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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   3 min read

Can you think of any better way to spend a holiday than soaking in the lush warm waters of a thermal spring? We can’t. From Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon to a colonial Mexican town and on to one of Japanese oldest spa towns, these are some of the best hot springs to visit around the world.

Blue Lagoon



Can we ever tire of talking about Iceland? Hardly. These steamy milky waters attract thousands every year. The lagoon holds an impressive 1.5 million gallons of both sea and freshwater and unbeknownst to may was created by a heating company in the 1970s to explore the possibilities of geothermal heating. The water’s silica helps to exfoliate and reduce inflammation while the seawater minerals give the skin a pleasant boost.

Flights to Reykjavik

San Miguel de Allende



A trip to San Miguel de Allende will take you away from the beaches of Cancun and into charming colonial Mexico. Mexico is home to hundreds of thermal springs and many believe that even the Aztecs enjoyed the country’s warm waters. As for San Miguel, it didn’t show up on the spa-circuit until the 1950s. Choose one of the many that dot the way between Dolores Hidalgo and San Miguel de Allende.




Japanese have been bathing here since the second century. Kusatsu is one of Japan’s oldest spa towns, up in the mountains. To get here, you’ll have to take the trail to Naganohara Kusatsuguchi and then a bus but don’t let that put you off. Samurais came here to heal in the 1600s, others came in the 1700s for a cure to syphilis, no doubt contracted from the red light districts. Head to one of the town bath houses for the day, Sainokawara Rotenburo is the most popular.

Bathing rituals from around the world




Saturnia’s incredible waters are right up there with the rest. Legend has it that these thermal pools are in the same place where one of Jupiter’s thunderbolts fell during a spat with Saturn. First it was the Etruscans then it was the Romans that soaked up the warm waters. The secret ingredient here? The waters contain plankton which is known to calm and strengthen the skin.

5 Italian destinations off the beaten path

Which hot spring would you most like to visit?

Imgs: iceland, italy, japan, mexico

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