If you’ve ever spent some time soaking in a hot spring, you’ll know why it’s such an amazing feeling. If you haven’t, then you definitely should.
Either way, if you’re planning on getting into that steamy, relaxing water, you should know where to go. that’s why we’ve put together a list of 10 of the best hot springs around the world!
Let’s get going!
What’s A Hot Spring?
As we covered in our (ultimate guide to hot springs), a hot spring is a natural water source that’s heated by forces beneath the Earth’s crust.
Hot springs can be broken up into the following categories:
- Geothermal – caused by residual heat from Earth’s formation
- Volcanic – caused by magma and volcanic rocks
- Tectonic – caused by movement of tectonic plates
- Artificial – man-made, and created specifically for hot spring travel
Now that you know what a hot spring is, let’s take a look at the criteria.
Criteria For A Good Hot Spring
Picking a good hot spring is often based on personal preference. But there are a few things you can look out for:
1. Mineral Content
Some minerals are better than others for clearing up certain ailments. Water with balanced mineral content is best for an all-round experience, while others may be angled more towards specific benefits. For example, volcanic hot springs are great for easing respiratory issues because of their white sulfur content.
2. Water Temperature
Some hot springs are hotter than others. So it’s important to find a hot spring that’s got a temperature you’re comfortable with.
Hot springs that go through a natural filtration process tend to have purer water. It can enhance the mineral content and health benefits, while keeping the hot springs hygienic.
So, with all of that in mind, let’s take a look at 10 of the best hot springs around the world.
10 Best Hot Springs Around The World
Each of these hot springs have something that makes them unique to any others. We’ll take a look at what that unique feature is, as well as taking a look at the hot spring overall.
1. Blue Lagoon – Grindavik, Iceland
The Blue Lagoon in Iceland is an iconic geothermal wonder set in a dramatic lava field. It’s known for its milky-blue waters that are rich in silica and minerals. These waters are well-known for their therapeutic abilities on skin.
2. Pamukkale – Denizli Province, Turkey
Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, is a natural wonder in the Denizli Province. It’s known for it white terraces that were formed by calcium-rich thermal waters. They resemble cotton cliffs and are complemented by the ancient ruins of Hierapolis atop the plateau.
3. Hakone Kowakien Yunessun – Hakone, Japan
One of the best hot springs in Japan is Hakone Kowakien Yunessun. This location offers a playful twist on traditional hot spring experiences. Here, you can enjoy themed baths, including wine, coffee, and green tea. With Mount Fuji as the backdrop, and nature surrounding you, this is a one-of-a-kind experience.
4. Terma Geométricas – Pucón, Chile
Nestled in the picturesque landscapes near Pucón, Chile is Termas Geométrica. This hot spring sanctuary is celebrated for its striking architectural design and serene natural setting. With its geometrically shaped pools, seamlessly integrated into the lush forest surroundings, visitors are in for a tranquil (and visually stunning) retreat.
5. Ma’in Hot Springs – Ma’in, Jordan
The thermal waterfalls of Ma’in in Jordan are home to Ma’in Hot Springs. Surrounded by desert terrain, this oasis is known for its waters, which are rich in calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Beyond its natural beauty, it also holds historical significance, having been mentioned in ancient texts for its healing properties.
6. Banff Upper Hot Springs – Banff National Park, Canada
In the heart of Banff National Park, the Banff Upper Hot Springs offer a panoramic experience of the Canadian Rockies. The emphasis on the therapeutic benefits of the mineral-rich waters enhances the overall experience, and the hot springs are open year-round.
7. Hot Springs – Virginia, United States of America
These are some of the best hot springs in the East Coast. Here, you’ll find the historic Omni Homestead Resort, which has been a spa destination since the 18th century. You’ll be able to enjoy historical ambiance, modern amenities, and Southern hospitality – all while soaking in skin-rejuvenating warm waters.
8. Termas de Papallacta – Quito, Ecuador
Termas de Papallacta is a spa facility surrounded by lush cloud forests and enjoys a high-altitude location, providing visitors with a tranquil escape into nature. It offers a range of pools with different temperatures, allowing guests to customize their thermal bathing experience.
9. Yangpachen Hot springs – Yangpachen, Tibet
Renowned for its sacred cultural significance in Tibetan tradition, the site showcases a remarkable display of natural pools, geysers, and fumaroles amid stunning mountainous landscapes. With its high-altitude setting, unique geological features, and cultural importance, Yangpachen Hot Springs provides a truly distinctive and spiritually enriching destination in the heart of Tibet.
10. Cascate del Mulino – Tuscany, Italy
Also known as the Saturnia Hot Springs, Cascate del Mulino is nestled in the Tuscan countryside. Fed by geothermal waters originating from Mount Amiata, the waters maintain a warm and soothing temperature. Unlike many hot springs, Cascate del Mulino offers free access, inviting both locals and tourists to indulge in the therapeutic embrace of the thermal waters underneath the Tuscan sun.
Bonus: Jigokudani Monkey Park – Yamanouchi, Japan
So they’re not hot springs you can enjoy yourself, but it definitely deserves to be on our list.
If you’ve seen pictures or videos of monkeys in hot springs, then this is the place you saw it happening from.
Jigokudani Monkey Park is located in the town of Yamanouchi, in the Nagano Prefecture. It’s home to Japanese macaques – also known as snow monkeys. The park and its hot springs have become famous for being the place where the snow monkeys warm up during the winter months. While you can visit year-round, the best time to see some monkeys chilling out is in December to March, when the area experiences its heaviest snowfalls.
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