15 Best Geothermal Pools In The World
There are many ways to relive stress, gain clear and blemish free skin, and treat chronic illness. There are only a few things you can do to tackle all those issues at once. One of the best ways to find relief and look good afterward is to soak in a geothermal pool. In the world of spa treatments, it all goes back to water and travel. After all, the word “spa” itself comes from Spa, Belgium, a popular watering spot back in the 1600’s. Cultures all over the globe turned to natural, mineral-rich waters to treat a wide array of concerns. The world is rich with natural pools of water that are full of mineral. Here are some of the best ones the earth as to offer.
Banff Upper Hot Springs, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The Banff Upper Hot Springs in Alberta, Canada are surrounded by dramatic alpine views, that add to the tranquility you’ll feel when you stay here. These hot springs in western Canada were considered a sacred healing site by the area’s native residents. In 1882, workers building the Canadian Pacific Railway happened to stumble upon two of the spring pools at the base of Sulphur Mountain, and the news quickly spread. Two years later construction on a bathhouse begun. The Banff Upper Hot Springs bathhouse, completed in the mid-1930’s, has been declared a protected Heritage Building. These hot springs can get up to 104 degrees.
Ma’In Hot Springs, Jordan Ma’In Hot Springs is a place with biblical roots. Similar to the Dead Sea, the healing powers of these desert oasis springs have been around for centuries. King Herod would travel here often for medical treatment and legend has it that Salome did her famous dance in his nearby villa. Ever since, kings, queens, and commoners of all types have come to enjoy the hot and cold springs, many of which tumble down from picturesque waterfalls. The springs originate from winter rainfalls in Jordan’s highland plains. As the water makes its way through the Wadi Zarqa Ma’in valley, underground lava fissures help heat them and infuse them with skin-healing minerals.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Mexico is not famous for geothermal pools or hot springs, but you would be surprised how many are actually there. If you’re ever in the area make sure to visit San Miguel de Allende. A well kept secret, modern-day Mexico is home to hundreds of mineral spring sites. It’s said that the tradition of soaking in these geothermal pools can be traced far back as the Aztecs. Emperor Montezuma was apparently a fan. Some of the most popular, ones lay just outside San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico. Though the native people discovered and used these thermal waters for centuries, it wasn’t until the town’s “re-discovery” by artists and Mexican movie stars in the 1950’s that formal spas and baths were constructed. The water are said to have age reversing effects.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland The Blue Lagoon geothermal pools in Iceland are probably the most famous pools on this list. The lagoon holds 1.5 million gallons of sea and freshwater. In 1981, people were bathing in the lagoon and noticed remarkable improvements in skin conditions. Once the word got out, the site became a popular tourist attraction, with official public facilities opening in 1987 and a full spa in 1999.
Budapest, Hungary Ancient Celtic settlers were the first to make use of the therapeutic waters in Budapest, Hungary. They named the area Ak-Ink, or “ample water.” The Romans, followed the Celtic settlers and built the first official baths and re-dubbed the place Aquincum. The bath houses floundered in the 18th century, until the re-discovery of some thermal springs in the 1800’s. A scientific interest in the benefits led to the construction of some of the city’s most famous bathhouses.Some of them are still open for business. The water is even good to drink which.
Bath, England Archeological evidence suggests activity around these springs in southwest England go as far back as 8,000 B.C. Those Romans loved a good bath. They constructed the first formal baths in the first century AD here. The baths’ popularity didn’t wane in the centuries that followed. These geothermal pools in England were popular throughout the 1700’s and 1800’s. In 2006, after more than a decade of renovations, the Thermae Bath Spa complex opened in some of the most historic bath sites. Doctors have sent patients here for centuries to treat rheumatism, psoriasis, gout, and even infertility.
Arenal Hot Springs, Costa Rica Whenever there are volcanoes and water in close proximity, you are sure to find hot springs. Costa Rica is home to six active volcanoes and 61 more that are dormant or extinct. Thanks to all this geothermal activity, the country also boasts several hot springs sites. The most notably site is around the Arenal Volcano in the northwest. Arenal Volcano is technically still active. Arenal’s heat and minerals infuse streams that flow through the marshes and grasslands at its base. Several hotels offer access to the springs, but the original-and the gold standard-is the Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort.
Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado In the early 1500’s the Ute Indians enjoyed these southwest Colorado hot springs, which sit about 8,600 feet above sea level. In the 1880’s ore miners came to the region and a private homestead was established on the land that is now Dunton, Colorado. The owners recognized the hot springs’ moneymaking potential and started charging a nickel to take a dip. The first “hot tub” was built in a log-lined pit, followed by various shack bathhouses. When the mining boom went bust, the town deserted. The current owners took over in 1994 and spent several years turning the whole town into an upscale resort.
Saturnia, Italy There is a folklore in Italy that says Saturnia’s hilltop thermal springs bubble up at the exact spot where Jupiter’s thunderbolt fell in a battle with Saturn. The Bronze Age Etruscans were the first to partake of the waters, and even built a temple on the site to thank the gods for this gift. Later, the Romans constructed what some say was the world’s first public bathhouse. As time went by the hot springs got a bad rep, as some people believed they were the gates of hell and seen little to no human activity. The springs were re-discovered in the 1800’s and continue to be the Tuscan town’s claim to fame.
Hot Springs, Arkansas Many Native American tribes lived in what is now Arkansas. Evidence suggests that a variety of these tribes came together in peace to bathe in the hot springs in the Ouachita Mountain valley. After the Louisiana Purchase, naturalist and a chemist were sent to the region and sent word in 1804 of steaming waters and natural minerals. The town was named Hot Springs due to the prominence of the natural pools. Years later a hotel had been built to shelter bathers and over time dozens of thermal spas were opened, with the additional enticement of horse racing and gambling. The casinos aren’t as prominent now, but you can still stroll streets lined with Victorian houses and historic hotels.
Kusatsu, Japan Kusatsu is a mountain town in Japan and is one of the oldest hot springs sites in the country and claims of travelers soaking here as early as the 2nd century. Samurai came in the 1600’s, looking to heal their wounds. By the 1700’s Kusatsu was a booming resort destination for those suffering from red light district illnesses like syphilis. In 1876 a German doctor began researching the healing powers of the waters, and helped create more targeted medical treatments using the springs.
Yambajan, Tibet Tibet is a complicated country, but is filled with peaceful people even though its history may say other wise. It is hard to get to Tibet considering it is deep in the Himalayas. Once you are there, you can visit numerous hot spring sites. Yambajan is easily the most picturesque. Glaciers, ancient forests, and snow-capped hills surround the town. There are eight springs here, all with unique names like Bread-Steaming Hot Spring, Vinegar Boiling Spring, and Fish-Cooking River.
Bains De Dorres, France While the French typically like their thermal spas complete with doctors and clinical cleanliness you’ll find something much more natural and beautiful at Bains de Dorres. Situated close to the Spanish border in the Pyrenees, the baths date back to Roman times and offer visitors the chance to soak away their worries in water surrounded by stunning views of the valleys below from an altitude of 4,800 feet. Except for a break from the end of November to the beginning of December, The pools are open daily from 8:45 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., except for a brief time form the end of November to the beginning of December.
Wiesbaden, Germany If you find your self in Germany and need a place to go for ultimate relaxation, find your way to FKK-Baden at the Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme near Stuttgart. Around 2,000 years ago, the area was popular with Romans who came to bathe in the 26 hot springs of the Mattiaci (a local German tribe). The complex that is there now was opened as an “orthopedic healing institute” in 1836. Since then guests have come for a spot of recreation and relaxation and for relief from rheumatic and orthopedic diseases. While bathing suits are only completely forbidden in the sauna, if you want to relax like the locals, ditch the coverings and take a dip in your birthday suit.
Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, New Zealand New Zealand offers a truly simple, back-to-basics spa experience at the lush Waikite Valley Thermal Pools surrounded by the fresh country air. New Zealand boast about the ‘Living Waters’ of Te Manaroa Spring (the largest source of pure boiling water in New Zealand). The pure spring waters cascade into the main splash pool, the soak pool and the luxurious tranquil garden pool. You can bring the whole family to Waikite Valley from 10 am to 9 pm, except for Christmas Day.