The tasteful csárdásc of southern Slovakia

Are you attracted to the lively south, warmed by the sun's rays, where aromatic spices are not spared in the kitchen? Head to the restaurant in the baroque Château Bela, where luxury and tradition meet on the plate. In the picturesque village of Belá, not far from Štúrovo, you will feel like you are in the Tuscany countryside with a glass of quality wine.

The surroundings of the mansion, which won the title of the most romantic historical hotel in Europe in 2018, will convince you that they are serious about honest gastronomy here. In the spacious English park, in addition to three ponds and a refreshing fountain, you will also find a herb and vegetable garden, thanks to which the poetic touch of the environment full of colors and smells is deliciously projected onto the table. In the Baldacci restaurant, where regional ingredients are combined with the latest gastronomic trends, in addition to crops grown by hand, they will also serve game from their hunts. Try how thyme makes roasted duck breast flavorful and how rosemary enhances the taste of beef fillet with goose liver. Typical regional dishes are best enjoyed on the terrace overlooking the courtyard of the mansion. They will certainly not lack the phenomenal žitavská paprika (Žitavy red pepper). The exceptionality and high quality of the orange-red pepper, which has the nickname Žitava "Ferrari", was recognized by the EU as a protected designation of origin. For more than 100 years, the gourmet delicacy has been mixed and processed from purely Slovak varieties of paprika grown on the Danube Plain. It will enchant you with the fresh smell of vegetables with a hint of capsicum and a distinct sweet taste without a trace of bitterness, which distinguishes it from dark red southern paprika.

In the restaurant, in addition to classic world-famous wines, you will also be offered wines of their brand, which are synonymous with the highest quality. Rhine Riesling produced by Château Belá (berry selection, the year 2001) was even included in the TOP 10 European wines by European sommeliers. You can also order wines from Bela in some of the leading restaurants in New York, Tokyo, or Paris. However, they are said to taste best in the 300-year-old wine cellar in the heart of the manor, where renowned winemaker Miroslav Petrech will make your tasting enjoyment. In the pleasant atmosphere of the Lobby bar, the barman will mix you a refreshing cocktail and offer you premium distillates, including delicious whiskey and rum from all around the world. You can end a day full of experiences in the hotel cinema or the wellness center with a massage and sauna. The wellness center also has an outdoor pool with a dazzling view. All you have to do is stay in one of the dozens of exclusive rooms and suites. The surroundings of the chateau are perfect for picnic, pleasant walks, an invigorating morning run, a few tennis sets, or calm fishing.

Take advantage of the fact that Belá is only 10 km away from the town of Štúrovo, which boasts the largest number of sunny days throughout the year in the country. Refresh yourself here at Vadaš Thermal Resort, the largest thermal swimming pool in Slovakia. Its water is rich in healthy minerals, which your muscles, joints, and spine will especially appreciate. You can experience the beneficial effects of thermal "gold" in each of the eight outdoor and five indoor pools. There is also a lagoon with artificial waves, an oasis with a wild and slow river, a toboggan and rope park, or a bounded nudist beach with its pool. Thanks to the location of Štúrovo on the Slovakian-Hungarian border, you are within easy reach of important cultural and historical monuments of both countries. You can easily reach the neighboring Esztergom, where one of the largest basilicas in Europe is located, across the Marie Valerie Bridge in Štúrovo. If want to walk through the forest, head to the smallest Slovak mountain range named Burda, which will win you over with its magical gorges and spectacular view of the picturesque bend of the Danube river.

Photo: Vadaš Thermal Resort Štúrovo

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