There may be absolutely nothing better than soaking in one of these incredible natural thermal baths or hot springs. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, the warm waters soothe your body and your soul. From the remote locale of southwest Bolivia to the famous (and worth the hype!) Blue Lagoon, here are 10 of the world’s most beautiful thermal baths!
Southwest Turkey’s Pamukkale (the “cotton castle”) is a natural site containing hot springs and travertines, terraces of minerals left by the flowing waters. I adore Turkey, and this is near the top of my must-see list when (not if) I return!
Photo: Pvasiliadis via Wikimedia Commons
Banff Upper Hot Springs
Banff may be one of the most stunning settings on earth. Set amidst the spectacular alpine scenery is the Banff Upper Hot Springs. What could possibly sound more inviting than soaking in warm waters whilst surrounded by this incredible winter landscape?
Photo: Canadian Rockies Hot Springs
The Blue Lagoon
Hands down one of the most spectacular places I have ever visited, Iceland’s famed Blue Lagoon is everything you imagine and more. Mineral-rich waters in temperatures hovering at 38°C/102°F provide year-round bathing. Tip: the lagoon is open 365 days a year and is on the way to the Reykjavik airport, making it the perfect experience to close out your Iceland adventure.
Glenwood Hot Springs
The world’s largest hot springs pool is in tiny Glenwood Springs, CO. Open year-round, with water temperatures at 90°F, the pool contains over a million gallons of geothermal water. 107-room lodge and the new Spa of the Rockies on site.
Photo: Glenwood Hot Springs
Termas de Polques
In southwest Bolivia lies the world’s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni, and near there, the Termas de Polques hot springs. Perhaps the most lovely and remote bathing spot you could find!
Photo: Josh Newman
Jordan’s Dead Sea is a must-see, and close by are several thermal springs, the most famous of which is Hammamat Ma’in. Water tumbles down the hillside and collects in pools for public bathing.
Photo: Red Sea Explorer
The Arenal region of Costa Rica is full of absolutely incredible resorts featuring hot springs warmed by the nearby volcano. Costa Rica is a fabulous country with wonderful, welcoming people—it’s also relatively inexpensive, easy to get to from the States, and is a true outdoor playground with not only hot springs, but also rappelling, ziplining, and rafting! Bonus: gorgeous beaches, too!
Peninsula Hot Springs
Just 90 miles from Melbourne, the Peninsula Hot Springs is an idyllic setting with over 20 bathing experiences. The natural thermal waters flow from an underground aquifer 637 meters below ground.
Photo: Mornington Peninsula Tourism
Budapest is one of Europe’s true gems. All at once timeless and current, discover cobbled streets, gorgeous architecture, stunning churches, and fabulous food in Hungary’s capital. One of the favorite pasttimes of Budapest’s citizens? Enjoying one of the city’s many thermal baths. Perhaps the most popular, and the one that I visited, is the beautiful Széchenyi Bath, a huge complex of pools small and large. One of the large outdoor pools even features a whirlpool for the young (and the young at heart)!
Photo: Marc Ryckaert via Wikimedia Commons
Terme di Saturnia
The sulphurous spring water of the Terme di Saturnia in Tuscany is known for its therapeutic properties. The spa town of Saturnia (the closest city is Grosseto) has been inhabited since ancient times. 800 liters per second of 37°C water gush into the large, cascading natural pool.
Photo: Conde Nast Traveler