As always, summer makes us dream of new destinations to go to…We have thus made you a list of the best hot springs and thermal baths in the world. These mineral-rich waters have either formed natural pools or have been transformed into man-made spas. Easing the body and the soul, these sometimes-surreal steaming pools of wellness are well worth a dip.
1. Monastic peace at the Takaragawa Onsen
Where? Minakami, Japan
Why go? Surrounded by mountains and trees, Takaragawa Onsen is one of Japan’s most beautiful hot springs. once used by samurais and shoguns, this quasi-spiritual space includes four outdoor baths said to be filled with magical waters to heal the body: heal cuts and bruises, improve circulation, and relieve arthritis. Go there to purify your body but also to clarify your mind: it’s the perfect definition of a sanctuary.
2. Blue Lagoon or one of the wonders of the world
Where? Grindavík, Iceland
Why go? Otherworldly in appearance and part of the wonders of the world, the Blue Lagoon is defined by a black lava rock peppered with milky blue waters and veils of steam. The geothermal hot spring’s primary purpose is in fact to supply hot water and electricity to Icelanders. Not only a pleasure for the eye, a dip in the 37–39 °C (99–102 °F) degree water offers a spa experience: rich in minerals like silica and sulfur, it is a treat for the skin and is well-known to heal skin diseases such as psoriasis. Whats more, The Blue Lagoon also operates a research and development facility to help find cures for other skin problems and even develops its own range of skincare products.
3. Termas Geométricas’ tropical environment
Where? In the heart of Villarica National Park, Pucon, Chile
Why go? Consisting of 17 bubbling pools and located in the middle of Chile’s lush Villarica National Park at the bottom of a canyon, Termas Geométricas is one of the world’s biggest natural hot springs. It’s characterised by fresh waterfalls and a maze of bright red suspended wooden walkways. Each of the pools are fed directly from the area’s natural hot spring, with temperatures between 95-108 degrees Fahrenheit year-round (35-42 degrees Celsius). The Japanese-inspired architecture and tropical atmosphere make it a special place to soothe your muscles.
4. Architectural wonder Gellért bath and Spa
Where? Budapest, Hungary
Why go? Famous for its numerous spas and its popular public bathing culture, it is no coincidence that Budapest was named the Spa City in 1934. Gellért Baths and Spa, which opened in 1919 and part of the famous Hotel Gellért., is in fact our favourite spa of this city. We not only recommend you go there for the healing qualities of the baths’ and outdoor pools’ water but also for you to admire its Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture adorned with beautiful mosaics, stained glass windows and a glass roof that can be swung open in summer. The swimming pool includes a wave machine that dates, quite incredibly, from 1927!
5.Terme di Saturnia in the scenic Tuscan countryside
Where? Southern Tuscany, Italy
Why go? The geothermal springs Terme di Saturnia, are set in the scenic Tuscan countryside above a crater of volcanic origin, which was used centuries ago by Roman nobles. However, today anyone can benefit from its therapeutic waters, is said to help heal everything from acne to tonsillitis. The site is composed of the two Cascate del Mulino waterfalls flowing onto travertine rocks to form over the centuries groups of Small pools of spring water, sitting around 98° Fahrenheit, or 37.5° Celsius.