colored lights along the floor, which illuminate the seashells and vacationing hermit crabs that dot the rolling hills of salt.
Children younger than 3 are admitted free of charge, and kids ages 4–12 would normally pay $35 for five sessions.
The air is tinged with the smell and taste of salt. Stalactites of salt dangle from the ceiling, and the floor crunches as the group walks through inches of rock salt. After taking a seat, soft music plays and the lights dim while the group relaxes and breathes in the healing salt air. This routine plays out several times a day inside Galos Caves' artificial sea microclimate, which earned it a nod in Time magazine. Using 100% Black Sea salt, the cave's air is laden with the negative ions of salt, which are thought to treat respiratory diseases, digestive tract problems, and dermatological blemishes. From asthma to rheumatic disease, the salt can help the body alleviate the more troubling symptoms of myriad conditions, and the relaxed atmosphere helps remove stress. Kids are welcome in the serene environment, and the staff gives children toys such as shovels, Frisbees, rakes, and plastic french fries to play with in the crystals.