From Iceland to Italy, discover the best thermal spa destinations in Europe for a truly memorable experience. No longer reserved for the ancient Greek elite, these hot springs are not only a spectacular natural creation but also situated in some of the most beautiful parts of Europe. Often associated with the winter months, hot springs are the perfect place to while away the hours in the company of your beau/belle, but why not visit out of season for a more intimate and far less crowded affair? Here at Hero & Leander we have put together a list of our top 10 hot springs for you to discover.
Adler Thermae– Val d’Orcia, Tuscany, Italy
Adler Thermae is located in the very peaceful Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southern Tuscany, where a thermal spring used since Roman times – and renowned for its healing qualities with particular regard to joints and bones – bubbles to the surface at Bagno Vignoni. It sits just a few hundred metres from the hotel, from where it is piped directly into Adler Thermae’s own thermal pools for the private use of hotel guests. Enjoy the warm thermal springs, regenerate your energy, spoil yourself and take time off to enjoy the finer things in life. The wellness Hotel Adler Thermae Tuscany offers a combination of nature and architecture, Italian nonchalance and carefree luxury in a relaxed yet stylish Tuscan holiday atmosphere.
Aqua Dome- Längenfeld, Austria
Aqua Dome offers infinite well-being and relaxation at one of the best thermal spa resorts in the Alps. Their special pool environment and sauna area let you forget all about your everyday routine and relax from head to toe. Allow yourself to drift away in one of their twelve indoor and outdoor pools with water temperatures from 93 – 97°F. Here at H&L our favourite part about Aqua Dome, whether it be during the summer or winter months, is the spellbinding Austrian mountain backdrop. Entrance can be gained for guests not staying at the hotel but we highly recommend that you book into one of the luxurious alpine suites to enjoy the full Aqua Dome experience.
Bagni di Pisa, Tuscany
This grand Tuscan palazzo, set amongst rolling hills and cypress trees is an incredibly romantic destination for couples seeking pampering and a slice of La Dolce Vita. The historic villa and spa is based on natural thermal springs and was once the 18th century summer residence of the Grand Duke Francesco Stefano of Lorena. The frescoed hallways, Tuscan terracotta and marbled floors evoke a time when VIPS of the past stayed here, including Gustav of Sweden, George IV of England, Mary Shelley and the Cardinal of York. The real pièce de résistance is the natural thermal cave- small and intimate, this romantic spot is perfect for couples to rest and relax. The cave is 38°C and the stalactites, walls streaked with different hues from of years of mineral water trickling over them and sound of running water create a soothing atmosphere. It acts as a natural steam room, and couples can either relax on a bench enjoying the heat on dip into the warm pool that is fed by a constant stream of natural mineral water.
Blue Lagoon- Iceland
Blue Lagoon has evolved from its infancy as a reservoir of geothermal runoff into a world of geothermal wonder. The unique properties of its waters provide not only an enchanting lagoon experience, but also the patented, active ingredients in Blue Lagoon skin care: silica, algae, and minerals. Over the years, Blue Lagoon has been innovative in harnessing this gift of nature to develop different spa services and products. Today, Blue Lagoon is recognized as one of the wonders of the world. Situated in a vast lava plain on the south coast of Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula, the Blue Lagoon holds nine million liters of geothermal seawater, covers an area of 8700 square meters, and has an average depth of 1.2 meters. In addition to the sublime pleasures of geothermal seawater, the lagoon offers a sauna, a steam room, a waterfall, a luxury lounge, a cafe, an in-water silica bar, an in-water beverage bar, and a tantalizing selection of in-water massage and treatments. In 2017, Blue Lagoon’s expansion will reach another milestone. Three new entities – all mapped to the coordinates of geothermal luxury and architected to harmonize with nature – will be opened. Built into the lava plateau on the lagoon’s western shore, within the earth and above the earth, there will be a restaurant, a luxury hotel, and a spa.
Hveravellir Nature Reserve- Iceland
Nested by the highland route Kjalvegur connecting the north and the south, between the two big glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull, Hveravellir Nature Reserve is one of the last great wilderness areas of Europe. Extending up to the foothills of Langjökull glacier Hveravellir is a geothermal hotspot with smoking fumaroles and bubbling water holes. It is a special experience to share, whether in the summer or winter. The surroundings are spectacular. Fenced in by glaciers, mountains, craters and lava fields wherever you look the scenery is breathtaking. Hveravellir is one of Iceland’s most popular Oasis in the highlands and who can argue with views like that. The area offers various hiking trails through the wonders of the lava field or nearby spectacular mountain slope. And for those in need of recharging and relaxing just a simple chill in the nature pool followed by a cup of hot chocolate and a slice of cake in the Internet Café might be just the thing.
Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort, Halkidiki, Greece
Opening on 27th May 2016 on the coast of Halkidiki, Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort will be a true benchmark for not only in Europe, but across the globe due to its unique geographical location; combining thelasso & thermal waters. It will be the very first thermal and thelasso spa of its kind in Greece and this is all due to its superb and unique location. As well as being one of the first, Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort will be one of the most eco-friendly resorts. Two thirds of the hotel will be powered by geo-thermal energy and seawater will be converted into drinking water. Personifying luxury throughout there will be a floating sauna in the marina so guests can jump directly into the sea and is situated right on the beach with 300 beautifully designed rooms, the majority with private pools. The theme is not only luxury but holds a strong focus on wellness, this can be discovered with the fantastic thermal spa that runs across 2 floors with a large thalassotherapy pool (directly from the sea) and 5 thermal pools. Additionally there is also a remarkable hammam, no less than six fresh water swimming pools and 5 restaurants. A spectacular opening awaits and perhaps the most exciting new opening in Greece for 2016.
Grotta Giusti- Tuscany, Italy
The nineteenth-century villa of the poet Giuseppe Giusti, surrounded by picturesque parks, guards what he regarded as the “eighth wonder of the world” – a millennial thermal cave with a thermal underground hot spring lake in where guests can have soothing floating therapy, which is deeply relaxing and a highly effective treatment for combatting stress and relieving pain. Research consistently demonstrates that floating therapy has a significant impact on mood enhancement. Suggested reasons for this increased level of happiness include elevated levels of dopamine and endorphins, through to the deep meditative state achieved during floatation therapy. The fascinating cave acts as a natural steam room where visitors can enjoy a relaxing and detoxifying steam bath. The cave is 130 million years old but was hidden for most of its long history. Now a prestigious hotel, Grotta Giusti has maintained its historical air and natural charm and offers 64 lavish rooms with marble bathrooms and thermal water on tap (literally, it is available in the bathrooms as well as the many thermal pools), with a backdrop of antique furnishing and paintings.
Laugarvatn Fontana- Iceland
Laugarvatn Fontana is a place where you can go to relax and experience authentic Icelandic nature whilst relaxing in the warm geothermal pools and natural steam rooms. The baths vary in depth, size and temperature and the steam rooms that have been built over natural hot springs that have been used for this purpose since 1929. Fontana is located by a beautiful lake Laugarvatn and you can enjoy the spectacular views from the sauna or the pools. Like many locations in Iceland, Laugarvatn belongs to a hot zone. In the grounds of the village, the lake and the shore of the lake you’ll find boiling waters erupting into hot springs. This hot water and various hot springs have been used for cooking, bathing, geothermal househeating and healing steam bathing. This is the reason for the settlement of Laugarvatn. There are three hot springs at the shore of the lake Laugarvatn. They all vary in heat and have been used for different purposes. All of the hot springs are in a walking distance of each other.
Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort- Tuscany, Italy
The privilege of Saturnia, a unique spa resort, comes from its relationship with its environment and exceptional hot spring. Getting to know Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort involves discovering a luxury that money can’t buy, copy or reproduce elsewhere. The luxury of regeneration that starts with spring water and acts on mind and body through a programme of well-structured activities. For visitors to the resort, the experience begins with the magical sensation of getting in contact with the spirit of its place. Its atmosphere is thick with ancient stories of beneficial divinities and people travelling there to be cured. A new type of serenity permeates the guests and helps them to relieve themselves of their stress and get them in the right frame of mind to dedicate some time to themselves. Located at the heart of Italy’s breathtaking Tuscan Maremma, Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort is one of Europe’s finest wellness experience. Drawing on the glorious natural environment and heritage of the region, the award-winning resort is set on the site of a rich thermal spring, whose waters cascade at a rate of 500 litres per second, and a constant temperature of 37˚C. Embraced by generations of bathers, the legendary health-giving properties of the silky smooth, sulphurous waters continue to seduce even the most discerning of spa goers, and form the basis for Terme di Saturnia’s unrivalled range of specialist spa treatments and wellbeing and medical programmes.
Thermae Bath Spa, United Kingdom
The hot springs in Bath, from which the City derives its name, are a wonderful, natural resource which deliver over one million litres of mineral-rich water every day. Uniquely in the UK, the mineral water is hot. Thermae Bath Spa has involved the restoration of five historic buildings and the creation of one new building of striking, contemporary architecture, the New Royal Bath. Alongside the New Royal Bath, the Hot Bath, the Cross Bath and the Hetling Pump Room combine modern facilities with a tradition of well-being which dates back over 2,000 years. Visitors will find four natural thermal baths – one in the Cross Bath, one in the Hot Bath and two in the New Royal Bath including the stunning open-air rooftop pool with skyline views of the City. In addition there are four state-of-the-art steam rooms infused with aromatherapy oils, 20 treatment rooms offering a range of over 40 complementary therapies. Here at Hero & Leander we recommend visiting The Cross Bath, an 18th century open-air bathing pool that allows individuals, couples and small groups to enjoy the natural thermal waters fed by its own spring in a more intimate environment.