Where to Find the World’s Best Hot Springs
At the end of a long day of touring, nothing soothes the soul quite like a dip in the warm mineral waters of a hot spring. As you slip into the water, all your stress seems to melt away. Our planet is home to countless pools of bubbling nutrient-rich waters, and although not all of them are suitable (nature’s baths can get extremely hot!) for jumping in, enthusiasts around the world have long been harnessing the Earth’s heat to create spas and thermal baths perfect for people. Discover these top hot springs destinations that are sure to revive, recharge, and renew your body.
Hot Springs Capital of the World
Sip on a cup of sake and let your body unwind as you enjoy the onsen culture of Japan’s numerous hot springs. With nearly 3000 of them, Japan has more hot springs than all other countries combined. Considered to be the onsen (hot springs) capital of Japan, Hakone is home to dozens of resorts that give you access to secluded open-air mineral-rich baths. Bathe in the lap of luxury with an unmatched view of Mt. Fuji at The Prince Hakone Lake Ashinoko resort. Indulge in a traditional Japanese setting with stunning mountainside scenery at Hakone Suishoen with your own private hot spring bath.
More than Just the Blue Lagoon
The combination of geothermal activity and glaciers have made Iceland a hot bed for hot springs. The most well-known is Blue Lagoon, a large spa resort not far from Reykjavik with an extensive spa menu and an exclusive mud mask made from the silica in the water. Though it’s conveniently located between Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik, the resort can get pretty packed. If you’d like to get away from the crowds and not have to worry about booking months in advance, consider Myvatn Nature Baths in Northern Iceland with waters much like those of the Blue Lagoon. Venture off the beaten path and discover secret hot springs tucked away, and popular with locals, in the countryside. Lined with natural rocks, you’ll feel even more connected with the healing powers of nature. Visit in the evening and you might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights above.
Volcanoes and Waterfalls and Hot Springs, Oh My!
With so much volcanic activity in Costa Rica, it’s no wonder the country is dotted with natural hot springs. There are several hot springs resorts at the base of Arenal Volcano, located inside a National Park of the same name. Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort is the only all-natural hot spring in the area and does not rely on pumps or re-heating systems. For a more pampered experience, visit The Springs Resort and Spa where you’ll find a number of pools from varying degrees amidst a lush garden. Those seeking some adventure should look no further than the Borinque Mountain Resort on the slopes of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. Enjoy a soak in their hot springs after a day of zip-lining, horseback riding, or white water rafting.
Go for Baroque
Hungarians know how to soak in style with a dozen gorgeous classical and Neo-Baroque thermal baths in Budapest alone. You can’t go wrong with the classic Gellert Baths which was once a grand hotel and is now the most famous thermal spa in Budapest. To get back in touch with nature, head west to Lake Heviz and swim in one of the world’s largest thermal lakes. If you would prefer to relax and soak without the crowds, Salt Hill Thermal Spa in the north can’t be missed. It is a sprawling resort with futuristic pools in a natural setting.