The benefits of thermal waters have been known since ancient times. Its water is full of properties that help to nourish the skin, improve joint diseases and the circulatory system, reduce pain and inflammation and, above all, to relax and take a well-deserved rest.
Europe has a long tradition of thermal baths in almost every country, largely due to Roman influence. So, if you want to travel and take a break, we have a proposal for you: visit some of the best thermal baths in Europe.
What are hot springs and thermal waters?
The word terma comes from the Latin thermae, which means public baths. But if you think that this is quite old, you should know that the latest discovery of the use of thermal waters dates back almost 2 million years. In other words, even before the discovery of fire, it was already clear to us how good a visit to a thermal bath could do us good, even if it was not yet known as such.
And what is the origin of these places? Their origin is to be found in the springs that form under the surface whose waters are heated due to the geothermal forces of the earth’s crust. That is why they are most commonly found in areas where there are volcanoes.
But why do these waters have so many properties? Because of the minerals found in the rocks that heat the water. These dissolve in the water, enriching it and providing numerous benefits to our organism. Bathing in this type of water is something that even some doctors recommend to improve our health.
Spas, thermal baths and thermal baths to visit in Europe
Since the beginning of civilisation, thermal baths have been associated with peace and well-being. A place to rest and relax, enjoying the warm waters of the springs. Greeks, Romans, Arabs… And centuries later we continue to do so.
Are you planning a trip to Europe in the near future? We have some suggestions for you to visit some of the best hot springs on the continent.
Thermal waters in Spain
Spain’s thermal baths are to be found all over the country, and there is practically no corner of the country where they cannot be found. Although it is true that some have been transformed into spas, there are still places where you can enjoy them in the open air.
Ready for a day of relaxation? Then put on your Havaianas Zip Top Market and let’s get started.
The thermal lake of Alhama de Aragón in Zaragoza is unique in Europe. Not only does it cover an area of two hectares, but it also maintains a temperature of 32 degrees all year round to enjoy the benefits of these waters.
Another of the best known is the Archena Spa Resort, in Murcia. This thermal complex covers more than 200,000 m2 and is located in the Ricote Valley Nature Reserve. Its main attraction is its thermal pools both indoors and outdoors, whose waters reach a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius.
In the north you can find the Outariz thermal baths, in Orense. They are located on the right bank of the Miño river and are surrounded by nature, so the feeling of tranquillity is absolute. They also have many options in their thermal circuit for you to pamper yourself and rest as you deserve.
Finally, we would like to highlight the Alhama Thermal Baths, in Granada. They are the ideal place to relax after one of the hiking trails that run through this natural area. Its three natural pools have been used since ancient times.
Budapest Thermal Baths
Budapest is known for its many thermal baths, which is why it has been called the City of Spas since 1934. It has 118 springs from which more than 70 million litres of thermal water gush out every day. Incredible, isn’t it?
The Gellert Spa is more than 100 years old and is located on the right bank of the Danube. This wonderful Art Nouveau building has a large indoor pool which is the heart of the spa. Don’t forget your Havaianas Slim Flatform Sparkle to enjoy the thermal circuit.
Another of Budapest’s most famous baths is undoubtedly the Szechenyi Spa. This complex is the spa with the largest thermal spring in Europe. It has been in operation for hundreds of years and has geothermal pools and steam baths, as well as offering treatments and even a gym.
Thermal baths in France
Yes, Europe is full of hot springs, and France is no exception. Many of these spas are located near the mountain ranges that run through the country, such as the Pyrenees and the Alps.
The Bains de Saint Thomas, near the village of Fontpédrouse, are located in the French Cerdagne region. These baths are surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery, are at an altitude of 1150 metres and are shaped like an amphitheatre. In addition to outdoor pools, they have a sauna, vaporarium, hammam and indoor pool.
As these spas are located close to the mountains, the best thing to do is to wrap up warm with the Havaianas Sweater Hava Classics Eco before heading to the next destination. The Balnéa Centre is one of the largest and most modern spas in the Pyrenees. Its outdoor pool of Japanese-inspired thermal waters and its proximity to the ski resorts of Val Louron and Peyragudes are particularly noteworthy.
Further north, in the village of Saint-Gervais les Bains, you will find Les Bains du Mont Blanc, in the Alps region. Here, indoor and outdoor pools mix in the exceptional surroundings of Mont Blanc. Dermatological treatments, saunas and massages are just some of the additional treatments available.
Thermal springs in Iceland
Iceland is known for its endless landscapes, its eternal ice and its geysers and volcanoes. But as a volcanic island, it is also known for its many hot springs where you can enjoy a day of relaxation.
Blue Lagoon is Iceland’s best-known hot springs. Located 30 minutes from the capital, Reykjavik, you’ve probably seen the turquoise pool more than once on Instagram. Its mineral-rich waters and silicon-rich mud will make your skin look amazing.
Iceland is also home to the Laugarvatn Fontana thermal baths. These open pools overlook the geothermal lake Laugarvatn and their mud is popular for soothing the symptoms of arthritis in the joints. You can also see the Northern Lights from the pools if you visit at the right time of year.
Thermal baths in Portugal
The Roman tradition of thermal baths can be felt in Portugal, which has a large number of places to enjoy them. The Termas do Luso are the best known, a spa built in 1852 with waters of a purity that has made it a national reference point.
To the north, in the area of the Peneda-Gêres natural park, are the Termas do Gêres. This spa is not only located in an enclave that invites relaxation, but its thermal circuit is designed around the prevention of illnesses.
In the south is the Caldas de Monchique, a spa with thermal waters rich in bicarbonates, sodium and fluoride that help in the treatment of pain, respiratory diseases and muscular disease.
Thermal baths in Italy
Italy’s thermal waters are all over the country, offering the possibility to enjoy their benefits almost anywhere you go. Your best allies for a visit to one of these thermal spas are undoubtedly your Havaianas Slides Classic.
The most famous ones are located in the region of Tuscany, the Thermal Baths of Saturnia. Not only are they one of the most beautiful enclaves you can find in the region, but their waters rich in carbonates, magnesium and algae will make your skin soft and have a very special glow.
Surrounded by breathtaking nature in the heart of the Dolomite mountain range is the Dolomite Thermal Baths. Not only does it have outdoor pools and thermal waterfalls, but it also offers saunas, Japanese baths and salt rooms with a privileged view of the landscape of the Trentino region.
But if you really want to live a complete thermal experience, the best thing to do is to head to the island of Ischia, which has numerous thermal baths where you can enjoy thermal treatments such as mud therapy or anthrotherapy.
Thermal baths in England
Thermal baths have been prized throughout England’s history, although they did not return to the splendour of Roman times until the 19th century.
The Bath Baths are among the oldest in the country and the best known internationally. The city of Bath has always been a spa destination par excellence, and the Baths were once used by the Romans, Celts and Saxons.
These baths have herbal steam rooms or open-air pools in a setting that breathes history.
Buxton is also one of the most popular over the years. There you can find The Crescent, an 18th century complex with indoor pools with spectacular windows and stained glass ceilings. Its waters are known for their healing properties, making Buxton an ideal place for relaxation.
Thermal baths in Germany
The spas in Germany cannot be understood without mentioning the Baden-Baden Thermal Baths. This town on the edge of the Black Forest has the most famous thermal baths in the country. Friedrichbad is one of the oldest spas where thermal baths are combined with steam baths.
The Rupertus Thermal Baths are located in the German Alps and are the only ones with saline thermal waters. Here you can also enjoy relaxation areas with panoramic views of the landscape, Finnish sauna, steam baths and even a salt tunnel sauna.
The spas in Bad Ems are also among the most renowned in Germany. This town has a long tradition of thermal baths and preserves baths such as those of the Häckers Grand Hotel, with thermal water fountains even in the lobby.Ready for a day of relaxation and rest? Don’t forget to pack your favourite Havaianas flip-flops in your backpack and let’s take a trip to any of these spas. Your body and mind will thank you.