Slidinginto a tub filled with boiling water after a long day is one of those little luxuries that make life better. Nothing washes away stress like hot water: it soothes aches and pains, removes toxins, and provides comfort.
Basically, bathing gives us the increasingly rare opportunity to take a break from our busy lives.
Imagine being able to experience this feeling of placid well-being amplified a hundred times, and in front of towering mountains, or in the desert, or in the forest, or surrounded by rocks: that’s what happens when you immerse yourself in the “Natural spas”, those places that nature has created in the world where water, warm and beneficial, flows directly from the heart of the planet, and creates-sometimes naturally, sometimes with the hand of man-pools that are an ‘injection of pleasure and well-being.
And not only that, in addition to being beautiful, they also do a lot of good. On a physical level, because the warmth and mineral richness are a panacea for the body, and especially on a mental level, because contact with nature is magic, the ingredients of which are good air and slow rhythms.
They bubble up from underground, are warm, soothing and surrounded by unspoiled nature: here are the world’s most beautiful natural spas!
Make yourself comfortable, sip an herbal tea-or relax in your bathtub at home-and follow us on this journey to discover the most incredible natural spas the Earth has been willing to give us.
BLUE LAGOON, ICELAND
Seen from the sky, the lagoon is a necklace of sapphires lying on the black velvet of the Icelandic wilderness, a color that enhances the blue of this natural geothermal source. It is so beautiful that National Geographic has included it in the 25 Wonders of the World: not only for the beneficial power of its mineral-rich waters, but also for the sophistication with which Icelanders have managed to create a structure that includes the Retreat SPA, a typical cuisine restaurant, a hotel with suites directly overlooking the basin, and private rooms carved out of volcanic rock, real Private SPA. All this, without affecting the natural beauty of the lagoon, but rather enveloping it as if in a protective embrace.
Designed to bring the mind and body into a new dimension of peace, the journey to the natural spa moves through the benefits triggered by the volcanic nature of the lagoon: exfoliation with mineral salts from the earth, treatment with an algae that grows only in these waters and then with silica, the lagoon’s iconic white mineral, culminating in the Blue Lagoon Ritual, immersion in the vapors of the source.
The Blue Lagoon has evolved, expanded to new horizons of wellness, but the turquoise waters that flow from the earth are still its heart and soul. And when you are there floating among the rocks, perhaps under the Aurora dancing in the sky, the water will take your mind and body and transport them to a world of wonder.
MILL FALLS, ITALY
It is said that it was a lightning bolt hurled by Jupiter that gave birth to this paradise hidden among the countryside of the Tuscan Maremma. And looking at the view, one feels catapulted into a bucolic picture: the ancient stone mill, small waterfalls, lush vegetation and, most importantly, the limestone pools filled with blue waters, warm and beneficial, make the Waterfalls of the Saturnia Mill One of the must-see destinations at least once in a lifetime.
Also known as “Gorello waterfalls “-or “cascatelle,” as locals affectionately call them-they originate on Mount Amiata, and during their long underground journey to Saturnia they are enriched with minerals and natural substances that give them important beneficial properties.
Spending a few hours immersed in these warm natural pools is a one-of-a-kind experience, both during the day, being able to admire the idyllic surroundings, and at night, illuminated only by the moon. Yes, because the natural spas of Mill Falls have a constant temperature of 37°C all year round, but more importantly, it is a natural and free place that is free and available at any time and in any season.
PAMUKKALE HOT SPRING, TURKEY
It is called a “cotton castle,” and not by accident: the landscape of these incredible natural springs looks like that of a fairy tale. It is an area of milk-white natural pools, so large that it can already be seen from 20 kilometers before the nearest town, Denizli.
In addition to the water gushing out at 36 C°, what is most impressive about Pamukkale ‘s natural spa are the colors: like a canvas not yet painted, the pools take on a different hue depending on the time of day. Whether you visit them at sunrise, sunset, or moonlight, the spectacle will never be the same.
And if you get to the top of the natural terrace, you will find waiting for you Hierapolis, the mythical Hellenistic-Roman city, and the Cleopatra Pool, an oasis of mineral-rich water where you can literally swim among historic ruins: legend has it that a dip in these waters was one of the daily beauty rituals of the Queen Cleopatra.
PENINSULA HOT SPRINGS, AUSTRALIA
A green Eden. That’s the best way to describe these hot springs, the only natural ones in all of Australia, where hot water bubbles up from 600 meters deep. We are a little more than an hour’s drive south of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula: the lush nature and steams rising from the ground immediately envelop the traveler, making him or her feel as if in another world.
The area is huge, and divided into several zones: The Bath House is the public bathing area, with more than twenty pools in which to relax and rejuvenate, an underground sauna, and a magnificent rooftop pool located at the highest point of the facility. The SPA Dreaming Center, on the other hand, is a true private sanctuary where you can indulge in water wellness, silence, and rejuvenating contact with nature.
A narrow gorge in the mountains of Hidalgo state holds one of Mexico’s best-kept secrets: it is Tolantongo, a hot spring nestled between peaks and forests. It begins with immersion in the valley floor river, a series of boiling pools divided by many small waterfalls that act as a natural whirlpool.
After this first taste, we arrive at the heart of the park: a waterfall that cascades directly down the mountain, and serves as the gateway to a series of warm water caves, where you can immerse yourself in a surreal environment, in the heart of the rock and under the stalactites.
But the most incredible spot in Tolantongo’s natural SPA is.
: an area formed by small pools fed by thermal water coming from the river. These boiling pools are interconnected and sheer directly overlook the mountains, offering one of the most fascinating landscapes in Mexico. And when the fog lifts and you are bathed in steam and clouds, it feels like a dream.
KUROKAWA ONSEN, JAPAN
Forget everything you know about spas: in Japan, bathing in onsen-the natural springs-is not just a pastime, but a true purifying ritual. And Kurokawa is the place that best represents this quest for union with nature.
Soaking in the warm spring waters of this spa resort is an incredible experience. The small town of Kurokawa, protected by a preservation project, has a nostalgic atmosphere suspended in time, and holds among its typical buildings three different open-air baths in twenty-four different ryokan, old traditional-style inns from which the hot springs are accessed.
The fascinating Japanese culture, the lush nature surrounding the springs, the architecture dominated by natural colors and materials, and the intimacy and silence make immersion in the natural onsen spas not just a spa bath, but a true mystical experience.