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How to Live Rikli’s Way

Arnold Rikli - Pioneer of Natural Healing in Bled, and originator of atmospheric healing

Arnold Rikli (1823-1906) discovered Bled by recommendation from his uncle Moser, director of the red dyehouse in Ajdovščina, who recommended the hidden gem of the Slovenian Alps as a place for him to gather his strength while recovering from a serious illness. Upon his very first visit in 1852, he was fascinated by the freshness of the air, the purity of the lake, the mild Alpine climate, and the stunning view of the Julian Alps, all of which restored his vitality. He took advantage of the natural resources here, and set up a natural healing institution in which he treated thousands of patients in later years. For the first 10 years, he worked as a hydropathist, but when he noticed that cold water was too aggressive, especially for patients with more severe ailments, he began to introduce milder methods, such as light, air and sun baths. He later used water only as an additional element for hardening, or so-called contrasting of opposites. As the founder of atmospheric health treatment, he also takes most of the credit for starting organised spa tourism in Bled.
Photo: Turizem Bled

Beneficial Power of Air, Water and Sun

In order to improve his well-being, he relied on the natural elements of Bled - air, water, and sun. He advocated plenty of exercise in fresh air, a moderate but quality vegetarian diet, and invigorating sleep. Living Rikli’s way means getting up before sunrise, drinking fresh Bled water on an empty stomach, walking barefoot on a meadow covered with morning dew, enjoying light meals, swimming, sunbathing, as well as plenty of walking and hiking in the fresh alpine air.

200th anniversary of the birth of Arnold Rikli

In 2023, on February 13th to be precise, we are set to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Arnold Rikli, who greatly influenced the development of spa health treatments in Bled. On this venerable anniversary, we at the Rikli Balance Hotel will pay tribute to him in many different ways, with special attention also being paid to the Swiss healer by the Bled Municipality, which is further developing Rikli's hiking trails and publications about his legacy.

Learn more about the ARikli app, which combines all of Rikli's hiking trails.

Photo: Boris Pretnar,

The Rikli Balance Hotel – Tradition and Local Stories in the Service of Wellbeing

The very name, Rikli Balance Hotel, already hints at the story of the local environment’s rich wellness tradition, started by the pioneer of natural healing in Bled - Arnold Rikli. In addition to his story, the hotel rooms also tell the stories of the Carniolan honey bees, traditional Gorenjska embroidery, gingerbread hearts and spruces from the nearby Pokljuka plateau. Discover local and traditional dishes in our restaurants, and relax in the wellness centre by treating yourself to alpine and honey treatments. If you want to take advantage of the beneficial effects of nature and recharge your batteries with the goal of better health and well-being, the Rikli Balance Hotel is perfect for you.

Rikli's nutritional advice by month

Arnold Rikli was a proponent of ascetic and vegetarian diets. His menu was composed from local, fresh, healthy ingredients. In order for his patients to be able to follow his healthy dietary guidelines at home, he also published a special vegetarian cookbook that contained a menu for the whole year. You can read here which foods he recommended for individual months.


    Soups, porridges and potato pancakes, turnips and cabbage, barley, lentils and beans in soups, purees and porridges. Compotes from various fruits such as plums, peaches, and cherries.


    Soups and purees from cauliflower, dried beans and fennel, semolina porridge or soup, buckwheat žganci. Desserts include rice with apples, apple and potato rolls, pear or blueberry compote.


    Soups, porridges, and sauces made from spinach, barley or horseradish. Pancakes or waffles, lamb’s lettuce salads, broccoli and radish. For dessert, poppy seed rolls, or a wasp's nest with various compotes.


    Roast potatoes, potato rolls, or diced potatoes with butter. Head lettuce with eggs, soup with oatmeal, white turnip. Apple cake or walnut strudel with plum compote.

  • MAY

    Young lettuce, pickled turnip, millet or lentil soup. Polenta with cheese, thick sour milk, fresh kohlrabi, peas and carrots. Spinach or cheese strudel with rosehip, cornelian cherry, or medlar sauce.

  • JUNE

    Yellow kohlrabi, potato žganci, corn pudding and herbal spätzle. Roasted sage leaves, courgettes, and head lettuce. Elderberry pockets, or pancakes with cranberry compote.

  • JULY

    Green beans, ločika (lettuce), beetroot, and sugar snap peas. Macaroni with tomato sauce, steamed cucumbers. Rice porridge or rice dumplings with cherry compote.


    Swiss chard, spinach, courgettes, white roast potatoes, various vegetable soups and pickled beets. Semolina pudding or buckwheat pudding with raspberry sauce.


    Potato žganci, wide noodles, yellow kohlrabi, peas and pickles. Barley or bean soup, pancakes or rice porridge with apple compote.


    Pickled turnips, pea puree, brown semolina soup and potato dumplings. Mixed salad and mashed potato. Cake made from milk spätzle or water spätzle, with cheese and apple compote.


    White turnip, fresh peas with rice, sauerkraut. Potato pancakes or porridge, lentil soup. Strudel with sour cream and tomato sauce. Oven-baked pockets, or poppy seed roll with cherry sauce.


    Endive or watercress salad, buckwheat žganci with tomato sauce, boiled potatoes with cheese or chestnuts. Milk rice or rice with apples and applesauce.

Gastronomy Rikli’s Way at the Rikli Balance Hotel

Arnold Rikli was a proponent of ascetic and vegetarian diets. His menu consisted of local, fresh and healthy ingredients, which can also be found at the Rikli Balance Hotel restaurant. Some of the foods approved by Rikli himself that you can find on our breakfast and dinner menus are:


Nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds)
Millet groats with dried fruit
Local cheeses (Bobek, Planika, Blejski)
Semolina porridge
Fresh local fruit
French toast
Dried fruits (prunes, dried apples, dried pears)
Oatmeal with honey
Local yogurt
Prnikar's cottage cheese
Rice pudding
Semolina pudding with roasted almonds and raisins


Potato soup
Pea soup
Bean soup
Spinach cannelloni
Potato with cream
Buckwheat porridge with porcini mushrooms
Corn polenta (from Bohinj "trdinka" corn) with cottage cheese
Apple strudel
Fruit compotes (pear, apricot, plum, cherry)
Hash browns
Plum cake
Barley soup
Lentil soup
Boiled and roasted vegetables
Traditional dumplings with cottage cheese
Potato rolls
Pot barley with vegetables
Spelt porridge with leeks and tomatoes
Sour cherry strudel
Rikli’s vegetable soup
Potato "štrukelj" (rolled dumpling)

Vegetarian menu according to Arnold Rikli at the Julijana Restaurant

You can try the vegetarian menu according to Arnold Rikli at the Julijana Restaurant in Grand Hotel Toplice, starting on 8 April 2022. In addition to superb dishes made from seasonal vegetables, the menu also features many delicious desserts. 

The Rikli Regeneration Room at the Rikli Balance Hotel

The Rikli regeneration room was designed to offer a soothing environment for total relaxation and regeneration. 100% natural materials such as wool and wood are used for comfort, while chromotherapy with red, white, blue and green light has a cleansing, relaxing, harmonising and reinvigorating effect. Some of the Rikli regeneration rooms have moss on the wall to purify the air and contribute to the total regeneration of the body and the spirit.

Rikli’s Relaxation Park

Rikli’s relaxation park, located in the close vicinity of the Rikli Balance Hotel, is meant for you to slow down the rhythm of life and take a few moments for your well-being. Reduce your stress levels and worries by walking on Rikli’s barefoot path, trade in your everyday problems for nature’s green embrace, hug a tree and restore your health. By practising yoga in the wonderful environment of the park, you will calm your thoughts, relax your body, and regain well-being. You can also relax on the rocking chairs and benches. 

Additional experiences according to Rikli's tradition

  • Rijkli’s bread

    Arnold Rikli was a proponent of an ascetic and vegetarian diet with fresh, high-quality food.  One of the foods he liked to recommend to his followers was “Rijkli’s bread”, as his patients called it. Because of rye flour’s high nutritional value and fibre content, and very low starch and gluten content, the bread had a positive effect on alleviating the intestinal problems of his patients. We make the modern version of “Rijkli’s bread” with sourdough starter, which is why it is easier to digest, has a lower glycaemic index, and has a beneficial effect on the intestinal mucosa. You can buy it at the Aperitiv Bar in the lobby of the Rikli Balance Hotel.

  • Rikli’s Day Ritual at Wellness Živa

    The Rikli’s Day Ritual is a programme for complete relaxation and regeneration of body and mind, modelled after Rikli’s best methods of natural healing. It includes unlimited access to saunas with pools, towels, sheets, tea and water, a selected herbal peeling in the sauna, a healthy meal in the hotel’s Aperitiv Bar, a 50-minute spruce tip massage  based on the essential oils that release from special spruce tip bundles at high temperatures (tapping the warm spruce tip bundles on the body has a beneficial and relaxing effect), a healthy drink in the relaxation room, and a surprise gift.

  • Rikli's bath

    Treat yourself to a special experience in the wellness centre - a 40-minute Rikli's bath, where we mix in an emulsion of your choice (water, sun, wind). The bath fills your body and soul with the energy of nature. It was designed following Rikli's hydropathic methods of healing, which have a beneficial effect on our well-being.

  • "Rikli’s Guided Exercise"
    "Rikli's Guided Exercise" is exercise according Arnold Rikli’s concepts, which can be arranged upon guests’ request. It's divided into morning - Awakening of the Body Rikli’s Way (between 8 and 9 am) - and afternoon  - Rikli's Sleep Preparation (between 6 and 7 pm) - sessions. We took inspiration from Rikli’s wisdom, crafted a carefully prepared programme, and adapted it to fit the stressful modern lifestyle, in order to comprehensively connect ourselves with our body and nature. The programmes are performed in Rikli's Relaxation Park.
    Photo: FITT+ Holistični pristopi h gibanju 

  • Individual Guided Exercise for Individuals, Couples, or Families
    Our trainer, Barbara, has prepared special programmes for individuals, couples, or families who would like additional exercise, which can be booked at a surcharge. Every hour of movement in the fresh air under her watchful eye ends with a relaxing treatment, and for anyone under higher levels of stress, we suggest you try her unique relaxing treatment with tuning forks. Sound therapy will help to deeply relax and balance your body, mind, and soul. 
    Photo: FITT+ Holistični pristopi h gibanju 

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