«Interfax. Tourism», author: Evgeniya Romanova
The Kurortny District is sea air filled with phytoncides of coniferous trees growing right on the shore, many kilometers of sandy beaches, which have become a popular walking route for boarders (this is what vacationers were called in the 19th century). In summer, it is comfortable here, the air does not warm above 26 degrees C - ideal weather for those who do not like the too hot climate of Sochi or Crimea. In winter, the region is relatively warm, the average temperature is from 0 to -4. Today, several dozen accommodation facilities work here - from sanatoriums with a huge territory to small hotels.
Sestroretsk is famous for its especially healing air due to its increased ionization. And in combination with its own deposits of therapeutic mud and mineral water, there are ideal opportunities for climatotherapy. The first resort in Sestroretsk appeared in the 19th century; in 2018, its 120th anniversary was celebrated here. The resort quickly became popular among wealthy residents of Saint Petersburg, especially those who could not leave the city for a long time because of work. A sign of wealth was to have a dacha on the shores of the Gulf of Finland.
Thanks to this tradition, which has survived to this day, there are many famous dachas in the Sestroretsk district. In 1899, the artist Repin acquired a plot of land in Kuokkala, as this territory was called in Finnish at that time. Later, there will be built the «Penates» estate, named after the Roman gods-keepers of the hearth. Their images can be seen on the painted wooden gates of the estate, created according to a drawing by Repin. The estate has been a place of attraction for many creative people. Maksim Gorky, Korney Chukovsky, Mayakovsky, Yesenin, Leonid Andreev have been here.
The village of Komarovo is famous for the small summer residence of Anna Akhmatova, and in Sestroretsk there was a whole "Terijoki community" - a huge coastal strip built up with summer cottages, where scientists Mendeleev and Pavlov, writers Saltykov-Shchedrin and Blok hadlived in summer. In 1912, director Vsevolod Meyerhold took over the leadership of the local theater. Until 1939, the village of Terijoki was part of the Vyborg volost (Finland). Russian bohemians appreciated these places on the Baltic coast for their beneficial effects on health and beautiful nature, and medical tourism in the resort area is still very popular. The area has all the necessary infrastructure for a comfortable holiday in the countryside: sanatoriums, modern hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues.
Many resorts are included in the Safe Travels SPb program, which guarantees that services meet the requirements of sanitary and hygienic and safety standards. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, guests must provide a certificate of a negative coronavirus test and no contact with the sick in order to rest in sanatoriums. The health resorts claim that thanks to these precautions, it is safe to heal and rest here.
Almost all sanatoriums have rehabilitation programs for people who have had COVID-19, and these are some of the most popular programs today. So in the "Sestroretsk resort", one of the largest sanatoriums in the North-West of Russia, with a hundred-year history of balneo therapy and mud therapy, there is a state program for residents of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region. To relieve the burden on local hospitals, after pneumonia, patients from city medical institutions are sent here for free aftercare. The recovery program includes courses of breathing exercises, procedures aimed at strengthening the immune system and restoring the lungs.
Among the popular procedures of the sanatorium is hyperbaric oxygenation. During the 30-minuteprocedure, the patient is in a hyperbaric chamber with increased pressure and oxygen concentration. In addition to treating serious diseases, the procedure has a tonic and rejuvenating effect on the body, slows down the aging process. At the oldest resort, mineral water from the Gdovskiy horizon, rising from a depth of 180 meters, is used for treatment. This is used to treat gastritis, ulcers, inflammation of the gallbladder and liver, kidney disease, diabetes mellitus. The sanatorium has its own 25-meter pool with mineral water heated to 29 degrees. However, you can swim in such water for no more than half an hour.
Water from the same source is also used to treat patients in the White Nights Resort, one of the largest in the Kurortnydistrict, with an area of 33 hectares. They are proud of the huge Dutch greenhouses, which allow growing fresh greens all year round, and the Botanical Garden with rare plants.
In Soviet times, leaders of the party liked to rest here, and now "White Nights" is a popular holiday destination for famous artists. For accommodation, they prefer four-room suites with a separate entrance from the street. For people over 65, who were obliged to stay at home during the pandemic, a special program "Self-isolation of high comfort" was invented here. They are provided with accommodation in a double room for the price of a single room and delivery of breakfasts, lunches and dinners to the room to minimize contacts.
The trip voucher also includes a doctor's consultation, ECG, clinical tests, herbal tea, nordic walking. One of the methods of treatment is walking along the numerous health-improving hiking trails-terrenkur in a pine forest on the shores of the Gulf of Finland. The neighboring resort "Duny" has an even larger territory - 40 hectares. There are several residential buildings, a balneological hospital, summer houses on the shore of the bay, a golf course, detached cottages.
In the central living room of the resort "Leningradskaya", time seems to have stopped: a buffet, a winter garden, tapestry socialist realist canvases on the walls, coffered ceilings, woolen billiard tables. An exhibition of Leningrad porcelain is currently being held in the lobby of the resort. The spirit of the 80s reigns here, which is especially appreciated by filmmakers who have shot many films in this living room. One of the last Russian - "Salyut7".
The main direction of the resort is the treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Regular patients include athletes, dancers and the elderly. Rehabilitation programs include hippo therapy and adaptive horse riding to restore motor functions. At the nearby stable, they tell how a boy suffering from cerebral palsy, which his father was literally bringing in his arms to classes, after two years of constant exercise was able to sit on his own and even read poetry.
Resort "Chyornaya Rechka" is located 50 km from Saint Petersburg, in the village of Molodyozhnoe on Primorskoe highway. Its specialization is diseases of the cardiovascular system, here they treat and carry out rehabilitation after strokes, heart attacks and other cardiac diseases. The doctors of the resort constantly remind about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, giving up smoking and overeating.
The adaptive medicine clinic - X-clinic is one of the most fashionable on the shores of the Gulf of Finland. It was created by the same team as the popular "Kivach" clinic in Karelia. X-clinic offers programs of health improvement, detox and weight loss, anti-aging, consultations of a nutritionist and neuropsychologist, cosmetic procedures using modern equipment.
The First Line clinic in the village of Komarovo also specializes in health improvement and anti-aging programs. Clients are offered the creation of a genetic passport and a cell renewal program.
In Saint Petersburg, the "Medical Tourism Agency" was created with the support of the government. Anyone who wants to go to the resorts of the North-West region can apply here. By the end of 2020, an application that will allow you to choose the right resort or clinic in accordance with their profile, book a room and a course of treatment will be launched.
This article was written in a result of a series of 5 fact-finding press tours that were organized in the northern capital from November 28 to December 7, 2020. They were attended by 50 journalists and bloggers from different regions of Russia.
Photo: «Interfax. Tourism», author: Evgeniya Romanova, White Nights Resort