There is no way to tell whether the hot water emerging from the depths of the ground does indeed have curative properties or not. Generations upon generations have flocked to thermal springs over the centuries to benefit from the positive effects of hot springs. There’s no telling whether it was the heat or the minerals dissolved in the water that heal various ailments but the fact remains: there are thermal springs in Europe that have been on the map for thousands of years. Hot springs are said to improve the circulation of the blood, reduce stress, relieve pain, and even improve various skin problems. This makes soaking in thermal water one of the best ways to unwind, even if only for a weekend – especially when the weather turns cold. Here are some destinations that you may consider for a short vacation this year.
Set at the border of the Black Forest mountain range, Baden-Baden is a great destination not only for those seeking its thermal springs but those looking to hike, do sports, and generally those who love to spend time in nature. Its history as a spa resort is long: the remains of a Roman bath were discovered underneath its “New Castle” that date back to the time of emperor Caracalla (the 210s AD). The city’s spa resort was built in 1824 and it retains its beauty and luxury to this day. Aside from its entertainment and spa amenities, it is also equipped with a world-class gambling facility that made the Baden-Baden spa resort one of the top European casino destinations.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Given its name, Iceland doesn’t sound like the perfect spa destination – but the name is misleading, as, under Iceland’s ice, the fires of the planet burn hot. This results in the island having many geysers and thermal springs. One of the most beautiful and most popular is Blue Lagoon, a man-made spa complex in a lava field near Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula. The high silica content of the thermal water turns it into a milky blue, forming a soft white mud on the bottom of the lake. The water is also rich in algae and salts, making it perfect for a nutritive rubbing or a face mask.
Hévíz Lake, Hévíz, Hungary
Hévíz is perhaps a lesser-known spa town in Central Europe – perhaps this makes it that great of a destination. What makes it special that it doesn’t only have a hot spring – it has an entire hot lake. The Hévíz Lake is a natural thermal lake, with its water temperature in the summer reaching 37 degrees C (around the natural temperature of the human body). Even in the winter, the lake is lukewarm – it can be used for bathing year-round. The curative properties of the water here have been known for centuries – the first spa here was built by the Romans in the 2nd century, and the town has become a popular tourist destination for those seeking relief from rheumatic diseases and locomotor disorders, among others.