If you want waters with healing properties, coupled with a spa-like experience, then a visit to a hot spring is in order. Proven health benefits from floating in the warm, mineral rich waters include increased blood flow to the skin, calming the central nervous system, and reducing pain and stress levels. Keen to visit one? Keep reading to discover the top hot springs in the world:
Asia: Gunma Prefecture, Japan
Japan is known for its polite population and technological innovations. Of course, constantly being on the go means down-time is appreciated, and the Kusatsu Onsen (hot springs), is the top recommendation for those wanting to stay in optimal health. This thermal paradise has been a firm favourite with the population in both ancient and modern times, as it’s only two hours away from Tokyo. First-time visitors are encouraged to try the Awase-yu, which involves soaking in five springs of varied temperatures to better adjust to the increasingly hot water.
Africa: Montagu, South Africa
The pictures que setting of the hot springs in Montagu keeps visitors returning here time and again. The water has a pleasant 43°C temperature average, and an almost perfect Ph balance. There are a variety of trace mineral compounds to be found, along with minute amounts of radioactive particles … and no, to be clear, you won’t start glowing after a dip. There is an on-site spa, so once you’re done in the various baths you can enjoy further pampering.
America: Calistoga, California
The hot springs in this area are a much-loved affair ever since they were discovered in 1872, and the general belief is that they were also used in earlier times. The Calistoga Spa Hot Springs have four different pools, although day-visitors should be warned, entrance is on a first come, first served basis. The warmest spring is 40°C, and the rest vary between 25 – 37°C so you can dip and dunk in the pools at your own pace. A popular treatment at the attached spa is relaxing in a spring-fed mud bath.
Europe: Grindavík, Iceland
The Blue Lagoon is the most famous hot spring in Iceland, and for good reason, as it’s one of the prettiest to visit. Minerals such as sulphur and silica are naturally found in these waters, and the average temperature is 38°C, making it perfect for a full-day visit. Interestingly, a Research and Development facility is also on-site, and its primary function is to discover new ways in which the water is beneficial to various skin aliments.
Middle East: Yarmouk River Valley, Israel
The Hamat Gader can be found in Yarmouk River Valley, near the Sea of Galilee and close to the border of Jordan. The various hot springs here usually have an average temperature of 50°C, as well as a fairly high sulphur concentration (4.7%). It is believed that the sulphur helps relieve symptoms that sufferers of asthma and skin diseases display. The waters renew the epidermis and also help with rheumatism and aches. If you’ve spent the day sight-seeing, your body will thank you for the brief reprieve as you lie back and allow your muscles to relax.
Oceania: Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley, New Zealand
If you want your trip to be memorable, then a visit to the world’s largest hot spring is in order. One of the best times to go is in the early morning, as you’ll catch the picture-perfect steam wisps rise from the waters. Known as Frying Pan Lake, this hot spring has average temperatures between 45 – 55°C. It was created by a geothermal explosion in 1917, and became a popular tourist destination shortly thereafter, with flora and vegetation surrounding the banks.
South America: Pucon, Chile
Chile is a rich geothermal area, with over 240 hot springs, of varying temperatures. One of the recommended springs to see is the Termas Geometricas (Geometrica Spa), which has 17 cold and hot pools visitors can lazily splash about in. The pools are located along a red wooden pathway, which weaves between waterfalls and forest vegetation, and the icy waterfall at the end of the canyon is well worth a small hike to see.
About the Author: Roseanna McBain is a writer for TravelGround. Having discovered they joys of spa treatments and hot springs, she tries to regularly indulge in them. When she can’t, a hot bath with Epson salts is a passable alternative.